Coal Age

DEC 2018

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Page 13 of 59

12 December 2018 news continued While some mines in the high-sulfur Illinois Basin have struggled this year, 2018 has been a year of growth for River View. A ninth CM was added at the mine in Febru- ary 2018, followed by a 10 th CM in October. The official confirmed Alliance is hiring more miners to staff the 11 th CM, although he declined to say how many. However, the mine is expected to have more than 800 employees on the payroll once the new unit is fully operational. River View opened more than a decade ago and is Alliance's largest mine in the ILB. The mine produced 7.1 million tons in the first nine months of 2018 and 8.9 mil- lion tons in 2017, according to the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration. Overall, coal production has been largely static across western Kentucky in 2018. Aside from River View, Rhino Re- source Partners has been hiring for its Pennyrile underground coal mine in Mc- Lean County. The mine produces more than 1 million tons per year (tpy). By early 2019, Australia's Paringa Re- sources is expected to begin production at its new 2.8 million tpy Poplar Grove underground mine also in McLean Coun- ty. The company already has a contract to supply 4.75 million tons of coal to Lou- isville Gas & Electric and Kentucky Utili- ties, the Bluegrass state's two largest elec- tric utilities, over the next several years. During Alliance's October 29 conference call to discuss third-quarter earnings, pres- ident and CEO Joe Craft said his company produced 9.87 million tons in the July-Sep- tember period, up 1.6% from the previous quarter and 15.9% higher than a year ago. Craft said production was improving at the company's Hamilton longwall mine near McLeansboro in Hamilton County, Illinois, after the mine grappled with geo- logical issues that affected productivity earlier in the year. Alliance's Gibson North and Gibson South deep mines near Princeton, Indi- ana, also have enjoyed a good year in 2018. Lively Grove Coal Mine Receives NMA's CORESafety Certification The U.S. National Mining Association (NMA) recognized Prairie State Gener- ating Co.'s (PSGC) Lively Grove mine for receiving independent certification under its CORESafety system. PSGC joins eight other companies that have had operations independently certified under NMA's sig- nature safety initiative. "CORESafety brings the industry's en- during commitment to employee safety to life in a concrete, practical framework. By embracing the system, Lively Grove mine has positioned itself as an industry-leader in advancing safety," said Hal Quinn, presi- dent and CEO of NMA. "Their commitment to driving continuous improvement and excellence in mine safety and sharing their lessons learned across the industry will help improve the safety of every miner." "We are very proud to be joining eight other companies in this class of CORE- Safety certified mines," said Don Gaston, president and CEO of PSGC. "As we work toward achieving our vision of becoming the best coal mine and coal-fired power plant in the country, our expectation is that this CORESafety system will serve as a guidepost for future improvements to our safety programs and the success of the Lively Grove mine." The program's approach to safety and health emphasizes accident prevention and uses a risk-based management sys- tem anchored in leadership, management and assurance. The framework is designed to go be- yond what is required by regulations, focusing on a goal of continuous im- provement. Its objective is zero fatalities and a 50% reduction in mining's injury rate within five years of implementation. In 2017, companies participating in the CORESafety system closed the year with zero fatalities across U.S operations. EPA, Corps Release New WOTUS Rule On Tuesday, December 11, the U.S. Envi- ronmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) proposed a new definition of "waters of the United States" that they believe clarifies federal authority under the Clean Water Act and replaces the 2015 rule that was made under former President Barack Obama. According to EPA Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler, the definition is simpler and clearer and will help a landowner un- derstand whether a project on his property will require a federal permit or not. "For the first time, we are clearly de- fining the difference between federally protected waterways and state protected waterways," Wheeler said. The agencies' proposal is the second step in a two-step process to review and revise the definition of "waters of the Unit- ed States" consistent with President Don- ald Trump's February 2017 Executive Order entitled "Restoring the Rule of Law, Feder- alism, and Economic Growth by Reviewing the 'Waters of the United States' Rule." The proposed rule would provide clari- ty, predictability and consistency so the reg- ulated community can understand where the Clean Water Act applies and where it does not, the agencies said. Under the agen- From left: Tom Harman, Senior Director of Health and Safety for NMA presents Prairie State's Paul Krivokuca, Don Gaston, and Randy Short with the CORESafety certification.

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