Kentucky Division of Water inspectors say water discharging from a Floyd County mountainside below a reclaimed surface mine “is creating an environmental and safety hazard for the residents who live in close proximity to the site.”
The report by DOW investigators David Jackson and Chad von Gruenigan follows a visit to the property of Rick Handshoe in Hueysville, who fears for his and his daughter’s safety. During the May 16 visit, the investigators collected water samples that produced even higher pollutant levels than those previously recorded by an environmental group.
As CNHI News previously reported, Handshoe’s residence is surrounded by surface mining sites and seeps and landslides have appeared on the mountainside behind his home and below an abandoned underground mine located beneath a partially reclaimed surface mine. Water is also discharging from the abandoned mine opening and contaminating a small creek which runs off the mountain and beside Handshoe’s property.
That unnamed creek drains into Raccoon Creek on another part of Handshoe’s property which is already polluted from yet another mine site. Just last month, the Energy and Environment Cabinet fined Laurel Mountain Resources $11,000 for pollution discharges from a sediment pond into Raccoon Creek.
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