Coal Company to Pay $900,000 for Alleged Clean Water Act Violations

Posted on 10/5/2016 by Roger Marks

A coal company with mining and processing facilities in Alabama, Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia has to pay a $900,000 civil penalty to resolve US EPA allegations that the company violated the Clean Water Act.

According to a US EPA news release, the company allegedly violated the Clean Water Act’s National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) requirements by exceeding the discharge limits for pollutants like aluminum, pH, manganese, iron, and total suspended solids (TSS) in its state-issued permit. In addition, EPA says, the company failed to submit proper discharge monitoring reports.

NPDES permit covers stormwater runoff

On top of the $900,000 penalty, the company must establish a $4.5 million trust to guarantee sufficient funding for Clean Water Act compliance. Other forms of injunctive relief required in the settlement, approximated to cost about $5 million, include:


  • Implementing a company-wide environmental management system to be approved by US EPA;
  • Improving management of audit results, violations, water sampling data, and compliance efforts;
  • Creating a website to post NPDES permits, discharge monitoring reports, water sampling data and more that will be publicly accessible; and
  • Conducting internal and third-party environmental audits and inspections.

US EPA and State Rules for NPDES Permits

In 40 CFR 122.26, US EPA requires certain facilities to obtain a permit in order to release pollutants to the water via stormwater discharge. States can add additional or adjusted requirements for monitoring releases, selecting control technology, reporting, recordkeeping, preventing pollution, and permit renewal. To read more about State differences for NPDES permits, read How NPDES Permits Can Vary by State.

EPA Training on Water, Air, and Chemical Rules

NPDES permitting is just one of the major EPA programs covered at Lion's popular The Complete Environmental Regulations, presented in cities nationwide. If you're responsible for ensuring site compliance with the many complex programs—from the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts to TSCA, FIFRA, EPCRA, and more—this workshop will help you identify the requirements that apply to your facility and make decisions that put your environmental team in a position to succeed.

Tags: Act, Clean, EPA, fines and penalties, Water

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