As a Virginia mine continues to rack up environmental and safety problems, state regulators are proceeding with their strongest enforcement option — bond forfeiture. Based on the track record of related Justice family companies, the situation is not likely to improve.
The Virginia DMME held the first of three listening sessions to hear Southwest Virginians’ thoughts on how the state can support the region going forward as the coal tax credits expire. Residents can submit comments in person, by mail or online.
People living near a pair of Virginia mountaintop removal coal mines have long complained about blasting and dust. Now, the company’s bankruptcy makes it even harder for nearby residents to get relief.
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.
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.