Veolia will manage the facility over the next decade, guaranteeing CONSOL ongoing performance and system optimization, noted company officials. The ZLW treatment concept removes mine water contaminants, reducing them to solid salts; the process also uses sustainability and technology applications, reducing the carbon and energy treatment footprint.
This design and construction approach was originally developed to help CONSOL meet discharges for chlorides in West Virginia waterways; the facility will treat water from CONSOL’s Blacksville No. 2, Loveridge and Robinson Run mining operations.
CONSOL Senior Vice President for Environmental Strategy Katharine Fredriksen was enthusiastic. “In partnering on this first-of-its-kind project, we were able to bring the treatment plant online on time, under budget and in full compliance,” she said. “This demonstrates the success of partnering with a company that shares commitment to our values.”
To quantify the benefits of the water treatment facility to the Monongahela River, Veolia conducted a Water Impact Index (WIIX) evaluation. Developed by Veolia, the WIIX 2 measures water volume and stress on local water resources, quality and indirect impacts from chemicals and electricity, calculating the results of 1.3 billion gallons of high-quality water returned to the river basin annually, validating an environmental impact.
Kirk Schwab, general manager of Veolia Water Solutions and Technologies, said, “It will be the benchmark for mine water treatment in the Appalachian region for years to come.”
CEO of Veolia Environment North America’s Industrial business Steve Hopper echoed the sentiment. “The partnership goes beyond new regulatory requirements,” he said. “It combines technical know-how with operational expertise to implement a solution that positively impacts the environment while meeting production needs.”