CHARLESTON, W.Va. (CN) – The Sierra Club says five subsidiaries of Massey Energy Co. accrued more than 3,300 days of Clean Water Act violations, dumping aluminum, iron and suspended solids into federal waters in West Virginia. It demands penalties against Elk Run, Independence, Marfork, Peerless Eagle, and Power Mountain Coal Companies.
Three other environmental groups joined the Sierra Club in alleging Clean Water Act violations and violations of the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act.
According to the federal complaint, Elk Run polluted Laurel Creek and Coal River from its White Castle Surface Mine; Independence Jacks Branch Buffalo Mine polluted the Bias Branch of Spruce Fork of the Coal River; Marfork dumped excessive amounts of aluminum, suspended solids and iron into the Kanawha River from several mines; Peerless Eagle polluted Elk River from its Lilly Fork Surface Mine; and Power Mountain dumped concentrated aluminum from its Jones Branch Loadout Complex into Peters Creek of Gauley River.
“Between April 10, 2008 and Dec. 31, 2009, defendants have accrued at least 3,307 days of violations … through 255 unlawful discharges,” according to the complaint.
Sierra Club is joined by Highlands Conservancy, the Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition and Coal River Mountain Watch in its complaint against the companies, which they say are all subsidiaries of Massey Energy Company.
They seek an injunction and civil penalties.
They are represented by Derek Teaney with the Appalachian Center for the Economy and the Environment, of Lewisburg, W.Va.