- Associated Press - Thursday, September 11, 2014

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) — Longview Power has asked a bankruptcy judge to allow it to settle a lawsuit alleging pollution violations by two subsidiaries.

The lawsuit alleges that pollution discharges by Longview subsidiaries Coresco and Mepco exceeded their permits, and that other pollutants were discharged without a required National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit.

The Sierra Club and the West Virginia Highlands Conservancy filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Clarksburg in 2012. The lawsuit was put on hold after Longview filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware in 2013.

While the companies deny the allegations, resolving the lawsuit would allow them to avoid costly litigation and potentially significant administrative liabilities if they were to lose the case, Longview said in a motion filed last week in bankruptcy court.

“The Court should authorize the Debtors to enter into the Consent Decree because the Consent Decree is in the best interests of these chapter 11 estates and the Debtors’ stakeholders, and is clearly within the reasonable range of potential outcomes,” the motion states.

Under the proposed consent decree, Coresco and Mepco would construct equipment to collect flows at two discharge sites and divert the flows to a water treatment plant. Longview would pay for treating discharges over a six-year period. The estimated cost would be $770,000 initially and $170,000 annually, the company’s motion said.

The Dominion Post (http://bit.ly/1rMmcID ) first reported Longview’s filing.

Longview operates a 700-megawatt coal-fired power plant in Maidsville. Mepco and Coresco own several coal mining and processing facilities in the region.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Brendan L. Shannon on Tuesday scheduled a Sept. 22 hearing on the settlement motion and set a Sept. 15 deadline for parties to file objections.

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Information from: The Dominion Post, http://www.dominionpost.com

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