CHARLESTON – The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection has reached a second settlement agreement with Alpha Natural Resources to guarantee the reclamation of former mining sites in the state.
The $15 million settlement agreement was announced Tuesday. It was reached after the DEP filed a lawsuit against Alpha concerning a $100 million error in the company’s plan to emerge from bankruptcy.
Under this new settlement, the DEP agreed to drop the lawsuit. Alpha agreed to put its headquarters building up as collateral to secure the reclamation projects.
Contura who purchased the majority of Alpha’s assets, will guarantee Alpha’s obligations up to $4.5 million and post a $4 million letter of credit.
“Once again, DEP’s bankruptcy strategy has helped to ensure that our state’s interests are protected,” said WVDEP Secretary Randy Huffman in a released statement. “The settlement provides the state with significant additional bonding and other security to ensure that reclamation will be done. It also helps to ensure that Alpha will remain a viable operating company with sufficient resources to perform required land reclamation and water treatment.”
Alpha CEO David Stetson said in a press release that the company was pleased that the DEP concerns had been addressed.
Under the first settlement, which was announced in June, Alpha has posted bonds and other collateral totaling nearly $140 million with respect to its remaining mining sites in the state. The new settlement resolves the suit.
The settlement is still subject to approval by bankruptcy court.