Thursday, November 20, 2014

Ky. environmental groups say mining company has committed 28,000 Clean Water Act violations

Environmental groups in Kentucky claim Frasure Creek Mining has for years falsified water pollution results and committed 28,000 violations of the Clean Water Act, James Bruggers reports for the Courier Journal in Louisville. The groups—Appalachian Voices, Kentucky Riverkeeper, Kentuckians For The Commonwealth and the Waterkeeper Alliance—also accused state regulators of lax enforcement of water quality rules.

In a 32-page notice of intent to sue, the groups said Frasure Creek Mining "repeatedly faked results from one water pollution monitoring report to the next, misleading government officials and the public," Bruggers writes. "It is the second time the groups have taken legal action against Frasure Creek for similar violations of the Clean Water Act."

The Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet said on its blog: "Contrary to inaccurate and inflammatory statements directed at the Cabinet . . . the agency has been actively monitoring compliance with Frasure Creek and other coal mining operations in Kentucky. Since 2011,  the Division of Enforcement has reviewed approximately 179,000 (discharge monitoring reports) involving 78 coal companies and over 2,200 mining permits, assessed civil penalties in excess of $3,697,000 and has entered into 67 enforcement settlements with coal companies in Kentucky. The agency has and continues to proactively review and take appropriate enforcement actions to resolve violations identified during the inspection and review of coal mining operations." (Read more)

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