Environmentalists sue for cleanup at bankrupt mine sites

AP News
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Posted: Apr 26, 2016 11:13 AM

SUMMERSVILLE, W.Va. (AP) — Environmental groups are taking legal action to require the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection to treat water pollution at bankrupt coal mines.

News outlets report that the West Virginia Highlands Conservancy, West Virginia Rivers Coalition and the West Chapter of the Sierra Club filed two lawsuits in two federal courts on April 20. The plaintiffs accuse West Virginia of violating the Clean Water Act by allowing excessive amounts of pollutants to discharge from the abandoned coal mine sites in Barbour, Nicholas and Preston counties.

Calling for more funding for water treatment, the lawsuits say seven former mine sites in the state are discharging excessive pollutants into various creeks and streams.

WVDEP spokeswoman Kelley Gillenwater declined to comment on the lawsuits.