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Judge Agrees to Settlement Between Coal Company, Kentucky for Water Pollution Violations

A Circuit Court judge hassigned the settlementthat a coal company, the commonwealth and environmental groups agreedto last week. The provisions of the settlementare the same as what WFPL reported last month, based on a status report submitted by the Kentucky Department for Environmental Protection. ICG will pay $575,000 in civil penalties, which it can choose to have directed toward supplemental environmental programs that benefit water quality in eastern Kentucky. The company also has to implement a corrective action plan, to ensure that similar violations don’t happen again. ICG’s mine discharges will also be subjected to third party monitoring, to ensure the company is submitting accurate data to the state. All the terms still have to be approved by the judge.Judge Phillip Shepherd also set a date for a pre-trial conference for another aspect of the case that hasn't been tied up yet. The settlement is with coal company ICG, but Frasure Creek Mining has also allegedly falsified the water pollution reports it submitted to the cabinet. But the company is having financial problems, and DEP Commissioner Bruce Scott has said the cabinet's priority is getting Frasure Creek to reclaim their Kentucky mining sites, before they levy a civil penalty.

Erica Peterson is WFPL's Director of News and Programming.