CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A federal judge signed off on a settlement Wednesday between a coal company controlled by Gov. Jim Justice’s family and environmental groups under which the company must comply with selenium discharge limits and pay $270,000 to the West Virginia Land Trust.
The approval from Senior U.S. District Judge David Faber in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia comes two months after the Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition, the West Virginia Highlands Conservancy, Appalachian Voices and the Sierra Club filed the agreement with Bluestone Coal Corp., which in turn came four months after Faber found the company liable for selenium pollution discharged into waters near the Red Fox Surface Mine in McDowell County.
The agreement requires Bluestone to provide the Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition, the West Virginia Highlands Conservancy, Appalachian Voices and the Sierra Club with quarterly progress reports monitoring pollutant discharge permit compliance. Bluestone also is required to pay a $30,000 civil penalty to the U.S. Treasury and pay $270,000 to the West Virginia Land Trust, a statewide conservationist nonprofit, to help fund development of a new water trail along the Tug River.
The company also must comply with selenium effluent limits at an outlet that has been out of compliance within 12 months of the agreement’s approval…
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