Alpha Natural Resources to pay over $160 million in EPA settlement

BRISTOO, Va. - Bristol-based Alpha Natural Resources says they will pay more than $160 million to improve wastewater treatment systems in five states. including Tennessee and Virginia, in a proposed settlement.

The agreement includes the largest fine ever for violations of water pollution permits.

The government says Alpha and dozens of subsidiaries violated water pollution limits in state-issued permits more than 6,000 times. Alpha will pay a $27.5 million fine and spend $160 million to reduce illegal toxic discharges into hundreds of waterways.

"Alpha has been in negotiations with the EPA, Department of Justice, and states involved, and we have negotiated in good faith with them because it's very important for us to reach this agreement and move forward," said Alpha spokesman Steve Higginbottom. "That will help us become compliant with that 100 percent when we exceed the limit."

The company has agreed to take measures to reduce discharges from 79 active coal mines and 25 processing plants in Virginia, Tennessee, Kentucky, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania.

We'll have more on this story coming up tonight on News 5 At 11:00.

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