Coal Waste Dam

There are 11 comments on the WCHS-TV Charleston story from Mar 21, 2013, titled Coal Waste Dam. In it, WCHS-TV Charleston reports that:

Morgantown, Monongalia County , West Virginia Federal regulators have approved Alpha Natural Resources' plan to expand one of the nation's biggest coal slurry impoundments to a height taller than the Hoover Dam.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at WCHS-TV Charleston.

hum

Belle, WV

#1 Mar 25, 2013
Wow. I would not believe this had I not seen it in print. How can this be allowed? Could they not just build another dam in another location? Why add to the one already too big? How could this be approved? All of the big whigs that are reaping the profits from ravaging this part of our state should be forced to live here, drink our water and send their kids to our schools. How much of a warning would we have for those living along Coal River from Whitesville to Racine? How do we get information for what to do in case the dam fails? Could we survive? A mass mailing should be mandated to let the citizens know about this. This really is pathetic that we citizens learn about this thru the media and not thru a required phone call, etc.
local

Charleston, WV

#2 Mar 25, 2013
I know read the fine print it says if it would give out a 75 foot wall of water would hit Whitesville in less than a minute the one that busted in whiteoak a few years ago wasn't a 10th of the size of this one and look at the damage it did
hum

Belle, WV

#3 Mar 26, 2013
Where is the fine print where it details info on the 75 ft wall of water? Is this wall of water 75 high or 75 wide? The public should be aware of this. I did not see that on the WCHS article attached to this forum. I cannot believe no one knows about this. How can this be kept so secretive? All of Alpha's CEOs should be living downstream of this sludgepond.
DONT GET OUT MUCH DO YOU

Ashburn, VA

#4 Mar 30, 2013
Any time there is a permit request, it is published in the newspaper, they actually take public opinion meetings on such matters..
You need to quit skipping the articles, just because it has some maps, and co-ordinates on it, with a bunch of words below it..
Then have the nerve to question why have you not been informed....
I can never understand people, they only complain whenever the proper steps and procedures has been followed.
As for living below such refuse impoundments, or culm banks, etc..... MOVE AWAY if it upsets you.
Jerry D

Beckley, WV

#5 Mar 31, 2013
There really isn't that much water in this particular impoundment . This impoundment is solidly built and checked at least 3 times a week for water level, compaction, and core pressures. All of which are in specification! The 75 ft wall of water is what the environuts use to scare people of this dam.. I just don't think this would be the case even in a major failure of the structure collapsing itself. I really think it would be a great benefit for the company and community to come together this summer and let those from the community that want to see this structure more closely examine it and draw their own conclusions!
hum

Belle, WV

#6 Mar 31, 2013
I think the structure would have to be seen from the air and I don't see this happening by the public. I do believe a lot of this is media hype and enviormentalists trying scare the public. As a citizen living living right here withing just a few miles of the dam, I think the public has not been well informed. Surely there is a emergency plan in place for the unthinkable if the dam collaspes. The permit may have been applied for and etc but the normal citizen does not keep up with that activity. We, as the community, deserve to know these things and we shouldn't have to be the ones seeking out the information. It should be mandated that the public be informed by either a mass mailing or a phone call since this impacts us. While I do believe the dam is safe and all safety practices are put in place, the community should know how we would be notified in case of an evacuation. As for the post saying to MOVE AWAY. That was uncalled for. I merely would like to be informed. I was born here, raised here, raised my family here and will probably die here. I have every right to live my life without fear of a dam failure. I come from a coal mining family and have every respect for the honest hard working coal miner. I just want to be safe.
hard hearted

Winifrede, WV

#7 Apr 2, 2013
i was told by an ex-employee that compaction was never done on the original dam. he was there.
they're trying to make it bigger? there are trees and cars in the dam too.
oh well.
600 jobs are far more important than several thousand lives.
right??????????
it's normal in coal country.
Jerry D

Mount Hope, WV

#8 Apr 6, 2013
There aren't any cars or trees in the dam!! Compaction tests are done weekly on this structure!!! The test results can probably be found on the wvdep website, although I'm not sure. And as far as looking at this structure from the air, that would be fine I guess, but if your standing on the dam and drive around on it then I think you would get a better feel for it.

I am confident enough in this dam to say that I would much rather live directly on or below this structure with my family, than to live on or below the bluestone dam. This dam has many safety features built into it such as french drains and a decontainment pipe for the pool itself, pneumatic lines to test core pressures, and seismographs to detect even the slightest quiver. All of which remain in expected and completely acceptable ranges.
hum

Belle, WV

#9 Apr 7, 2013
It is reassuring to know of these safety measures for this dam. I would think if the dam was in any danger of collasping, there should be plenty of warning for the residents to evacuate if necessary. But I do believe that an evacuation plan, which I am sure there is one, should be made more public that it seems to be. I wonder if it is posted in the local post offices? I'm sure it is mandatory for it to be posted somewhere for the public to see. I just feel very strongly that local citizens should be made aware of the plan. If the dam should break, is it for certain on what direction the water would go? Would it depend on what section of the dam the breakage would occur? Just some general answers from the person on this site who appears to be knowledgable of the dam.
Jerry D

Beckley, WV

#10 Apr 7, 2013
The evacuation plan for a problem in this dam may be available at the local post office, I'm not sure. I suggest that you contact an msha or wv department of environmental protection via email to supply you with a legit copy. They should provide one with no questions asked. If I had one I'd provide you with it.

As far as the water flow I am assuming it would take the natural flow of the water of the coal river, which would be downstream toward whitesville.

This dam is built completely different than what the normal everyday person thinks it is built! It isn't thin like a concrete type structure it is an extremely thick structure. Think of standing at the Dairy Queen in pettus, then walking to Daniel Chevrolet and this is about how thick the top is. And the water level is nowhere near the crest or top of the dam. As far as how thick the bottom is walk from the DQ to right around the Dollar General or so!

As far as the water level itself, there isn't the amount of water in this impoundment that the folks against coal lead you to believe! Also they say that this impoundment was built over old mines, this is also false!

Wow!! Sorry about the long post, I just don't want anyone to worry themselves too much over this! I take extreme pride in this structure everyday!
hum

Belle, WV

#11 Apr 7, 2013
Wow. Such good information. This is what Topix should be. Just sharing information.

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