Friends of Black Mountain Seek Help in Dispute With Massey Energy

We have a good relationship with Penn-Va which owns the coal mine immediately under the summit of Black Mountain, Kentucky. We have received a request from the Friends of Black Mountain to pass along news about another coal mine on the mountain. This in no way directly affects the high point or our relationship with Penn-Va.

Bill Bosch, friend of the Club who was instrumental in helping us when Penn-Va temporarily prohibited visitors to the summit passes this along:

Dear Family and Friends:

Check the information and get involved if you must…

A bit of personal history: In the UTube presentation the stream of water you see flowing down the mountain side is located in the Number 1 Section of Lynch. Our Lynch home was directly across Looney Creek and the L&N railroad tracks. The
stream of water is flowing out of a mine entrance and in my life time it always has been flowing down the mountain side. As children we drank the water, played in it and one time my brother installed a fifty five gallon drum and stocked minnows and sold them. The water was COLD, TASTELESS, ODORLESS AND COLORLESS just as mother nature intended it to be. We did not hesitate to drink when we were thirsty. There
are several streams in the mountains of Kentucky where people capture water in gallon plastic bottles for their livelihood .

Today, the city of Benham has installed traps at the bottom of the stream you see in the video. This is their water supply.


The information below will explain that the Lynch & Benham water supplies are in jeopardy if the named coal company is granted a mining permit. Instructions below indicated how you may get involved if you so desire.

I’m not against coal mining I stand against ROGUE companies that destroy a way of existence.

Friends of Black Mountain this year and for years to come,


Tuesday, April 13, 2010, at 6:30pm at Southeast Kentucky Community & Technical College the Kentucky Division of Mine Permits will hold a permit hearing on a new underground coal mine. Black Mountain Resources/Harlan Reclamation Services hold permit 848-5458. Massey Energy recently purchased this mine.

To view a video of elected officials, water plant operators, residents of Lynch and Benham, retired coal miners and retired federal mine inspectors tell why they want to protect their water please visit

Massey Energy is the same company that owns Upper Big Branch South Mine where 29 coal miners were recently killed. Sections of the mine were ordered closed more than 60 times in 2009 and 2010, and the mine was repeatedly cited in recent months for allowing potentially explosive coal dust to accumulate.

According to OVEC:

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.

According to the water plant operators of both communities that the only reason that their water has to be treated is to meet state and federal requirements.

DNR Division of Mine Permits
2 Hudson Hollow Road
Frankfort, KY 40601
Phone: 502-564-2320
Fax: 502-564-6764

Follow up
On April 14 Bill forwarded

Dear Concerned Citizen;
I have been asked to respond to your e-mailed comments concerning mining proposed by application 848-5458 NW.

As you may know, there is a very specific time period set by our regulations during which the public may comment on an application for a mining permit. In accordance with that regulation, the “Public Comment Period” for this proposal ended on March 18. 2010. A Permit Conference was held April 13, 2010, at 6:30 PM at the Southeast Community College, and because an extension was requested, we are taking comments until April 20, 2010. Therefore, if you have any further comments or information regarding this application, you may file them until that date..

We are very much aware of the circumstances surrounding the water system for Lynch, Cumberland, and Benham. Please be assured that this application is being reviewed with that in mind. During the review, an application is continually withdrawn for corrections and resubmitted with those corrections made. On a new application such as this, the review process can take as much as 483 calendar days. A permit cannot be issued unless the final application complies with all the regulations, including not affecting water resources. When a decision is made to either issue or deny the application, you will be notified.

We appreciate your participation in the permitting process.

Perry Johnson, Supervisor
Operations Support Section
Division of Mine Permits

On April 14 Bill forwarded the comments of Tom Fitzgerald of the Kentucky Resource Council (who also helped in the access issue earlier)

This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Friends of Black Mountain Seek Help in Dispute With Massey Energy

  1. Pingback: National Trust for Historic Preservation Lists Black Mountain as One of America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places for 2010 «

Leave a Reply