Federal officials have reached a settlement requiring $5 million in upgrades to prevent further pollution by Appalachian coal mines owned by West Virginia gubernatorial candidate Jim Justice.
The Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Justice announced the settlement with Southern Coal Corporation and 26 affiliates Friday.
A news release says the settlement resolves allegations of Clean Water Act violations from Alabama, Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia mines.
Southern Coal must use an EPA-approved environmental management system, undergo internal and independent environmental compliance auditing, incorporate training, implement data tracking and evaluation measures, and pay escalating penalties for future violations.
The company faces a $900,000 civil penalty and must produce a $4.5 million letter of credit and trust to ensure work is completed.
Justice is the Democratic gubernatorial nominee.