Associated Press Published

W.Va. Officials: Water Regulations Hard to Enforce


West Virginia environmental officials say the state lacks a strong program to deter falsification of coal company water samples.

The Charleston Gazette reports that Department of Environmental Protection officials made that observation Thursday at a regulatory board hearing. The state Environmental Quality Board did not rule on an appeal by Appalachian Laboratories Inc., which lost its Clean Water Act certification after an employee pleaded guilty to falsifying water quality samples.

DEP laboratory auditor Tommy Smith said the agency doesn’t conduct field inspections to determine if water quality samplers are acting appropriately, which makes the sort of misconduct that took place in the Appalachian case hard to detect.

Scott Mandirola, director of DEP’s Division of Water and Waste Management, acknowledged that regulations should be modified.