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Feds Sue Coal Company Over $318K In Unpaid Fines

An eastern Kentucky coal company is being sued by the federal government as it seeks to collect more than $300,000 in unpaid fines for health and safety violations. The government says Viper Coal LLC owes $318,981 in unpaid fines as of September 2011. The suit was filed Friday in U.S. District Court in Pikeville.

PIKEVILLE, Ky. (AP) -- An eastern Kentucky coal company is being sued by the federal government as it seeks to collect more than $300,000 in unpaid fines for health and safety violations.

The government says Viper Coal LLC owes $318,981 in unpaid fines as of September 2011. The suit was filed Friday in U.S. District Court in Pikeville.

The lawsuit seeks that amount, plus more than $122,000 in other fees and interest.

The U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration issued more than 250 citations and orders to the company between January 2008 and August 2011, and has sent more than 20 letters demanding payment of the resulting fines.

Federal records show Viper has underground mines in Floyd and Pike counties.

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