Coal Tattoo

Settling selenium: Deal struck in Massey/Alpha case

Environmental group lawyers appear to have reached another deal with a major coal industry player over selenium pollution by mining operations

Trial had been scheduled to start this morning in U.S. District Court in Huntington in case brought by the Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition against then-Massey Energy subsidiary Independence Coal.

But the trial was canceled and U.S. District Judge Robert C. Chambers entered an order today saying he “has been advised by counsel of the pending settlement of the remaining issues in this action.”

No additional details were provided — at least not yet — and the judge set a status conference for Aug. 22.

Word of this potential settlement comes a month after a previous deal was tentatively reached in a selenium case OVEC brought against Arch Coal Inc. operations, and in the wake of Judge Chambers ruling a year ago that ordered Patriot Coal to begin dealing with selenium problems at some of its Southern West Virginia operations.