U.S. Environmental Protection Agency called it the worst known
environmental disaster to strike the southeastern United States.
On October 11, 2000, a 72 acre coal slurry pond in Martin County,
Kentucky collapsed into the coal mine below it, eventually finding
its way into nearby streams and creeks. When it was over, an estimated
250 million gallons of sludge, 3 times the volume of the Exxon
Valdez oil spill in Alaska, had contaminated Kentucky's environment.
With quick action and a solid plan, Kentucky is now on the road
to preventing a similar disaster in the future.
At the ceremonial signing on March 25, Governor Patton signed
into law SB165, which allows for enhanced sharing and access to
mine mapping information, and eliminates the restriction for releasing
active mine information that is in place for the Department of
Mines and Minerals.
drafted by the Kentucky Mine Mapping Initiative team, which is
comprised of representatives from the Kentucky Geological Survey,
Kentucky Department of Mines and Minerals, Kentucky Department
for Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, U.S. Office of
Surface Mining, Revenue Cabinet, Natural Resources and Environmental
Protection Cabinet, Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, and Governor's
Office for Technology. Digital mapping technology will be used
for accessing coal mine and gas/oil well data statewide for government
and public users for environmental protection, developing best
land use practices, and protecting human health and safety.
are 118 slurry impoundments, 331 surface mines and 322 underground
mines in Kentucky.
more information see:
details on SB165