Once called crazy, Indonesian eco-warrior turns arid hills green
Once considered crazy by fellow villagers, Indonesian eco-warrior Sadiman has turned barren hills green after 24 years of effort, making water resources available in the drought-prone mountainous region where he lives.
This Billionaire Governor’s Coal Companies Owe Millions More in Environmental Fines
This Billionaire Governor’s Coal Companies Owe Millions More in Environmental FinesArticles and Investigations - ProPublica / by by Ken Ward Jr. / 11d
by Ken Ward Jr., Mountain State Spotlight
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This story was co-published with Mountain State Spotlight, a new nonprofit newsroom covering West Virginia.
The federal government is seeking to collect nearly $3.2 million in fines from coal companies owned by West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice after the firms violated the terms of a major water pollution settlement, according to documents filed Thursday in federal court.
U.S. Department of Justice attorneys said in their filing that Southern Coal Corp. and two related companies failed to renew required water pollution permits, leading to unauthorized discharges at three mining sites in Tennessee and one in Alabama. Those permits are required so regulators can limit the runoff of everything from mud to toxic metals from coal operations.
The companies’ actions triggered fines under the terms of a 2016 settlement with the Environmental Protection Agency. As part of the deal, the governor’s companies had agreed to resolve more than 23,000 water pollution violations by paying a $900,000 fine, spending millions of dollars on new pollution controls, and covering automatic penalty amounts — known as “stipulated penalties” — for any future violations.
The DOJ’s new court filing indicated Justice’s companies have so far paid nearly $2.9 million in stipulated penalties, but the firms have repeatedly failed to honor the other terms of the settlement, either delivering late or not at all on site improvements and fines, continuing what federal attorneys called a “long history” of environmental violations.
A DOJ spokesperson declined to comment beyond the Thursday court filing.
Representatives for Justice’s companies and the governor’s office did not respond to requests for comment.
The new court filing, in U.S. District Court in Roanoke, comes three months after another one of Justice’s companies reached a separate pollution settlement with environmental groups, which sued over excess discharges of selenium, a mining byproduct that can be toxic to fish, at a strip mine in southern West Virginia.
In that deal, Bluestone Coal Corp. paid a federal fine of $30,000 and contributed $270,000 to a conservation group, settling a case brought by the Sierra Club and other citizen groups. The maximum federal penalty for Bluestone Coal could have been nearly $170 million.
Justice, a billionaire listed by Forbes as the richest person in the state, owns a vast empire of businesses, including coal mines, resort hotels and agricultural interests, many of them regulated by the state agencies that report to him. While Justice’s adult children have day-to-day control over the family’s business operations, the governor has continued to guide the empire.
Last year, an investigation by ProPublica found that, over the last three decades, the governor’s companies have accumulated more than $140 million in judgments and settlements in cases brought by vendors and other businesses and government entities over unpaid bills. (The governor and his representatives say that his companies always eventually pay their bills.) Many of the cases involve Justice’s mining companies.
Rust vs Go — Bitfield Consulting
For example, whereas C programmers have argued for years about where to put their brackets, and whether code should be indented with tabs or spaces, both Rust and Go eliminate such issues completely by using a standard formatting tool (gofmt for Go, rustfmt for Rust) which rewrites your code automatically using the canonical style. It’s not that this particular style is so wonderful in itself: it’s the standardisation which Rust and Go programmers appreciate.
> gofmt> ’s style is no one’s favourite, yet > gofmt> is everyone’s favourite.