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COAL VALLEY MINING, INC. SETTLES CLEAN WATER ACT LAWSUITS INVOLVING W.Va. MINES

Release Date: 11/2/1998
Contact Information: B. J. Smith (215) 814-5543

RALEIGH COUNTY, W.Va. - In papers filed in U.S. District Court in Charleston, W.Va., the United States proposed to settle litigation against Coal Valley Mining, Inc., of Mullens, W.Va. over alleged Clean Water Act violations at two coal mining operations near Whitby, Raleigh County.  

Under the proposed consent decree Coal Valley will pay a $20,000 penalty, and 55 percent of any proceeds it receives back from $84,000 in mine reclamation bonds it has posted under federal and state laws.

Two July 1997 complaints, filed by the U.S. attorney’s office on behalf of EPA, alleged unlawful discharges from the "Old Mine Refuse Area," leased and operated by Coal Valley, and the "Number One Deep Mine,' leased by Coal Valley and subleased by mine operator Ridgeway Development Corp of W.Va.

West Virginia issued Clean Water Act permits for these mines, which set discharge limits for several pollutants -- including iron, manganese, suspended solids,  and pH.  According to the government’s complaints, both mines discharged pollutants in violation of their permits and, subsequently discharged water pollution without a permit.

Both operations have ceased production.  The penalty assessed against Coal Valley takes into account the company’s inability to pay a larger amount.

The proposed consent decree is subject to a 30-day public comment period and final court approval.


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