According to a public notice published in the DCI Bowie Resources, LLC has submitted an application for a technical revision to the Division of Reclamation, Mining and Safety in Denver. Approval of the revision would allow for a change in the permit application to the Bowie No. 2 Mine. The mine is currently idle.
According to the notice, Bowie is seeking to build a plant "to convert coal mine waste to synthetic gas which can be turned into either diesel fuel or fuel oil."
A representative of Bowie from the Louisville, Ky., office declined to comment on the application.
A technical revision (TR), acccording to the agency's request form, is "a change in the permit or application which does not have more than a minor effect upon the approved or proposed Reclamation or Environmental Protection Plan ... If the Division determines that the proposed revision is beyond the scope of a TR, the division may require the submittal of a permit amendment to make the required or desired changes to the permit."
Paonia-based Citizens for a Healthy Community, a grassroots organization established in 2009 by residents concerned about the risks of large-scale oil and gas development in Delta County, released an action alert calling for transparency by Bowie Resources on the proposal. The proposal represents a dramatic change within Bowie's boundary permit and is "unprecedented in scale" and unlike anything approved anywhere in the state, according to the alert. "The project proposal envision five coal gasification units operating 24 hours a day and each capable of processing 72 tons per day of coal mine waste."
The division has 30 days from Nov. 30 to approve the technical revision. A copy of the proposed revision is available for review at the Paonia Public Library and at the Division of Reclamation office, 1313 Sherman St., Denver. Written comments or objections to the application may be submitted to the Division of Reclamation, Mining and Safety, 1313 Sherman St., Room 215, Denver, CO 80203.