Division of Mine Reclamation and Enforcement
COMPANY CITED FOR BAD WATER DISCHARGE IN LETCHER COUNTY
The Kentucky Division of Mine Reclamation and Enforcement (DMRE) has cited Harlan Reclamation Services LLC for a bad water discharge on June 6 near the community of Partridge in Letcher County.
A citizen observed discolored water entering the Poor Fork of the Cumberland River and notified the Kentucky Division of Water’s Emergency Response Team (ERT). Division of Water and DMRE inspectors determined that the operator, North Fork Coal Corp., was pumping water from a sediment pond to facilitate underground mining, and the water line became clogged. In an attempt to unclog the line, water was pumped back into the pond, resulting in a release of black water into Poor Fork.
Water samples were taken and the company was issued an imminent-danger closure order requiring immediate action to stop the discharge. In addition, a notice of noncompliance was issued for violating water quality standards and sediment control requirements.
The company has addressed the problem, and the cessation order and noncompliance order involving water quality and effluent violations have been abated. DMRE is in the process of assessing civil penalties for the violations.