Coal mineA drawn-out debt collection battle between the U.S. Department of Labor's Mine Safety and Health Administration and Resurrection Coal Co. of West Virginia is finally over, although it took a complaint filed by a U.S. attorney to resolve it.

The company ultimately paid a civil penalty totaling $44,158.33 -- $42,656 for 245 safety and health violations at three of its West Virginia operations, plus accrued interest of $1,501.44.

The complaint filed by the the department with the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia was dismissed upon receipt of the final payment installment.

The civil penalties, all of which had become final orders of the Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission, were assessed for violations of mine safety and health standards found during inspections at Resurrection Mine No. 1 and Mine No. 2 in McDowell County, W.Va., and Mine No. 4 in Wyoming County, W.Va.

"Mine operators must take the monetary penalties assessed against them very seriously," said Joseph A. Main, assistant secretary of labor for mine safety and health. "I applaud the efforts of the U.S. Attorney's Office to collect the delinquent debt owed by Resurrection Coal. MSHA will continue to provide any assistance necessary to the Justice and Treasury departments as they take action to hold mine operators accountable for assessed civil penalties."