Blackjewel ordered to clean up Kentucky mine site

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Bankrupt coal company Blackjewel has been ordered by a federal judge to clean up a Kentucky mine site.

In a bankruptcy court ruling issued Wednesday, Judge Benjamin Kahn said the Bell County site presented a potential threat and ordered Blackjewel to excavate and treat coal mining ponds until the company is allowed to abandon them, the Courier Journal reported.

The state had argued the mine presented an imminent danger, which the judge rejected. Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet inspectors found coal mining ponds this year that were overfull, contained high levels of iron and manganese and could breach at any time. Officials argued that threatened drinking water, a state highway, a railroad and the environment.

Scott Kane, a lawyer for Blackjewel, said the company was working to mitigate the problem.