From the Logan Banner of Logan, WV, in a story dated May 22, 1925, comes this bit of history about pollution in the Guyandotte River:
Making Hard Drive To Remove Pollution From Guyan River
Game Protector L.A. Anderson, of Pineville, Wyoming county, under the supervision of the game and fish commission of West Virginia, arranged a number of parties before a local justice of the peace at Mullens, W.Va., the other day on charges of violation of the law against the pollution of streams.
It seems that a restaurant keeper, a tailor, a barber shop, a pool room, all of Mullens, had been guilty of throwing trash boxes and papers and refuse from the restaurant into the Guyan river at that point, but the chief point of interest to the coal industry was the arrest of the Gulf Smokeless Coal Company, operating at Wyco, a point above Mullens, on the Guyan river. At this operation a very modern plant for the cleaning of coal by the screen and air method has been installed and the particular charge against this coal company, which is one that affects the entire industry in Wyoming county, was that they were discharging coal laden water from the mines into the Guyan river.
Both Major W.P. Tams, Jr., president of the Gulf Smokeless Coal Company, and Superintendent Lynch were present at the trial of the case and paid the small nominal fine imposed, explaining to the court that at no time in the past had they been advised that they were violating any provision of the fish and game laws, and moreover, were not aware that they were doing so.
Officer Anderson also swore out a warrant against the Virginian Railway Company for polluting the water at Elmore, W.Va. by throwing cinders from shops and yards. By agreement of both parties the trial of this case was set forward a few days.
The final outcome of these cases will be watched with interest by the coal industry in Wyoming county. If the officials of that county are to construe the law as prohibiting the draining water from the mines in that section into the waters of the Guyan river, then the further development of that country should cease. It would be extremely difficult to interest capital in any form to invest in the mining business, which at best is beset with many difficulties, if it is made practically impossible to effect the drainage of the properties.