Coal and Water News

Citizens groups seek to ensure Kentucky officials enforce Clean Water Act (again!)

February 22, 2015 at 05:56pm

KFTC and several ally groups late Friday filed a motion to intervene in a state enforcement action against Frasure Creek Mining for violating the Clean Water Act at its coal mining operations in eastern Kentucky. This action continues citizen action to force Frasure Creek to obey the law and state officials to enforce the law.

KFTC celebrates 10 years of I Love Mountains Day

February 13, 2015 at 02:16pm

“We are here to express our love for Kentucky and our belief in its bright future,” said KFTC Chairperson Dana Beasley Brown as she welcomed the crowd to KFTC’s tenth I Love Mountains Day.

Frigid winds and snow flurries couldn’t compete with New Power as hundreds of people from across Kentucky marched up Capital Avenue and rallied on the capitol steps for a brighter future for Kentucky.

Beasley Brown thanked KFTC members for “your vision, your courage and your persistence” and recognized the many communities across Kentucky who were represented in the crowd.

Ky. voices: Beware of bad deals offered by oil, gas frackers

January 26, 2015
Lexington Herald-Leader
Madison County

Oil and gas "land men" offering rotten deals to Kentucky landowners, the author explains.

Environmental concerns raised as oil companies take fresh look at fracking in Kentucky

January 11, 2015
Lexington Herald-Leader

Oil and gas drilling companies have been leasing tens of thousands of acres in eastern and central Kentucky, anticipating a huge fracking boom.

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:

"I went into the Army when I was 18 year old. When I came out of the Army I bought a mountain farm in Leslie County. I moved to Ohio and worked for the Chrysler Corporation until 1986. We moved back to the farm. I bought a portable sawmill, a horse and some Mountain Cur hunting dogs. I spent most of my time cutting timber, sawing lumber, hunting with my dogs, farming and working with KFTC."

Daymon also found that a coal company was claiming the mineral under his land.

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.

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