Home Energy and Environment Virginia-Based Coal Company Fined $27.5 Million for Illegal Toxic Waste Discharges

Virginia-Based Coal Company Fined $27.5 Million for Illegal Toxic Waste Discharges


Couldn’t have happened to a worse company.

One of the nation’s largest coal producers [Alpha Natural Resources] will pay a $27.5 million fine and is set to spend $200 million to reduce illegal toxic discharges into waterways across five Appalachian states.


The government says the company and its subsidiaries violated water pollution limits in state-issued permits more than 6,000 times between 2006 and 2013.

The government says they discharged heavy metals harmful to fish and other wildlife directly into rivers and streams.

OK, so I think it’s obvious that Alpha Natural Resources – headquartered in Abingdon, Virginia –  is a horrible company. It’s also a highly lucrative one, with plenty of money to throw at Virginia politicians in order to buy our legislature. How much money are we talking about? According to VPAP, Alpha has given a whopping $2,522,084 to Virginia politicians since 2003, of which 74% went to Republicans and 20% to Democrats. Among Alpha’s favorite Virginia politicians are some of the “worst of the worst” when it comes to the environment and clean energy — Ken Cuccinelli ($102,500), Jerry and Terry Kilgore (nearly $280,000 combined), Bill Howell ($55,000), etc. On the Democratic side, top recipients of Alpha’s dirty money include Phil Puckett ($87,500), Dick Saslaw ($53,500), and the Terry McAuliffe Inaugural Committee ($25,000). I urge everyone to donate Alpha’s money to Southern Appalachian Mountain Stewards or similar groups fighting to protect the environment from corrupt polluters like Alpha.

There's no paywall on Blue Virginia, and we definitely want to keep it that way! If you want to help support our work, you can donate here - thanks! Also, you can sign up for our weekly email list here.