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Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition v. Fola Coal Company, LLC.

Citation: 47 ELR 20004
No. 16-1024, (4th Cir., 01/04/2017)

The Fourth Circuit upheld a district court's ruling that a coal company's NPDES permit did not shield it from liability under the CWA because it did not comply with the terms of the permit. In March 2013, three environmental groups filed an action against a West Virginia coal company, alleging that the company discharged ions and sulfates in violation of two water quality standards in its permit. The coal company asserted that it disclosed the nature of its discharges to the state environmental agency, and that the agency set no specific limitations on ion discharges in its permit. The appellate court held that though there was no specific language concerning the water quality standards in the permit, the coal company had notice that the West Virginia NPDES water quality standards were enforceable, since the state brought suit to enforce the water quality standards at issue against its parent company in 2011.