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Black Beauty Coal Co. to create new wetlands in Indiana as part of settlement with EPA

Release Date: 05/08/2008
Contact Information: Phillippa Cannon, 312-353-6218, cannon.phillippa@epa.gov

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
No. 08 - OPA085

(Chicago, Ill. - May 8, 2008) U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5 has reached an agreement with Black Beauty Coal Co., Evansville, Ind., and with its subsidiary Arclar Co., Equality, Ill., for filling in streams and wetlands without a permit while mining in Indiana and Illinois. Black Beauty Coal is a subsidiary of Peabody Energy. Black Beauty Coal and Arclar will pay a total fine of $75,000, and Black Beauty Coal has agreed to spend $292,344 to create a forested wetland near its Farmersburg mine in Indiana.

EPA alleges that over the last several years, while mining in Sullivan, Vigo and Gibson counties, Ind., and Gallatin and Saline counties, Ill., the companies' operations adversely affected ditches, streams, creeks and wetlands near their mines. About 164,179 linear feet of streams were affected at all three sites with about 17 acres of wetlands affected at the Indiana sites. The companies did not have the required permits from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to place fill material in the waterways. Under the federal Clean Water Act, a permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is required to fill in waters of the United States.

"In order to reduce its penalty, Black Beauty Coal has agreed to carry out a supplemental project to benefit the environment," said EPA Acting Regional Administrator Bharat Mathur. "It will create a forested wetland that will improve water quality by reducing soil erosion, filtering pollutants and providing habitat for animals and aquatic life."

Black Beauty Coal will create 36.3 acres of forested wetland and 5.5 acres of forested buffer around the perimeter of the wetland. Planning, design, tillage and tree planting will be completed by Oct. 31, 2010. The company will monitor the wetland for an additional seven years and place the entire property into a perpetual conservation easement held by the Indiana Department of Natural Resources.

Copies of the agreements with Black Beauty Coal and Arclar are available at: http://www.epa.gov/region5/publicnotices/index.htm.

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