- On Oct. 11, 2000, Martin County Coal Corp.'s coal waste impoundment
broke through and released 250 million gallons of slurry in
Inez, Ky., burying parts of the community under 7 feet of coal
- One of the objectives of the Federal Mine
Safety and Health Act of 1977 was to establish mandatory
standards to protect the lives of miners and prevent injuries.
- Coal is the largest single source of fuel for domestic energy
- As of August 2001, the Mine Safety and Health Administration
oversees more than 700 active, freshwater and slurry impoundments
in the United States.
- Most coal waste impoundments in the United States are in
the East, predominantly in West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Kentucky
- An active impoundment is in operation and receiving slurry.
An inactive site is not in operation but not closed permanently.
An abandoned impoundment is closed and not in operation.
- The Mine Safety and Health Administration bases its hazard
potential ranking system on height of the embankment, the volume
of material impounded and the downstream effects of an impoundment
- All coal companies that operate a coal-refuse impoundment
are required to develop emergency response and evacuation plans
for their impoundments.
- The commercial coal industry began to grow with the arrival
of the railroads in coalfields. Construction of the major rail
lines in West Virginia was completed in 1883, and coal production
totaled nearly 3 million tons.
- John Peter Salley discovered coal in 1742 in an area that
is now West Virginia.
- The first commercial coal mine was opened near Wheeling in
1810 by Conrad Cotts.
- West Virginia surpassed Pennsylvania in 1931 as the leading
producer of bituminous coal.
- Total coal production in West Virginia reached its peak — 181,914,000
tons — in 1997.
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