Ox Paperboard to pay US$104,850 to settle alleged water pollution violations at its facility in Halltown, West Virginia; company to also invest estimated US$564,500 in a new treatment system, pay US$50,000 to fund Shenandoah River watershed project

CHARLESTON, West Virginia , January 16, 2012 () – More than a dozen companies have agreed to pay civil penalties totaling more than half a million dollars to settle the state Department of Environmental Protection's allegations of environmental violations.

The proposed settlements also include one state agency, the Department of Transportation, the Charleston Daily Mail (http://bit.ly/wWwUaG ) reported.

The state Department of Environmental Protection is seeking public comment on each proposed settlement.

Caiman Energy would pay the largest civil penalty, $223,948, to settle the DEP's allegations that contractors violated water quality laws in February 2011 while laying a pipeline in Wetzel County. Caiman also agreed to bring its operations in compliance.

Ox Paperboard agreed to pay a $104,850 civil penalty to settle alleged water pollution violations at its facility in Halltown in Jefferson County. The company also would install a treatment system and another system within 10 months of the consent decree's effective date, at a total estimated cost of $564,500.

Ox Paperboard also would pay $50,000 to fund an environmental project within the Shenandoah River watershed.

The other companies agreed to pay penalties ranging from $37,780 to $2,010. Allegations include wastewater discharge violations and failing to reapply for permits.

The Department of Transportation would pay $7,230 to settle allegations that it failed to properly seed and stabilize areas at a road construction site in McDowell County.

None of the companies or the DOT admitted any wrongdoing in the proposed settlements.

The settlements are available online at http://www.dep.wv.gov/pio/Pages/default.aspx . Deadlines for public comment vary with each proposed settlement.

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