WASHINGTON, March 5 Alpha Natural Resources Inc.
, one of the largest U.S. coal companies, and dozens of
subsidiaries have reached a consent decree to settle a complaint
about pollution from coal mines, federal authorities said on
The U.S. Department of Justice and Environmental Protection
Agency said Alpha has agreed to spend about $200 million
to install and operate wastewater treatment systems and to
implement comprehensive upgrades to reduce the level of
pollution discharged by mines in Kentucky, Pennsylvania,
Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia.
Overall, the settlement covers about 79 active mines and 25
processing plants in these five states.
The EPA said the upgrades will sharply reduce the level of
dissolved solids and cut metals and other pollutants by
approximately 9 million pounds per year.
The companies also will pay a civil penalty of $27.5 million
for thousands of permit violations - the largest penalty in
history under Section 402 of the Clean Water Act.
(Reporting by Ros Krasny; Editing by Bill Trott)