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Permit approved for Newburg water extension

NEWBURG — The next step has been taken toward extending water lines to families whose wells were contaminated by Lexington Coal.

A permit application was approved Monday by the State Division of Highways (DOH) for roadside work related to the Possum Hollow Road water main extension.

The extension will allow the Town of Newburg to provide water to the families.

Water from Lexington’s closed deep mine seeped into the yards and wells on four properties in 2019. Those wells, which provided drinking water for the families, were contaminated.

Michael Cronin, DOH District 4 engineer,  said the application was received last week.

Cronin said the permit is for 2,113 linear feet  of water line extension along County Route 66/2.

Newburg Mayor Edgar Fortney said Monday  the town was waiting for a permit to get started on the project.

Cronin said a previous project, the Newburg-Independence water main extension, was completed in July with the authorization to open for a year and day after the completion, in case of any complications due to the contract.

The project allowed  the town to take the water line as far as the former Independence School and provide water to about 24 homes.

This was fewer than half of the 70 customers who signed up for service. 

Newburg   worked toward providing water to the neighboring unincorporated community of Independence since 2008.

Funds for the project come from a grant from the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection’s Office of Abandoned Mine Lands and Reclamation.

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