By Rachel Dove
LENORE - State Department of Environmental Protection officials say that although there is no immediate danger that a leaking underground mine in Mingo County will blow out, it is being closely monitored.
State regulators have been monitoring the situation at an old Marrowbone Development coal mine that was closed years ago for the last week or two, and have released information to the media indicating that the old mine works are filled with water.
Problems were reported to the DEP spill hotline about two weeks ago, and an immediate investigation ensued. The leak is threatening Laurel Lake, a popular site for local fishermen and picnickers, and homes located below the dam. This leak has the potential to cause millions of dollars in damage, loss of life and livelihood, if a blow-out occurs.
According to DEP officials, mud began seeping onto a nearby road after recent onslaughts of rain. Consol Energy, the current owner of the mine property, has been ordered to repair the leak before any harm is done. The DEP said some water is presently seeping from the mine, but there is no danger of a major failure.
Consol Energy has been ordered to step up dewatering efforts, reinforce the slipping hill and make any and all necessary corrections and repairs to prevent mud from seeping onto the highway, or into the lake near Lenore.
Calls made to Consol Energy were not immediately returned.