Cross-posted from Appalachian Voices
Appalachian Voices, Kentuckians For The Commonwealth, Kentucky Riverkeeper, Waterkeeper Alliance and private citizens are pursuing legal action against three mining companies in Kentucky for over 20,000 violations of the Clean Water Act.
In October of 2010, Appalachian Voices and partners filed a legal action against two of the largest mountaintop removal coal mining companies in Kentucky—ICG and Frasure Creek.
Through our review of Clean Water Act records (also known as discharge monitoring reports or DMRs), we found that these two companies had more than 20,000 violations of the Clean Water Act, with maximum potential fines of $740 million.
Our lawsuit alleges that the companies exceeded pollution discharge limits in their permits and in many cases submitted false monitoring data.
A rundown of the lawsuit includes:
The coal companies, ICG and Frasure Creek Mining, a subsidiary of Trinity Coal which is owned by India based Essar Group, are all operating in the eastern part of Kentucky under state-issued permits that allow them to discharge limited amounts of pollutants into nearby streams and rivers. Those same permits also require industries to carefully monitor and report their pollution discharges to state officials.
Our legal team in this case consists of the plaintiffs Appalachian Voices, Kentuckians for the Commonwealth, Kentucky Riverkeeper and Waterkeeper, represented by lawyers with the Appalachian Citizens’ Law Center, the Capua Law Firm, the Pace Environmental Litigation Clinic and the Waterworth Law Office.
On March 9, 2011, we announced another 60 day intent to sue Nally & Hamilton Coal Company for more than 12,000 violations of the Clean Water Act at more than a dozen of its operations in 7 eastern Kentucky counties.
The notice letters provide evidence indicating that Nally and Hamilton has filed false and potentially fraudulent, water pollution monitoring data with state agencies over the past three years.
Nally & Hamilton submitted reports in which all effluent data reported for a certain outfall in a certain month repeat exactly the data reported for the same outfall in other months. In other words, the company seems to have cut-and-pasted previous sets of data in later reports rather than monitoring the discharge and submitting accurate data for each month.
The company also repeatedly omitted legally-required data from its reports.
If fined, the maximum allowed under the Clean Water Act could amount to potential penalties of more than $400 million.
Our legal team consists of the plaintiffs Appalachian Voices, Kentuckians for the Commonwealth, Kentucky Riverkeeper and Waterkeeper, represented by lawyers with the Natural Resources Defense Council.
Read the original post here:
Protecting Kentucky Waterways