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Consol blames activists for layoffs of nearly 500 at West Virginia mine


Consol Energy will lay off nearly 500 workers and idle a mountaintop removal mining operation near Bickmore, W.Va.

Pittsburgh-based Consol notified workers Tuesday. The action affects 104 miners at Little Eagle Coal Co. and 378 at Fola Coal Co.

The layoffs will begin Feb. 7 and be completed within 14 days.

Consol blames the shutdown on a legal challenge the Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition mounted to permits granted under the federal Clean Water Act.

U.S. District Judge Robert Chambers recently suspended Fola’s permit for the Ike Fork portions of its operations. The order is effective Jan. 23.

Consol says it’s unfortunate that energy producers are being attacked with what it calls “nuisance lawsuits” and court appeals.

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