PIKEVILLE, Ky. (AP) - The nation's chief mine safety agency has
gone to court to try to compel a Kentucky coal company to pay
fines, the fifth such lawsuit in a little more than a year, federal
officials announced Wednesday.
The federal Mine Safety and Health Administration is suing
Little Ty Coal Co., which operates three underground coal mines in
eastern Kentucky, for not paying $145,432 in penalties on citations
issued between September 2004 and March 2007.
"We hope this legal action will compel Little Ty Coal Co. Inc.
to pay its debt and end its practice of ignoring monetary
penalties," MSHA director Richard E. Stickler said in a statement.
Calls to Little Ty Coal offices in Pike and Floyd counties on
Wednesday went unanswered.
Since February 2006, MSHA has filed five federal lawsuits in
federal district court in a new approach to hold mine operators
accountable for penalties.
The first lawsuit was filed against Stanley Osborne, head of
Misty Mountain Mining and Midgard Mining LLC in Pike County, who
failed to pay more than $200,000 in fines since the 1980s,
according to court documents.
On Tuesday, Osborne agreed to post a $20,000 bond to ensure
payment of future fines. The agreement with MSHA awaits approval
from a federal judge.
On the Net:
U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration at www.msha.gov
(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)