Thursday, October 30, 2014

West Virginia lab that falsified reports back in business; state agency refuses to accept its reports

After an Alpha Laboratories employee testified that water samples had been falsified for coal companies, an appeals court temporarily blocked the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection from revoking the lab's certification. Even so, DEP officials say they will not accept pollution monitoring reports from the lab, Ken Ward reports for the Charleston Gazette.

DEP Secretary Randy Huffman told Ward, “I cannot accept data from the laboratory for purposes of enforcing the Clean Water Act and issuing permits. Their data is meaningless. We don’t want it.”

The certification was revoked earlier this month, but this week the state Environmental Quality Board was asked to consider a request from Appalachian Laboratories to block the revocation. The company said without certification it would have to close down, putting 35 employees out of work, Ward writes. Board members granted the request "pending a full appeal hearing, scheduled for Dec. 11." (Read more)

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