- Associated Press - Friday, October 30, 2015

BIG STONE GAP, Va. (AP) - A coal company has agreed to conduct environmental cleanup projects in Southwest Virginia and pay penalties for pollution violations.

The Roanoke Times reports (https://bit.ly/1GP9F54) that under a proposed settlement that requires court approval, A&G; Coal would pay $252,000 to reclaim two long-dormant coal handling sites and convert a mining-sediment pond for public fishing. The company also would pay a $28,000 civil penalty to the federal government and $27,983 in legal fees to environmental groups that sued over the pollution.

U.S. District Judge James Jones found A&G; liable for releasing selenium without a permit in violation of the Clean Water Act. Selenium is a metal exposed during surface mining that in high concentrations harms aquatic life and can harm humans. The proposed consent decree would settle the issue of penalties.

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Information from: The Roanoke Times, https://www.roanoke.com

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