Preparation plant - A place where coal is cleaned, sized, and prepared for market.
Pneumoconiosis - A chronic disease of the lung arising from breathing coal dust.
Red dog - A nonvolatile combustion product of the oxidation of coal or coal refuse. Most commonly applied to material resulting from in situ, uncontrolled burning of coal or coal refuse piles. It is similar to coal ash.
Nemacolin Refuse Pile: Greene County
A few miles upstream on the Monongahela River from the Clyde Mine resides a small manmade mountain. It is comprised of debris extracted from the former Nemacolin mine complex as the unwanted byproduct of deep coal mining. This is the 187 acre Nemacolin refuse pile located near the village of Nemacolin in Greene County. The pile was also the site of a former coal preparation facility with its accompanying slurry pond. Here coal was washed before being sent on to market.
Water percolating through the pile material causes an acidic mine pollution to seep from the pile’s base. To keep this polluted water from entering the Monongahela, some 300,000 gallons are collected and treated daily. A potion of the pile has also been on fire for years as it burns residual coal left in the pile material. The fire causes air pollution and destabilizes the pile’s steep banks.
Portions of the Nemacolin pile are relatively rich in residual coal, especially the slurry ponds associated with the wash facility. Reclaiming this pile in the process of harvesting the residual coal thus becomes a realistic possibility. However the shear size of the pile suggests any reclamation efforts will take years.