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Usibelli

Search for records on this mine at the Mine Safety and Health Administration website
  • Summary
  • Search for records on this mine at the Mine Safety and Health Administration website

    Citations, Orders, and Safeguards
    Citations, Orders, and Safeguards
    The ownership date for this operator is unavailable

    Year 104(a) 104(b) 104(d)(1) 104(d)(2) 107(a) Proposed
    Penalties ($)
    Current Penalties ($) Amount Paid
    To Date ($)
    1995 18 0 0 0 0 20,258.00 18,792.00 18,792.00
    1996 9 0 0 0 0 3,545.00 3,545.00 3,545.00
    1997 8 0 0 0 0 781.00 781.00 781.00
    1998 100 0 0 0 0 7,826.00 5,196.00 5,196.00
    1999 27 0 0 0 0 27,942.00 15,000.00 15,000.00
    2000 34 0 1 0 0 40,171.00 21,367.00 21,367.00
    2001 15 0 0 0 0 18,223.00 5,950.00 5,950.00
    2002 0 0 0 0 0 0.00 0.00 0.00
    2003 29 0 0 0 0 19,581.00 15,957.00 6,257.00
    2004 6 0 0 0 0 1,968.00 1,968.00 1,562.29
    2005 67 0 0 0 0 7,793.00 7,650.00 7,650.00
    2006 7 0 0 0 0 420.00 420.00 420.00
    2007 10 0 0 0 0 7,668.00 7,088.00 7,088.00
    2008 44 1 0 0 0 14,153.00 11,170.00 11,170.00
    2009 39 1 3 0 0 96,650.00 95,788.00 9,731.00
    2010 13 0 0 1 1 119,038.00 119,038.00 4,088.00
    Note: Vacated Citations are not included in any reports on the DRS.

    Injuries, Hours Worked, and Production Totals
    Injuries, Hours Worked, and Production Totals
    The ownership date for this operator is unavailable

    Year Fatal Operator
    Injuries
    NFDL Operator
    Injuries
    Fatal Contractor
    Injuries
    NFDL Contractor
    Injuries
    Operator Hours
    Worked*
    Coal
     Produced 
    (tons)
    Operator Fatal
    Incidence Rate**
    Operator NFDL
    Incidence Rate**
    Mine Type
    National Fatal
    Incidence Rate**
    Mine Type
    National NFDL
    Incidence Rate**
    1995 0 7 0 0 261,658 1,669,618 0.00 5.35 0.0232 2.71
    1996 0 4 0 0 251,903 1,463,290 0.00 3.18 0.0082 2.33
    1997 0 5 0 0 266,873 1,442,939 0.00 3.75 0.0111 2.37
    1998 0 1 0 0 289,342 1,344,309 0.00 0.69 0.0057 2.25
    1999 0 5 0 0 281,598 1,565,469 0.00 3.55 0.0309 2.07
    2000 0 1 0 0 271,023 1,640,928 0.00 0.74 0.0233 2.24
    2001 0 2 0 0 252,841 1,514,241 0.00 1.58 0.0090 2.13
    2002 0 4 0 0 230,152 1,145,713 0.00 3.48 0.0180 2.29
    2003 0 4 0 0 177,724 1,081,323 0.00 4.50 0.0290 1.94
    2004 0 3 0 0 208,051 1,511,787 0.00 2.88 0.0121 1.76
    2005 0 0 0 0 216,588 1,454,014 0.00 0.00 0.0028 1.49
    2006 0 1 0 0 220,067 1,425,023 0.00 0.91 0.0189 1.35
    2007 0 3 0 0 227,007 1,323,560 0.00 2.64 0.0194 1.38
    2008 0 0 0 0 234,809 1,477,015 0.00 0.00 0.0102 1.25
    2009 0 2 0 0 282,582 1,860,363 0.00 1.42 0.0107 1.23
    2010 0 0 0 0 83,873 549,940 - - - -
    *   Hours worked and accidents & injuries now include office hours or accidents (subunit 99).
    ** Current rates are based on data available as of 2009 Quarter 4. For a further explanation, please see this.
  • MSHA Data
  • Production
  • Wishbone Hill Coal

    October 13, 2014

    The Wishbone Hill [Coal] Mine has been re-approved by the Alaska DNR to resume surface coal mining of the Wishbone Mine.  It is approximately five miles west of Sutton, Alaska.  In 1997, Usibelli Coal Mine, Inc.  purchased the rights to the mining lease, the validity of which has been questioned by the federal Office of Mining and Surface Reclamation.

    Read More at: http://www.groundtruthtrekking.org/Issues/AlaskaCoal/WishboneHillCoalMine.html

    Usibelli withdraws permit request for Sutton coal mine

    October 22, 2011

    The proposed Wishbone Hill coal mine that is being proposed by the owners of the Usibelli Coal Mine has hit yet another delay as the company has pulled its request for an air quality permit for a second time. With Wishbone Hill, Usibelli is proposing a new mining in the Matanuska Valley that would produce 500 thousand tons of coal a year to ship overseas to Asian countries.

    Opponents of the mine have expressed concern that there are more than 100 homes within a mile of where the trucks hauling coal from the mine will drive, as well as local geography that will funnel any fugitive dust into the residential areas. Usibelli says that the permit was pulled when the state Department of Environmental Conservation requested more data about the fugitive dust that would result from the mine and transport of the coal, but characterizes the move as part of the normal give and take associated with obtaining an environmental permit.

    Read article at http://www.adn.com/2011/10/22/2133430/usibelli-withdraws-prermit-request.html

    Chickaloon Natives file complaint against Usibelli Coal Mine

    May 18, 2011

    The Athabascan Ahtna indigenous peoples of Alaska have filed a complaint against the Usibelli Coal Mine with the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development alleging that Usibelli’s exploration activities are disturbing their ancestral lands. Because the exploration permits are more than 20 years ago, they allow Usibelli to explore areas that have been inhabited in the intervening decades. As an example, Usibelli has built a road to support the exploration that is 100 yards from the tribal council school.

    The peoples are also concerned that further development would turn back efforts for salmon stream reclamation. “For years now, with financial and technical help from federal agencies and other partners, we’ve invested over $1 million and thousands of man hours of effort on fish passage and salmon population restoration on Moose Creek, ruined by World War I coal mining, said Chief Gary Harrison. “Our efforts received substantial funding and won national awards from the U.S. federal government. Now they want to destroy it all over again.”

    Read article at http://www.thecordovatimes.com/article/1120chickaloon_natives_file_complaint_against

    Clean Water Act suit to proceed against Seward coal facility

    January 21, 2011

    A lawsuit against the Seward Coal Loading Terminal alleging Clean Air Act violations for fugitive coal dust will be allowed to proceed. The lawsuit, filed by Trustees for Alaska on behalf of the Sierra Club, Alaska Center for the Environment and Alaska Community Action on Toxins, claims that coal dust exiting the coal piles and conveyor belts spreads widely into Resurrection Bay and that coal dust on snow on the land is being improperly disposed of and is ending up in the bay as well.

    The loading terminal was originally built in 1984 as an economic development project to sell coal to world markets. Last July it was fined $220,000 for its fugitive coal dust emissions; most of that fine was directed towards reducing those emissions. According to Alaska Railcorp, one of the owners of the terminals, an additional $540,000 in improvements are planned for 2011 to increase dust surpression.

    Read article at http://www.alaskajournal.com/stories/012111/oil_cwasp.shtml

    Usibelli Coal Mine, near Healy, Alaska, agrees to pay $60,000 EPA penalty for Clean Water Act violations

    January 20, 2011

    The Usibelli Coal Mine has reached a settlement with the EPA to resolve numerous Clean Water Act violations. From April 2007 to July 2010, Usibelli was accused of eleven unpermitted discharges into neighboring waters, as well as exceeding the allowed levels of discharges in another ten cases.

    “By simply using and maintaining best management practices, we believe this penalty could have been avoided. Mining responsibly means making water quality protection a top priority.” said Mr. Edward Kowalski, Director of EPA’s Regional Office of Compliance and Enforcement.

    Read press release at http://yosemite1.epa.gov/opa/admpress.nsf/d0cf6618525a9efb85257359003fb69d/e8887310a95a422b8525781e006943c9!OpenDocument

    Alaska coal creates demand, opposition

    December 26, 2010

    Alaska has been shipping record amounts of coal in the last few years, and demand for exports from China and other Asian countries promises those numbers will rise even further. To satisfy this need, developers have pushed to open up new exploration and mining, with two new strip mines under consideration as well as an expansion at Usibelli. Chuitna alone could increase the amount of coal exported by a factor of twelve.

    But these development and expansion plans are triggering an intense debate in the communities that would be most affected, uncovering local fears about mega corporations moving into their communities, air pollution, damage to salmon streams and increased industrial traffic.

    Read article at http://www.adn.com/2010/12/25/1619772/alaska-coal-creates-demand-opposition.html

    Mining News: Usibelli 2010 coal sales set new record

    December 17, 2010

    The Usibelli mine has set a new record for production in 2010, exceeding 2M short tons for the first time in its history and sending a record 15 ships to the Pacific Rim, up from 12 last year. Sales were divided in equal parts between local markets burning coal for electricity and international customers in the Pacific Rim.

    Part of the increased productivity comes from a new ship loader in Seward that can move 858 metric tons per hour instead of the previous 700 mtph, meaning that an 80,000 ton coal ship can be loaded on average a day faster than before.

    Read article at http://www.petroleumnews.com/pntruncate/403879659.shtml

    Environmentalists sue Alaska over mine gas permit

    December 15, 2010

    The Denali Citizens Council, an environmental group based out of Healy, AK, has filed a lawsuit to stop the exploration of coal-bed methane on lands controlled by the Usibelli coal mine. The Alaska DNR awarded the exploration permit to Usibelli in June.

    Read article at http://www.ktuu.com/news/ktuu-usibelli-gas-permit-lawsuit-121410,0,1689211.story

    Borough Assembly struggles with coal issue

    October 28, 2010

    Mat-Su assembly members try to find middle ground between appearing supportive of the local coal mine, an important piece of the economy, and addressing their constituents’ health concerns from the open-pit mines in the area, some of whom live within a quarter mile of property leased to the mine. While the public health research is clear on the danger to people living close to the mines, it is unclear if state law even allows local communities to pass resolutions to address land-use, urban planning, dust, light and vibrations associated with coal mining.

    Read article at http://www.adn.com/2010/10/28/1524606/borough-assembly-struggles-with.html

    Palmer residents opposed to Usibelli plan to mine coal

    by Lori Tipton, Monday, April 5, 2010

    PALMER, Alaska — Plans by Alaska’s largest coal producer to mine near Palmer have stirred up controversy.
    The project could create dozens of jobs and generate hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue for Usibelli Coal Mine.
    But nearby property owners are speaking out, saying the mine will cause problems.
    Read more…

  • News
  • Wishbone Hill Coal Mine – Draft Mining Application – Alaska DEC – 2011

    Permits 01-89-796 & 02-89-796. Published August 24, 2011.

    Wishbone Hill Coal Mining and Processing Operation – Draft Permit documents

    The Technical Analysis Report and Draft Air Quality Control Minor Source Permit AQ1227MSS03 for the Wishbone Hill Coal Mining and Processing Operation adjacent to the Usibelli Coal Mine.

    Both documents issued August 18, 2011.

    Usibelli Coal Preparation Plant – Permit Documents

    The Technical Analysis Report and Response to Comments for the Usibelli Coal Preparation Plant, permit AQ0317MSS02. Subtitled “Rescind ORLS and Unnecessary Permit Terms and Conditions.” Documents issued October 24, 2007

    The Technical Analysis Report for the Usibelli Coal Preparation Plant, permit AQ0317MSS03. Subtitled “Revise Use of Blended Fuels for PM Emissions.” Document issued March 6, 2009.

    Wishbone Hill Coal Mine – Mining Permit Renewal – 2006

    2006 renewal of coal mining permit, including:
    Renewal
    Findings of Fact and Final Decision

  • Documents
  • Photos