Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Coal company cited after weekend spill affected creek

(AP) — The water of an Eastern Kentucky creek has turned red due to mine discharge, but state officials say the discharge isn't responsible for dead wildlife in the creek.

Kentucky Energy and Environment spokesman John Mura says that mine activity at Hardshell Tipples in Letcher County overflowed a retention pond on Friday, sending the iron-laced water into Pine Creek.

State officials issued three violations to the company, and are continuing to monitor to see if the company is complying with regulations that prohibit discharging mine waste into water supplies.

Tarence Ray of nonprofit Appalachian Voices says there are dead fish and turtles in the creek. Mura says the state doesn't believe the spill caused the animal deaths.

The company is treating the spill by putting soda ash into the retention pond.


Hardshell Tipples couldn't be reached for comment.