Kentucky Stream Restoration Project – Whitley County

Kentucky Stream Restoration Project Permit Environmental Assessment Kentucky Stream Restoration NWP49

Abandoned Mine Lands Proposed for Stream Restoration

BSC lead the environmental design and permitting effort for this coal mining permit located in Whitley County, Kentucky. The project included consultation with U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, State Historic Preservation Office, and the Kentucky Division of Mine Permits. Biological Systems Consultants prepared an Environmental Assessment (EA) and supporting studies for the site. This operation targeted the Jellico and Bluegem coal seams using surface and auger mining methods. The project consisted of restoration of approximately 1,000 linear feet of intermittent stream and 0.5 acres of wetland creation. The intermittent stream had been previously impacted by historic mining activities.

Biological Systems Consultants worked closely with the regulatory agencies to obtain the needed permits to achieve a project that met the needs of our client as well as the standards of each agency and required detailed assessments of the potential environmental impacts from the proposed mine site on endangered species, streams and wetlands, and archaeological resources on this site. These assessments provided the needed scientific documents to allow for permitting of the NPDES, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and SMCRA permits required to begin the operation.

Biological Systems Consultants was able to provide a project plan which would provide an overall lift to the aquatic resources on this site which had been disturbed by pre-SMCRA mining, leaving abandoned mine lands including dangerous highwalls, altered stream flow patterns and habitat, and outslope spoil.  Our client was able to restore miles of abandoned highwalls and thousands of feet of streams that had been previously impacted. Natural rock and log vanes were used to provide stream habitat for macroinvertebrates and fish. Part of the project included the creation of wetlands, and restoration of streams that were previously impacted by pre-law mining activities.

After the NEPA review process, reports were submitted to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, State Historic Preservation Office, Kentucky Department for Natural Resources, Kentucky Division of Mine Permits, Kentucky Department of Environmental Protection, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.