Roy Silver lives in Benham, Kentucky and is a member of Kentuckians for the Commonwealth. Below, in what was originally an email message, Silver makes his neighbors in Eastern Kentucky aware of an upcoming permit hearing for a proposed coal mine that could ruin his hometown’s water supply. He also produced a nine-minute video featuring local experts on the Benham and Lynch water supply.
On Tuesday, April 13th at 6:30pm at Southeast Kentucky Community & Technical College the Kentucky Division of Mine Permits will hold a permit hearing on a proposed new underground coal mine (permit 848-5458) that would harm the water supply for Benham and Lynch, Kentucky.
Massey Energy, the same company responsible for twenty-nine deaths at Upper Big Branch South Mine in West Virginia, recently purchased this mine.
The video below features the people of Benham and Lynch describing how this mine could destroy their water. Featured residents include elected officials, a water plant operator, retired coal miners and a retired federal mine inspector.
Massey Energy is the same company that owns Upper Big Branch South Mine where twenty-nine coal miners were recently killed. Sections of the mine were ordered closed more than sixty times in 2009 and 2010, and the mine was repeatedly cited in recent months for allowing potentially explosive coal dust to accumulate.
According to the Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition:
– In 2008, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency filed suit against Massey Energy regarding Massey’s violations of the Clean Water Act in West Virginia.
– The EPA cited the company for more than 60,000 violations over a six-year period and ordered the company to pay a record $20 million in fines to settle these violations.
– Remarkably, since that settlement, Massey’s violations have grown more frequent than they were before the EPA brought its enforcement action. Between April 1, 2008, and March 31, 2009, Massey accrued 12,977 Clean Water Act violations.
Kentucky mine permit 848-5458 will mine directly above the Lynch, Kentucky underground reservoir. It will also mine above and next to the Benham, Kentucky underground reservoir.
Please write, email or fax the Kentucky Division of Mine Permits and tell them to protect the Lynch and Benham water. It is some of the highest quality water in the country.
DNR Division of Mine Permits
2 Hudson Hollow Road
Frankfort, KY 40601