Boone County creeks affected by sediment pond accident


Parts of two creeks in Boone County have been adversely affected by an excavation mishap at a sediment pond permitted by Independence Coal’s Jacks Branch operation near Van.


Independence Coal notified the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection this morning of the accident, which occurred when equipment being used to clean out the sediment pond penetrated a temporary stream enclosure culvert.


Materials from the pond, including sediment and iron, leaked into the culvert and were released into Jacks Branch and Pond Fork creeks, affecting a total of about four miles of stream.


Independence Coal has repaired the culvert and the WVDEP has inspectors on the scene.


“The discharge from the damaged pipe has stopped and there is clean water flowing through the stream enclosure pipe,” said Benny Campbell, an assistant director with the WVDEP’s Division of Mining and Reclamation.


Campbell said the WVDEP has issued a Notice of Violation for stream pollution against Independence Coal.


Kathy Cosco