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Judge orders bankrupt Blackjewel to cleanup Kentucky coal mine

A federal judge on Wednesday ordered bankrupt coal company Blackjewel to clean up a Kentucky mine site but rejected the commonwealth’s argument it presented an imminent danger to nearby residents and the environment.

Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet inspectors earlier this year found the Bell County mine had coal mining ponds that were overfull, contained high levels of iron and manganese and could breach at any time. 

That threatened to affect drinking water in the surrounding community of Stoney Fork and damage a downstream state highway, railroad and the environment, state inspectors and attorneys argued in an emergency court hearing Wednesday.

Bankruptcy Court Judge Benjamin Kahn issued the ruling even though he said the state showed potential, but not imminent, threat.  And he stopped short of ordering more expansive work Kentucky environmental officials sought.

Read More: Judge orders bankrupt Blackjewel to cleanup Kentucky coal mine

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