Division of Abandoned Mine Lands
Division of Abandoned Mine Lands Announces Water Supply Project for Letcher County
The Department for Natural Resources’ Division of Abandoned Mine Lands (AML) recently announced the commencement of construction for the Cane - McPeak Branch Water Supply Project for Letcher County, Kentucky. H2O Construction Company has been awarded the project contract, with Nesbitt Engineering providing engineering inspection services. Construction will begin May 11, 2009 with a projected completion date of August 8, 2009.
A memorandum of agreement between the Energy and Environment Cabinet and the City of Jenkins will provide federal funding in the amount of $425,000 from the 27th Annual AML Grant for the design and construction of a waterline extension to serve residents of the Burdine community near Cane Branch and the Jenkins community near McPeak Branch. This project will include the installation of approximately 2.6 miles of water main that will tie into existing waterlines, and the installation of water meters at approximately 31 residences.
A groundwater contamination study performed by AML found pre-law mining has impacted much of the ground water in Cane and McPeak Branches, making these areas eligible for AML waterline assistance for replacement of potable water supplies.
According to City of Jenkins Mayor Charles Dixon, the project will provide the basic necessity of safe, clean drinking water to citizens in the community. “This is a much needed project. Past mining has destroyed our water supply and in previous summer months our water supply has dried up within the area. We certainly appreciate what AML is doing for us. This is going to satisfy the needs of a lot of our people,” said Mayor Dixon.
“Safe, clean water is a basic necessity that many Kentuckians in our small coal field communities continue to lack. DNR remains committed to its responsibility of providing water supply assistance to the citizens of the Commonwealth,” said Commissioner Carl Campbell.
AML is authorized under KRS 350 to abate hazards to public health, safety and the environment from abandoned coal mines. AML has a water supply replacement program that extends waterlines into areas where well water has been contaminated by past coal mining. To date, AML has expended over $71 million dollars for waterline improvements and has provided over 11,316 households with potable water supplies in 24 counties in eastern, southern, and western Kentucky. AML funds a portion of the cost of these water replacement projects based on the mining impacts found in groundwater quality studies.