(PHILADELPHIA – April 22, 2010) – Residential wells near the Battlefield Golf Club in Chesapeake, Va. have not been impacted by the fly ash used to contour the golf course according to a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency site inspection report issued today.  Additionally, the report concludes no adverse health effects are expected from exposure to surface water or sediments on the site.
The golf course, located near the intersection of Centerville Turnpike and Whittamore Road, was sculpted with fly ash from a Dominion Virginia Power coal-fired plant that is mixed with cement dust.  Fly ash is a residue from the burning of coal for electricity.
The EPA inspection evaluated the environmental impact of the fly ash and determined that the golf course property does not qualify for placement on EPA’s national priority list of sites where hazardous contaminants could impact public health and/or the environment.  Dominion Virginia Power will continue to monitor wells on the golf course.
EPA’s inspection showed that the fly ash used on the golf course contains concentrations of several metals which are above the levels found in soil in the surrounding area.  However, the report indicates these metals are not migrating from the fly ash to residential drinking wells.
A copy of the site inspection report is available at the Chesapeake Main Library, 298 Cedar Road, Chesapeake, Va.  EPA staff will be available to answer questions on May 6 and 7 (8:30 am to 6:00 p.m.) at the Centerville Baptist Church, 908 Centerville Turnpike South in Chesapeake.   The report can also be viewed online at: http://www.epa.gov/reg3hwmd/CurrentIssues/finalr-battlefield_golf_club_site/index.html

The Associated Press www.ap.org


By Homer Hickam

Los Angeles Times


Last week was a terrible one for the coal mining industry. The loss of nearly 30 miners in an explosion deep inside a huge West Virginia mine simply should not happen, not with all the regulations in place and all the required safety equipment and techniques, including modern methods of ventilation that avoid large concentrations of explosive methane. When I heard about the accident in the Massey Energy Co.'s Upper Big Branch mine, I was shocked. I never expected such a large loss of life would ever happen again in one of our coal mines.

Association members are complying with Governor Manchin’s Executive Order calling for a “stand down” in a variety of ways tailored to the individual situations at each of their mines.  Many of the members reported they had already conducted a “stand down” of their own in the wake of the April 5th accident at the Upper Big Branch Mine.  During a conference call on Thursday, each of them emphasized the fact that safe conditions and safe practices are of topmost importance everyday at their mines and that Friday will be no different.  Training, maintenance, equipment checklists, testing procedures and team building will be among the many tasks performed to sharpen their attention and skills and to honor the miners who lost their lives in the UBB accident.  Every members’ goal, everyday, is to do everything possible to make sure everyone goes home safely to their families after their shifts.  The Association is proud to represent companies with such an overwhelming commitment to the safety of their people. 

Georgene Robertson, President of CEDAR (Coal Education Development and Resource) of Southern West Virginia has announced the ninth Regional Coal Fair will be held at the Harless Center in Gilbert, West Virginia, April 26 - 30, 2010.  They will have K-12th grade student projects on display.  Every project is coal oriented and will compete in the following categories: Science, Math, Social Studies, English/Literature, Music, Art, and Technology/Multimedia.  Students compete for prize money while learning about coal and the importance of coal in their daily lives.  In addition to the students’ projects, Pocahontas Land will have a coal tree exhibit on display, the WV Music Hall of Fame will have their “Music of the Coalfields” exhibit, artist Thorney Lieberman’s “Honoring America’s Coal Miners” exhibit will be on site, and Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College's Coal Academy will have a booth featuring their educational opportunities.  Georgene encourages everyone to take time to visit and tour the projects.  A schedule of events for the week is included below.  If additional information is needed please contact Coal Fair Coordinator Debbie Mudd at 304-369-7503.  

The 2010 Joint Spring Meeting of the WVCA, WV Coal Mining Institute and the Central Appalachian Section of SME will be held at The Resort at Glade Springs, Daniels, WV during May 6-8.          

Registration will begin on Thursday afternoon between 2 – 6:30 p.m. with a Welcoming Reception beginning at 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.          

A Technical Session featuring Chuck Dunbar, Director of Planning and Acquisitions of ICG, Governor Joe Manchin (tentative), Ron Stovash, Bill Raney (WVCA), Scott Boylen (Wolf Run Mining Co.), Michael Karmis (VPI) and Danrick Alexander (NIOSH), will begin at 8 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.  Golf from noon to 6 p.m., Cocktail Reception beginning at 6:30 and the Installation of the Thirteenth Class into the WV Coal Hall of Fame Banquet.          

Saturday’s Technical Session will begin at 8:30 a.m. and will feature Michael Smith of Consol Energy, Eddie Turner of Atlantic Leaseco, Jim Magro of Patriot Coal Corp, Gene Kitts of ICG, Bob McLusky with Jackson Kelly, Jason Bostic of WVCA and Tom Cook with Massey Energy Services.           

For registration information please contact the WV Coal Mining Institute at (304) 293-4124.

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