Federal Judge Rules Coal Company Involved in the Unlawful Pollution of West Virginia Waters
On Thursday, April 28th 2014, a federal judge ruled that a West Virginia based coal company had allowed toxic levels of selenium to seep into a local water source from one of their nearby coal waste ponds. Selenium is a by-product of mountain top coal mining. It can sometimes be found in drinking water but usually at much lower levels. The unlawful level of pollution of the naturally-flowing waters here in West Virginia was not only a direct violation of the pollution permits issued to the company by the state, but it was also a violation of state laws regarding water quality. Although the stream where the coal waste and selenium was dumped is designated as a source of drinking water, it is apparently a source of water and food for local wildlife and vegetation.
Reports from the EPA have shown that when individuals drink water contaminated by high levels of selenium they may begin to experience hair loss, nail damage, nausea, itching, numbness and various problems with circulation. Consuming fish from toxic water supplies can also cause serious illness in humans and in worst case scenarios, death.
West Virginia residents are no stranger to this type of pollution. Earlier this year, more than 300,000 residents across nine different counties had their water supply tainted when 10,000 gallons of a chemical used in coal production spilled into the Elk River. These residents were left having to fend for themselves without a clean source of water for many weeks. Some residents are still reluctant to drink the water coming out of their tap for fear it is contaminated.
If you are a West Virginia resident who believes your illness or injury was caused by water pollution from mountain top mining or hydraulic fracturing (fracking), you may have grounds to pursue legal action. The lawyers at our firm are steadfast advocates for victims' rights. We do not believe the victim of an accident caused by another person's negligent behavior should be forced to pay for his or her own accident-related expenses. Those responsible for your injuries need to be held liable for their actions.
Our commitment to seeing justice served has helped us obtain some of the largest verdicts and settlements in West Virginia. If you would like to discuss a potential toxic exposure or contamination case with us, please call a West Virginia personal injury lawyer at Fitzsimmons Law Firm PLLC today.