Citizens rights again upheld | Kentuckians For The Commonwealth

Citizens rights again upheld

Trying a new judge, Frasure Creek Mining was back in court this week trying to keep citizens from learning the truth about its Clean Water Act violations and related deal with state officials.

The company used the opportunity of the vacation of Franklin Circuit Judge Phillip Shepherd to ask his substitute, Judge Thomas Wingate, to delay Shepherd's ruling allowing citizens to intervene in the enforcement case and proceed with discovery. Frasure Creek, ICG and state officials have appealed Shepherd's February 11 ruling, and they argued that KFTC and our allies (Appalachian Voices, Kentucky Riverkeeper, the WaterKeeper Alliance and several individuals) should not be allowed to start asking questions until the appeals court rules.

In early march, the Court of Appeals denied an emergency request to overturn Shepherd's ruling. The court will still consider the appeal on a normal schedule.

And on Wednesday, as Ronnie Ellis reported, Wingate denied Frasure Creek's latest motion.

Wingate wrote, "The Court agrees that the limited discovery granted should not be stayed because Defendants have not established that an injury will result."

Wingate cited the Court of Appeals ruling which said discovery is "not alleged to be unduly burdensome or likely to reveal privileged information. In short, petitioners simply have not alleged any substantial injury..."

Frasure Creek and ICG (International Coal Group) committed thousands of violations of the Clean Water Act at their mining operations in eastern Kentucky – violations brought to light by the efforts of Appalachian Voices. After investigating, the Kentucky Energy Cabinet filed an enforcement action in Franklin Circuit Court, including weak agreements with the companies to settling the matter. KFTC and the other groups sought to intervene in the case to protect the public interest and prevent a recurrence of the violations.

Read Ronnie Ellis' story here in the Morehead News.

Issue Area(s): 

Add new comment

Filtered HTML

  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Enter the characters shown in the image.