Friday, December 11, 2015

EPA reaches settlement with billionaire coal owner, the top candidate for W.Va. governor

The Environmental Protection Agency and the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection announced on Thursday a proposed settlement with companies owned by billionaire Southern Coal owner Jim Justice, Manuel QuiƱones reports for Environment & Energy News.

"The agencies accused Justice, the James C. Justice Cos. Inc. and High Mountain Living LLC, a construction company, of building earthen, stone and cement dams in a creek on Justice property. The deal, lodged in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia, calls for restoration, $220,000 from Justice and Justice Cos. and $125,000 from High Mountain Living."

Justice, who is running for governor in West Virginia, still owed $3.5 million in delinquent property taxes in Eastern Kentucky as of October. In 2014, Southern Coal faced 266 violations at coal mines in Kentucky, Tennessee, West Virginia, Virginia and Alabama. Despite those issues, a recent poll has Justice leading his Democratic primary opponent 48 percent to 25 percent and the Republican leader 44 percent to 32 percent, reports The Herald-Dispatch.

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