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Matt Mead

Feds: Wyoming in violation with Alpha coal bonding deal

The federal government has raised the stakes in Alpha Natural Resources' bankruptcy reorganization by finding that Wyoming regulators failed to require adequate environmental bonding for the coal company's two open-pit mines in the Powder River Basin.

Last year, Gov. Matt Mead praised an environmental bonding agreement between Alpha Natural Resources and the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality, saying it would help keep the mines open and ensure availability of at least some cleanup money in case either of the company's coal mines in the Powder River Basin closed.

Environmental bonding sets aside money for cleanup costs in advance so mines don't become ongoing...

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