The Department of Environmental Protection had an informal conference Tuesday evening for Taylor County residents to voice their concerns with the Ventilation Air Shaft near Tygart Lake.
They held a similar meeting a few months ago and heard residents first concerns about the proposal. Since that meeting, Arch Coal Company decided to move the Ventilation site two thousand feet further away from the lake.
In the first proposal, the site was approximately 300 feet from the state park boundary. In the new proposal, it will be approximately 2,600 feet away from the boundary.
However, residents are still concerned with the sites proximity to the park, and their homes.
Residents also spoke out about air and water pollution that they fear they could be facing.
“The impact of this air shaft on the lake will be non-existent,” says Mike Carico of the DEP. “There will be no water discharge from this site, so as far as water quality, the shaft itself won’t have an impact.”
Another major issue with the residents was the noise pollution factor.
“The company did hire an acoustic consulting firm to assess the best way to minimize that noise issue,” said Carico.
The purpose of this air ventilation shaft is to flow fresh air in and out of the mine so the miners have fresh air to breathe.
Residents also voiced their concerns about methane, but Carico said that is nothing to worry about.
“The methane concentration is so small that as it is released into the atmosphere its basically non-existent,” said Carico. “We generally have no issues with methane at ventilation shafts.”
Concerned residents got the opportunity to speak with members of the DEP and a few minors as well after the conference. The DEP even displayed maps to show the residents the plan and the area it would be in.
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