H. R. 2--"Expressing concern over requests by Virginia Power Company and a nonunion Maryland coal mine for West Virginia to upgrade bridges and highways in Grant and Tucker counties and to issue dust pollution permits in order to facilitate delivery of out-of-state coal to an out-of-state power company."
Whereas, During January, 1996, after earlier reports that Consol's Potomac Mine in Grant County had won a five-year renewal of its coal contract to supply Virginia Power's Mount Storm Power Plant, this utility announced it had combined the existing Consol tonnage with the current Mittiki Coal Company tonnage, and given the entire tonnage to Mettiki Coal for ten years; and
Whereas, This contract calls for Mettiki Coal, a Maryland coal producer, to truck up to three million tons of coal annually over West Virginia bridges and roads through Grant County and Tucker County for ten years, adding some one and one-half million tons of coal annually trucked to Mount Storm by other producers; and
Whereas, This deal will result in closure of the Potomac Mine with resulting loss of direct mining jobs, support jobs, severance taxes to the State and Grant County, as well as property taxes to Grant County's Board of Education; and
Whereas, This deal will result in some 100,000 to 150,000 one- way truck trips from the Mettiki Mine to the Mount Storm plant, utilizing three West Virginia roads and one West Virginia maintained bridge over the Potomac River, which represent hazards to the West Virginia motoring public; and
Whereas, These trucks will be backhauling scrubber sludge from Mount Storm to the Mettiki Mine complex under another contract Virginia Power gave Mettiki, which is a material that could cause serious environmental damage if spilled into local streams and waterways; and
Whereas, Virginia Power is also subsidizing this deal through provisions of free land, free water and free electric power for Mettiki Company's proposed new truck dump at Mount Storm; and
Whereas, West Virginians are being asked to subsidize and convenience this action through upgrading and increasing weight limits on the Wilson Bridge over the Potomac and related highways by the Department of Transportation, the granting of a dust permit for the new proposed Mettiki truck dump at Mount Storm by the Office of Air Quality, and the transfer of three private coal haul road permits from Buffalo Coal Company to Mettiki Coal by the Division of Environmental Protection; and
Whereas, The House of Delegates is concerned about the policy of transporting coal to Mount Storm at the expense of West Virginia's economy and environment and the safety of the motoring public, especially since Mettiki has traditionally shipped coal to Mount Storm over an existing rail line which eliminates the need for such special treatment of their coal by this State; therefore, be it
Resolved by the House of Delegates:
That the House of Delegates requests the Governor of West Virginia and state agencies to express concerns to the North Carolina Public Service Commission and the Virginia Corporation Commission, which have regulatory jurisdiction over the Mount Storm fuel supply; and, be it
Further resolved, That the Clerk of the House of Delegates foward a copy of this resolution to the Governor, the Division of Environmental Protection and the Division of Highways.