A group of coal companies owned by a massive India conglomerate ran illegal surface mines in eastern Kentucky that polluted waterways, according to lawsuit filed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The EPA is alleging that mountaintop removal mines in three counties dumped pollutants into tributaries of the Levisa Fork River in 2005 and 2007.

The mines were run by Trinity Coal Corp. and its subsidiaries, based in Scott Depot, W.Va. Trinity has been owned since 2010 by Mumbai-based Essar Group, which owns coal reserves around the world and has business interests in 25 countries.

Its Essar Minerals division is named as a defendant in the lawsuit filed Wednesday in Pikeville federal court.

An email message sent to a spokesman for Essar in England was not returned on Thursday. A phone message left for Trinity Coal vice president Eric Calvert was also not returned.

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