Massey Energy, a company with a lengthy record of environmental abuses and proponent of mountaintop removal, now faces fines worth an estimated two-point-four billion dollars from a lawsuit alleging it violated the federal Clean Water Act.

The violations happened thousands of times in both West Virginia and Kentucky.

Massey says the vast majority of the incidents had little or no impact on water quality.

Massey responded, saying it doesn't believe the lawsuit, filed last week by federal prosecutors, will have much impact on its bottom line.

Analysts who looked at the lawsuit's multi-billion-dollar price tag are warning investors otherwise.

Massey shares lost 14 percent of their value in trading yesterday.

Filed on behalf of the US Environmental Protection Agency, the federal lawsuit alleges Massey operations exceeded permit limits 4,600 times during the last six years.

That's about 69,000 days' worth of Clean Water Act violations.

See also Massey Coal Hit With Federal Lawsuit

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