ERG Supports EPA and DOJ Settlement with Coal Mines over Clean Water Act Violations

justice scales

With ERG support, EPA and the U.S. Department of Justice recently reached a settlement with Southern Coal Corporation and 26 affiliated mining companies over their alleged Clean Water Act violations. In particular, the coal mines allegedly exceeded pollutant discharge permit limits, failed to submit complete discharge monitoring reports (DMRs), and conducted unauthorized discharges in five Appalachian states. ERG supported EPA’s investigations of Southern Coal mines since 2011, including inspections, as well as analyses of permits, DMRs, and previous enforcement actions. EPA and the Department of Justice used the results of ERG’s analyses as the starting point in developing their consent decree for the settlement, which will help reduce the direct exposure of communities in rural Appalachia to a number of pollutants that can significantly impair streams and watersheds.

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