"CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Details began to emerge Wednesday of previous problems at a Harrison County coal-slurry impoundment, as CONSOL Energy continued its efforts to locate a coal miner missing and presumed dead following last week's collapse of an embankment at the facility."
"Federal and state records showed previous questions about stability and leaks at the Nolan Run impoundment, and outlined company concerns that construction to enlarge the dump had not been moving fast enough to keep up with slurry waste generated by the preparation plant at CONSOL's nearby Robinson Run Mine.
The embankment that collapsed last week was part of a "saddle dike" that CONSOL was building to help raise the overall height of the facility to accommodate more slurry. CONSOL proposed the saddle dike on the opposite end of the facility from the main dam, to raise the embankment in a low spot, or 'low gap', in the surrounding topography.
State Department of Environmental Protection officials had approved that expansion in April 2009."