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Sierra Club Says Coal Mine Polluted River

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (CN) - Hobet Mining, a subsidiary of Patriot Coal Corp., repeatedly violated the Clean Water Act by dumping selenium and other pollutants into public waters, environmental groups say. The groups notified state and federal officials of the violations in February, but say the government has done nothing to stop it.

The Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition, the West Virginia Highlands Conservatory and the Sierra Club sued Hobet in Federal Court. They claim Hobet dumped chemicals into a tributary of the Mud River at least 22 times between Dec. 8, 2008 and June 30, 2009, polluting it with selenium, aluminum and iron.

The groups say Hobet's dumping exceeded the levels allowed by its permits.

They seek an injunction forcing compliance with the Clean Water Act, civil penalties of up to $32,500 a day per violation, and remediation.

They are represented by Derek Teaney with the Appalachian Center for the Economy and the Environment, of Lewisburg, W. Va.

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