Citizens Reach Landmark Settlement in Major Water Pollution Case

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“In October 2010, the coalition—Appalachian Voices, Kentuckians For The Commonwealth, Kentucky Riverkeeper, Waterkeeper Alliance, and several individual citizens—filed notices of their intent to sue ICG and Frasure Creek. The coalition is represented by Mary Cromer of the Appalachian Citizens’ Law Center (Whitesburg, Ky.), Lauren Waterworth of Waterworth Law Office (Boone, N.C.), and the Pace Law School Environmental Litigation Clinic (White Plains, N.Y.).

The revelation of the false reporting triggered an investigation by state regulators, and the two companies began reporting dramatically higher levels of pollution in their wastewater discharges, sometimes spiking to 20 times the previously reported level with thousands of violations per reporting period. Before the problems were brought to light, the companies had rarely, if ever, reported violations of the discharge limits in their permits.

“The false-reporting epidemic we uncovered in Kentucky can be considered the most far-reaching and egregious noncompliance with the Clean Water Act in the law’s entire 40-year history. It’s astonishing that the cabinet could have been so oblivious,” said Waterkeeper Alliance attorney Peter Harrison.”

Read more: Earth First!


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