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W.Va. green groups sue coal companies, alleging Clean Water Act violations

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W.Va. green groups sue coal companies, alleging Clean Water Act violations

A coalition of conservation organizations in West Virginia is suing four coal and chemical facilities, alleging violations of the Clean Water Act.

The Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition, West Virginia Highlands Conservancy, Appalachian Voices and the Sierra Club alleged in an Aug. 6 release said the companies have violated permits by dumping toxic pollutants into local waterways. The groups said in June that they sent notices of intent to sue to each of the companies.

They are suing Bluestone Coal Corp., a company owned by the family of West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice, alleging that the company is discharging pollutants into tributaries of Dry Fork of the Tug Fork River in excess of the limits allowed by its permit for the 1300-acre Red Fox surface mine, according to the complaint.

The environmentalists are also suing Lexington Coal Co. LLC for allegedly discharging pollutants from the Low Gap surface mine into tributaries of Ben Creek and Pigeon Creek that exceed the amount allowed by its permit, the complaint states.

The groups drafted complaints against Dana Mining Co. Inc. and Eagle Natrium LLC as well for allegedly exceeding their permitted limits on pollutants released into waterways.