Blog Archives

Drinking water problems still plague eastern Kentucky

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After a nearby creek ran bright yellow last month, residents of Martin County, Ky., still have questions for local and state officials — and that’s not uncommon in a county that has seen its fair share of coal slurry spills and municipal water problems. So why are so many officials ignoring the problem?

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Response to Spill Leads to Action Against Coal Polluter

Acid mine drainage from a coal mine flooded into Pine Creek in eastern Kentucky, killing wildlife and raising concerns over drinking water safety. Photo by Tarence Ray

Our Appalachian Water Watch team was able to document the spill of acidic water on Pine Creek as it occurred in real-time, spurring public outcry and state action against the mining company.

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What happened on Pine Creek?

With support from local residents, the Appalachian Water Watch is responding to coal pollution events like the recent spill along Pine Creek in Letcher County, Ky.

A lot of folks have had questions about last month’s mine blowout on Pine Creek, in Letcher County, Ky. So we’ve put together an explainer that runs through the facts, the science and the regulatory protocols behind spills like this — and offers tips on what you can do about them.

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An end to Frasure Creek’s water violations in Kentucky — finally

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Late Monday evening, Appalachian Voices and our partners finalized a historic settlement in our case against Frasure Creek Mining. The settlement follows a five-year-long legal battle to protect eastern Kentucky’s waterways and bring a coal company notorious for violating environmental laws to justice.

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Appalachian Crayfish: Canaries in a Coal Mine

16382866013_a4cd6916dd_zTwo species of crayfish native to Appalachia are in danger of becoming extinct after years of suffering habitat loss and water quality impacts attributable to mountaintop removal coal mining and other industrial activity. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service agency is proposing the species be listed as endangered under federal law. Whether or not they are pushed past the point of no return depends largely on the outcome of a recent proposal by the agency to add them to the federal list of endangered species.

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Déjà vu in Kentucky clean water cases

15813913282_fd4c121114_zFriday, Appalachian Voices and our partners filed a motion to intervene in a case between the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet and Frasure Creek Mining to ensure clean water laws are being enforced in Kentucky. To anyone following our lawsuits in Kentucky, these recent developments will sound familiar.

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To protect or prosecute polluters?

FrasureCreek_waterKentucky regulators recently filed an administrative complaint against Frasure Creek Mining for hundreds of violations of the Clean Water Act. As we wait to see if the state is going to take its responsibility to protect the people and water of Kentucky from pollution seriously, Appalachian Voices will continue to do whatever we can to ensure that Frasure Creek and other polluters are held accountable.

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Kentucky court sides with citizens and environment

Last week, Appalachian Voices and our partners won a major victory in the Kentucky courts when a judge overturned two slap-on-the-wrist settlements that the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet had reached with Frasure Creek Mining a few years ago.

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Two wrongs don’t make a right: mountaintop removal and stream protection

Palmer study image, 2014Two recent studies include more bad news regarding the impacts of mountaintop removal on streams throughout Central Appalachia. One indicates that work done to restore previously degraded streams is inadequate, while the other raises important questions about the feasibility of selenium pollution enforcement.

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Same coal company, same old (illegal) tricks

They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. That certainly seems to be the case with Frasure Creek Mining. Four years ago we took legal action against them for submitting false water monitoring reports, and now they are at it again, but this time the false reporting is even more extensive.

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