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Judge Rules Citizen Lawsuit Can Proceed Against WV Gov’s Coal Companies

“A federal judge has denied a request by coal companies owned by the family of West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice to dismiss a lawsuit over selenium violations at a southern West Virginia coal mine.

The Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition, West Virginia Highlands Conservancy, Appalachian Voices and the Sierra Club in sued Bluestone Coal Corporation in August 2019, using the citizen lawsuit provision of the Clean Water Act.

The groups alleged that the Justice companies were discharging selenium at the Red Fox Surface Mine in McDowell County at levels that violated federal mining permits. Selenium, a chemical element found in coal that bioaccumulates, has been linked to growth deformities and reproductive failure in fish.”

Brittany Patterson reports for West Virginia Public Broadcasting June 3, 2020.