Bankrupt Coal Company’s Mess Could Cost Kentucky Millions To Fix

“PIKEVILLE — Bankrupt coal companies Blackjewel LLC and Revelation Energy have failed to make progress on scores of environmental obligations and might leave Kentucky taxpayers on the hook for tens of millions of dollars in reclamation costs, state officials contended during a bankruptcy hearing this week.

Filings in federal bankruptcy court show that Blackjewel’s violations alone account for 30 percent of all outstanding non-compliance notices sent by the Kentucky Department of Natural Resources as of Dec. 31. The state warned the court that the company has made little or no progress in addressing those violations.

In addition, bonds posted by the company to cover reclamation costs may be woefully inadequate. Kentucky has had longstanding problems with coal companies posting inadequate bonds to cover reclamation.”

Will Wright reports for the Lexington Herald-Leader January 23, 2020.