Compliance Support and Environmental Management System Support to Comply with a Consent Decree
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U. S. based Arch Coal (Arch) is one of the world's largest coal producers and marketers, with 134 million tons of coal sold in 2014. Arch’s core business is supplying cleaner-burning, low-sulfur thermal and metallurgical coal to power generators and steel manufacturers on five continents.

Arch maintains mining complexes across every major U.S. coal supply basin and represents over 13% of America’s coal supply from active mining complexes in Wyoming, Colorado, Illinois, West Virginia, Kentucky, Virginia, and Maryland. Arch entered into a Consent Decree with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA), U.S. Department of Justice, and three states regarding claims under the Clean Water Act. The Consent Decree resolves a complaint by the US EPA and state agencies alleging that mining operations in Kentucky, Virginia, and West Virginia exceeded certain water discharge permit limits. As part of the Consent Decree, Arch agreed to implement a compliancefocused Environmental Management System (EMS), and retained Geosyntec to serve as the Consent Decreemandated EMS Consultant and to support Arch with development and implementation of its EMS.

Geosyntec’s Scope of Services

Geosyntec has provided a full suite of environmental management system services to Arch – from Consent Decree regulatory liaison to development, implementation, maintenance, and auditing of its compliance-focused environmental management system. Geosyntec has also helped Arch expand the EMS to all of its operations. We have provided corporate-wide and operations-specific compliance support, including Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) applicability determination and reporting, Spill Prevention Control and Countermeasures (SPCC) plan development and training, and waste management support. Additionally, we developed an Environmental Management Information System to collect sustainability data necessary for Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) reporting.

Notable Accomplishments

Geosyntec helped Arch avoid stipulated penalties by meeting its Consent Decree deadlines. In addition, we have helped Arch greatly reduce surface water permit exceedances through implementation of EMS procedures. Lastly, we have helped increase Arch’s organizational compliance and management systems knowledge and helped them realize the many benefits and efficiencies of standardized management systems methods, processes, and practices.

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Project Summary

  • Location: St. Louis, Missouri
  • Client: Arch Coal
  • Project Practice Areas: Environmental Management
  • Type of Facility: Coal mining
  • Services Provided: Integrated environmental management, system development, implementation, maintenance, and auditing, Compliance Support – Toxic Release, Inventory Applicability Determination and, Reporting, Spill Prevention Control and
    Countermeasures Planning, Sustainability – Environmental Management, Information System Development
  • Type of Work: Environmental management system support
  • Governing Regulation: Federal regulations