“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,” Cynthia Giles, assistant administrator of the EPA's Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance, said. “This settlement will prevent future environmental and public health risks by making sure these companies comply with federal and state clean water laws.”
Arch Coal and its subsidiaries were sued by the EPA, Department of Justice (DOJ) and West Virginia, Virginia and Pennsylvania. The three states, along with Kentucky and Maryland, were allegedly the sites of illegal discharges from the companies’ mines.
“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,” John C. Cruden, assistant attorney general for the DOJ's Environment and Natural Resources Division, 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.”