Marion County Coal Company Culvert Extension


The Marion County Coal Company (a subsidiary of Murray Energy Corporation)


Marion County, WV

CEC Services

  • Aquatic & Terrestrial Habitat Surveys
  • Water Quality & Sediment Surveys
  • Fish and Macroinvertebrate Surveys
  • Wetlands & Waters Delineations

Marion County Coal Company Culvert Extension

Owner Objective

Murray Energy Corporation (Murray) is the largest privately owned coal company in the United States, producing approximately 76 million tons of bituminous coal each year and employing nearly 7,000 people in six U.S. states and also in Colombia. In December 2013, it purchased Consolidation Coal Company from CONSOL Energy Inc. During this transaction, it acquired the Marion County Coal Company (MRNCCC). As a result, MRNCC is now a subsidiary of Murray.

MRNCCC needed to extend an existing on-site culvert in northern Marion County, West Virginia at the MRNCCC Prep Plant. The site topography consisted of a gently sloping, narrow, stream valley. Due to previous impacts incurred at the site, MRNCCC was required to mitigate for any future impacts. As such, CEC was engaged as an independent third party to perform ecological services.

CEC Approach

CEC was engaged to conduct a stream and wetland delineation and stream assessments along three reaches of Sugar Run. CEC’s wetland delineations were performed in a manner consistent with the technical criteria outlined in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ (USACE) Wetlands Delineation Manual (1987) and the USACE’s Regional Supplement: Eastern Mountains and Piedmont Region, Version 2.0 (2012). For the stream assessments, CEC utilized the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (U.S. EPA) Rapid Bioassessment Protocol (RBP) to assess in-stream habitat parameters along three reaches, which included 10 parameters (epifaunal substrate, channel flow status, pool variability/characteristics, bank stability, etc.). CEC also collected in situ water quality data and benthic macroinvertebrates at each of the three reaches. The benthic samples were sent to CEC’s aquatics lab for processing, identification, and development of the West Virginia Stream Condition Index score. CEC used the abovementioned scoring metrics to input into the West Virginia Stream and Wetland Valuation Metric (WVSWVM), which produced an index score that was multiplied by the total length of stream impacts to generate a debit. This debit score was the basis for required mitigation to offset the project’s impact.

CEC prepared and submitted a report of findings to MRNCCC to include with MRNCCC’s permit application package.