Environmental groups sue over WV coal reclamation fund

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Environmental groups are suing the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection over what they say is the agency’s failure to heed federal reporting requirements for a coal mine reclamation fund.

The groups say the DEP failed to notify the federal government if significant funding or budget changes were to affect the enforcement and administration of the special reclamation fund. In March the DEP sued a company that ceased operations after acquiring mining permits from Patriot Coal’s bankruptcy.

The environmental groups are seeking to force the state to address what it calls the dramatically underfunded program. Most money for the fund comes from a tax on mined coal.

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