Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet
Company cited for black water spill in Pike County
FRANKFORT, Ky. (July 25, 2005) – The Kentucky Division of Mine Reclamation and Enforcement (DMRE) has cited a coal company for alleged violations that resulted in a “black water” spill on July 20, 2005. A division inspector observed black water entering the stream at Stone, Ky., in Pike County, about 2 miles downstream from the mine site operated by the company, Patrick Processing LLC of Hazard.
Employees mining underground cut into an old mine that was filled with water. The water was pumped to the outside through a sediment pond, but the added flow disturbed the sediment and resulted in a discharge of substandard-quality water. The inspector instructed the company to cease pumping to allow the pond to settle and halt the discharge. A notice of noncompliance was issued for discharging substandard water into the stream and for failure to meet effluent limitation standards.
Repeated black water accidents prompted Governor Ernie Fletcher to authorize Secretary LaJuana S. Wilcher of the Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet to create the Black Water Task Force. Its report in April 2005 recommended an array of “best management practices” to reduce or eliminate such accidents.
In addition, the Kentucky Department for Natural Resources has created an online mine mapping Web site to help reduce the risk of cutting into old mine works. The link is http://minemaps.ky.gov/