According to Reuters, the agency said in a court filing earlier this month with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court that selling off core assets, including what it called Alpha’s “crown jewels,” could keep it from performing cleanup and submitting required bond payments.
Alpha, which filed for Chapter 11 last August, is planning to sell some assets to a group of its first-lien lenders in exchange for debt forgiveness. The plan will be heard by a bankruptcy judge next month, and the producer is hoping to emerge from its bankruptcy in June.
However, the environmental agency said in its opposition filing that Alpha has not yet outlined its plan for bonding and cleanup at the mines post-bankruptcy, the Reuters report said. Also, as it estimated current liabilities at about $1 billion, it expressed concerned that the reorganized company may have issues securing needed bonding for the mines in its portfolio.
Alpha previously submitted documents to the courts indicating its bonding and cleanup liabilities in West Virginia total $318 million. Of that, $200 million is self-bonding.