Division of Mine Reclamation and Enforcement
COMPANY CITED FOR DISCHARGING MUDDY WATER IN PIKE COUNTY
The Kentucky Division of Mine Reclamation and Enforcement (DMRE) has cited Sidney Coal Co. in Pike County for discharging muddy water into Fraley Branch, near the community of Sidney, on Dec. 7.
Two DMRE field personnel on routine inspection noticed muddy water in the stream and traced it to the Sidney operation on Fraley Branch. They alerted the Pikeville Regional DMRE Office that substandard water was being discharged into Fraley Branch and that the sediment plume had reached Big Creek, a tributary of the Tug Fork of the Big Sandy River.
The company had been removing a sediment pond when an embankment was breached and water high in suspended solids entered the stream. Water samples were taken at the point of discharge, upstream and downstream from the pond. Total Suspended Solids measured 5,460 m/l at the discharge site, and the muddy plume was evident for 1.5 miles downstream.
An imminent danger cessation order was issued immediately, followed by notice of non-compliance No. 53-1985 on Dec. 12, for violating water quality standards and failing to construct and certify Pond #1 prior to creating disturbances in the watershed. DMRE is currently assessing civil penalties for the discharge.