29 Jul Coal Company owned by Jim Justice liable for Pollution Violations
A federal judge has ruled Bluestone Coal Corporation owned by the family of West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice accountable for discharging selenium at the Red Fox Surface Mine in McDowell County many times at levels above its permitted allowances from July 2018 to March 2020.
Selenium is a chemical element found in coal that accumulates in the body and has been linked to growth deformities and reproductive failure in fish.
The lawsuit was brought by four environmental groups — the Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition, West Virginia Highlands Conservancy, Appalachian Voices and the Sierra Club — under the citizen suit provision of the Clean Water Act.
Environmental groups are seeking additional penalties for the selenium pollution. In previous court filings, the groups estimate the maximum civil penalty under the Clean Water Act for Bluestone’s violations could top $160 million.
Richard Ojeda on this crisis:
“McDowell County, West Virginia built this country. At one time that county had over 100,000 citizens and produced the coal that built and heated this nation. This county has also sent more men and women to the military per capita than any other county. Currently, they are facing a SERIOUS water problem. The pump in Gary supports around 440 families. Because the opponent of Jim Justice and a few other democratic candidates have delivered water to that area our governor has decided to do nothing except tell the rest of the state that “Political Hoopla” is taking place. Well, you Republican politicians all over the state can deliver water there too. Ed Evans doesn’t care where the water comes from. All he wants is to make sure that it gets there. You ran for governor so do your job and help this community! You are a billionaire!!! Fly a damn new pump in immediately and fix the situation. Every other real leader that I know would do just that. DO YOUR JOB!!!”