Triad, a subsidiary of James River Coal Co., obtained the required Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act permits from the state of Indiana for its mining operations, but never obtained the required CWA permit for the site, despite the fact that its surface mining operation involved excavating coal seams located directly below stream beds, according to the EPA.
On March 24, 2008, the Army Corps of Engineers issued a cease and desist order requiring Triad to stop its unauthorized stream-filling activities. Triad continued its mining practices until the Army Corps of Engineers sent a second order on June 24, 2009, which Triad complied with. Since the second order was issued, Triad has continued mining, but has avoided additional impacts to streams.
Under the settlement, Triad must restore 34,906 linear feet of streams and enhance 4,330 linear feet of stream bed to address and mitigate impacts to stream beds caused by its mining activities. Triad will also create and maintain 66 acres of forested buffer areas and nine acres of forested wetland to protect the restored streams. The proposed settlement, lodged in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, is subject to a 30-day comment period and final court approval.