Big Run Pump Storage Hydro Project Public Hearing
The Big Run Pump Storage Hydro Project proposed for Tucker County involves the construction of a closed-loop pump-storage hydroelectric generating facility using two approximately 1200-acre reservoirs connected by up to 4 penstocks, 12-foot in diameter and approximately 1.3 miles long.
Questions to ask regarding water quality impacts:
The proposed location for this project impacts the Big Run Bog National Natural Landmark; Mill Run, a high quality, naturally reproducing brook trout stream; and Tub Run, an impaired stream that has a $4-million-dollar reclamation investment. A lot of unanswered questions remain on long term impacts:
Renewable Energy: The facility will only fulfill the public interest as an environmentally sound source of renewable energy if it is powered by wind and/or solar. How can you guarantee that the facility is powered 100% by Locust Wind Farm and not Mt. Storm?
Native Brook Trout: The project plans include impounding Mill Run, a high-quality native brook trout stream. The pre-application says no fisheries studies are needed because it is a close looped system. How will the trout population be impacted by damming the stream?
Mine Spoil Used for Dams: Both reservoirs could be constructed using earth and rock excavated from nearby mine site reclamation. Unearthing mine spoil can have unwanted negative impacts due to the acidic properties of the geology. What are the impacts of using mine spoils for the dam?
Upper Reservoir: Plans for the Upper Reservoir include a circular dam or dike to create a 1,213-acre lake. Explain how a perfectly circular dam will be constructed in mountainous terrain?
Tub Run Highwall Reclamation: $4 Million dollars have already been invested to reclaim highwalls left from legacy mining. The next phase of reclamation is in the design phase. How will construction of the Upper Reservoir impact current and future reclamation efforts?
Tourism: This region is renowned for its scenic beauty and excellent trout streams. How will industrializing public lands impact the thriving tourism industry?