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Power company to pay penalty

West Penn Power owes $610,000

West Penn Power will pay a $610,000 penalty under a settlement to resolve water discharge violations at two coal ash impoundment landfills in southwestern Pennsylvania, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection announced Wednesday.

According to the settlement, West Penn Power exceeded boron limits in discharges from the Mingo Landfill in Union Township, Washington County, and Springdale Landfill in Frazer Township, Allegheny County.

Along with the penalty, the consent decree with EPA and DEP requires West Penn Power to construct new gravity pipelines to new outfall locations in a new receiving waters for each landfill. The Mingo pipeline will discharge into Peters Creek and the Springdale pipeline will discharge into the Allegheny River. West Penn will also be required to collect data on instream boron levels in Peters Creek.

The settlement addresses alleged violations of the federal Clean Water Act and Pennsylvania Clean Streams Law that threaten to degrade receiving streams, affect public health and harm aquatic life, according to the EPA.

“This settlement reaffirms that compliance with the Clean Water Act is an ongoing obligation for all industrial polluters who must ensure that their operations do not cause harm to public health and our nation's waterways,” said EPA Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator Adam Ortiz.

The DEP assisted the EPA in the investigation and litigation and is a co-plaintiff. Penalty funds will be distributed evenly between the United States and the DEP.