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3 W.Va. groups sue Alpha over selenium pollution

Associated Press Published: July 16, 2012

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (AP) — Three environmental groups sued Alpha Natural Resources over selenium pollution again Monday, this time focused on nine southern West Virginia operations.

The complaint in U.S. District Court in Huntington targets operations in Logan, McDowell, Boone, and Kanawha counties. The Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition, West Virginia Highlands Conservancy and Sierra Club say that Virginia-based Alpha is violating the federal Clean Water Act and state-issued discharge permits.

They want a judge to order the operations to comply and fine Alpha as much as $37,500 per day of violation, some of which date to 2007. They also seek monitoring and sampling to determine the extent of the environmental damage, and a cleanup and restoration order.

Alpha didn't immediately comment.

The affected mines are: Alex Energy's Whitman No. 2 Surface Mine; Aracoma Coal Co.'s Camp Branch facility; Bandmill Coal Corp.'s Tower Mountain Surface Mine; Highland Mining Co.'s Freeze Fork Surface Mine; Independence Coal's Twilight Surface Mine; Jack's Branch Lady Dunn Preparation Plant, Hughes Creek Surface mine and Stockton Mine; and Kanawha Energy's Fourmile Fork Surface Mine.

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