- Associated Press - Thursday, May 7, 2015

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - The Corridor H highway project has yielded about $74,000 in West Virginia environmental fines for water pollution violations.

In a consent order signed Wednesday by the West Virginia Department of Transportation, the state Department of Environmental Protection levied the fines for pollution in Beaver Creek. The order says the violations stemmed from sections of the Corridor H project near Davis in Tucker County.

The project exceeded its limits on releasing iron into waterways 30 times from mid-2013 through 2014, the order states.

In April 2014, a DEP investigation found that a sediment basin on the project had failed and released muddy water and sediment into tributaries and the creek. DEP noted several instances of sediment and discolored water because of the project.

DEP says it issued a similar order in January 2014 that carried a $54,500 fine.

Earlier this week, local leaders held an event to push the state to finish long-awaited Corridor H by 2020 using a public-private partnership to finance the work.

Business, community and economic development officials urged Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin and the Department of Transportation to implement the plan.

Recent estimates of federal funding allocations indicate Corridor H will be completed by 2036. Corridor H Authority chair Robbie Morris says that’s too far in the future.

Corridor H is the only section of the Appalachian Corridor system that hasn’t been finished. When it is completed, it will connect Interstate 79 near Weston with the junction of Interstates 81 and 66 in Front Royal, Virginia.

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