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Community groups and Justice company reach settlement over Virginia mines

Jim Justice
Steve Helber
/
AP
Jim Justice has been the governor of West Virginia since 2017. Photo taken in 2016.

Three environmental groups have signed an agreement with a coal company that’s owned by the family of West Virginia Governor Jim Justice.

Southern Appalachian Mountain Stewards, Appalachian Voices and the Sierra Club sued A&G Coal Corporation and the Justice Group last year, accusing them of being slow to complete reclamation on three mines in Virginia.

A&G had already been under a reclamation agreement with the Virginia Department of Energy, but environmental groups said the company had dragged its feet in completing the work. Under the court settlement signed Thursday, A&G agreed to finish reclamation by 2025.

Several investigations by NPR over the years have revealed that companies owned by Justice’s family owe millions of dollars in mine safety penalties. Justice has been the governor of West Virginia since 2017.

Roxy Todd is Radio IQ's New River Valley Bureau Chief.