Science & Environment

DOJ Sues Jim Justice’s Coal Operation Over $5 Million In Unpaid Fines

The Justice Department filed a lawsuit on Tuesday towards the coal empire of West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice over $5 million in unpaid fines associated to health, security and environmental violations.

The civil action names as defendants 13 of the Justice household coal companies ― primarily based in West Virginia, Virginia, Delaware and Tennessee ― and the governor’s son, James Justice III.

“Defendants have been cited for over 130 violations and have failed to pay over $5 million in civil penalties assessed by the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement,” the 128-page lawsuit states, including that the Justice household companies additionally owe greater than $190,000 in charges associated to deserted mine lands.

The billionaire Republican governor, who simply launched a marketing campaign for the Senate seat held by conservative Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin in West Virginia, didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.

The civil penalties assessed by the Department of the Interior concern violations from 2018 to 2022. They embody a failure to make sure the seismic stability of a dam, illegal discharges outdoors the allow space, a failure to stabilize floor areas to manage erosion and a failure to make sure revegetation is suitable with the area’s pure environment.

Justice’s coal empire has been cited for quite a few different security violations. In 2020, a ProPublica investigation discovered that over the previous three many years, his firms had been tied up in additional than 600 lawsuits and paid $128 million in judgments and settlements.

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