Patriot Coal bankruptcy

Kudzu grows near a coal preparation plant in eastern Kentucky.
Jeff Young / Ohio Valley ReSource

The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection Thursday filed a lawsuit against coal operator ERP Environmental Fund, Inc. alleging the company has racked up hundreds of violations, laid off employees, and walked away from its mining operations, leaving environmental obligations unfulfilled. 

According to documents filed with the Kanawha Circuit Court on March 26, ERP holds more than 100 permits at numerous mine sites across West Virginia. With the exception of one permit, all were acquired in 2015 from Patriot Coal Corporation during the company’s second bankruptcy. 

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On West Virginia Morning, Dave Mistich talks with Daniel Flatley, a Wheeling native and Columbia University graduate student, about his thesis “Patriot Coal: An American Bankruptcy” and Benny Becker reports from Pikeville, Kentucky where white supremacists are planning a march amid counter demonstrations.  

That’s on West Virginia Morning from West Virginia Public Broadcasting – telling West Virginia’s story.

Steve Helber / AP Photo

Would you go into a dangerous profession if you were assured that you and your dependents would have healthcare and pension for life? For thousands of West Virginia coal miners, the answer to that question was yes.

“When we all started in the mines, we were promised healthcare for life – cradle to grave,” said Roger Merriman. He’s referring to a deal struck between the United Mine Workers of America and the federal government in 1946. Union miners who put in 20 or more years were promised lifelong health benefits.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On West Virginia Morning, retired miners are worried about their pension and health benefits and are relying on Congress to help them and we’ll go to a summer camp for visually impaired children. 

These stories on West Virginia Morning from West Virginia Public Broadcasting – telling West Virginia’s story.

Kara Lofton / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Jennings Harrison worked in a coal mine for 36 years, over which time he accumulated back problems, neck problems, carpal tunnel in his wrist and precancerous nodules on his lungs.

Marshall Health Patriot Coal
WCHSTV

  The former corporate headquarters of Patriot Coal in Scott Depot has been sold.

Marshall Health expects to start converting the three-story office building into medical offices this summer. Marshall Health is the faculty practice plan of Marshall University's medical school.

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Former Patriot Coal workers have begun applying for jobs with Blackhawk Mining.

Lexington, Kentucky-based Blackhawk will take over six of Patriot's mining complexes in West Virginia later this week. Blackhawk was the winning bidder for the majority of Patriot's assets.

A federal bankruptcy judge plans to approve the sale of West Virginia-based Patriot Coal's assets.

A federal website says a hearing could be held in Richmond on Friday if parties in the case don't agree on language in the judge's confirmation order.

Coal Stock Pile
www.mine-engineer.com

Bankrupt Patriot Coal says it is proceeding with a partial sale to Blackhawk Mining LLC after an auction.

In a news release Tuesday, Patriot says Lexington, Kentucky-based Blackhawk Mining won an auction Monday for a substantial amount of Patriot's assets.

gavel
wikimedia / Wikimedia

A bankruptcy judge says Patriot Coal can sell its remaining assets at auction.

The Wall Street Journal reports that U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Keith Phillips said on Monday at a hearing in Richmond that he would sign off on Patriot holding an auction on Sept. 9. The bidding would be led off by the Virginia Conservation Legacy Fund.

West Virginia environmental regulators say Patriot Coal's bankruptcy plan would leave the company with no assets to cover hundreds of millions of dollars in mine pollution cleanup.

In a Monday filing in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Virginia, attorneys for the Department of Environmental Protection wrote that Patriot's plan would expose people to public health and safety risks.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On West Virginia Morning, a settlement between a gas company and the Public Service Commission might lead to lower gas bills for customers.  Also, the United Mine Workers union has filed an objection to Patriot Coal’s bankruptcy plan with includes large bonuses for executives.  These stories on West Virginia Morning from West Virginia Public Radio news – telling West Virginia’s story.

Rachel Lippman / St. Louis Public Radio

The United Mine Workers of America has reached a settlement with Peabody Energy and Patriot Coal that will help to cover health care benefits for retired miners.

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