Floods damage Pike

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					The Mountain Eagle . . Wednesday, July 21, 2010 . . Page 2

 Mine industry sues over MTR permits
By TIM HUBER                                       and predictable permit terms have been             Mine operators say the practice is highly          for valley fills at surface coal mines in West
AP Business Writer
                                                   unsuccessful, leaving us no choice but             efficient, supports tens of thousands of           Virginia, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Ohio,
                        CHARLESTON, W.Va.          to challenge the EPA and Corps policy in           jobs and provides coal for electric power          Virginia and Tennessee. EPA Administrator
    The coal industry filed a lawsuit Tuesday      court,” NMA President Hal Quinn said in a          plants across much of the South and East.          Lisa Jackson said at the time the goal was a
challenging the Obama administration’s             statement. “The agencies’ continued abuse          But opponents argue that surface mining is         standard so strict that few, if any, permits
efforts to limit surface coal mining in Ap-        of the law to impose arbitrary standards on        too damaging to the environment because            would be issued for valley fills.
palachia.                                          mining operations, state agencies and other        it disposes of excess material such as rock             The lawsuit seeks to have that policy
    The National Mining Association’s law-         federal regulatory bodies threatens the en-        by burying streams.                                overturned as well as to eliminate the EPA’s
suit accuses the Environmental Protection          tire region with further economic misery               In this series of court battles, lawsuits      practice of offering to approve one valley
Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers             and stagnant employment.”                          by coal companies or industry groups have          fill permit at a time, which the NMA says
of illegally preventing mines from obtain-             The EPA had no immediate comment.              been rare. The companies typically find            oversteps the agency’s authority.
ing water quality permits in the region. If        The corps referred questions to the U.S.           themselves fighting lawsuits by environ-                Those decisions should be left to the
successful, the NMA says the lawsuit would         Department of Justice, which also had no           mental groups that seek to stop individual         federal Office of Surface Mining Reclama-
free a logjam of 235 pending permit applica-       immediate comment.                                 permits.                                           tion and Enforcement, the lawsuit contends.
tions that have been held up for additional            The lawsuit is the latest skirmish in a            The core of Tuesday’s lawsuit is an at-             “EPA and the Corps have launched a mov-
scrutiny by the EPA since 2009.                    series of court fights over mountaintop            tack on the new surface mining policy an-          ing target in coal mining permitting that is
    “Members’ efforts to navigate this             removal coal mining in West Virginia,              nounced by the EPA on April 1. The policy          substantially and irreparably harming NMA’s
unlawful process and obtain reasonable             Kentucky and other Appalachian states.             tightened water quality standards solely           coal mining members,” the lawsuit says.


 Police say
 suspect left
 kids in car
      (Continued from Page 1)
her in a vehicle. The manager was
on her way out of the store to check
on the children when police ar-
rived at 6:50 p.m. The manager and
Whitesburg Police Officer Jarrad
Hipps found all three children in
the backseat of the unlocked car.
A blanket had been draped over
a car seat which held the infant.      Gov. Steve Beshear toured the flood-damaged community of Raccoon in Pike County as thousands remained without electricity or running water
    “A two-month-old was in a car      this week. (AP Photo/The Herald-Leader, Charles Bertram)
seat in just a diaper (and) covered
up with a blanket,” said Fields.

                                        Floods damage Pike
“They removed the blanket to find
the child gasping for air, almost
    The children were rushed in-
side the grocery store until medi-
cal personnel arrived to transport
the baby to Whitesburg hospital.
                                       The Associated Press
Fields said the infant spent Friday
night in the intensive care unit at                           PIKEVILLE, Ky.
the Whitesburg hospital and was            A few thousand homes re-
released on Saturday evening.          mained without running water
    “It was devastating to all of      Tuesday in the wake of harsh
us,” said Fields. “Everybody was       flooding in Pike County that
in shock.”                             turned over cars and destroyed
    Fields said the other two chil-    homes.
dren who had been in the vehicle           Local, state and federal officials
appeared to be fine. He said all       were in the county to begin esti-
four windows in Gibson’s ve-           mating damage so they can seek
hicle were rolled down. Fields said    federal assistance.
the thermometer in his cruiser             “The aftermath of the flooding
showed a temperature of 83 de-         in Pike County is really unlike any-
grees, but he said weather could       thing I’ve seen before,” Gov. Steve
have been hotter.                      Beshear said in a news release.
    Gibson is accused of placing           About 3,000 customers of the
$89.96 worth of stolen items into      Mountain Water District still had
a diaper bag she had carried into      water outages Tuesday, while
the store.                             25,000 customers remained under
    “When she got out of that car      a boil water advisory.
going into the store with an empty         Officials hope to cut the num-
diaper bag, she knew what she was      ber without water service in half by
doing,” said Fields.                   the end of Tuesday, said Grondall
    Fields said some of the items      Potter, project manager for the
found in the diaper bag were baby      company that operates the water
formula, diapers, shaving cream,       district.
razor, and two eight-ounce soft            But Potter said some areas are
drink bottles.                         so isolated after flooding washed        Many homes were knocked off their foundations in Raccoon in Pike County. (AP Photo/The Herald-Leader,
    Gibson took her two-year-old       away roads and tossed debris that        Charles Bertram)
daughter with her into the store.      it could be three weeks before
    “The two-year-old witnessed it     some customers get their water
all,” said Fields.                     turned on.
    Gibson is charged with felon-          Potter said the flooding dam-
ly counts of first-degree wanton       aged the main water plant’s in-
endangerment, first-degree             take valve, but it has since been
criminal abuse and endangering         repaired.
the welfare of a minor. She also           “It was the swiftness of this
faces a misdemeanor charge of          (flood) that caused so much of the
theft by unlawful taking (shop-        damage,” Potter said.
lifting).                                  The Saturday night storms in
    Bond for Gibson is set at          central Pike County knocked out
$10,000 cash. She asked for a bond     power to more than 6,000 homes,
reduction during her arraignment       but only about 180 were still with-
in Letcher District Court, which       out power as of Monday night.
District Judge Kevin R. Mullins            Beshear visited the devastated
denied. Gibson pleaded not guilty      areas on Monday and has de-
to her charges and a preliminary       clared a state of emergency for
hearing is set for 10 a.m. on July     the county. Two deaths have been
28.                                    attributed to the flooding.
    Fields said information he             The flash flooding damaged
has gathered in his investigation      water lines, leaving about 12,000
will be presented to the Letcher       people without running water,
County Grand Jury.                     said Pike County Judge/Executive
                                       Wayne Rutherford.
                                           “We are resilient people here
 Conway gains                          in the mountains, we take these
                                       disasters and we go ahead and
                                       build back and move on,” said
 endorsements                          Rutherford, who likened the dam-
                                       age to a tornado.
 in Senate race                            Cases of bottled water were be-
                                       ing handed out, and about 14,000
                                                                                Trucks and campers were left on the railroad track earlier this week after weekend flooding in Raccoon in
                                                                                Pike County. (AP Photo/The Herald-Leader, Charles Bertram)
The Associated Press                   residents have been told to boil
    Kentucky Democratic Senate
candidate has picked up a couple
                                       their tap water before using it.
                                           The National Weather Service
                                       said between three and seven
                                                                                finished, the state will ask for a
                                                                                federal disaster declaration, mak-
                                                                                ing the county eligible for federal
                                                                                                                             First Lady Jane Beshear
of endorsements.                       inches of rain fell in the area Sat-     funds, Rutherford said.
    Conway’s campaign said he’s
being backed by the United Auto
                                       urday evening. Areas just east of
                                       Pikeville were the hardest hit by
                                                                                     “We’re going to have a lot of
                                                                                destroyed homes in the county,”
                                                                                                                             is promoting first phase
Workers union and the Kentucky         storms, according to the weather         said Robyn Tackett, director of the
State Building and Construction
Trades Council.
                                           “It absolutely destroyed every-
                                                                                Big Sandy Red Cross chapter.
                                                                                     Tackett said an overnight shel-         of appliance rebates
    UAW regional director Mo Da-       thing in its path,” Rutherford said.     ter set up at Pike Central High             The Associated Press                   tuckians who reserved a rebate
vidson said Conway has a plan to           A man died after falling off a       School saw about 100 people                                        LOUISVILLE      have not purchased an appliance,
create and preserve jobs in the U.S.   bridge in Pike County near Zebu-         during the day, but only about two             There’s still time for Kentuck-     making those unclaimed funds
    Larry Roberts, state director      lon on Saturday. State police said       dozen slept there Sunday night.             ians to apply for appliance rebates.   available.
of the Building and Construction       Craig Morris, of Carrie, stopped on           She said despite the devasta-             Kentucky first lady Jane Bes-           The state says the unclaimed
Trades Council, calls Conway one       the bridge to look at a family mem-      tion, many opted to stay in the             hear said nearly $1.7 million in       funds will be given on a first-come,
of the state’s “best and brightest     ber’s home during the storms. The        their flood-damaged homes at                unclaimed funds remain in the          first-serve basis.
leaders.” Conway is the state’s at-    second victim, Donna Walters,            night to protect from looting.              state’s Energy Efficient Appliance         Under the program, Kentucky
torney general.                        of Pikeville, was swept away by               “That doesn’t mean the struc-          Rebate Program.                        residents who buy an eligible En-
    Conway is running against Re-      floodwaters, Rutherford said. Her        ture’s sound enough to stay in, but            During the program’s first          ergy Star replacement appliance
publican Rand Paul for the seat of     body was found Sunday.                   they just want to hold on to what           phase, residents could reserve         from a Kentucky retailer may be
Sen. Jim Bunning, who is retiring.         Once damage assessments are          little bit they have left,” Tackett said.   rebates. But nearly half of Ken-       eligible for a rebate.

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