US coal companies fined over water pollution

Two US coal companies and 66 of their subsidiaries have been fined $27.5 million (£16 million) in civil penalties for violating permit agreements under the Clean Water Act. Alpha Natural Resources and Alpha Appalachian Holdings will also spend $200 million on a comprehensive upgrade of water processing systems at 79 mines and 25 processing plants.

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) provided evidence in the case against Alpha, claiming that the company and its subsidiaries allowed water containing excessive levels of pollutants including iron, aluminium, manganese, selenium, total suspended solids, as well as pH and salinity well outside acceptable ranges, into rivers and streams in several US states.

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