Curtis Tate Published

EPA Proposes Settlement In Guyandotte Watershed Pollution Lawsuit

A man with a goatee, wearing a jacket and tie, speaks in a large space with marble walls and dim light.
EPA Region 3 Administrator Adam Ortiz.
Troy Rankin / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The U.S Environmental Protection Agency has proposed a settlement to a federal lawsuit over water pollution from coal mining.

The EPA’s proposed consent decree would settle a lawsuit filed this month by environmental groups in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia.

It establishes total daily maximum loads for ionic toxicity in the lower Guyandotte watershed.

Ionic toxicity, dissolved mineral salts that result from surface mining, can impair aquatic life.

The West Virginia Rivers Coalition, the West Virginia Highlands Conservancy and the Sierra club filed the lawsuit on March 18. It named Adam Ortiz, the EPA Region 3 Administrator, as a defendant.

The proposed settlement was published in the Federal Register on Friday. The public has until April 29 to submit comments.