Burlington residents oppose KRT plan

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 29, 2005

BURLINGTON - A Ceredo, W.Va., company has asked the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for a permit to make a change in its Ohio River coal dock operations.

But one Burlington area resident said he and some of his neighbors plan to fight that proposal, citing concerns about noise, pollution and reduction in their quality of life.

Kanawha River Terminals applied for the permit to install a fixed-floating, off-loading barge component to its dock. The fixed-floating barges would support hydraulic excavators that would take coal off barges and load it onto belts that would then take the coal to stock piles on the river bank.

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KRT Management Systems representative Ellery Queen said the new process is simply an upgrade that will mean less pollution and less noise.

&#8220This is not an expansion of any type,” Queen said. &#8220We're not expanding beyond what we are already permitted to do. All we're wanting to do is use a different method that is more economically and environmentally sound,” he said.

Don Saunders, who lives in Burlington upriver from KRT said he and some of his neighbors oppose the plans just as they have opposed Huntington Marine Services' plans to construct a barge fleeting facility.

&#8220The people who live below the S-curve, they're concerned about noise and pollution,” Saunders said. &#8220This would be a 24-hour-a-day operation. They may be 24-hours-a-day now but I don't think so.”

Queen said KRT is already a 24-hour-a-day operation.

Saunders asked the Lawrence County Commission last week to officially oppose those plans. The commission did not take any action at that time. However, commissioners refused to oppose the Huntington Marine Services' proposal, saying they could not take a stance against business and at the same time say they were in favor of economic development.

The deadline for submitting comments to the Corps of Engineers in Nov. 19. A decision will be made following that.

&#8220The corps will evaluate all the public comments and render a decision based on comments received from public agencies, such as fish and wildlife and the EPA, if they choose to comment,” Richard Hemann, regional project manager for the Corps of Engineers, said. &#8220The Corps will also allow the applicant to address any comments.”