Appalachian Mountain Advocates is representing a coalition of conservation groups in legal action to hold the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection accountable for cleaning up abandoned coal mine sites.
In two separate lawsuits, Appalmad alleges that West Virginia is violating the federal Clean Water Act by allowing illegal discharges of toxic pollutants leaching from former coal mines in Barbour, Nicholas, and Preston counties. Each of these sites was owned by a coal mining company that went out of business before it cleaned up the environmental disaster left behind by its mining activities. Under these circumstances, West Virginia becomes responsible for finishing the cleanup, including managing any water pollution coming from the site. The groups are trying to use the legal process to hold the state responsible for cleaning up the harmful water pollution still draining from these sites long after the mines have been shuttered.
These polluted waters include Morgan Run, Cheat River, Muddy Creek, Sandy Creek, Tygart River, Maple Run, Kane Creek and Monongahela River.
Appalmad is representing the West Virginia Highlands Conservancy, West Virginia Rivers Coalition and Sierra Club in this action.