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PA WEST VIRGINIA COAL COMPANY AND OPERATOR INDICTED FOR ALLEGEDLY VIOLATING THE CLEAN WATER ACT
Release Date: 05/01/98
FOR RELEASE: FRIDAY, MAY 1, 1998
WEST VIRGINIA COAL COMPANY AND OPERATOR INDICTED FOR ALLEGEDLY VIOLATING THE CLEAN WATER ACT
On April 24, the Lady H. Coal Co., of Leivasy, W.Va., and Paul Kizer, the company’s operator, were indicted in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia in Charleston for allegedly violating the Clean Water Act. Lady H. operates a coal mining facility which includes a deep shaft mine, a strip mine, a coal preparation plant and a wastewater treatment system that contains coal slurry settlement ponds. The company had a National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit to discharge treated wastewater into Hominey Creek, which is a tributary of the Gauley River. The indictment alleges that on or about Nov. 11, 1995, the defendants violated their NPDES permit by discharging coal sludge waste into Hominey Creek, using a pipe to drain sludge from the settlement ponds. In addition to making waters unusable for human consumption, recreational and agricultural purposes, the discharge of water containing high concentrations of coal sludge into rivers and creeks can kill fish and other aquatic life. If convicted, Kizer faces a maximum of up to three years imprisonment and/or a fine of up to $250,000 and the Lady H. Coal company faces a maximum fine of up to $250,000. The case was investigated by EPA’s Criminal Investigation Division, the FBI and the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection.