Coal and Water News

Long-time KFTC leader Daymon Morgan remembered

December 14, 2014 at 11:05pm

Daymon Morgan, one of KFTC’s longest and best-known members, has died. He was 88 and had experienced a brief illness.

Daymon joined KFTC shortly after moving back to Kentucky in 1986. As he described in the book Making History: The First Ten Years of KFTC:

AG looking deeper into coal violations

December 3, 2014
CNHI

Despite publicly stating the opposite, state Energy and Environmental Cabinet officials could present no evidence that they have initiated any enforcement actions against Frasure Creek mining for repeated violations of the Clean Water Act.

Coal's costs keep adding up

November 30, 2014
Lexington Herald-Leader

How many more examples do we need of coal operators' lawlessness, aided and abetted by government apathy or impotence?

Big win: Judge rejects deals between Kentucky officials and coal company

November 24, 2014 at 09:26pm

The Franklin Circuit Court on Monday issued two long-awaited orders rejecting settlement deals between the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet and Frasure Creek Mining arising from the coal company’s thousands of violations of the Clean Water Act from 2008 through 2011.

In extraordinarily vigorous language, Judge Phillip Shepherd said that due to the coal company’s actions, “The inherent danger of the violations at issue here to the environment is impossible to determine based on Frasure Creek's wholesale abdication of its monitoring and reporting responsibilities, and the cabinet's inability to fully investigate the environmental harm that is likely to have occurred.”

“Since October 2010, we have been in the courts to see that the law be enforced in the state of Kentucky,” said Ted Withrow, a member of KFTC's Litigation Team. “These rulings by Judge Shepherd serve to enforce that right of the people."

In 2010, Appalachian Voices, Kentucky Waterkeeper Alliance, Kentucky Riverkeeper, KFTC and several individuals made public more than 20,000 violations of the Clean Water Act from 2008 to 2010 by Frasure Creek and a second coal company, International Coal Group (which later settled out of court). Under the law, these violations could be subject to hundreds of millions of dollars in fines. On the 57th day, the cabinet and Frasure Creek entered a proposed consent agreement that included only 1,520 violations and combined fines of just $310,000.

Coal Mines Keep Operating Despite Injuries, Violations And Millions In Fines

November 12, 2014
National Public Radio

A joint investigation by NPR and Mine Safety and Health News found that thousands of mine operators fail to pay safety penalties, even as they continue to manage dangerous — and sometimes deadly — mining operations. Most unpaid penalties are between two and 10 years overdue; some go back two decades. And federal regulators seem unable or unwilling to make mine owners pay.

A Scourge for Coal Miners Stages a Brutal Comeback

November 11, 2014
Environment 360

Another in a long line of studies showed conclusively that not only is black lung back, but that the worst form of the disease now affects a larger share of Appalachian coal miners than at any time since the early 1970s, shortly after a federal law meant to end the disease was passed.

Complex Market Forces Are Challenging Appalachian Coal Mining

October 6, 2014
ThinkProgress

Appalachia’s coal communities are confronting a confluence of market factors that are years in the making. This issue brief discusses some of the market challenges companies in the Appalachian coal industry face.

Stanley Sturgill's press statement at the People's Climate March

September 21, 2014 at 12:13pm

KFTC member Stanley Sturgill was one of the speakers representing frontline communities who spoke today at a press conference kicking off the People's Climate March in New York City. Here is his statement:

Kentuckians taking a Just Transition message to People’s Climate March

September 20, 2014 at 09:44am

Eastern Kentuckians participating in this weekend’s People's Climate March in New York City are carrying a clear message: We are at the forefront of the transition away from coal and we need to be put first as we go about building a new economy.

For Kimberly Shepherd, it’s about her daughter and her future. She is working toward a just economic transition so she can keep her family in the mountains.

“The solution is complicated. I don't think that there's one thing that can fix it, it'll take a lot of different things. But the resource we really have in Harlan County is our people and community,” said the Harlan County student and mother.

Page