Office of the Attorney General
Attorney General Greg Stumbo Responds to State’s Decision to Monitor Levisa Fork

Press Release Date:  Monday, April 30, 2007  
Contact Information:  Vicki Glass, 502-696-5643 Office  

Attorney General Greg Stumbo today responded to the Kentucky Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet (EPPC) announcement that it will monitor release of brine water from Virginia coal mine into the Levisa Fork.

“I am pleased that EPPC is answering my call to action,” said Attorney General Stumbo. “Against my advice, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ruled that the Clean Water Act will not stop CONSOL from dumping this salty water into the Levisa River. In September, 2006 and again on April 16, 2007, I called upon EPPC and DFWR to establish a  pre-discharge water quality baseline in the Levisa Fork downstream from the Consol mine’s discharge point in order to monitor the effects the discharge may have on water quality. I also shared my concerns about the need for action with the Governor. Today EPPC announced it will begin weekly sampling of the Levisa Fork and Fishtrap Lake in early May.”

In January, 2006 the Attorney General’s Civil and Environmental Law Branch began fighting CONSOL Energy’s plan to discharge massive amounts of high chloride water from an underground mine that may adversely affect the river’s ecology. The Attorney General forwarded the office’s investigative results to EPPC and the Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources (DFWR) asking that the agencies review the matter and assist the Attorney General in his efforts to ensure Kentucky’s natural resources are protected.

The discharge point for the mine waste water is approximately 12 miles east of where the Levisa Fork crosses the Kentucky/Virginia state line. The Levisa Fork flows into Fishtrap Lake in Pike County, Kentucky. “As I promised a year ago, I will immediately seek state court protection if the discharge harms Kentucky’s waterways,” Stumbo added.

Pike County Judge Executive, Wayne T. Rutherford, joins the Attorney General in his concerns. “I have been in close communication with Attorney General Stumbo regarding the potential threat facing Pike County and the Commonwealth of Kentucky due to this discharge,” said Judge Rutherford. “My office is working with the Office of the Attorney General to pursue every possible option available to protect our water quality and fish and wild resources. I am confident that Attorney General Stumbo stands ready to exhaust any and all legal action he can to defend the interests of Kentuckians.”

Concerned citizens can contact the Office of the Attorney General to report pollution through his Sportsmen and Sportswomen To Oppose Pollution (STOP) program by calling 1-866-749-STOP.