One of the main environmental impacts of Marfork Coal Co.’s operations is polluted run off in to creeks. For the sludge dam, processing plant and refuse pile, there have been 84 combined drainage and sediment control violations. These include 16 black water discharges, 5 gray water discharges, at least one instance where debris slid directly into the stream, at least two instances where coal was deposited directly into a stream, 6 citation orders, 3 violations identified as negative patterns and 17 violations that elicited show cause orders. (All show cause orders were eventually terminated.)
There have been 4 instances where the inspector recorded that discharge affected the Whitesville water treatment plant. NPDES Outlet 001 was out of compliance 23 recorded times. This was usually due to suspended and settable solids levels being too high (but there were other issues, too).
There were 25 drainage violations issued between 9/09/94 and 10/30/96 (one violation a month). There were 53 drainage violations issued between 2/26/98 and 9/20/01 (over 1 violation a month).
Three different show cause orders have been issued: SC #991 and 992 for Marfork Processing (O302493) and SC #1044 for Brushy Fork (O301095).
Most drainage violations were relatively minor by themselves but because of the number and consistency the consequences became fairly serious (resulting in show cause orders, etc.). Two individual violations that stood out:
In addition to the drainage violations, there were three violations concerning the construction of the refuse pile (O300594) on 2/06/95, 6/09/95 and 11/28/95. The violation on 2/06/95 elicited a show cause order, which was withdrawn on 7/11/95.