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DEPARTMENT ENVIRONMENTAL RESOURCES v. LEECHBURG MINING COMPANY (05/22/73)

decided: May 22, 1973.

DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL RESOURCES
v.
LEECHBURG MINING COMPANY



Original jurisdiction in case of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Environmental Resources, v. Leechburg Mining Company.

COUNSEL

Robert F. Shostak, Special Assistant Attorney General, with him Thomas M. Burke, Elissa A. Parker and Patrick G. McGinley, for plaintiff.

Harold R. Schmidt, with him Henry Ingram, Lawrence A. Demase, Philip C. Wolf, Rose, Schmidt and Dixon, Carroll F. Purdy, Jr., Metzger, Hafer, Keefer, Thomas and Wood, and, of counsel, Alexander J. Barron, for defendant.

President Judge Bowman and Judges Crumlish, Jr., Kramer, Wilkinson, Jr., Mencer, Rogers and Blatt. Opinion by President Judge Bowman.

Author: Bowman

[ 9 Pa. Commw. Page 298]

A multiplicity of administrative and judicial remedies afforded to the Department of Environmental Resources (DER) in enforcement of the numerous environmental statutes of the Commonwealth underlies the issues in this case. It is presently before us on defendant's preliminary objections to a complaint in equity.

[ 9 Pa. Commw. Page 299]

On April 24, 1972, DER issued an order against Leechburg Mining Company requiring it to take certain steps to bring its coal mining operation in compliance with various provisions of The Clean Streams Law, the Coal Refuse Disposal Control Act and the Pennsylvania Solid Waste Management Act,*fn1 concerning the collection and treatment of runoff from a coal refuse disposal area and making operable its mine water treatment facility. Leechburg was also directed to apply to DER for a permit to operate such a disposal area and a treatment facility pursuant to applicable provisions of the statutes cited.

From this order Leechburg appealed to the Environmental Hearing Board.*fn2 On July 10, 1972, by agreement of the parties, the Board entered a Partial Consent Adjudication which expanded upon and modified certain provisions of the departmental order in question. In addition to agreeing to comply with the aforementioned acts with respect to the violations charged to it by the DER order, Leechburg also agreed to take certain steps to bring its operation in compliance with the Air Pollution Control Act.*fn3

Specifically the Partial Consent Adjudication directs the defendant: (a) to place its treatment facilities into full operation so that effluent capable of treatment

[ 9 Pa. Commw. Page 300]

    meets Department standards; (b) to construct ditches to divert surface water away from its refuse disposal area and collect runoff which could not be diverted; (c) to submit to the DER a preliminary report with regard to the collection and treatment of all discharges of industrial waste from its coal refuse disposal area and the prevention of air pollution from its coal refuse disposal area; (d) to submit a complete and formal application for a Bureau of Water Quality Management Permit for the operation, collection and treatment of those discharges from its coal refuse disposal area that it is required by law to treat; (e) to deposit all current coal refuse on the disposal area permitted under its Coal Refuse Disposal Permit and in compliance with the requirements of the Coal Refuse Disposal Act; and (f) to apply to the DER for a Solid Waste Management Act Permit on or before September 30, 1972, or advise the Board that it would not apply, at which time a hearing would be held before the Board on whether or not such a permit could be required. In each case, a time in which compliance is to be achieved is specified in the Partial Consent Adjudication.

No appeal has been taken from the Board's Partial Consent Adjudication, and no further proceedings have been sought or conducted by the Board ...


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