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Large Volume Of Water Escapes From Boone County Mine After Seal Fails

Reported: Feb. 20, 2014 1:13 PM EST
Updated: Feb. 20, 2014 11:08 PM EST
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SPURLOCKVILLE, W.Va. – A large volume of water escaped from a closed Boone County mine after a seal failed, the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection said.

The seal failed on the Hobet mining property about 11 p.m. Wednesday, allowing a large volume of water to come out of the mine and flow into Berry Branch, a tributary of the Mud River, agency spokesman Tom Aluise said. The mine is located 2.5 miles south of Spurlockville in Lincoln County.

DEP inspectors took water samples downstream and upstream on Berry Branch, and the water did not appear to be discolored, Aluise said. Water test samples have not been completed yet. It was not clear how much water escaped from the mine.

“Right now, the off-site impact appears minimal other than an increase in flow,” Aluise said.

When a mine is closed, seals are put on the openings in the mine and water is allowed to drain. In this case, a seal failed and a large volume of water escaped.

Aluise said there could be potential violations, depending on the water quality.



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