Coal company agrees to fix environmental violations, clears way for Kentucky mine production

Published 5:53 am Sunday, April 4, 2021

A coal company in Kentucky has agreed to pay more than $200,000 in penalties and fix environmental violations, clearing the way for production at an Appalachian mine.

American Resources Corp. said recently it had begun shipping coal from the Perry County mine, which operates under a subsidiary called Perry County Resources.

The company had been blocked from operating on the permit because of the outstanding citations that had been pending more than two years in some cases, the Lexington Herald-Leader reported.

The citations charged a range of violations, including not reclaiming land as required, failing to clean out ponds designed to keep sediment out of streams and allowing polluted water to drain from mines.

The company declined comment on how many employees it has at the mine, but said in a release it ultimately will have more than 170 workers when it builds production to a target of 1 million to 1.5 million tons a year.

The mine had 13 employees in the fourth quarter of 2020, according to the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration. The MSHA database lists no coal production from the mine in 2020, when it was idled during the coronavirus pandemic, and 179,266 tons in 2019, the newspaper reported.