The DEP said that Patriot’s Kanawha Eagle, operator of the facility near Winifrede in the central region of the state, will pay a total of $72,245 in assessed penalties for a violation of the West Virginia Water Pollution Control Act and Groundwater Protection Act; it is also included in a consent order issued by the West Virginia DEP’s Division of Mining and Reclamation.
Other fines associated with the spill, separate from the consent order, were issued under the Surface Coal Mining and Reclamation Act.
According to the DEP, Patriot itself estimated that 108,000 gallons of slurry were released into Fields Creek, a tributary of the Kanawha River, on February 11 after a malfunction on a slurry pipeline. The spill impacted roughly six miles of the stream.
The agency issued an Imminent Harm Cessation Order (IHCO) after the spill to stop all work at the facility aside from clean-up activities; on February 17, the DEP modified the cessation order to a Notice of Violation (NOV), allowing Kanawha Eagle to begin testing new control measures it had put in place as a result of the spill.
It issued a second NOV on February 19 after snow melt resulted in a rapid rise in stream levels on Fields Creek; settled silt was stirred up in the event and caused discolored water to enter the Kanawha River.
The DEP said that, in all, Kanawha Eagle will pay $46,817 under the West Virginia Water Pollution Control Act and $3,815 under the state Groundwater Protection Act.
Also under the consent order, Kanawha Eagle agrees to withdraw its request for an assessment conference on civil penalties issued under the Surface Coal Mining and Reclamation Act. Those penalties total $21,613 and stem from the issuance of the IHCO and two NOVs.