“Selenium is an issue that many companies involved in coal mining must confront. This settlement by Patriot represents a strategic response to this challenging issue. It provides a comprehensive framework for Patriot to address selenium across our properties going forward,” said Patriot President and CEO Richard M. Whiting.

As a result of the negotiated settlement, the company has agreed to a comprehensive plan which provides for the necessary time and flexibility in the development, selection and implementation of emerging technologies to meet compliance deadlines in the future.

To resolve claims related to the consent decree, the company will pay $7.5 million in civil penalties, to be allocated between the federal government and the West Virginia Land Trust for land preservation projects within the Kanawha River and Guyandotte River watersheds.

The consent decree, which has been filed with the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia, is subject to a public comment period and must be approved by the court before it becomes effective.