Arch Coal and 14 of its subsidiaries will upgrade operations to ensure compliance with the Clean Water Act under an agreement with the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the US Department of Justice. The agreement resolves Clean Water Act violations related to illegal discharges of pollutants at the companies’ coal mines in Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virgian and West Virginia, the EPA said in a statement.
Arch will also pay US$2 million in civil penalties.
“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,” said Assistant Administration for the EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance, Cynthia Giles. “This settlement will prevent future environmental and public health risks by making sure these companies comply with federal and state clean water laws.”
In addition to the civil penalty, the companies are required to implement measures to ensure compliance with the Clean Water Act. These measures will include: developing and implementing a compliance management system; periodic internal and third-party environmental compliance audits; maintaining a data management system to track violations, water sampling data and compliance efforts; providing training for environmental managers; and paying escalating stipulated penalties if violations continue.
According to the government, the companies – which were part of International Coal Group, bought by Arch in 2011 – violated discharge limits for aluminium, manganese, iron and total suspended solids on more than 1200 occasions.
Written by Jonathan Rowland.
Read the article online at: https://www.worldcoal.com/mining/07082015/arch-fined-2-million-dollars-for-clean-water-act-violations-2695/