State issues company fine for environmental permit violation near coal ash reuse site

RALEIGH

DEQ fined the company more than $4,800 based on state laws that allow penalties to be assessed for conducting land-disturbing activities without securing a required permit near the Brickhaven No. 2 Mine Tract “A” in Chatham County.

The total penalty includes investigative costs incurred by the N.C. Division of Energy, Mineral and Land Resources, or DEMLR, which oversees the construction stormwater permitting and compliance program.

State officials last month issued Green Meadow a notice of violation in response to construction activities on a rail spur access road in Chatham County near the open-pit clay mine, which is receiving coal ash as structural fill. The violation cited failure to obtain coverage under a NPDES stormwater general permit before beginning construction on the roadway. The stormwater permit is required when a construction project disturbs at least one acre of land.

During a Nov. 25 site inspection, DEMLR staff observed construction upgrades to an existing road. The upgrades were not contained in the existing erosion and sedimentation control plan approved by Chatham County or the existing construction stormwater permit related to the rail spur construction. The road is used only to transport earthen material from the rail spur construction. Today’s penalty is a follow-up to the notice of violation issued to Green Meadow Nov. 25.

DEMLR cited Green Meadow its first notice of violation in June due to clearing and grading that took place at the same rail spur construction project without a NPDES construction stormwater general permit.

Today’s civil penalty was issued to Green Meadow by DEMLR’s Land Quality Section Chief Toby Vinson. Under state law, Green Meadow has 30 days to respond to the fine by paying the penalty, filing a request for remission of the penalty to the N.C. Environmental Management Commission or appealing the penalty to the N.C. Office of Administrative Hearings. The penalty assessment document may be viewed online at: http://portal.ncdenr.org/c/document_library/get_file?p_l_id=1169848&folderId=996038&name=DLFE-120704.pdf.

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