Groups accuse 2 Ky. coal companies of fraud on pollution reports

Lexington Herald-LeaderOctober 7, 2010 

Four environmental advocacy groups said Thursday that they have found widespread fraud in water pollution discharge monitoring by two of Kentucky's coal companies.

The groups have filed a notice of intent to sue Frasure Creek Mining and ICG of Knott County and Hazard for more than 20,000 violations of the federal Clean Water Act over two years. Each of the 20,000 violations could net a minimum penalty of $37,500, totalling about $740 million. Any award from a lawsuit would go to the U.S. Treasury.

The four groups, in reviewing forms for Frasure Creek and ICG from 2008 and 2009, said they found numerous instances of forms signed and dated by supervisors before testing was conducted, forms copied and pasted from one quarter to the next, and testing dates scratched out and rewritten to appear compliant. Regulatory agencies in Kentucky are not doing an adequate job of reviewing discharge monitoring reports, said Donna Lisenby of Appalachian Voices.

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