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“Environmental Groups To Sue State Over W.Va. Coal Fund”

“CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Environmental groups announced Monday that they plan to sue the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection over what they say is the agency’s failure to adhere to federal reporting requirements for a coal mine reclamation fund.

The West Virginia Highlands Conservancy, Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition and the Sierra Club filed a notice of a pending lawsuit. The groups said in a news release that the DEP failed to notify the U.S. Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement if significant funding or budget changes were to affect the enforcement and administration of the special reclamation fund.

Money from the reclamation fund is used to complete mine reclamation when the amount of bonds that are forfeited by companies are less than the actual cost of reclamation. Most of the funding for the special reclamation fund comes from a tax of 27.9 cents on each ton of clean coal mined in the state.”

John Raby reports for the Associated Press May 11, 2020.