West Virginia Highlands Conservancy v. Coresco
Public Justice, the Sierra Club, and local environmental groups oppose the expansion of coal ash disposal sites in Monongalia County, W.Va., and have filed a citizen suit demanding responsible cleanup of pollution.
According to a report commissioned by Public Justice, coal combusion waste and acid mine drainage have seriously harmed aquatic life and ecosystems in a local stream, Crafts Run, which spans multiple miles and discharges into the Monongahela River. Self-monitoring data by Coresco LLC — the company that owns and runs the disposal sites adjacent to Crafts Run — showed that violations of state criteria have occured for dissolved aluminum, iron and pH, all indicators of AMD pollution.
Coresco’s existing disposal sites were permitted and defined by the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection to accept CCW (commonly called "coal ash"), but Coresco asked the WVDEP to allow it to expand its disposal operations within the Crafts Run watershed.
Public Justice and co-counsel sent a letter in October 2011 with its intent to sue after 60 days if Coresco did not address the pollution. In February 2012, after more than 60 days had passed, Public Justice filed an official complaint for declaratory and injunctive relief against Coresco in West Virginia district court.
In August 2012, Public Justice successfully beat back Coresco’s motion to dismiss.