State investigators cited a Letcher County man Thursday for illegally surface-mining an estimated 700 tons of coal, according to a news release.
Bryan Lee Wagner, of Red Fox, was running the job and was charged with mining without a permit and mining without a license.
The illegal mine was in Letcher County near Van, the news release said.
Investigators from the state Division of Mine Safety and the Division of Mine Reclamation and Enforcement cited Wagner, according to the news release.
The violation notice ordered Wagner to immediately stop mining, begin reclamation work and build temporary sediment controls.
The fine for illegal mining ranges from $5,000 to $25,000 a day, and Wagner also could lose any mining licenses or certificates he holds and be barred from licensing another mine, according to the news release.
People working at an illegal mine without the proper certifications could be fined an amount equaling up to 10 days worth of wages.
"Illegal mining operations not only deprive the Commonwealth of revenue generated through coal severance tax dollars but, more importantly, put workers at that mine at risk and leave the surface mining sites unreclaimed," Steve Hohmann, commissioner of the state Department for Natural Resources, said in a news release.
By Bill Estep