Virginia regulators, a surety insurance company, and two coal companies are playing hot potato with 22 of bankrupt Blackjewel’s coal permits — and none of them want to be left with the responsibility of reclaiming the sites.
Satellite photos taken years apart reveal that little reclamation has taken place at several Virginia mines owned by the family of billionaire West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice.
Mining companies owned by West Virginia Governor Jim Justice and his family have chronically violated environmental standards and failed to pay fines and fees. Virginia regulators recently issued notices of mine permit revocation and bond forfeiture for two of the family’s companies.
Virginia regulators initiated bond forfeiture at two coal mines owned by the family of West Virginia Governor Jim Justice. The regulators cited failure to pay penalties and chronic environmental and public safety violations.
With industry projections trending downwards, questions continue about whether the mine reclamation system can handle ongoing bankruptcies.
As Appalachia’s coal industry continues to decline, the scale of the damage it has cas becomes even more apparent.
An unreclaimed coal mine has sent mud and debris onto a neighboring property. The mine is one of five Virginia permits owned by bankrupt Revelation Energy and Blackjewel that are now facing bond forfeiture, which means the state or the mines’ insurance companies could take over the cleanup.
Two coal company bankruptcies in July resulted in retroactively withdrawn paychecks from coal miners and an unclear future for roughly 13,000 acres of unreclaimed mine land.