Army seeking comment on Blair Mountain compliance procedures - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

Corps of Engineers seeks comment on Blair Mountain compliance procedures

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The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is seeking consultation on a programmatic agreement for development of the historic location of a critical coalfields labor dispute.

The Corps of Engineers used a public notice to seek out those interested in consulting on the programmatic agreement, a document that sets the terms of agreement for compliance with federal laws related to historic preservation. WPP LLC, Aracoma Coal Company and the Mingo Logan Coal Company own coal operations and drilling rights near the historic site.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has the authority to regulate activities that affect navigable waters and the discharge of dredged and filled materials into waterways and wetlands. The public notice issued today specifically noted the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' responsibility to account for the effect on historic properties falls under the National Historic Preservation Act.

The Keeper of the National Register of Historic Places determined Blair Mountain Battlefield, an area of about 1,700 acres in Logan County, is eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places. The programmatic agreement being developed by the three companies would determine the procedures to comply with the National Historic Preservation Act.

The largest armed labor battle in history took place on the mountain in 1921. At that time thousands of coal miners faced armed guards, prompting federal intervention.

More information about the notice is available on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers website.