West Virginia Record

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Wolf Run Mining agrees to pay $40,000 to settle lawsuit with WVDEP


By Kyla Asbury | Sep 5, 2019

PHILIPPI — A consent decree was filed in a lawsuit filed by West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection-Division of Water and Waste Management Acting Director Harold D. Ward alleging Wolf Run Mining's testing measures were not up to water-quality standards.

The consent decree states that Wolf Run will pay a civil penalty in the amount of $40,000. It also states that Wolf Run will continue to send status reports quarterly to WVDEP.

"This Consent Decree resolves the civil claims of WVDEP for such violations as were or could have been alleged in the Complaint through the Effective Date of this Decree, including, but not limited to, violations of any provisions of the WPCA and/or SCMRA that were or could have been alleged by WVDEP," the consent decree states.

Previously, Wolf Creek filed an answer in the case, denying the allegations from WVDEP's complaint.

Wolf Run argued the plaintiff failed to state a claim and denied its employees were negligent. Wolf Run also argued the plaintiff failed to mitigate its damages.

The defendant asked for the complaint to be dismissed with prejudice.

The water management department claimed that the testing measures taken by Wolf Run were not up to the water-quality standards required. Ward filed a complaint in Barbour Circuit Court.

According to the complaint, Wolf Run Mining sought to secure and was issued permits for surface mining, but the results of its samplings were not in compliance with the requirements of the permit.

The defendant is accused of failing to meet statutory and regulatory requirements.

The plaintiff was seeking all reasonable sums due, attorney fees and court costs. It is represented by Jason Wandling of the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection in Charleston.

Wolf Run was represented by David A. Mohler of Bowles Rice.

Barbour Circuit Court case number 19-C-2

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