New Tests Delayed, But West Va. Says Brushy Fork Slurry Dam Safe

"CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- State officials are insisting that a huge Alpha Natural Resources coal-slurry impoundment in Raleigh County is safe, even as new tests that might confirm that analysis have continued to be delayed, records showed Monday."

"Department of Environmental Protection officials had ordered the testing plan more than two months ago to resolve federal Office of Surface Mining concerns over the Brushy Fork impoundment upstream from Whitesville.

In a letter released Monday, DEP deputy mining director Harold Ward revealed that the tests still hadn't been conducted.

Ward said the DEP and Alpha had agreed on a plan for three types of testing at the impoundment, but offered no timeline for completion of the work. Ward also urged the OSM not to wait for the results to lift a 10-day notice that could lead to federal enforcement action at the site."

Ken Ward Jr. reports for the Charleston Gazette Auugust 8, 2011.

Source: Charleston Gazette, 08/10/2011