The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection on Tuesday issued a Cessation Order to Argus Energy for its failure to properly maintain a water treatment system at a mine site in Lincoln County.
A recently constructed treatment pond by Argus on the site malfunctioned, allowing deoxygenated water to enter into Copley Trace Branch in Lincoln County. As a result, a fish kill was reported Tuesday along approximately one-quarter of a mile of the receiving stream. The WVDEP is still assessing the extent of the fish kill.
Argus is under a December 2011 Consent Order entered by the Circuit Court of Mingo County to treat selenium at the site.
Under conditions of the Cessation Order, Argus is required to repair its treatment system. Argus is expected to have the system repaired within 72 hours. Until the system is working properly, the WVDEP has required Argus to bypass the malfunctioning treatment pond. The bypass is not expected to have a negative effect on water quality.
On Monday, the WVDEP issued a Notice of Violation to Argus for the release of black water into Copley Trace Branch. The Cessation Order was issued after the fish kill was discovered.
Argus Energy is a subsidiary of Booth Energy, based in Debord, Ky.