Kentucky coal ash dumping tracked by hidden cameras

Posted Mar 19, 2014 by Justin King
Environmental groups have alerted Louisville Gas & Electric to a pending lawsuit over daily discharges of coal ash into the Ohio River. The groups have produced hidden camera evidence to back up their claims.
Cemetery behind electric power plant in Louisville
There is a small cemetery behind a major power company in Louisville, Ky which as you can see by the coal ash mounds in the background, has a major "coal ash pond" directly behind it. It could be a very dangerous situation.
Sheree Krider
A Notice of Intent to Sue was filed by Earthjustice and the Sierra Club. It alleges that LG&E’s facility, known as the Mill Creek Generating Station, has released coal ash directly into the Ohio River from its coal ash ponds daily for the last five years. The groups have released images captured by a hidden camera over the course of a year, along with images from Google Earth that appear to show the alleged activity.
Coal ash is a toxic byproduct of burning coal for electricity. The residue contains arsenic, lead, and mercury.
Tom Pearce, a Sierra Club organizer said
It’s obvious that they think they can operate with impunity. It’s the reason that we can’t eat fish out of our river. It’s the reason that our river is rates as one of the dirtiest rivers in the country. Is it any wonder?
The Kentucky Division of Water has issued a statement saying that it doesn’t believe LG&E’s activities are illegal, citing a permit that allows for “occasional” discharges into the river from the facility.
Pearce said in response
If you look at the photos, it’s not an occasional discharge. It’s a steady stream coming out of the coal-ash containment pond … every day, all day, all night.
LG&E does not comment on pending litigation; however the attorney for Earthjustice, Tom Cmar, issued the following statement in response to the Division of Water’s finding:
One of the screen captures released by environmental groups purporting to show discharge of coal ash...
One of the screen captures released by environmental groups purporting to show discharge of coal ash into the Ohio River.
The state can’t rewrite this permit in the press. The permit describes the point at which LG&E is dumping coal ash into the Ohio as ‘internal’ to the plant. The law clearly prevents regular toxic mercury discharges into our water, and LG&E’s own permit states that discharges may only be occasional. We’ve documented a year’s worth of constant coal ash wastewater dumping—far more than ‘occasional.’ The evidence shows that LG&E is in blatant violation of existing standards, threatening the health of Kentucky families.
The company has 60 days to respond to the claim that it is violating the Clean Water Act.