Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet
Company cited for black water spill in Harlan County
FRANKFORT, Ky. (July 27, 2005) – The Kentucky Division of Mine Reclamation and Enforcement (DMRE) has cited another coal company for alleged violations that resulted in a “black water” spill on July 21, 2005.
A Division of Water (DOW) inspector from London observed black water entering Cloverlick Creek near Cumberland in Harlan County. Personnel from DMRE and DOW, two agencies of the Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet (EPPC), inspected the pond that was discharging the grayish water.
The source was a deep mine and processing plant permitted to Harlan Reclamation Services LLC. Water samples showed that water quality had been adversely affected. The company was cited for noncompliance with state water quality standards and effluent limits.
Repeated black water accidents prompted Governor Ernie Fletcher to authorize EPPC Secretary LaJuana S. Wilcher to create the Black Water Task Force. Its report in April 2005 included a long list of recommended “best management practices” with which coal companies could reduce or eliminate such accidents.