Mine Owners to Pay $200M

Jeff Gentner / AP Photo

Alpha Natural Resources, the owners of the Upper Big Branch Mine in West Virginia, have reportedly agreed to pay $200 million in fines, restitution, and mine-safety enforcements relating to a 2010 explosion. Federal prosecutors are expected to announce the deal Tuesday morning. The “global settlement” will cover civil penalties for Performance Coal Company, the operators of the mine, but the deal does not resolve any potential criminal violations. The April 2010 explosion was the worst U.S. mining disaster in nearly 40 years, and nearly 350 violations were brought up against Massey Energy, the company that owned the mine then but has since been bought out by Alpha Natural Resources. Tuesday’s settlement does not rule out future criminal charges brought against Massey executives.