WVDEP issues fines to Kanawha Eagle Prep Plant

Patriot Coal Corporation’s Kanawha Eagle Prep Plant will pay a total of $72,245 in penalties stemming from a Feb. 11 slurry spill at the facility near Winifrede, in Eastern Kanawha County.

Part of the penalty assessment falls under the West Virginia Water Pollution Control Act and Groundwater Protection Act and is included in a Consent Order issued by the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection’s Division of Mining and Reclamation. Other fines associated with the spill, separate from the Consent Order, were issued under the Surface Coal Mining and Reclamation Act.

A malfunction on a slurry pipeline at the Kanawha Eagle plant resulted in a company-estimated 108,000 gallons of slurry being released into Fields Creek, a tributary of the Kanawha River. The spill impacted roughly six miles of the stream.

The DEP issued an Imminent Harm Cessation Order following the spill. The Order halted all work at the prep plant, except for cleanup activities, until the company took measures to reduce the potential for further pollution.

On Feb.17, the DEP modified the Cessation Order to a Notice of Violation (NOV), which allowed Kanawha Eagle to begin testing new control measures it had put in place as a result of the spill. On Feb. 19, a second NOV was issued to Kanawha Eagle after snow melt resulted in a rapid rise in stream levels on Fields Creek. Silt, which had settled in the creek bed, was stirred up and caused discolored water to enter the Kanawha River.

As part of the Consent Order, Kanawha Eagle will pay $46,817 under the West Virginia Water Pollution Control Act and $3,815 under the state Groundwater Protection Act. Also under the Consent Order, Kanawha Eagle agrees to withdraw its request for an assessment conference on civil penalties issued under the Surface Coal Mining and Reclamation Act. Those penalties total $21,613 and stem from the issuance of the Imminent Harm Cessation Order and two NOVs.

To view Order click here


Tom Aluise

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