Hobet 21 Mine
Hobet Mine is a mountaintop removal coal mining operation in Boone County, West Virginia, operated by Hobet Mining and owned by Patriot Coal. According to the Patriot Coal Corporation's Web Site, the Hobet Mine is now or soon to be known as the Corridor G mining complex. "Patriot Coal Operations"
A government study done in 2003 found repeated violations of water-quality limits on selenium by operators of mountaintop removal mine sites, and biologists have stated that the selenium pollution from Hobet Mining’s operations have left the Mud River ecosystem on "the brink of a major toxic event."
- MSHA ID: 4604670
- Operator: Hobet Mining LLC
- Controller: Patriot Coal Corporation
- Union: UMWA
- County: Boone
- State: WV
- Latitude: 38.11
- Longitude: -81.85
- 2007 Production (short tons): 4,145,752
- Coal Type: Bituminous
- Mining Method: Surface
- Mine Status: Active
- Average No. of Employees: 359
2010 Water Pollution Lawsuit
In June 2010, Environmental Groups filed two lawsuits against Patriot Coal subsidiaries: Catenary Coal Company and Hobet Mining LLC, alleging that the companies have continued to violate laws governing selenium, an element that is discharged into the environment through mining activity. While selenium is an important micronutrient, it can be toxic to fish, birds, and other wildlife in even small concentrations. A week prior to the suits, U.S. District Court Judge Robert C. Chambers ruled that Patriot Coal continues to violate water-quality limits placed on selenium. A hearing has been scheduled for early August and will consider steps necessary to stop the company from delaying clean up of the selenium pollution.
The Hobet 21 mine has a history of non-compliance with past W.V. Department of Environmental Protection deadlines. Chambers did not immediately issue an injunction, instead scheduled a hearing for Aug. 9 to consider the scope of a court order. The judge had already set a hearing that same date to consider a request from environmental groups to hold another Patriot operation in contempt of court for continuing its selenium violations.
On January 18, 2012, Patriot Coal agreed to build and operate new treatment systems for 43 water discharge outfalls on 10 different permits in West Virginia. The new settlement, intended to resolve claims under the Clean Water Act relating to Patriot’s mining activities in West Virginia, covers water pollution outlets at Patriot’s Hobet 21 Surface Mine complex along the Boone-Lincoln border, the Samples Mine complex in the Cabin Creek area, and the Ruffner Mine in Logan County. The deal also requires Patriot to drop any future plans for mining a major permit at its Jupiter-Callisto Mine in Boone County, West Virginia, and to pay $7.5 million in civil penalties, to be allocated between the federal government and the West Virginia Land Trust for land preservation projects within the Kanawha River and Guyandotte River watersheds.
July 2012: 20 arrested after shutting down coal mine in West Virginia
It was reported on July 28, 2012 that 20 protesters associated with the Radical Action for Mountain People's Survival (RAMPS) Campaign, managed to shut down Patriot Coal's Hobet Mine in the US state of West Virginia for approximately three hours on Saturday, July 28, 2012. Most of the activists were charged with trespassing. Bail was set at $25,000 each.
The RAMPS Campaign is calling for an end to strip mining in the Appalachian region because of its health and environmental consequences.
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- "Two Patriot Coal subsidaries sued by environmental groups" Examiner.com LA, June 26, 2010.
- Ken Ward Jr., "Breaking: Patriot agrees to huge selenium cleanup" Coal tattoo, January 18, 2012.
- "Anti-mining protests heat up in West Virginia as evidence of damage builds" Facing South, Sue Sturgis, July 28, 2012.
- "20 arrested after shutting down coal mine in West Virginia" Mining.com, Frik Els, July 29, 2012.
- "Major U.S. Coal Mines," Energy Information Administration