CHARLESTON – Subsidiaries of the former Massey Energy made so much progress against water pollution that nature groups stopped resisting their agreement with federal regulators.

Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition, West Virginia Highlands Conservancy, and Sierra Club withdrew objections to a proposed consent decree on Sept. 13.

Two days later, former Massey subsidiary Arch Coal advised U.S. District Judge John Copenhaver that there was no impediment to a ruling on the decree.

Robert McLusky, of Jackson Kelly in Charleston, wrote that Arch Coal completed construction of a selenium treatment that the decree required.

He wrote that "the system is operational, and has been successful in treating selenium to levels compliant with the applicable permit requirements."

He wrote, "The lengthy and robust negotiations that led to the consent decree offer further assurance that the settlement is fair and reasonable."

On the same date, assistant U.S. attorney general Ignacia Moreno told Copenhaver that the record on the decree was complete.

He wrote that the decree was fair, adequate and reasonable.

West Virginia's environmental protection department and Kentucky's energy and environment cabinet endorsed the consent decree.

The decree would apply to Arch Coal, Coal Mac, Lone Mountain Processing, Cumberland River Coal and Mingo Logan Coal.

The former Massey subsidiaries belong to Alpha Natural Resources, which bought Massey earlier this year.

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