Coal Tattoo

Corps seeks comments on Blair Mountain mining

In this June 6, 2011 photo, this historical marker along W.Va. Route 17 in Blair, W.Va., is the only visible sign of the 1921 battle here between thousands of armed, unionizing coal miners and the thousands of law enforcement officers and security guards hired to defeat them. At least 16 men died on the mountain, which could be turned into a strip mine. (AP Photo/Vicki Smith)

There’s a new public notice out from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers that looks pretty interesting:

The purpose of this Public Notice is to identify consulting parties who would be interested in assisting with the development of a Programmatic Agreement (PA) that would govern the implementation of the United States Army Corps of Engineers’ (Corps) responsibilities under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) for undertakings that may affect the Blair Mountain Battlefield, a historic property.  The scope of the proposed PA would be limited to requests for Department of the Army (DA) authorizations submitted by the three applicants listed below for projects that would be subject to the Corps’ regulatory authorities under Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act (RHA) of 1899 and Section 404 of the Clean Water Act (CWA).

The applicants are: WPP LLC, Aracoma Coal Co. (Alpha Natural Resources) and Mingo Logan Coal Company (Arch Coal).

The notice goes on to say:

The Blair Mountain Battlefield is an approximate 1700-acre district located in Logan County, West Virginia. The Keeper of the National Register of Historic Places has determined the Blair Mountain Battlefield is eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places. The applicants have requested the Corps negotiate a PA in accordance with 33 CFR 800.14 for activities that meet all three of the following criteria:

a) the activity is proposed by one or more of the applicants listed above;

b) the activity would require DA authorization; and

c) the activity may affect the Blair Mountain Battlefield.

This PA would describe the procedures that would be followed to implement Section 106 of the NHPA for any Corps undertaking that meets all three of the criteria listed above. The purpose of the PA would be to establish a program for consultation, review and compliance with Section 106 of the NHPA when agreed upon criteria are met and procedures are followed.

Comments are due by Aug. 11 to this address:

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

ATTN: CELRH-RD-E, Blair Mountain PA

502 8th Street

Huntington, West Virginia 25701-2070