HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (AP) - Five environmental groups said Tuesday
they want to join a federal government lawsuit that accuses
Richmond, Va.-based Massey Energy Co. of violating the Clean Water
Act thousands of times during the past six years.
"It's important that we join it to sort of play a watchdog role
in the case, make certain that it goes according to the law," said
Joe Lovett from the Appalachian Center for the Economy & the
Environment. "The statute gives us the right to do that."
Also seeking to join are Washington, D.C.-based Earthjustice,
the Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition, Coal River Mountain Watch
and the West Virginia Highlands Conservancy.
Massey maintains the lawsuit, which was filed on behalf of the
Environmental Protection Agency, inflates the number of alleged
violations. The company also has disputed estimates that it faces
$2.4 billion in fines. Instead, Massey has said any fines should
not hurt its finances.
Massey, the nation's fourth-largest coal company by revenue,
operates 19 mining complexes in Virginia, West Virginia and
(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)