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Kentucky Officials Worry Bankrupt Mines May Abandon Cleanup

Sydney Boles
Ohio Valley ReSource

Kentucky officials are concerned that two bankrupt coal companies could abandon their environmental obligations. 

Officials said in a hearing this week in West Virginia that Blackjewel LLC and Revelation Energy might leave taxpayers with a bill for millions in mine reclamation costs. The Lexington Herald-Leader reports that Blackjewel's violations account for about 30 percent of the total outstanding noncompliance notices in Kentucky.

Blackjewel made national headlines last year when it laid off hundreds of miners and didn't pay them for past work. Blackjewel has said it has sold, or is planning to sell, many of the permits that require reclamation work.

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