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Parent Company Says WV Lawsuit on Water Pollution Lacks Merit

The parent company for Mon Power says a federal lawsuit over arsenic discharges at its Albright power plant in Preston County is without merit.

Three environmental groups sued Ohio-based FirstEnergy in May over arsenic discharges into Cheat River tributaries from a coal-ash dump.

They claim the discharges exceeded permitted levels for five months last year.

The lawsuit asks a judge to fine the utility nearly $9.4 million for violations it contends are harming three trout and recreational streams.

FirstEnergy's Mark Durbin says the streams are on private property, so no one should be using them for boating, swimming or fishing.

He says FirstEnergy wants the state Department of Environmental Protection to change its permit, arguing it's too strict.

If it won't, FirstEnergy will build a pipeline to the river.

©2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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