HUEYSVILLE — Every Sunday, Rick Handshoe strolls from his mobile home across a two-lane paved highway, down the hill to Raccoon Creek, which is sometimes orange, sometimes silty, sometimes clear.
He notes whether any frogs or crawdads can be found, dead or alive, and he notes how much water is flowing from the pond built at the head of the Floyd County creek by a coal company about five years ago.
Handshoe has been watching his creek ebb and flow, die and come alive and die again, as the cycle of blasting, mining and reclamation has continued on land surrounding his retirement home. Until a year ago, his observations were just that; he couldn't afford to send periodic water samples to a laboratory to find out what minerals were leeching into his creek.
But for the past year, Handshoe has been armed with a new weapon: a conductivity meter given to him by the Sierra Club.
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