December 31, 2012

Center for Coalfield Justice Files Suit to Stop Years of Illegal Discharges from Emerald Mine

December 31, 2012


Contact:           Patrick Grenter 412-889-8787 cell

                        Joanne Kilgour 412-965-9973 cell


(Washington, PA) – The Center for Coalfield Justice filed suit today in federal court against a large coal mine operation that has been illegally discharging pollutants into streams across Greene County, Pennsylvania.  Emerald Coal Resources, the operators of the Emerald Mine #1 longwall mine in Waynesburg, Pennsylvania, will be forced to account for hundreds of violations of the Clean Water Act over the past five years.  This suit is being filed after providing 60 days notice as required under federal law.

“We extended an offer to Emerald to discuss ways to amicably resolve this matter during the 60 day period, but they chose not to respond,” said Patrick Grenter, Executive Director of the Center for Coalfield Justice. “We cannot and will not sit idly by while our rivers are continuously polluted. We have waited long enough for Emerald to stop illegally polluting our rivers and streams and now these ongoing violations must come to a stop.”

The illegal discharges listed in this notice include high levels of heavy metals, which have a detrimental effect on human health and the environment, including our native fish and birds. “These violations have been ongoing for years while Greene County residents and ecosystems have suffered,” said Joanne Kilgour, Legal Director of CCJ. “Emerald must show that they are capable of responsibly following the terms of their permits.”

The suit, filed in the Western District of Pennsylvania federal court in Pittsburgh, is seeking injunctive relief requiring Emerald to remediate the environmental damage resulting from its illegal discharges, civil penalties for each violation and the costs of this action.

The full legal filing can be downloaded at

The Center for Coalfield Justice is a Pennsylvania-incorporated, not-for-profit organization with federal Internal Revenue Service §501(c)(3)-status recognition located at 184 S. Main Street, Washington, PA 15301. CCJ is a membership organization, with a mission to “improve policy and regulations for the oversight of fossil fuel extraction and use; to educate, empower and organize coalfield citizens; and to protect public and environmental health.” CCJ consists of individual members and is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors.

The Center for Coalfield Justice is being represented in this matter by the Earthrise Law Center of Lewis & Clark Law School. More information on Earthrise is available at