In Virginia, the Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy is seeking to enforce coal mine reclamation rules at two inactive surface mines in Wise County owned by the governor of West Virginia, Jim Justice. A&G Coal Company and Baden Reclamation Company have failed to meet mine reclamation deadlines, so regulators are seeking the company’s bond funds to put toward mine cleanup. A hearing was scheduled for Oct. 18.
On Aug. 24, the state of Kentucky asked a judge to levy a $2.99 million fine for Justice coal companies’ failure to abide by a 2014 agreement to reclaim mined land. The agreement holds Jim Justice and his son, Jay Justice, personally financially responsible, according to the Lexington Herald Leader.
Also in August, Justice announced that his companies had resolved their tax debts in West Virginia. But, according to reporting collaborative The Ohio Valley ReSource, Justice-owned coal companies still owe back taxes in Kentucky, Tennessee and Virginia. — By Molly Moore