Lawsuit claims coal pollutes Mississippi River

This Feb. 18, 2014, aerial photo from a flight provided by southwings.org shows the United Bulk Terminals in Devant, La., Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2014. Three environmental groups claim in a federal lawsuit that the coal terminal, south of New Orleans, is polluting the Mississippi River. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert) Show caption
This Feb. 18, 2014, aerial photo from a flight provided by southwings.org shows the United Bulk Terminals in Devant, La., Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2014. Three environmental groups claim in a federal lawsuit that the coal terminal, south of New Orleans, is polluting the Mississippi River. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Three environmental groups claim in a federal lawsuit that a coal terminal south of New Orleans is polluting the Mississippi River.

The lawsuit against United Bulk Terminals alleges coal and petroleum coke fall daily from its conveyor belts at Davant (duh-VAHNT), falling both in the river and on its bank.

United Bulk said Tuesday it puts substantial time and money into complying with air and water permits.

The groups charge it is ignoring state law, which requires immediate cleanup of spilled materials.

The groups seek fines against United Bulk under the federal Clean Water Act and orders for it to clean the river and river bank.

The United Bulk facility is one of the nation’s two largest coal transport terminals, according to the Plaquemines (PLAK-uh-minz) Port, Harbor and Terminal District.