Kentucky officials say billionaire paying mining fines

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky officials say a billionaire West Virginia coal operator is making progress in addressing dozens of environmental violations at strip mines he owns in this state.

The Courier-Journal reports (http://cjky.it/1KE08Lo ) Jim Justice’s companies still have 79 environmental violations pending against them, but that’s down from 129 nearly a year ago.

Kentucky Natural Resources Commissioner Steve Hohmann says the effort by the Justice companies "seems to be sufficient to meet terms of the agreed order."

The order required Justice to pay $1.5 million in penalties and post additional bonds and put up his personal assets to guarantee land reclamations at mining sites in eight counties.

Last month, Justice announced that he is seeking Democratic nomination for governor in West Virginia.

 

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