Spring Branch 3 Mine

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This article is part of the Coal Issues portal on SourceWatch, a project of CoalSwarm and the Center for Media and Democracy. See here for help on adding material to CoalSwarm.

Spring Branch 3 Mine is a proposed surface coal mine by CONSOL Energy for Mingo County, West Virginia.[1] In February 2011, CONSOL Energy reached a deal with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for a Clean Water Act Section 404 permit covering the company’s proposed mine.[2]

The application was reportedly one of dozens placed into an “enhanced” review process by the EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in 2009. The Corps agreed to the CWA Section 404 permit. The EPA stated that CONSOL agreed to changes that reduced the footprint of the surface disturbance for the deep mine from 57 acres to 19 acres, and would reduce linear stream impacts from 3,626 feet to 871 feet. This would cut back the amount of coal the company would mine, from 2.85 million tons of coal to 2.77 million tons, or about 3 percent.[2]

EPA said in its approval letter: "It is EPA’s position that this project has been substantially improved through significant new avoidance and minimization measures. Stream impacts have been reduced by nearly 76 percent and the total surface area of disturbance has been reduced by approximately 66 perent. Upon completion of operations, the applicant has agreed to remove all fill placed in waters of the U.S. and to restore affected streams to the pre-project condition. Notably, while the environmental footprint in waters of the U.S. has been significantly reduced, nearly 97 percent of the coal reserves that wee originally proposed for mining will be extracted under the applicant’s revised proposal."[2]

Mine Data

  • MSHA ID:
  • Operator: CONSOL of Kentucky
  • Controller: CONSOL
  • Union:
  • County: Mingo
  • State: WV
  • Latitude:
  • Longitude:
  • Production (short tons): 2.77 million tons (projected)
  • Coal Type:
  • Mining Method: Surface
  • Mine Status: Active
  • Average No. of Employees:


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