EPA fines Usibelli coal mine $60,000 for CWA violations in Alaska

Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Energy

The U.S. Environmental Agency says Usibelli Coal Mine (UCM) in Alaska has agreed to pay a $60,000 penalty for violations against the Clean Water Act.

According to documents associated with the case, UCM had 11 unpermitted discharges into the Nenana River, Hoseanna Creek, Sanderson Creek, and Francis Creek between April 2007 and July 2010. During that time, they also had 10 violations of their discharge permit limits.

According to Edward Kowalski, Director of EPA’s Regional Office of Compliance and Enforcement, mining responsibly means paying attention and looking ahead to prevent future problems.

“Many of these discharges could have been minimized or avoided,” said EPA’s Kowalski. “By simply using and maintaining best management practices, we believe this penalty could have been avoided. Mining responsibly means making water quality protection a top priority.”

Sanderson Creek, Hoseanna Creek, Francis Creek, and nearby gravel ponds are all classified by the State of Alaska as suitable for use as water supply, water recreation, and growth and propagation of fish, shellfish, other aquatic life, and wildlife.

UCM has 30 days from the signature date to pay the fine and settle the case.

UCM is currently the only operational coal mine in Alaska, boasting an annual output of nearly 1.5 million tons. UCM supplies coal to six interior Alaskan power plants and exports to South Korea.



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