CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - Abingdon, Virginia-based coal producer
Alpha Natural Resources has agreed to pay $750,000 to settle 300
water pollution cases with the West Virginia Department of
The blanket agreement covers Clean Water Act violations by 11
subsidiaries. Separate deals for each subsidiary are subject to
30-day comment periods before becoming final.
Alpha says its philosophy calls for 100 percent compliance with
all government regulations.
The settlement follows a high-profile lawsuit accusing Richmond,
Virginia-based coal producer Massey Energy of thousands of water
pollution violations in West Virginia and Kentucky. The lawsuit and
a subsequent 20 million-dollar settlement shocked the industry.
West Virginia Coal Association President Bill Raney figures the
Massey situation and other lawsuits brought by environmental groups
are likely to prompt more coal companies to settle with the state.
DEP Deputy Secretary Randy Huffman won't say whether the agency
is negotiating settlements with other mine operators.