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Judge Rejects Coal Firm's Settlement With State

A judge has rejected a settlement between the state of Kentucky and a coal mining company.

The case concerns 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, which are required by 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.

Franklin County Circuit Judge Phillip Shepherd later allowed the groups to intervene in the case.

On Monday, Shepherd rejected the proposed settlement, writing in a ruling that it "fails to impose penalties that would deter this conduct."

The same environmental groups filed another court motion earlier this month against Frasure Creek, alleging the company had resumed filing false reports.