Deal Will End West Virginia Water Pollution Lawsuit

December 2, 2011

Two environmental groups have settled a lawsuit with Fola Coal Co. over runoff from a mountaintop removal mining operation.

The agreement filed Wednesday in Charleston, W.V., must be reviewed by U.S. District Judge John Copenhaver.

The Sierra Club and West Virginia Highlands Conservancy sued the company in October 2010, claiming violations of the federal Clean Water Act at Surface Mine No. 3 in Clay and Nicholas counties.

Under the agreement, Fola agrees to pay $200,000 to the West Virginia Land Trust and a $25,000 fine to the federal government.

It agrees to repair any damage caused to the Boardtree Branch waterway, but it does not have to admit liability.

The remediation work involves construction of wetlands to help remove sulfates from mining runoff. An independent authority will monitor the progress.

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