In related news, Patriot Coal confirmed the Federal District Court in Huntington, W.Va., recently issued rulings with respect to pending selenium lawsuits brought by various environmental constituencies against the company’s Apogee and Hobet subsidiaries.

Pursuant to the court order, Apogee was found in contempt for failing to comply with a consent decree issued in March 2009 requiring compliance with selenium limits in certain mining permits. Apogee was ordered, among other things, to install a biological-based fluidized bed reactor system to treat selenium discharges at certain affected outfalls and to come into compliance with applicable selenium discharge limits by March 1, 2013. Separately, Hobet was ordered by the court to submit a treatment plan by October 1, 2010, and to come into compliance with applicable selenium discharge limits under its Hobet 22 permit by May 1, 2013.