Apex Energy Inc. is seeking two wastewater permits from the Kentucky Department for Environmental Protection (DEP) on companion mine projects located in Pike County, Ky.
The DEP on Feb. 21 put both applications out for public comment.
One project involves revision No. 8 of Kentucky Department for Natural Resources (KDNR) mine permit No. 898-0604. This proposed project is located on the Third Fork of Big Creek and involves the addition of 3.2 acres of surface disturbance. The nearest community is Nigh, which is approximately 2 miles to the east.
Not getting this revision would mean the loss of 10 direct jobs, Apex noted in an October 2011 socioeconomic report signed by company Secretary J. Mark Campbell. “The mining acreage on KDNR Permit No. 898-0604 will recover 36 million tons of coal,” said the report. “This will generate approximately $2.9 billion of taxable profit, of which the surrounding counties will receive an estimated $430 million (15 percent).”
The second wastewater permit application is covered by a September 2011 socioeconomic report signed by Campbell. This project is under KDNR mine permit No. 898-7089 and is also located on the Third Fork of Big Creek in Pike County. The project will have a surface disturbance of 30.4 acres.
“With the current unemployment rates in this country, if Apex Energy, Inc. is not allowed to discharge water from this coal storage facility, the local and state economy will be harmed, due to the reduction in employment (loss of 10 direct jobs and 20 indirect jobs),” said the report. “It is estimated that KDNR permit No. 898-7089 will have an estimated throughput of additional 1.04 million tons of coal. This could generate approximately $68.7 million of taxable profit, of which the surrounding counties will receive an estimated $10.3 million (15 percent).”
U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration data shows that Apex Energy is controlled by Jim Booth, one of the largest independent coal operators in Central Appalachia, and that it has several surface mining operations in eastern Kentucky.