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TREVORTON ANTHRACITE COMPANY v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (04/18/79)

decided: April 18, 1979.

TREVORTON ANTHRACITE COMPANY, PETITIONER
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL RESOURCES, RESPONDENT



Appeal from the Order of the Environmental Hearing Board in case of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Environmental Resources v. Trevorton Anthracite Company, Docket No. 76-116-CP-W.

COUNSEL

Sanford S. Marateck, with him Frank J. Konopka, and Lark, Makowski, Marateck & Konopka, for appellant.

John P. Krill, Jr., Assistant Attorney General, for appellee.

Judges Rogers, Blatt and DiSalle, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge DiSalle.

Author: Disalle

[ 42 Pa. Commw. Page 85]

Trevorton Anthracite Company (Trevorton) has appealed an order of the Environmental Hearing Board (Board) which assessed civil penalties on Trevorton for three violations of The Clean Streams Law (Law), Act of June 22, 1937, P.L. 1987, as amended, 35 P.S. § 691.1 et seq.

Trevorton owns and operates an anthracite coal washery. On November 27, 1963, the Department of Health issued an industrial waste permit to Trevorton for the construction and operation of waste treatment facilities. The purpose of these facilities was

[ 42 Pa. Commw. Page 86]

    to collect water used in the washery in a sump and then pump it into a large settling basin or slush pond so that suspended solids could settle out of the water prior to its discharge into a stream.*fn1

To effectuate this purpose, Trevorton constructed a large settling lagoon or silt dam approximately eight acres in size. Three overflow weir boxes*fn2 were constructed in the berm of the settling lagoon to permit the gradual decanting of treated water into the stream. These boxes were expressly designed to minimize the discharge of suspended solids.*fn3

In the course of continuous usage, two of the three overflow weir boxes became blocked. To overcome this blockage, Trevorton, in June of 1974, installed a four inch overflow pipe near the location of one of the boxes. Trevorton admits that from the date of installation until December 10, 1975, the pipe was opened a maximum of seven times. On February 25, 1975, and again on December 9, 1975, a representative of the Department of Environmental Resources (Department) observed the overflow pipe in use. Thereafter, the Department filed a complaint against Trevorton seeking assessment of civil penalties for various violations of the Law. The Board found that Trevorton violated Sections 307 and 308 of the Law,

[ 42 Pa. Commw. Page 8735]

P.S. §§ 691.307 and 691.308,*fn4 and imposed penalties totaling ...


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