Coal Age

FEB 2012

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news continued Pier 6 Handles Largest Coal Loading in its 50-Year History Norfolk Southern has loaded the largest volume cargo in the history of its Pier 6 coal transloading facility at Lamberts Point in Norfolk. On January 12, 2012, Norfolk Southern finished loading 159,941.45 net tons (145,097.931 metric tons) of metallurgi- cal coal into the M/V Cape Dover, destined for China. The coal was shipped by Xcoal Energy & Resources in conjunc- tion with CONSOL Energy, from mining operations in Virginia, in 1,561 railroad coal cars. T. Parker Host was the ship agent/broker. Norfolk Southern employees loaded the 951-foot vessel in fewer than 48 hours in order to accommodate a tight sched- ule for the receiver. "This is the kind of capacity and service that makes Pier 6 the preeminent coal transloading facility on the East Coast," said Mark H. Bower, NS group vice president, export, metallurgical and industrial coal marketing. "Worldwide demand for U.S. coal for utilities and coke plants continues to grow, and the railroad is the reliable and safe link that, with our coal production and sales partners, brings that energy to market around the globe." The loading of the M/V Cape Dover eclipsed the former record of 157,645 net tons for the M/V Irongate in 1998 as well as the 155,522 net tons into the M/V Cape Provence in December 2010. Norfolk Southern has been transferring coal and coke from railroad cars into ocean-going export and domestic vessels in the Lamberts Point area since 1884, when it opened Pier 1. In the first half of the 1900s, new Piers 2-5 featured improvements in speed and capacity and even loaded coal into a number of famous vessels, such as those used in Admiral Byrd's 1933 Antarctica expedition. Pier 6 opened for business in 1962 as the hemisphere's largest, fastest and most efficient transloading facility. In 1999, Pier 6 dumped its billionth ton of coal and became the only facility in the world to have reached that milestone. On May 4, 2010, Cindy L. Clapp filed a complaint with the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) against Cordero, alleging the coal mining company had terminated her employment at Cordero mine in Campbell County in retaliation for her repeated safety complaints. Clapp claimed the management's lack of concern over safety complaints raised by mine workers and her unlawful dis- charge had a chilling effect on the willingness of other miners to raise safety issues at the mine. MSHA sought a finding from the commission that Cordero Mining had unlawfully discriminated against an employee in violation of Section 105(c) of the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977. ALJ Thomas P. McCarthy concluded that Clapp, a shovel operator with 28 years of experience as a miner, engaged in protected activity under the Mine Act, and Cordero took adverse action against her in retaliation for her complaints. In the December 5, 2011, decision, the administrative law judge ordered Cordero to cease and desist from discharging or otherwise discriminating against Clapp or any other miner because she or he engage in protected activity, and from interfering with miners who exercise the rights guaranteed by the Mine Act. Additionally, he ordered the company to take "affirmative action necessary to effectu- ate the policies of the Mine Act" within 14 days of the order and post a copy of the legal decision. The $40,000 penalty is twice the amount originally sought by the Labor Department. Cordero has appealed McCarthy's decision to the review commis- sion and requested it stay the enforcement of the order during the appeal. Triad Mining Pays Big Penalty, Must Restore Streams The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Justice announced Triad Mining, which operates 31 surface mines in Appalachia and Indiana, will pay a $810,171 penalty and restore affected waterways for failing to obtain the required Clean Water Act (CWA) permit for stream impacts caused by its surface mining operation in Indiana. Since 2002, Triad's mining operation has resulted in the unpermitted excavation and filling of more than 53,000 ft of streams that flow into the White River, according to the EPA. Triad, a subsidiary of James River Coal Co., obtained the required Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act permits from the state of Indiana for its mining operations, but never obtained the required CWA permit for the site, despite the fact that its surface mining operation involved excavating coal seams located directly below stream beds, according to the EPA. On March 24, 2008, the Army Corps of Engineers issued a cease and desist order requiring Triad to stop its unauthorized stream-filling activities. Triad continued its mining practices until the Corps sent a second order June 24, 2009, which Triad complied with. Since the sec- ond order was issued, Triad has continued mining, but has avoided additional impacts to streams. Under the settlement, Triad must restore 34,906 linear ft of streams and enhance 4,330 linear ft of stream bed to address and mitigate impacts to stream beds caused by its mining activities. Triad will also create and maintain 66 acres of forested buffer areas and nine acres of forested wetland to protect the restored streams. The proposed settlement, lodged in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, is subject to a 30-day comment period and final court approval. 18 February 2012

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