West Virginia's environmental authority has filed an objection to the proposed $500 million sale of Alpha Natural Resources' assets to a hedge fund, arguing that the deal could leave the state holding hundreds of millions in reclamation liabilities.
The Register-Herald reports that the Department of Environmental Protection filed the objection this week over concerns that a bankruptcy judge's approval of the proposed sale would tilt the process in favor of the hedge fund and institutional investors by having the coal company's major assets be sold off to Alpha's senior lenders.
The state says West Virginia would be forced to accept costly concessions or risk liquidation.
The DEP says the Bristol, Virginia-based company had an obligation of $237 million, as of last month. It filed for bankruptcy protection in August.