Sierra Club and Kentuckians For The Commonwealth Take Action to Protect Kentucky Waterways from Unlawful, Destructive Mountaintop Removal Coal Mining
March 25, 2010
On March 24, Sierra Club and Kentuckians For The Commonwealth (KFTC) put Frasure Creek Mining on notice for destroying streams at three mountaintop removal coal mines in Kentucky without the required federal permits. The environmental groups have evidence that the company is conducting mining operations despite the fact that applications for permits for all three mines are currently under review by the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps).
All surface mines that disturb streams by building valley fills or sediment ponds are required to receive a permit from the Corps. The permit application review involves an analysis of the mining’s water quality and environmental impacts. Frasure Creek began mining at these three sites in Floyd, Magoffin, and Pike counties without waiting for the Corps to conclude its environmental review or issue the required permits.
The Clean Water Act permitting process was designed to protect the health and safety of waterways and communities, but evidence of such flagrant disregard for the law can be seen across Appalachia. Earlier this year Clintwood Elkhorn, a TECO Coal subsidiary, agreed to pay $250,000 to fund stream restoration projects after Sierra Club and KFTC discovered that the company was operating a mountaintop removal mine without a permit in Pike County. The problem of unlawful unpermitted mining is believed to be widespread, and state and federal agencies routinely fail to hold offenders fully accountable.
Frasure Creek Mining now has 60 days to come into compliance with the Clean Water Act and obtain the proper permits before Sierra Club and KFTC file a lawsuit.
Details and Documents:
Company Mines Without Proper Permits, Kentucky Streams Destroyed
March 25, 2010, Sierra Club Press Release
Frasure Creek Mining Notice Letter
March 24, 2010, Sierra Club & Kentuckians For The Commonwealth
Mining company filled E. Ky. streams without permit, groups say
March 25, 2010 by James Bruggers, Louisville Courier-Journal
Environmental groups say company mined without permits Water Pollution: Ky. high court sides with enviros in mine permit
March 26, 2010 by Andy Mead, Kentucky.com
April 30, 2012 by Manuel Quinones, E&E News
See other "Stopping Mountaintop Removal and Other Destructive Mining" cases.