Wastewater Law Enforcement: Alabama Department of Environmental Management and Brookwood Coal Processing Facility Reach Consent Order | Mitchell, Williams, Selig, Gates & Woodyard, PLLC


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The Alabama Department of Environmental Management (“ADEM”) and MRC-FG, LLC (“MRC”) entered into a November 15 Consent Order (“CO”) to address violations of a National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (“NPDES”) under the Clean Water Act. ”) Permit. See Consent Order No. XX-XXX-CWP.

The OC anticipates that MRC will operate a coal processing facility known as the No. 7 Mine Preparation Plant (“Plant”) in Brookwood, Alabama.

ADEM reportedly issued an NPDES permit to the MRC on February 24. This permit set limits on the discharge of pollutants from certain point sources to unnamed tributaries of Davis Creek.

Inspections at the Plant by ADEM staff were carried out on April 17 and May 6.

ADEM reportedly observed dark matter in the discharge from a certain outlet resulting in a cloudy appearance with substantial contrast to background conditions in an unnamed tributary of Texas and Davis creeks, which are classified as suitable for fish and fish. wildlife in violation of certain provisions of the ADEM Administrative Code and the NPDES permit Condition II.D.4.a.

A sample of a discharge from an outfall during the April 27 inspection was collected. Such an analysis is said to indicate an exceedance of a total suspended solids value. In addition, the discharge monitoring reports (“DRM”) submitted by the MRC for the monitoring periods of May and June are shown to show two cases where the total suspended solids concentrations reported exceeded the maximum daily limit specified in the license.

ADEM reportedly received a remediation plan (“Plan”) prepared in response to a notice of violation from the Alabama Surface Mining Commission on May 10. The plan provides the results of an investigation to identify the cause of the violations, the results of the monitoring of the watercourses and the measures taken to remedy the effects of the discharges and prevent their recurrence. ADEM would have received weekly progress reports.

MRC does not admit or deny the statements contained in the CO. In addition, an annex to the CO indicates that while MRC is the NPDES license holder, another entity (Warrior Met Coal Mining, LLC) maintains and manages the outlets associated with the NPDES license. in partnership with the MRC. It further specifies:

Due to the events leading up to these violations, Warrior Met Coal Mining, LLC will assume responsibility for any penalties associated with this consent order.

The commanding officer imposes a civil fine of $ 25,011. In addition, the MRC is required to continue to submit reports associated with its progress towards compliance with an existing plan, and to submit certification by a professional engineer in Alabama indicating compliance with all CO requirements.

A copy of the CO can be downloaded here.


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