Sonoco, a global packaging corporation, has been fined $230,000 for operating an unapproved coal ash dump near its headquarters in eastern South Carolina.
The State of Columbia (http://bit.ly/1DFaoEI ) reports that the state fine is one of the heaviest issued by the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control during the past decade.
The department says Sonoco illegally piled up waste coal ash outside its business in Hartsville, about 70 miles northeast of Columbia.
Coal ash contains an array of toxins that can make water unsafe to drink if the materials leak out of disposal areas.
Sonoco spokesman Roger Schrum says said his company will pay the fine and begin a $3 million cleanup. He says Sonoco hasn't found evidence that the coal pile polluted groundwater or streams nearby.