A judge has rejected a settlement between the state of Kentucky and a coal mining company over water quality monitoring violations from several years ago.
Frasure Creek Mining was accused of falsifying reports on water discharges from its eastern Kentucky mining operations. Such reports are required by state law. In December 2010, state officials reached a $ 310,000 proposed settlement with the company, but environmental groups argued that the fines were not high enough for what they said were thousands of water quality violations.
Franklin County Circuit Judge Phillip Shepherd later allowed the groups to intervene in the case and sent the case to mediation, but four attempts to get the parties to an agreement failed.
On Monday, Shepherd rejected the proposed settlement, called a consent decree, and returned the matter to the state Energy and Environment Cabinet. (AP)