A coal company has pleaded guilty to criminal violations of the federal Clean Water Act involving wastewater spills into a southeast Ohio stream. It could cost the company more than $7 million.
The Ohio Valley Coal Company pleaded guilty Friday to the two misdemeanors in U.S. District Court in Columbus in a plea agreement with federal prosecutors. Court officials say the judge will review the agreement before deciding whether to accept it and the pleas. The agreement involves spills into Captina Creek in Belmont County in 2008 and 2010. The 2010 spill killed fish and animals. The Ohio company has spent $6 million on a stronger pipeline to prevent spills as part of the agreement. The agreement also requires more than $1 million in state and federal fines and restitution.