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Coal Company Agrees to $20M Fine for Water Pollution

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By Admin on January 18, 2008 8:47 AM

A U.S. coal company will pay the largest civil fine ever levied under the Clean Water Act, after committing wastewater discharge violations for at least seven years. Massey Energy Company, Inc. has agreed to pay a $20 million penalty as part of a settlement for more than 4,500 Clean Water Act violations that occurred at coal mines in West Virginia and Kentucky, according to a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Press Release. Under the agreement, Massey has also agreed to spend millions of dollars to prevent approximately 380 million pounds of pollutants from entering U.S. waters annually. According to the EPA, a May 2007 complaint filed by the U.S. Department of Justice alleged that Massey "discharged metals, sediment, and acid mine drainage into hundreds of rivers and streams in West Virginia and Kentucky. Many of the pollutants were discharged in amounts 40 percent or more than allowed. Some pollutants were discharged at levels more than 10 times over the permit limits."