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EPA Cites Elk Run Coal Co. For Alleged Wetlands Violations in Boone County

Release Date: 1/14/2002
Contact Information: Bonnie Smith, (215) 814-5543

Bonnie Smith, (215) 814-5543

PHILADELPHIA – The U. S. Environmental Protection Agency has issued a Clean Water Act complaint against the Elk Run Coal Co. for unlawfully dumping fill material in a river running through its property in Sylvester, W. Va.

EPA’s complaint seeks a $27,500 penalty for the company’s alleged failure to obtain a required Clean Water Act permit before dumping fill material to construct a weir in the Big Coal River. The weir is permeable dam-like structure used to impound water for the company’s mining operations. The weir is about 112 feet long, 2 feet high, 20 feet wide at its base. It consists of approximately 207 cubic yards of boulders which are two to three feet in diameter. Construction of the weir began in March 2000.

Under the Clean Water Act, a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers permit is required before dredged or fill material may be discharged into open water and wetland areas. The permit requirement is designed to minimize the destruction of waters and wetlands, which serve a number of critical environmental and economic functions -- including flood control, water filtration, and wildlife habitat.

The Corps of Engineers has previously directed the company to apply for a permit and mitigate the environmental harm caused by this unpermitted construction.

The company has the right to a hearing to contest the alleged violation and proposed penalty.