CONSOL Dedicates Water Plant
Dignitaries at ceremony for new facility
Morgantown Dominion Post
12 July 2013
By David Beard
The dedication of CONSOL Energy’s high-tech Northern West Virginia
Water Treatment Facility took place under a low-tech white canopy
tent raised on a slab of asphalt.
Gathered inside on a gray, muggy Thursday afternoon were Gov. Earl
Ray Tomblin, CONSOL President Nicholas Deluliis, local legislators
and other dignitaries.
The $200 million plant, with a minimum life span of 25 years,
represents CONSOL’s “substantial ongoing investment in longwall
mining” and the jobs in the communities that depend on CONSOL’s
local mines, Deluliis said.
It also supports CONSOL’s transition to a truly diversified energy
company, he said. Added to its ventures in coal and natural gas is
a new commodity — water.
The plant is a “Zero Liquid Waste” facility, because the water is
essentially drinking water quality. The extracted metals, salts
and other minerals are encapsulated, isolated and buried in an
approved landfill near the plant.
The project employed 400 in construction and provides 30 full-time
jobs in daily plant operations.
Deluliis told The Dominion Post that the plant presents two big
opportunities: A potential water supply for the fracking industry,
to reduce the demand on surface supplies, and for power plants,
which also have big water demands.
Deluliis said this plant — and another in Virginia — arose in
response to tightened federal restrictions on chloride levels in
mine water discharge.
Construction on this plant began in April 2011 and was completed
in May of this year — under budget and ahead of schedule. Triad
Engineering, of Morgantown, played the major role in engineering
it. Through a 10-year agreement, Veolia Water Solutions &
Technologies is operating it.
Several in attendance mentioned the 2009 Dunkard Creek fish kill.
The company reached a settlement with state and federal agencies
and, as part of the settlement, agreed to construct the plant.
Thursday, Deluliis said, “No matter what your views were or
weren’t regarding Dunkard Creek, I think you’ve got to be happy
and be a proponent of this facility that’s dedicated today.”
Tomblin arrived by helicopter for the dedication.
“We as West Virginians, we all want a good environment for our
state,” he said. “But some push too fast, including the federal
EPA. They want to make changes overnight, and it’s something that
really cannot be done.”
But this plant, he said, shows what can happen if the
Environmental Protection Agency, state agencies and industry work
“I still think there is a great future for West Virginia coal. …
I’m just pleased to see we are doing what we can today to see our
environment stays clean and safe, and that we’re able to continue
to provide jobs to families.”