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Technical Article

Permitting Procedures for Coal Port Construction

Written by Rupik, T. edited by mhd on 10. Nov. 2023
The author reviews the major steps to be taken in order to receive the necessary permits for the construction of coal handling ports. The various federal and state air and water quality requirements are discussed as well as the regulations imposed by the Army Corps of Engineers. Based on the experience of the author coal handling facilities can easily meet the established standards, but problem solving through advance planning is recommended.

The environmental and regulatory factors for building a coal transfer facility are among the most complex and challenging parts of facility development. Each regulatory agency must make an evaluation of the probable impact of the proposed facility on the public. In order to protect the health and welfare of society, the federal government and individual states have established certain standards (laws) which provide that no facility be constructed or operated which will violate these standards. Based on our experience, coal handling facilities can easily meet these standards, as evidenced by the number of coal terminals approved by the federal and state agencies throughout the United States.

This paper is based on experience gained in obtaining permits for the following coal terminals:

  • Massey Coal Terminal: 15·106 t/year rail to ship export terminal in Newport News, VA. (Fig. 1).
  • Cora Dock Corp: 15·106 t/year rail to barge terminal in Cora, IL. (Fig. 2).
  • American Commercial Barge Line Terminal: 10·106 t/year rail to barge terminal in St. Louis, Missouri. (Fig. 3).
  • International Marine Terminals: 12·106 t/year barge to ship terminal in Plaquemines, Parish La. (Fig. 4).

Complicated permit procedures often frustrate or seriously delay many projects. The length of time required in preparing a permit application depends on the location and size of the proposed facility. Permit applications submitted for a new facility located in the same region as a recently permitted facility should take a shorter period of time because contacts have been established and most of the required information has been gathered and approved for the existing facility.

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