coal mines

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  A new coal mine in McLean County is another step closer to reality after approval was given for two parts of the project on Sept. 25.

A member of the McLean County Board of Adjustment, Nancy Wetzel, said the board approved a conditional use permit for coal washing operations and the refuse pile for the Poplar Grove Mine.

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Kentucky lawmakers have agreed to loosen inspection requirements for underground coal mines. The Kentucky Senate gave final approval to House Bill 384 on Tuesday. 

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A multi-state coal company is shutting down their last active mine in Kentucky. 

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Kentucky regulators are looking for proposals to spur economic development on Appalachia’s abandoned surface mines.

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A bill that would eliminate state inspections of Kentucky coal mines is headed to the full senate. The measure was heard Wednesday in the Senate Natural Resources Committee.

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Local mining operations are being recognized for their reclamation and safety practices by the state and the Kentucky Coal Association.  

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  Kentucky’s coal industry has recorded another dismal quarter, where both coal jobs and production have declined across the state.

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  A federal judge in Colorado has ruled the federal government should have taken the indirect environmental effects of expanding the Colowyo and Trapper coal mines into account before issuing a permit. These “indirect effects” include the environmental toll of burning the coal in power plants. But because of differences in the way western and eastern coal mines are regulated, it’s hard to say what effect, if any, this ruling could have on Appalachian mines.

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An Alliance coal mine in Hopkins County is set to close in early 2016 as the Elk Creek site runs out of coal. But Madisonville-Hopkins County Economic Development Corporation President Gerald Cook says it’s likely the closure won’t have a big impact on the community.

Among the mining executives that NPR investigated, one coal mine owner in West Virginia stands out. His mines owe nearly $2 million in overdue fines, while he, himself, is a prominent billionaire.

Jim Justice is West Virginia's richest man, with a net worth of $1.6 billion, according to Forbes. He owns 70 active mines employing 1,200 miners in five states. In addition to running his businesses, he has invested or given away more than $200 million in the last five years.

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