Comment on an Underground Mine Safety Research Facility in Mace, WV

Background

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is looking for a suitable location to replace their National Occupational Health and Safety (NIOSH) Underground Mine Safety Research Facility which would support research programs focused on miner health and safety issues. The site being considered for acquisition and development includes 461.35 acres located off U.S. Route 219 in Randolph and Pocahontas Counties near Mace, West Virginia. Click here for more information

The following issues raise concerns for water resources:

  • Karst topography: The site selection criteria states that the location cannot contain sinkholes; however, the northern portion of the property is located within karst terrain. The DEIS states that no caves features were identified during site reconnaissance; however, WVDNR stated that cave features exist on the property. Conflicting information concerning cave features on the property needs to be resolved prior to issuing the final EIS.
  • Residential drinking water sources: The DEIS states that limited information is available about springs and wells used for potable water sources near the project area; however, most residences in the area use springs and wells for their drinking water supplies. More information is needed to determine whether construction and operational activities will impact residential drinking water sources.
  • Contaminants: Spills of hydraulic fluid, oil, or other contaminants from drilling or excavation equipment could be introduced into the environment. Spill prevention and response measures must be identified.
  • Groundwater: Construction of the underground facility could divert groundwater which may impact the groundwater supply at springs and seeps. More information is needed on the groundwater depth and flow direction to avoid impacts from construction.
  • Highly erodible soils: The site would be located on highly erodible soils. Enhanced best management practices must be identified to control erosion during and after construction.
  • Entire site not surveyed: Only 44 acres of the 460-acre site were surveyed. The entire site must be surveyed to identify springs, sinkholes, seeps, wetlands and streams.

How to Comment

  1. Verbally at the public meeting on March 6, 5:30-8:30pm at the Linwood Library;
  2. Electronically via regulations.gov, using Docket No. CDC-2018-0057 by April 5;
  3. U. S. Mail by April 5: Sam Tarr, Office of Safety, Security, and Asset Management (OSSAM), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton Road NE, MS-K80, Atlanta, Georgia 30329-4027.

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