MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- An engineer with the Department of Environmental Protection says Consol Energy was trying to enlarge its massive coal slurry pond when an embankment collapsed under a bulldozer.
The driver is missing and presumed drowned, five days after the accident at the Robinson Run slurry impoundment near Lumberport. Pennsylvania-based Consol plans an afternoon briefing Wednesday to explain its recovery plan.
Engineer Clarence Wright says the DEP inspected the impoundment in mid-October and found no violations.
He told the Exponent-Telegram that Consol sought an expansion permit in 2009.
All dams and impoundments are inspected annually. Wright says he's done them for 35 years and has never seen an accident like this.
He says West Virginia has about 120 slurry and reclamation ponds statewide, both smaller and larger than Robinson Run's impoundment.