Division of Water
State files complaint in Whitesburg water contamination case
Frankfort, (KY) -- The Energy and Environment Cabinet (EEC) Office of General Counsel Monday filed a verified complaint in Franklin Circuit Court against Childers Oil Inc. and Mountain Rail Properties in relation to last month’s release of diesel fuel from tanks that contaminated the Letcher County drinking water supply.
The suit, filed on behalf of EEC, seeks a temporary injunction against the companies to prevent further discharges into waters of the commonwealth and to prevent the disposal of additional underground storage tanks at the site where the spill originated.
The suit also requires the two companies to disclose the locations of all other properties on which tank storage and disposal activities have taken place.
The Department for Environmental Protection issued a notice of violation Feb. 20 to Childers Oil Inc. for the spill of diesel oil into the North Fork of the Kentucky River from damaged storage tanks he owned. The tanks were located four miles upstream from the Whitesburg plant’s water intake.
The violations include endangering the public welfare, degradation of surface water, failure to obtain a pollutant discharge permit, unauthorized release of a petroleum product into waters of the commonwealth, disposal of waste at an unpermitted facility, failure to notify of a petroleum release into the environment and failure to prepare and implement a groundwater protection plan.
Waste and water violations are subject to a civil penalty of up to $25,000 per day per violation. The suit seeks the maximum penalties under the law.