There are many reasons to file a lawsuit in a Kentucky coal slurry case. In one case, the coal slurry contaminated creeks and flooded homes. Other cases have claimed that coal slurry caused physical ailments, including a boy who woke up one morning with pus coming out of his penis. Smart lawyers know how to hold companies responsible for their actions in the U.S. and can bring a class action lawsuit against Massey & Rawl.
Coal slurry impoundment in southeast Kentucky
The EPA ranked the spill as one of the worst environmental disasters in the southeastern United States. In response, the National Research Council is studying how to reduce the risk of future accidents. Those who live in or near coal-slurry impoundments should be concerned about the spill. Fortunately, there are some steps they can take. For example, they should build a thicker barrier between the slurry and surrounding soil, as well as ensure that it is properly sealed.
The MSHA report will include nine recommendations. Among these recommendations are that the company should not allow the level of the slurry impoundment to rise any higher than it is now. This action would prevent the impoundment from filling with mud and polluting the water. The company should also take measures to protect the wetlands around the impoundment, which have already been devastated. The MSHA report will help hundreds of communities with coal mines.
The MSHA investigation report cited two violations of the law and recommended eight more, but Massey chose to only issue two. It also failed to mention a map showing inaccurate barrier wall measurements. In addition, the report did not mention Massey’s total 2002 revenues of $1.43 billion, which would have resulted in automatic penalties of $5,400 every two minutes. However, that settlement did contain other significant provisions, including the installation of an innovative electronic tracking system to detect violations. The settlement also calls for a plan for preventing slurry spills and requires employees to respond promptly to permit violations. It also requires the company to hire a consultant if violations continue. It also requires regular reporting to neutral third parties and carries automatic penalties.
The Kentucky coal slurry lawsuits claim Massey failed to follow proper mining practices and poured large quantities of sludge into the local waterways. This waste contains sediment and metals that can clog streams and harm fish habitats. The spills were the result of failures in coal slurry storage and processing. A recent documentary, “Sludge,” tells the story of the spill in Martin County, Kentucky.
Cost of cleanup
The Environmental Protection Agency has ordered Martin County Coal Co. to pay a $20 million civil penalty for polluting streams and rivers. The company polluted the Big Sandy River, which divides Kentucky and West Virginia and supports heavy barge traffic downstream. The river also provides electricity to residents of both states. The spill caused coal sludge to flow into nearby creeks. Aerial photos of the spill show the coal sludge overtaking a natural creek bed.
The costs associated with a Kentucky coal slurry cleanup are estimated in the millions of dollars. The cleanup could take as much as six months to complete and is expected to involve extensive engineering and construction. The estimated job creation would generate a much higher return than the utility’s plan. Furthermore, the clean closure plan would generate $130 million more than the utility’s proposal over the next 34 years. However, the economic benefits will not be immediately noticeable.
Damage to property
The Kentucky coal slurry spill was one of the worst disasters in the country, causing more than 250 million gallons of black sludge to spill into nearby waterways. Hundreds of people died in the disaster, and the cleanup effort further strained the local community. This exhibit explores the disaster and its aftermath. It provides an overview of how and why it happened and the potential consequences.
A suit was filed by the state of West Virginia in 1974 against the Pittston Coal Company, seeking compensation and punitive damages for the flood and subsequent property damage. The disaster destroyed hundreds of miles of roads, and the cleanup of Buffalo Creek was difficult. In 1977, the state settled the case for $1 million, with the help of a law firm led by Arnold & Porter. The suit was later settled, and Governor Moore agreed to pay a $1 million settlement three days before leaving office.
A new study published in the Journal of Environmental Health has shown that exposure to coal ash and its associated chemicals is linked to many health problems in children. The study used flyers and door-to-door marketing to recruit participants in coal ash storage communities. Similarly, recruits for the nonexposed comparison group were recruited from the waiting room of a primary health care clinic serving the county. The study found that children who lived near coal ash and coal-slurry power plants were more likely to report developing health problems.
However, more research is needed to determine the health risks associated with Kentucky coal slurry. Although state and federal agencies have not made an official statement regarding a potential connection between coal slurry and drinking water, the Center for Health, Environment, and Justice has documented 43 leaks of other industrial waste from 473 industrial injection wells across the country since 1973. The Center for Health, Environment, and Justice’s report found that nearly half of the leaks contaminated groundwater. In contrast, the Martin County Coal Corp. study looked at the long-term exposure and the short-term exposure to coal slurry.