The Black Warrior Riverkeeper filed a notice of an intent to sue Warrior Met Coal and MRC-FG, LLC in federal court Tuesday for allegedly discharging polluted wastewater into tributaries of the Black Warrior River.

According to a press release, the coming lawsuit is over discharges from Warrior Met's No. 7’s Mine. The Riverkeeper says the waste is flowing into an unnamed tributary that eventually feeds into Texas Creek, a tributary of Davis Creek, which flows into the Black Warrior River at Holt Lake in Tuscaloosa County.

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The release claims the coal mine is failing to comply with the Clean Water Act and the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977.

As the plaintiff in this case, the Black Warrior Riverkeeper seeks to halt the unpermitted discharges and take any other appropriate measure to stop these alleged violations of the environmental laws.

“Davis Creek is a beautiful, free-flowing stream frequented by locals for swimming, fishing, and enjoyment,” said Nelson Brooke, Black Warrior Riverkeeper. “Unpermitted underground coal mine wastewater is not welcome in this beloved creek, which is already being polluted by Mine No. 7’s permitted wastewater discharges. We honor the 50th Anniversary of the Clean Water Act of 1972 this year by holding polluters accountable through the Act’s citizen lawsuit provisions.”

Warrior Met Coal, a metallurgical coal mining company, purchased several coal mines out of Walter Energy’s 2015 bankruptcy, including Mine No. 7. Around 1,000 coal miners for Warrior Met have been on strike since last April over their wages, insurance coverage and more.

“Our objective in sending the notice letter today is to ensure that Mine No. 7 complies with the law, fixes their slurry impoundment and ends their unregulated discharges of pollutants to affected tributaries of the Black Warrior River,” said Eva Dillard, Staff Attorney for Black Warrior Riverkeeper.

For updates as they become available, stay connected to the Tuscaloosa Thread.

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