Arch Coal seeks to destroy old Horizon Natural Resources records

Arch Coal on Aug. 30 asked the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Missouri to let it destroy records dating back to early last decade related to coal operator Larry Addington’s Horizon Natural Resources.

The objection deadline for this request is Sept. 6, with a Sept. 13 court hearing. Arch Coal and various subsidiaries file for Chapter 11 protection on Jan. 11. 

In November 2002, Horizon and related comanies (called the “Horizon Debtors”) filed voluntary petitions for relief under the Bankruptcy Code in the U.S, Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky, Ashland Division. The long list of Horizon Debtors include Horizon Natural Resources, 17 West Mining, Aceco Inc., Americoal Development, Beech Coal, Bentley Coal, Bluegrass Coal Development and Cannelton Inc.

In 2004, what became known as International Coal Group bought much of the Horizon assets in a bankruptcy sale. In 2011, Arch Coal bought ICG.

Arch argued in the Aug. 30 request: “The Horizon Records are voluminous, are likely over ten years old, and require the ongoing expenditure of significant funds by ICG for storage space. ICG has no use for many of the Horizon Records, and the retention periods under ICG’s established record retention policy have expired for many of them. The considerable expense of maintaining these records is neither reasonable nor feasible.”

Arch added: “The Debtors have large and complex operations and are subject to litigation from time to time, including relating to the Horizon Debtors. However, ICG has no pending requests for documents in the Horizon-Related Litigation and believes, in accordance with its document retention policies, that there is no reason to retain most of the Horizon Records. Nevertheless, out of an abundance of caution, the Debtors have filed this Motion to allow interested parties an opportunity to assert any claim to these records. In accordance therewith, the Debtors have provided notice of this Motion to the parties in the Horizon-Related Litigation and the ‘Liquidating Trustee’ and ‘Authorized Representative’ appointed in the Horizon Debtors’ chapter 11 case.”

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.