Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Coal company paying big fine for water pollution, and a lot more for new pollution-control system

The nation's largest underground coal producer, Consol Energy, has agreed to pay a civil fine of $5.5 million for water-pollution violations that caused a huge fish kill in Dunkard Creek, along the West Virginia-Pennsylvania border. The company also agreed to built a "state of the art" pollution-control system, at an estimated cost of $200 million, for wastewater from its mines, the Environmental Protection Agency said in a news release.

"As is standard procedure in such agreements, Consol did not admit any liability," reports Don Hopey of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "It issued a lengthy news release touting its economic importance to West Virginia and its environmental record."

Consol said in its release that it "challenges other operators along the Monongahela [River] tributary to follow its lead to protect the watershed and believes that today's announcement sets an example for everyone in the energy industry." For our most recent item on the Dunkard Creek spill, click here.

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