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Black Warrior Riverkeeper sues Warrior Met Coal for alleged pollution

Black Warrior Riverkeeper has sued Warrior Met Coal in federal court for discharging polluted wastewater from Mine No. 7 at locations that have not been permitted.

The unpermitted discharges from Mine No. 7’s Slurry Impoundment No. 14 flow into an unnamed tributary that eventually feeds into Texas Creek, a tributary of Davis Creek, which flows into the Black Warrior River at Holt Lake in Tuscaloosa County. Black Warrior Riverkeeper filed the lawsuit over the coal mine’s failure to comply with the Clean Water Act and the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977.

“Texas Creek and Davis Creek are beautiful streams regularly enjoyed by locals and wildlife,” said Nelson Brooke, Black Warrior Riverkeeper. “Unpermitted coal mine wastewater is not welcome in these creeks, so we honor the 50th Anniversary of the Clean Water Act of 1972 by holding Warrior Met Coal accountable through the Act’s citizen lawsuit provisions.”

To address Mine No. 7’s violations and ongoing pollution, Black Warrior Riverkeeper is seeking a halt to the unpermitted discharges, and any other appropriate measures by the company to stop its violations of applicable environmental laws.

Warrior Met Coal is a metallurgical coal mining company which purchased several coal mines, including this underground mine, out of Walter Energy’s 2015 bankruptcy. United Mine Workers of America miners employed at Mine No. 7 have been off the job and waging a strike against the company for over a year due to disputes over wages and benefits they gave up to keep the mines open. Warrior Met Coal is currently working to open another massive underground coal mine, Blue Creek Energy Mine No. 1, on the northwest side of the Black Warrior River.