Groups sue Ky. coal company for water violations

A coalition of four environmental groups calling themselves Appalachian Voices sued a Bardstown coal company in federal court Tuesday over Clean Water Act violations.

The company, Nally & Hamiltion Enterprises, submitted false and incorrect water pollution reports to state regulators, the environmental groups said.

When Appalachian Voices filed notice of intent to sue in March, Nally & Hamilton and the state Energy and Environment Cabinet had 60 days to investigate its claims. On Friday, the state filed an administrative action that found 4,600 violations, cabinet spokesman Dick Brown said. Civil penalties will be determined by a hearing officer, he said.

The state's response was inadequate, Appalachian Voices representative Donna Lisenby said.

Nally & Hamilton's discharge monitoring reports submitted over several years "display cavalier disregard for these requirements and threaten the health of Kentucky citizens and the environment," says the lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in London.

The lawsuit says that at least 48 times between May 2008 and June 2010, Nally & Hamilton's data for discharged pollutants were repeated exactly from a prior month. On 68 occasions, the company omitted required information.

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