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Alabama Coke Plant Justice Family Owns Agrees To Pay $1 Million Penalty


This story has been updated with comments from Justice.

An Alabama industrial facility owned by the family of Gov. Jim Justice has been ordered to pay a nearly $1 million penalty.

Bluestone Coke, which operated in North Birmingham, Alabama, was ordered to pay a $925,000 fine for air pollution violations. That, according to the Southern Environmental Law Center, is the largest single penalty ever issued by the Jefferson County Department of Health.

The plant is currently not operating. If it resumes operation, it would be required to monitor its emissions. It would also be subject to more rigorous documentation of compliance.

In his COVID-19 briefing on Wednesday, Justice called the settlement “a pleasing outcome to all parties.”

“I think it’s good,” Justice said.

The plant had been cited for years for hazardous pollutants from its coking ovens.

The local health department went to court last year alleging Bluestone violated its permit and the federal Clean Air Act.

A ProPublica story in September showed pollution from Bluestone had a disproportionate impact on the Black neighborhoods surrounding the plant.

Bluestone Coke is a subsidiary of Bluestone Resources, one of the many companies Justice lists on his annual disclosure to the West Virginia Ethics Commission.