Today's News

Coal company to pay largest civil penalty ever for water permit violations (1/28)

Massey Energy Company Inc. has agreed to pay a $20 million civil penalty in a corporate-wide settlement to resolve Clean Water Act violations at coal mines in West Virginia and Kentucky, the Justice Department and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced earlier this month.

This is the largest civil penalty in EPA’s history levied against a company for wastewater discharge permit violations.

“The measures required by this settlement represent a significant step forward in the way that mining facilities currently address Clean Water Act compliance,” said Ronald J. Tenpas, Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Justice Department’s Environmental and Natural Resources Division. “This settlement will greatly benefit citizens in West Virginia and Kentucky and improve many of our nation’s waters for years to come.”

As part of the settlement, Massey, the fourth largest coal company in the United States, has agreed to take measures at all of its facilities that will prevent an estimated 380 million pounds of sediment and other pollutants from entering the nation’s waters each year. These compliance measures are unprecedented in the coal mining industry, according to the EPA.

In a complaint filed last May, the government alleged that Massey violated its Clean Water Act permits more than 4,500 times between January 2000 and December 2006. The complaint alleged that the company discharged excess amounts of 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.

The complaint also alleged that Massey spilled large amounts of slurry, which is waste-containing metals and sediment, into local waterways numerous times. The spills occurred as a result of failures in the processing, storage and transportation of coal slurry.

In addition to the penalty, Massey will invest approximately $10 million to develop and implement a set of procedures to prevent future violations. Massey, the largest coal producer in Central Appalachia, will also set aside 200 acres of riverfront land in West Virginia for conservation purposes and protection from future mining.

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to ISHN.

You must login or register in order to post a comment.

Multimedia

Videos

Image Galleries

Scenes from the World of Safety

Sights, signs & symbols from the National Safety Congress & Expo held in San Diego, CA, September 15-18

3/31/15 11:00 am EST

Changes to NFPA 70E® – What You Need to Know

NFPA ® for Electrical Safety in the Workplace is revised every three years, providing the most up-to-date requirements for safe work practices to reduce exposure to electrical hazards. This program analyzes several significant changes in 70E ® and is designed to clarify the reasoning behind the changes, and assist in determining how the changes impact employees and employers.

ISHN Magazine

ISHN0315_cover.jpg

2015 March

Check out ISHN's March issue, which features articles about moisture wicking technology, toxic gas detection and fall protection.

Table Of Contents Subscribe

THE ISHN STORE

M:\General Shared\__AEC Store Katie Z\AEC Store\Images\ISHN\safetyfourth.jpg
Safety Engineering, 4th Edition

A practical, solutions-driven reference, Safety Engineering, 4th edition, has been completely revised and updated to reflect many of today’s issues in safety.

More Products

For Distributors Only - January 2015

FDO JAN 2015 COVER

 

For Distributors Only is ISHN's niche brand standard-sized magazine supplement aimed at an audience of 2,000 U.S. distributors that sell safety products. Circulation only goes to distributors. 

CHECK OUT THE JANUARY 2015 ISSUE OF FDO HERE

STAY CONNECTED

Facebook logo Twitter YouTubeLinkedIn Google + icon

ishn infographics

2012 US workplace deathsCheck out ISHN's new Infographic page! Learn more about worker safety through these interactive images. CLICK HERE to view the page.