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Posted 3/25/2009

Release no. 09-003


LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Louisville District has reinstated a Clean Water Act Section 404 Permit to International Coal Group (ICG), LLC for the Thunder Ridge mine facility in Leslie County, Ky.

The permit was suspended in December of 2007 after the Corps required additional information from ICG regarding minimizing the filling of streams and an analysis of cumulative impacts.

Cumulative impact is the effect on the environment resulting from incremental actions when added to other past, present, and reasonably foreseeable future actions. Cumulative impacts may result from individually minor—but collectively significant actions—taking place over time.

ICG provided the required information in December of 2008. As a result one valley fill and one sediment control pond were eliminated from ICG’s original proposal.

With this analysis, the Corps is confident that the discharges in waters of the United States will not result in significant individual or cumulative impacts.

As impartial stewards of the environment, the Corps regulatory program’s mission is to maintain the delicate balance between economic development and protection of the aquatic environment.

The Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act (SMCRA) is the overarching legislation under which coal mining is regulated. Some mining activities involve placement of fill material into waters of the United States. This discharge of fill material must be authorized by the Army Corps of Engineers in accordance with Section 404 of the Clean Water Act (CWA) and the Corps implementing regulations.