So much for the fossil fuel industry's self-reporting credibility:
The Charleston Gazette reports that an employee of a state-certified company pleaded guilty to conspiracy to violate the Clean Water Act after he faked compliant water quality samples for coal companies between 2008 and 2013.
John W. Shelton, who worked as a technician and then a field supervisor for Appalachian Labs Inc., a Beckley, W.Va., firm, admitted to diluting water samples taken from mine pollution discharge points with clean water, among other unlawful measures taken, to ensure pollution levels were in compliance with permitted limits. Prosecutors say Appalachian Labs conducts water sampling at more than 100 mine sites in West Virginia, but for now it’s unclear what mine sites or coal companies could be implicated in the case.
Which might shed some light on why Duke Energy's water samples almost always show lower levels of toxins than DWQ and third-party samples. And you're right, I'm repeating myself. Because I have absolutely no faith in relying on industry to report the truth of their own pollution, and any elected official who does have faith in that is either an idiot or a partner in crime.