Feds, West Virginia work out water settlement with coal operator Jim Justice

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, represented by the Justice Dept., and the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection on Dec. 10 filed with a federal court both a lawsuit against and a consent decree settling the lawsuit issues with James C. Justice Companies Inc., coal operator James C. Justice II and High Mountain Living LLC.

The lawsuit, lodged at the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia, alleges that defendants violated Section 301(a) of the Clean Water Act and the West Virginia Water Pollution Control Act by discharging pollutants, including dredged or fill material, and/or controlling and directing the discharge of pollutants, including dredged or fill material, into waters of the United States and/or the state, without authorization, at certain locations along Turkey Creek and an unnamed tributary of Turkey Creek in Monroe County, West Virginia.

The defendants, at their own expense and at the direction of EPA, would need to restore and/or mitigate the impacts caused by their allegedly unlawful activities, and pay civil penalties. The consent decree is intended to constitute a complete and final settlement of the federal and state claims.

The court will put this deal up for comment and then would need to sign off on it.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.