Lawsuit Challenges A&G Coal's Unpermitted Discharges of Toxic Selenium From MTR Coal Mine in Virginia
May 3, 2012
On May 3, Southern Appalachian Mountain Stewards, Appalachian Voices, and the Sierra Club took action to protect waterways in southwest Virginia from toxic pollution illegally discharged from A&G Coal Corporation’s Kelly Branch mine.
Water monitoring conducted by the groups shows that A&G’s Kelly Branch Mine in Wise County is dumping the toxic pollutant selenium into streams at levels above state water quality standards, even though the mine’s permit does not allow such pollution. The groups’ lawsuit alleges that these unpermitted discharges violate the Clean Water Act and Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act.
Selenium pollution is a problem for coal mines across Appalachia. Selenium, a toxic element that causes reproductive failure and deformities in fish and other forms of aquatic life, is discharged from many surface coal mining operations across Appalachia. Selenium accumulates in the tissues of aquatic organisms over time, and experts predict that waterways across Appalachia could be on the brink of collapse due to increasing levels of the pollutant.
Today’s lawsuit represents the first such action to protect rivers and streams in Virginia from this harmful byproduct of mountaintop removal coal mining.
The groups are represented by Isak Howell and Joe Lovett of Appalachian Mountain Advocates.
Details and Documents:
Coalition Acts to Protect Virginia Rivers and Streams from Mining Pollution
May 3, 2012, Sierra Club et al. Press Release
Water Pollution: Enviros sue Va. coal company over selenium discharges
May 3, 2012 by Manuel Quinones, E&E News
See other "Stopping Mountaintop Removal and Other Destructive Mining" cases.