In 2004, Yukon Pocahontas Coal Co., Buchanan Coal Co. and Sayers Pocahontas Coal Co. sued CONSOL for what they alleged was the polluting of their coal interests with mine water from CONSOL Energy’s Buchanan mine. On March 3, 2010, according to the company’s most recent quarterly report, a trial court in Virginia delivered an opinion granting partial summary judgment in favor of Yukon, holding that CONSOL had no legal right to dump or store water from its Buchanan mine into other mines where Yukon has coal and gas interests.
CONSOL said it disagreed with the court’s decision. The Yukon parties were asking that CONSOL not be allowed to store its wastewater in those areas and wanted the court to compel the company to clean the properties where it had already been storing the water. A trial was scheduled for June 1, 2010, the same date CONSOL announced the settlement.
The agreement stipulates that CONSOL will pay the plaintiffs $25 million in damages, $30 million to buy some of their coal interests, and $20 million in advance royalty payments on properties CONSOL currently leases from the plaintiffs around the Buchanan mine.