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Massey Energy company paying for its polluting practices

Under the agreement with the EPA, Massey Energy will pay $20 million in civil penalties and invest an additional $10 million in pollution control improvements at its 44 mines and coal facilities. The agreement settled a complaint filed by the EPA in May 2007 alleging that Massey violated the federal Clean Water Act on at least 4,500 occasions between January 2000 and the end of 2006 by discharging mining waste and sediment (including hazardous metals) into hundreds of streams and waterways and failing to control spills of coal slurry during mining operation. Some of the waste water discharges were more than 10 times the amount allowed by state permits according to the EPA. The complaint alleged that Massey routinely released metals, sediment and acid mine drainage into streams and rivers at amounts 40 percent or more than allowed by state permits.
The maximum penalties facing the company for the thousands of violations and days when permits were exceeded could have been as high as $2.4 billion, according to the EPA.

The $10 million investment in pollution control will be used to develop and implement new procedures and tracking systems to prevent waste water discharges and slurry spills, the agreement also calls for third-party audits of its pollution prevention program. The company has also agreed to set aside 200 acres of riverfront land in West Virginia for conservation and protection against future mining.

Ronald Tenpas, head of the Justice Department’s environment and natural resources division, said the measures agreed to by the coal company “represent a significant step forward in the way that mining facilities currently address Clean Water compliance.”

The new pollution prevention measures are expected to keep an estimated 380 million pounds of sediment and other pollutants from Massey’s mining operation out of the three states’ waters each year.

The company has been embroiled in a string of legal and environmental disputes from complaints about its hilltop mining practices and pollution of waterways to mine safety and high-profile contract disputes.

See the full article here: Coal Producer Agrees to Pay $30M by H. Josef Hebert

Environmental Protection Agency
Massey Energy Company





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