Coal Company Reorganization Draws Federal Opposition

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) – Patriot Coal’s latest reorganization is drawing opposition from the federal government, regulators in four states, environmentalists and others ahead of a bankruptcy court hearing on whether it should be approved.

Opponents say in motions filed this week that the plan is not feasible and contains provisions that violate bankruptcy law. A hearing on the plan is set for Monday in U.S. Bankruptcy in Richmond, Virginia.

The federal government and regulators in Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia questioned how the company’s environmental obligations will be fulfilled. They also criticized as overly broad provisions that would release future owners or operators from obligations, liabilities and causes of action.

Patriot filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on May 12. Blackhawk Mining won an auction for a majority of Patriot’s assets.