As part of the settlement, according to the EPA, Arch Coal has agreed to take measures that will prevent an estimated 2 million lb of pollution from entering the nation’s waters each year. The company will also implement a treatment system to reduce the discharge of selenium.
Arch Coal has agreed to implement a series of inspections, audits and tracking measures to ensure treatment systems are working properly and that future compliance is achieved. The company is also required to develop and implement a compliance management system to help foster a top-down, compliance and prevention-focused approach to CWA issues.
A joint federal-state complaint filed in U.S. District Court in the Southern District of West Virginia by the United States, West Virginia and Kentucky alleged numerous violations of Arch Coal’s permits that set limits on pollutants to be discharged into streams. According to the EPA, the alleged excess discharges of iron, total suspended solids, manganese and other pollutants reflect deficiencies in operation and maintenance of wastewater treatment systems in place at four of the company’s mining facilities: Coal Mac, Lone Mountain Processing, Cumberland River Coal and Mingo Logan Coal.
Under the settlement, $2 million of the $4 million civil penalty will be paid to the United States and the remaining $2 million will be divided between West Virginia and Kentucky based on the percentage of alleged violations in each state.