Monday, December 18, 2017

Arch Coal settles with federal agencies, 3 states over water pollution

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) said on Thursday that they have reached a settlement with Arch Coal Inc. and 14 of its International Coal Group, Inc. (ICG), subsidiaries over numerous Clean Water Act violations involving discharges of pollutants from the companies’ coal mines throughout the Appalachian region.

“This joint enforcement effort with three states has resulted in a settlement that will require changes that will benefit the health and environment of Appalachian communities for many years to come,” Environment and Natural Resources Division Assistant Attorney General John Cruden, highlighting the partnership with co-plaintiffs West Virginia, Virginia and Pennsylvania, said. “Under the terms of the agreement, Arch Coal and its subsidiaries will pay a significant penalty, improve their pollution-control systems, and provide for independent monitoring and data tracking that will make it a better company and a better neighbor to these communities.”

The proposed consent decree will force the companies to pay $2 million in civil penalties and require significant changes in the companies' operations to ensure the type of pollution that made its way into Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia waterways does not recur in the future.

“Businesses have an obligation to ensure that their operations don’t threaten the communities they serve, especially those that are overburdened by or more vulnerable to pollution,” EPA Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance Assistant Administrator Cynthia Giles said. “This settlement will prevent future environmental and public health risks by making sure these companies comply with federal and state clean-water laws.”


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