Groups Suing 3 WV Mines - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

Groups Suing 3 WV Mines

Posted:
  • More Local NewsMore Local NewsMore>>

  • Shelley Moore, Former WV First Lady, Dies

    Shelley Moore, Former WV First Lady, Dies

    (WVVA)- Former First Lady Shelley Riley Moore died on Saturday. She was 88-years-old.Shelley was the wife of three time West Virginia Governor Arch Moore and the mother of Rep. Shelley Moore Capito.A number of WV officials sent their condolences to the family after Moore's passing.Governor Earl Ray Tomblin released this statement saying, "Former First Lady Shelley Moore represented West Virginia with grace and class throughout her life. Joanne and I extend our sincere sympathies to her family...More >>
    (WVVA)- Former First Lady Shelley Riley Moore died on Saturday. She was 88-years-old.Shelley was the wife of three time West Virginia Governor Arch Moore and the mother of Rep. Shelley Moore Capito.A number of WV officials sent their condolences to the family after Moore's passing.Governor Earl Ray Tomblin released this statement saying, "Former First Lady Shelley Moore represented West Virginia with grace and class throughout her life. Joanne and I extend our sincere sympathies to her family...More >>
  • Celebrating 50 years of CASE WV

    Celebrating 50 years of CASE WV

    BLUEFIELD (WVVA)- Saturday, September 14, 2014 is the 50th Anniversary of Community Action of South Eastern WV.Employees gathered at Mercer Mall to inform local residents about CASE and what all the organization offers. Officials used the celebration as a reminder to the public that the organization is setup to help.Oraetta Hubbard, the Executive Director of Case says, "We are all apart of the community and we serve individuals and families. And it's important that everybody know and understa...More >>
    BLUEFIELD (WVVA)- Saturday, September 14, 2014 is the 50th Anniversary of Community Action of South Eastern WV.Employees gathered at Mercer Mall to inform local residents about CASE and what all the organization offers. Officials used the celebration as a reminder to the public that the organization is setup to help.Oraetta Hubbard, the Executive Director of Case says, "We are all apart of the community and we serve individuals and families. And it's important that everybody know and understa...More >>
  • Fundraisers for Greenbrier County Special Olympics

    Fundraisers for Greenbrier County Special Olympics

    At Walmart on Saturday morning, you could find the Greenbrier County Special Olympics team selling delicious baked goods and barbeque treats. The athletes are raising money for a trip to Charleston next weekend to compete in a regional bowling tournament.More >>
    At Walmart on Saturday morning, you could find the Greenbrier County Special Olympics team selling delicious baked goods and barbeque treats. The athletes are raising money for a trip to Charleston next weekend to compete in a regional bowling tournament.More >>

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (AP) -- Environmental groups filed federal lawsuits against three coal companies Wednesday, claiming that runoff from their mountaintop removal mining sites have polluted West Virginia waterways.

The Sierra Club, West Virginia Highlands Conservancy and Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition filed the three lawsuits in federal court in Huntington.

The groups accuse Alex Energy Inc. and Fola Coal Company LLC of contaminating water in tributaries of Twentymile Creek with sulfate and other harmful chemicals. The other suit alleges that Consol of Kentucky's Peg Fork mine discharges unlawful quantities of selenium into nearby streams.

Selenium is a naturally occurring element that surface mining can release into waterways. In humans, high-level exposure can damage the kidneys, liver, and central nervous and circulatory systems.

A bill making its way through the Legislature would allow the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection to raise the allowable levels of selenium in lakes and streams. It also would order a study to determine acceptable levels of selenium specific to West Virginia. The bill says that the federal Environmental Protection Agency has been considering revising the selenium standards for several years, which raises questions about the usefulness of the current standards. The EPA would have to approve the changes.

The groups, which have spent years suing coal companies over water pollution, also have threatened federal regulators with legal action if they do not rein in state regulators. The Legislature last year passed weaker water-quality standards that resulted in 173 streams that would have made the list of impaired waterways being left off the list. Being placed on the list means a plan must be developed for improvement.

"Rather than forcing the mining companies to clean up the impaired streams, WVDEP is trying to redefine the meaning of impairment administratively so that it no longer exists while the EPA is taking a `cross your fingers and hope' approach to mining pollution," Jim Sconyers, Chapter Chair of the West Virginia Sierra Club said in a release. "So groups like ours have to do WVDEP's job. We can't allow these companies to keep poisoning our streams."

Representatives for Alpha Natural Resources, which owns Alex Energy, did not immediately return a phone messages seeking comment.

It is the policy of Consol, which owns the other two mines, not to comment on pending litigation, spokeswoman Lynn Seay said.

"CONSOL Energy strives to be a good corporate citizen in the communities where we operate, and as such, we strive to comply with all of our regulatory, contractual and other legal obligations," she added. "Once we have had a chance to review these complaints, we will respond appropriately."

Mountaintop removal is a particularly efficient but destructive form of strip mining that blasts apart mountain ridge tops to expose multiple seams of coal. The practice of flat-topping the mountains, then filling valleys and covering streams with rubble has divided communities and led to confrontations between coal miners and environmentalists.

Consol was ordered to pay a civil penalty of nearly $270,000 in a settlement reached in December with state regulators concerning violations at its Peg Fork mine in Mingo County. The groups argue the settlement doesn't specify a timeframe for the company to bring its selenium discharges into compliance. They also argue the penalty was not adequate "to disgorge Consol of its economic benefit of noncompliance."

Such lawsuits are prohibited as long as the state has "commenced and is diligently prosecuting" to require compliance. But the groups argue the state is doing so, which "leaves a realistic prospect that Consol's unlawful selenium discharges will continue," the groups allege.

They are asking the courts to require the companies to abide by pollution regulations or to pay civil penalties up to $37,500 per day for each violation.

  • NEWSMore>>

  • Fayette County indictments released

    Fayette County indictments released

    FAYETTE COUNTY (WVVA) More than 50 people are indicted by the latest Grand Jury in Fayette County.The charges include attempted murder, burglary, child neglect resulting in death...More >>
    FAYETTE COUNTY (WVVA) More than 50 people are indicted by the latest Grand Jury in Fayette County.The charges include attempted murder, burglary, child neglect resulting in death...
    More >>
  • A mother loses two children too soon

    A mother loses two children too soon

    WVVA- Four years ago, an 18-month-old, Isabella Hurley, was brutally beaten to death in Summers County by James Meadows.Meadows is still in prison for the crime. A jury in Monroe County found him guilty of murder. The mother of the young toddler, Kristen Hurley, was charged with child neglect, but an investigation by State Police found she was not home when the child was killed.She was released from prison and has since had another child. A caller informed WVVA that Hurley gave birth to a bab...More >>
    WVVA- Four years ago, an 18-month-old, Isabella Hurley, was brutally beaten to death in Summers County by James Meadows.Meadows is still in prison for the crime. A jury in Monroe County found him guilty of murder. The mother of the young toddler, Kristen Hurley, was charged with child neglect, but an investigation by State Police found she was not home when the child was killed.She was released from prison and has since had another child. A caller informed WVVA that Hurley gave birth to a bab...More >>
  • Hotels needed to boost Summers County economics

    Hotels needed to boost Summers County economics

    SUMMER'S COUNTY (WVVA)- There are numerous festivals and events that go on each year in Summers County.Tourists travel in and out of the area to enjoy the historic attractions, but leaders say a lot of the money being spent is outside of the county. They attribute a lack of hotels."I think there's great potential and would love to see someone open another hotel, even if it was able to hold another 50 or 150 people," says Hospitality Director of Operations Stephanie Stiffler.There are several ...More >>
    SUMMER'S COUNTY (WVVA)- There are numerous festivals and events that go on each year in Summers County.Tourists travel in and out of the area to enjoy the historic attractions, but leaders say a lot of the money being spent is outside of the county. They attribute a lack of hotels."I think there's great potential and would love to see someone open another hotel, even if it was able to hold another 50 or 150 people," says Hospitality Director of Operations Stephanie Stiffler.There are several ...More >>
  • What is the definition of child abuse?

    What is the definition of child abuse?

    (WVVA) Minnesota Vikings running back, Adrian Peterson, is facing child abuse charges after pictures showing his child with laceration marks, began to surface online.The NFL has reinstated Peterson to play...More >>
    (WVVA) Minnesota Vikings running back, Adrian Peterson, is facing child abuse charges after pictures showing his child with laceration marks, began to surface online.The NFL has reinstated Peterson to play...
    More >>
  • UPDATE: WVVA tip leads to arrest of man wanted for allegedly exposing himself to teen

    UPDATE: WVVA tip leads to arrest of man wanted for allegedly exposing himself to teen

    A criminal complaint filed in Raleigh County court says that a tip from a WVVA viewer led to the arrest of 42-year-old Charles Asbury.  Asbury is appearing in a Beckley courtroom Monday afternoon.More >>
    A criminal complaint filed in Raleigh County court says that a tip from a WVVA viewer led to the arrest of 42-year-old Charles Asbury.  Asbury is appearing in a Beckley courtroom Monday afternoon.More >>
  • Police respond to school bus accident in Raleigh County

    Police respond to school bus accident in Raleigh County

    BECKLEY (WVVA) A Raleigh County school bus is involved in a minor accident Monday afternoon...More >>
    BECKLEY (WVVA) A Raleigh County school bus is involved in a minor accident Monday afternoon...More >>
  • September 15 proclaimed 'Julie Kade Day'

    September 15 proclaimed 'Julie Kade Day'

    During the halftime ceremonies at Princeton Senior High School, one very special Mercer County Schools' Teacher received quite a surprise. When the announcer said that Monday, September 15, will be a special day in Mercer County for a long time employee of the Mercer County Board of Education who would be honored for her contributions to Princeton Senior High School, to the community, and to the students she served, unbeknownst to Kade, he was taking about her – the band direct...More >>
    During the halftime ceremonies at Princeton Senior High School, one very special Mercer County Schools' Teacher received quite a surprise. When the announcer said that Monday, September 15, will be a special day in Mercer County for a long time employee of the Mercer County Board of Education who would be honored for her contributions to Princeton Senior High School, to the community, and to the students she served, unbeknownst to Kade, he was taking about her – the band direct...More >>
  • Death investigation an apparent suicide, Raleigh County Sheriff's Captain says

    Death investigation an apparent suicide, Raleigh County Sheriff's Captain says

    Police are investigating the death of a man found in the parking lot of an abandoned gas station. According to Captain Jim Bare with the Raleigh County Sheriff's Office, the death is an apparent suicide.More >>
    Police are investigating the death of a man found in the parking lot of an abandoned gas station. According to Captain Jim Bare with the Raleigh County Sheriff's Office, the death is an apparent suicide.
    More >>
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WVVA.
All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, Terms of Service and Mobile Privacy Policy & Terms of Service.

Persons with disabilities who need assistance with issues relating to the content of this station's public inspection file should contact Administrative Assistant Audrey Sluss at (304) 324-0659. Questions or concerns relating to the accessibility of the FCC's online public file system should be directed to the FCC at 888-225-5322, at 888-835-5322 (TTY) or at fccinfo@fcc.gov.