Coal Tattoo

AP: Slurry deal to cost Alpha/Massey $40 million

Shayne Fields, 19, left, and Kayla Farley, 18, both of Williamson, W.Va., drop off bottles filled with well water from their home they say was contaminated with coal slurry by Massey Energy and subsidiary Rawl Sales & Processing, prior to court hearing Monday, Nov. 15, 2010, in Charleston, W.Va. (AP Photo/Jeff Gentner)

Here’s the latest from Vicki Smith at The Associated Press:

Massey Energy Co. has offered $35 million to settle a lawsuit with hundreds of southern West Virginia residents who say the company poisoned their drinking water with coal slurry.

The settlement proposed last month is confidential, but The Associated Press obtained a letter sent to the plaintiffs that lays out some details.

It says the $35 million is in addition to $5 million that Massey and a subsidiary, Rawl Sales & Processing, had previously agreed to put into a medical monitoring fund.

Massey is now owned by Virginia-based Alpha Natural Resources, which didn’t immediately comment Monday.

The letter doesn’t say how much the lawyers are seeking. The attorneys refused comment, citing a court-imposed gag order.

A hearing on the settlement and its distribution is set for Sept. 29 in Charleston.