Tag: water pollution

Judge in Historic Ruling Says Drummond Violating Clean Water Act Because of Ongoing Discharge From Closed Mine

The acid coal mine drainage at Maxine Mine on the Locust Fork is ugly, with discordant orange, yellow, red and purple hues that contrast with verdant spring growth on adjacent riverbanks and bluffs.

Nearby residents of this Black Warrior River tributary in north Jefferson County, close to the community of Praco on Flat Top Road, call the abandoned mine “a mess,” a place devoid of fish and most other aquatic life and given a wide berth by boaters and swimmers. It’s where algae blooms proliferate in a slough rife with sediment washing from the mountain of mine waste that has accumulated since the early 1950s.

And it’s a site that made Alabama history May 7 when a federal judge ruled that its owner, Drummond Company, was in violation of the U.S. Clean Water Act for continuously polluting the Locust Fork with acid drainage. In a suit brought by nonprofit Black Warrior Riverkeeper, U.S. District Judge Abdul Kallon issued a summary judgment against Drummond, dismissing the coal company’s assertion that the law does not apply to pollution from waste after mine operations ended.

It was the first time the federal act was used to successfully sue the owner of an abandoned mine for polluting an Alabama waterway. Read more.

The River ‘Flows Through My Veins:’ Voices From the Locust Fork Tributary of the Black Warrior River

Funding to Make Abandoned Coal Mines Safer Could Disappear Soon

The River ‘Flows Through My Veins:’ Voices From the Locust Fork Tributary of the Black Warrior River

People who live on the Locust Fork near the Maxine mine say runoff from that long-closed site has ruined their boating and fishing, endangered their livelihoods and damaged their enjoyment of their homes.

Its for those people and many others who visit the river that the mine site needs to be cleaned up, said Black Warrior Riverkeeper staff attorney Eva Dillard.

“People live along the Locust Fork, they know about this site and worry about it every time they boat or fish on the river. They have to think about what that site generates and puts into the river, how it might affect their lives and their property values.”

In court documents, several people living along or near the Locust Fork registered objections to the pollution of the river from Maxine Mine. Here are some of their comments. Read more.

Judge in Historic Ruling Says Drummond Violating Clean Water Act Because of Ongoing Discharge From Closed Mine

Funding to Make Abandoned Coal Mines Safer Could Disappear Soon