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Second lawsuit filed against Greene County coal operation

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Thursday, Jan. 3, 2013, 6:32 p.m.

A second citizens group has filed suit in U.S. District Court in Pittsburgh claiming that a Greene County coal operation is polluting water.

According to a lawsuit filed Wednesday, Citizens Coal Council, a Bridgeville-based grassroots group, said Emerald Coal has been illegally discharging mine wastewater and stormwater runoff from its Franklin longwall coal mine into creeks and tributaries of the South Fork Ten Mile and Whitely Creek watersheds since January 2008, violating the federal Clean Water Act.

The suit also names Alpha Natural Resources of Bristol, Va., the parent company of Emerald, and Foundation Coal Corporation of Maryland, which owned the mine until the company merged with Alpha in 2009.

On Monday, the Center for Coalfield Justice in Washington filed suit in federal court in Pittsburgh, saying that Emerald exceeded state and federal water pollution limits at least 400 times in the past five years.

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