HNN Staff
The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection’s
Division of Mining and Reclamation today issued North
Mountain Shale a permit to operate a quarry near
Gerrardstown, Berkeley County.

The agency has written a number of conditions into the
permit in an effort to address some of the concerns
expressed by members of the community. North Mountain Shale
is to complete and maintain revegetation and landscaping to
mitigate any visual intrusion to both Prospect Hill and the
Gerrardstown Historic District; restrict excavation and
hauling to daylight hours Monday through Saturday; and when
notified by the public that a funeral is to take place in
the cemetery adjacent to the haulage way, the company is to
make reasonable efforts to schedule its activities to avoid
conflicts with funerals or memorial services.

“The agency heard the concerns expressed by several members
of the community and is requiring the company to take a
number of steps outside of the usual parameters of the
permit,” said Tom Clarke, director of the Division of
Mining and Reclamation. “The agency concluded North
Mountain Shale’s application met all applicable rules and
regulations, the proposed operation will have minimal and
temporary environmental impacts, and full reclamation will
be achieved when mining is complete.”

The company is permitted to remove the shale up to the 900-
foot elevation mark with only ten acres of active mineral
removal at any time, and is required to reclaim each
section before moving on to the next.

Additionally, the current permit does not allow for
modifications to target minerals other than the Martinsburg
Shale by the company or any other owners in the
future. “Some people were concerned that this permit would
lead to larger disturbances in the future and we have
addressed that with this permit,” Clarke said.

In addition to the quarry permit, which is good for five
years, the company was issued a National Pollutant
Discharge Elimination System Permit for the operation’s
water discharge.