HomePoliticsDOJ sues Jim Justice coal operation for $5 million in unpaid fines

DOJ sues Jim Justice coal operation for $5 million in unpaid fines

The Justice Department filed a lawsuit Tuesday against the West Virginia governor’s coal empire. jim justice more than $5 million in unpaid fines related to health, safety and environmental violations.

He civil action names as defendants 13 of the Justice family’s coal businesses, based in West Virginia, Virginia, Delaware and Tennessee, and the governor’s son, James Justice III.

“Defendants have been cited for more than 130 violations and have failed to pay more than $5 million in civil penalties assessed by the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement,” the 128-page lawsuit states, adding that the Justice family companies also owe more than $190,000 in fees related to abandoned mining land.

The billionaire Republican governor, who just launched a campaign for the Senate seat held by conservative Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin in West Virginia, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The civil penalties assessed by the Department of the Interior refer to violations from 2018 to 2022. They include failure to ensure the seismic stability of a dam, illegal discharges outside the permit area, failure to stabilize surfaces to control erosion, and failure to ensure that revegetation be compatible with the natural environment of the region.

Justice’s coal empire has been cited for numerous other security breaches. In 2020, a ProPublica Investigation found that over the past three decades, his companies had been involved in more than 600 lawsuits and had paid out $128 million in judgments and settlements.

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