The Associated Press said judge John Preston Bailey made the judgment that Energy Marketing and its owner Dominick LaRosa had until June 3 to have the North Hollow slurry dam green-lighted by an engineer.
The US Department of Labor initially filed a lawsuit in US District Court against LaRosa in February, but he still has not responded to the complaint.
In fact, the AP said Monday, the Maryland resident had yet to hire a lawyer in the case.
Bailey said in his decision that there was not a need to hold a hearing on MSHA’s demand that LaRosa stop operating the impoundment.
The facility is not in use.
The impoundment served the Century 101 mine, which also is no longer operational.
The US Mine Safety and Health Administration labeled the dam a “high hazard” in suit documentation, indicating fatalities were likely should a failure occur. State regulators also have revoked North Hollow’s permit.
State Department of Environmental Protection spokeswoman Kathy Cosco said in April that the agency planned to hire an engineering firm to evaluate the dam and create a dewatering plan.
The retained firm will be tasked with telling the DEP exactly how much slurry is in the dam, develop a map the permit area, establish clean-up guidelines and conduct reclamation activities.
MSHA records also show Energy Marketing has been cited two dozen times for problems.