BRISTOL, Tenn., Nov. 18, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- The independent members of the Board of Directors for Contura Energy, Inc. today released the following statement in response to recent filings made by the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection in the United States Bankruptcy Court, Eastern District of Virginia in connection with the successful restructuring of Alpha Natural Resources: "Since Alpha's successful emergence from Chapter 11 Bankruptcy protection on July 26, 2016, and the concurrent sale of certain core assets to Contura Energy, Inc., both entities have been working diligently to implement their respective obligations under Alpha's Plan of Reorganization confirmed by the Court. By any account, Alpha's restructuring case was extremely complex, involving the oversight, input, and ultimately support of various constituencies, federal and state government entities, surety providers, union employees, pension beneficiaries, trade creditors, and many others. Over the past several weeks, Contura Energy's senior management has worked proactively and closely with Alpha's senior management and lender parties to Alpha's First Lien Credit Agreement, to resolve certain issues identified during the Plan's implementation. The efforts of the aforementioned parties culminated in the First Lien Settlement Agreement and the Contura Settlement Agreement filed by Alpha with the Court on November 4, 2016. In a subsequent filing with the Court on November 16, 2016, the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection made claims with respect to Contura's senior management that the Independent Directors of Contura's board believe to be inaccurate and defamatory as they are made without any evidence whatsoever, with no basis in fact, and without merit. The Independent Directors fully and completely support Contura's senior management team. The Independent Directors believe that throughout this process, senior management has conducted themselves with the utmost integrity and professionalism, and have worked tirelessly to implement a complex reorganization while ensuring the financial health of Alpha and Contura. The efforts of Alpha's and Contura's dedicated management teams continue to ensure the preservation of thousands of jobs and provide value to both companies' diverse set of stakeholders. We challenge any inference to the contrary. We intend to work with all parties to resolve these allegations and will vigorously defend the hard-earned reputations and integrity of management to the fullest extent."