Coal Giant Massey Called Out for 12000 Pollution Violations

(Pho­to: U.S. Nation­al Archives, 1974)

All that coal comes with bag­gage and out­rage and few enough peo­ple seem to even know about it, let alone get their backs up about it.

Envi­ron­men­tal groups to sue Massey Ener­gy for ignor­ing thou­sands of vio­la­tions of the Clean Water Act and sur­face min­ing laws.

A coali­tion of envi­ron­men­tal groups has tak­en action against coal giant Massey Ener­gy for over 12,000 vio­la­tions of the Clean Water Act and sur­face min­ing laws asso­ci­at­ed with their min­ing activ­i­ty in West Virginia.

The groups, includ­ing the Sier­ra Club, Ohio Val­ley Envi­ron­men­tal Coali­tion, Coal Riv­er Moun­tain Watch, and the West Vir­ginia High­lands Con­ser­van­cy, claim that Massey vio­lat­ed its efflu­ent lim­its at its var­i­ous oper­a­tions at least 971 times, accru­ing 12,977 days of vio­la­tion between April 1, 2008 and March 31, 2009.

Massey and its sub­sidiaries oper­ate dozens of moun­tain­top removal and oth­er large-scale sur­face mines in Appalachia, using some of the more envi­ron­men­tal­ly destruc­tive types of min­ing, includ­ing moun­tain­top removal.

Massey has oper­at­ed out­side the law for far too long,” said Judy Bonds of Coal Riv­er Moun­tain Watch. “There is a his­to­ry here, not only of Massey ignor­ing the law, but of state offi­cials ignor­ing Massey’s violations.”

This is not the first time Massey has been in such bla­tant vio­la­tion of Fed­er­al statutes — includ­ing one of the largest slur­ry spills ever to take place in the Unit­ed States. And in 2008, the com­pa­ny was fined $20 mil­lion for Clean Water Act vio­la­tions, sim­i­lar to those cit­ed by the coali­tion. The com­plaint in that case (Unit­ed States v. Massey) alleged over 60,000 vio­la­tions over a six-year period.

For more info read Silas House and Jason Howard's book Something's Ris­ing, or just set up a Google alert for the word Appalachia, and be ready to spend con­sid­er­able time link­ing and surf­ing, every day.

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