West Virginia judges OK coal slurry pollution settlement

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) - A $35 million settlement between Massey Energy and some 600 southern West Virginia residents who say the mining company poisoned their wells with coal slurry finally has court approval.

Ohio County Circuit Judge James Mazzone signed an order
Wednesday declaring the deal "fair, just and reasonable." He
headed a three-judge panel that had planned to try the case.

Massey and its Rawl Sales & Processing subsidiary admit no
wrongdoing under the deal.

The July settlement was supposed to be confidential but The
Associated Press obtained a letter to the plaintiffs and reported
its contents.

The letter said Massey had offered $35 million in addition to
the $5 million it had previously agreed to put into a fund to cover
medical testing.

Massey is now owned by Virginia-based Alpha Natural Resources.

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