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Kentucky Resources Council, PO Box 1070, Frankfort, KY 40602 Phone [502] 875-2428

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PO Box 1070, Frankfort, KY 40602  Phone 502.875.2428, Fax 502.875.2845

KRC: The First Ten Years  Posted: January 28, 2001
The Kentucky Resources Council, Inc.:
Ten Years After
1984 -1994

Prepared by Tom FitzGerald
Council Director
June 7, 1994

Introduction

The Kentucky Resources Council is a non-profit, membership organization whose members include Kentuckians from all walks of life and all areas of the state, as well as supporters of the Council's work who live across the country. The membership includes urban dwellers, rural landowners, river recreationists - Kentuckians from varied backgrounds and with varied interests who share one common goal - that of protecting our natural resources and communities from needless waste and destruction.

The Council, acting through its Kentucky Governmental Accountability Project, performs a unique role among organizations working to improve our management of natural resources and to protect public health and safety from pollution. The Council is what one public television commentator called "an environmental M*A*S*H unit," responding to environmental crises great and small by providing legal and technical guidance, resources, and direct legal assistance to individuals, communities, local governments and to environmental and social justice organizations who are impacted by the waste and destruction of natural resources.

The Council and its Kentucky Governmental Accountability Project began work in May, 1984, and is directed by Tom FitzGerald. Council staff includes one full- and one part-time attorney, Wade Helm and Elizabeth Natter; and an office manager, Becky Raff. The Project and the Council are under the direct supervision of the Board of Directors, comprised of individuals who are linked to local and state organizations and community groups addressing environmental issues, and who establish annual priorities for the Council's activities.

The Council staff operates from the central office in Frankfort, and a satellite office in Louisville. The Council is a statewide organization, and is involved in state, national, regional, and local community issues from the banks of the Mississippi River at Hickman in Fulton County to the headwaters of the Clover Fork of the Cumberland River at Closplint in mountainous Harlan County.

The Council's work, as a legal, strategic and technical resource center, takes many forms. In the pages that follow, one can see the range of the Council's work - from advice to local governments and community groups, to drafting legislative initiatives, to administrative advocacy on a range of matters, to legal representation (at no cost) of low-income individuals and groups in administrative and judicial cases involving significant local environmental impacts or policies of statewide or regional concern.

The Council's efforts in environmental advocacy gained recognition from the state Environmental Quality Commission, which noted during an Earth Day 20 commemoration that:

Kentucky has many individuals who are working hard to protect the environment, but nonehave worked harder than Tom FitzGerald. Mr. FitzGerald is well known to Kentucky through his work with the Kentucky Resources Council. The Commission would like to recognize Mr. FitzGerald for the many hours he has put forth towards promoting environmental protection and his efforts to seek strong and effective environmental laws in Kentucky.

The pages that follow highlight the major accomplishments of the Council during the first decade, distilled from hundreds of issues and cases on which the council has worked. The efforts and accomplishments of the Council would not have been possible without the unwavering support and encouragement of the membership of the Council, the Board of Directors, and particularly from the following individuals and foundations:

Mary and Barry Bingham, Sr,
The Mary and Barry Bingham Sr. Fund
Virginia Environmental Endowment
The Norton Foundation
Jessie Smith Noyes Foundation
Public Welfare Foundation
The Appalachian Community Fund
Mrs. W. L. Lyons Brown
Betsy Bennett
Robert and Connie Dulaney
Eugene Goss
Rowland and Eleanor Bingham Miller
Mason Rudd
Clark Woolum

The Board of Directors and staff of the Council are deeply appreciative of the support of these foundations and individuals, and of the faith in our work reflected in that support. We hope and trust that the work reflected in the pages that follow, and the work that we will undertake in years to come, will prove worthy of that faith.

1984 - 1985: The First Year

During the first year, the Council concentrated on administrative advocacy, reviewing and commenting on a number of state and federal regulatory proposals in the areas of surface mining, and water quality. The Council:

* Wrote much of the national comments of citizens groups on the mining regulation changes undertaken by the Reagan and Bush Administrations as part of the "regulatory reform" effort. Among the proposed changes to the regulations were those addressing the "16 2/3" exemption from mining regulation for operations removing coal incidental to other minerals, an exemption that had been subject to much abuse. The Council's proposed changes, which were adopted by the state of Kentucky into its comments, were largely included in the national rule, and helped to curb the abuse of the exemption.

* Monitored oil and gas pollution, and commented on oil development on public lands.

* Brought together a coalition of environmental organizations to provide unified comments on the state waster quality standard review process, resulting on rejection of many weakening amendments to those regulations that would have lowered stream protection; and the adoption of strengthening of anti-degradation provisions.

* Conducted workshops on water pollution and public participation in permitting industrial facilities; developed fact sheets on oil and gas pollution.

* Successfully opposed oil and gas drilling in designated wild rivers corridors, and secured additional conditions on other projects within wild river corridors.

* Filed its first two lawsuits, challenged the federal underground injection control program adopted for Kentucky. The settlement of that suit resulted in increased priority for permitting and regulated subsurface injection of coal slurry into old mine workings, and improved public education and information efforts.

The other suit, Little v. National Mines was a two-pronged assault on the failure of the state to require mine permit applicants to properly identify and monitor groundwater resources that could be impacted by the proposed mining. The Project challenged the policy in a specific permit issuance context, and the filed a federal suit challenging the policy as it affected thousands of proposed and already-issued mine permits.

* Authored a law review article on abuses of the 1977 mining act, and a chapter for a mineral law treatise on representing the citizen in mining cases.

1985 - 1986

1985 brought continued advocacy concerning oil and gas pollution. As the state attempted to respond to ground and surface water contamination from oil production, the oil and gas industry responded with lawsuits and political pressure. The Council:

* Supported the state's efforts, serving notice on the federal EPA of an intent to sue unless the federal government assisted Kentucky in developing a limit on brine discharges; developing fact sheets and raising public awareness of the problems of oil pollution; developing legal analyses for the state's attorneys and assisting in case preparation.

* Demanded better protection of groundwater from mining impacts. 1985 saw resolution of the groundwater waiver issue that had resulted in the Council's Little v. Clark lawsuit in 1984. The impacts of coal mining on groundwater can be severe. Absent background information, it is difficult to prove that a loss of quality or quantity of groundwater was due to coal mining. In response to the lawsuit filed by the Council challenging the state policy of issuing waivers from the collection of background groundwater information, the state of Kentucky reopened over 1000 mining permits and required installation of water monitoring and collection of background and during-mining groundwater samples.

* Worked towards an end to the use of the infamous "broad-form deeds" to dispossess surface landowners and strip mine their lands.

Boys we got to organize against those strip mine men,
comin' for to bury my home, and those broad form deeds,
that always let them win, comin' for to bury my home

- Mining protest song, 1960's.

1985 saw the beginning of the end for the "broad form" mineral deed, a deed which Kentucky courts held to authorize strip mining despite having been executed at the turn of the century. The Council researched and drafted 50 pages of the core legal arguments that would be used in the nine-year campaign to challenge the broad form deed, which ultimately led in 1993 to a reversal of the 1956 court decision by the Kentucky Supreme Court. In 1985, the state had adopted a law which would limit mining under the deeds to those methods commonly employed, unless specific intent to use strip-mining was expressed in the deed. The state agency continued to issue mine permits in broad-form deed situations, in violation of state and federal law. The Council served notice on the state of this problem, and ultimately drafted a class action suit to end the practice. In February 1985, an injunction was entered in federal court revoking all permits since June 1984, and prohibiting further permit issuance. While the state court voided the state law in 1985, the federal injunction remained in effect until June of 1988, and was shortly thereafter followed in November, 1988 by the adoption of a state constitutional amendment that incorporated the same requirements as the voided law. That state amendment was upheld against a coal industry challenge in 1993, with the Council's arguments forming the core of the landowner's brief in support of the amendment and for reversal of the 1956 court decision.

* Filed a challenge to the failure of the state mining program to include certain provisions regarding enforcement and public participation, was upheld on all counts by a U.S. District Court. The suit, on which the Council Director was lead counsel who authored all pleadings and briefs, ruled that the state mining program must provide broader rights for citizens to intervene, that all state inspectors must have the authority to shut down mines causing an imminent danger, that coal tipples must be regulated , and that an exemption to the protections of the law must be more narrowly construed than the state proposal.

* Led an effort to require the state to abandon a plan to reduce the surface mine inspection force, and instead worked to increase the inspection staff by 43.

* Began working closely with a U.S. Senate office to convince the federal Office of Surface Mining to reconsider, and to approve extension of a water supply system to an area of Butler County whose families had lost their water sources to past mining.

* Began assisting residents of the Upper Slate Lick community of Laurel County in seeking federal monies from the Abandoned Mine Land Fund for a water line extension to a community that had lost its sole water supply years earlier to mining contamination.

* Continued public information and education efforts, conducting workshops on mining laws and public participation in permitting and enforcement under the surface mining act, and developing handouts on mining, blasting, and water quality issues.

* Successfully opposed a bid by the state Division of Oil and Gas to secure primary authority over the Underground Injection Control program. The state agency lacked, and lacks, the staff, the resources, and the regulatory atmosphere necessary to effectively police subsurface injection associated with oil production and waste disposal.

* Beginning what would be a long tradition of providing free assistance to citizens and to those private attorneys representing individuals adversely affected by pollution, the Council successfully assisted a family in Whitley County in resolving a dispute with a coal company whose upstream activities had flooded their land. The Council also engaged in case-specific free representation of landowners, representing numerous citizens in mining-related challenges, such as the Tacketts in Pike County, where a coal tipple was built within a prohibited distance from their home and the state failed to protect them when it permitted the tipple. In Leslie County, the Council succeeded in negotiating additional protections for the home and water supply of the Adams family against undermining their property.

* Succeeded in securing a federal order to close a mine pit in Bledsoe County, Tennessee that had been open longer than the law allowed, and which was leaching acid mine drainage that was injuring a stream.

* Called attention to the impacts on a federal wilderness area from acid mine drainage from an improperly reclaimed minesite; resulting in state enforcement against the responsible mine operator.

* Defeated efforts to site a landfill atop a limestone cave system that supplied the water for the town of Livingston, Kentucky.

1986 - 1987

* The Council succeeded in securing federal intervention to control oil brine discharges into surface waters. A notice of intent letter and detailed comments in opposition to a state exemption from water pollution regulations for oil brine dischargers, led to federal imposition of a limits on such discharges, and the beginning of effective control of the effects of the saline discharges on Kentucky's headwater streams.

* 1986 saw both the Butler County and Laurel County abandoned mine land projects approved, bringing drinking water to hundreds of families who for years had been without dependable flowing water in their homes. Council efforts to force the federal agency to accord mine-related water loss the proper priority for funding bore fruit in the approval of these projects.

Additionally, the Council:

* Assisted Protect Our Children, a Henry County group, in securing many changes in the operations of a hazardous waste facility located in that county, including better emergency personnel training, evacuation and emergency response planning, an agreement not to haul waste through the town of new Castle, and reconstruction of a bridge.

* Authored a chapter on water laws and citizens rights for a publication by Highlander Research Center in New Market, Tennessee.

* Worked with two other counsel in writing the briefs for the In Re: Permanent Surface Mining Regulation Litigation, the national multi-issue lawsuit challenging the regulatory "reform" efforts of the Reagan and Bush administrations. The Council wrote the briefs on issues such as water supply replacement, bonding, coal waste disposal, restoration of mined lands, and successfully defended the law against the efforts of the administration to weaken the regulations and to thwart citizen participation.

* Secured a federal order demanding enforcement action in Harlan County against a mine company, requiring the company to fix a 200 foot fissure caused by mine subsidence. In Pike County, the Council provided extensive free assistance to the Andersons in their successful effort to require replacement of damaged water supplies from a mining company. The Council wrote all appellate briefs in the case, convincing the appeals court to reverse the trial court and hold for the landowners. In Floyd County, the Council was there helping Tom Martin to secure proper reclamation of mined lands from Transcontinental Coal Processing. The Council also provided assistance to local groups in other states, including Illinois and Tennessee.

* Developed extensive comments on proposed air toxics regulations, resulting in much broader listing of regulated air toxic compounds.

* Authored comments which formed the basis of the national response of public-interest groups on many proposed revisions to the national surface mining regulations, including proposed changes to regulations on prime farmlands, highwall elimination, 16 2/3 exemption, remining previously mined lands, contemporaneous reclamation, post mining land uses, inspection frequency for abandoned mines, regulation of coal tipples, and permit rescission for improperly issued state permit. The Council Director was one of three attorneys representing the public nationwide in litigation concerning over 150 regulation changes proposed by Reagan and Bush Administrations during the 1980s. The lawsuits were very successful in overturning many extreme proposals, which sought to erode both substantive protections of the 1977 law, and public participation in assuring that the state regulatory programs were properly implemented and enforced.

1987 - 1988

During this year, the Council:

* Drafted a petition for the City of Pineville, seeking to declare the watershed of Cannon Creek Lake (the water supply for Pineville) as unsuitable for coal mining under the 1977 mining law. The petition was approved, making it the first successful petition in Kentucky declaring an area as off-limits to mining.

* Successfully assisted a local conservancy district in Christian County in opposing the mining of the upper pool area of a flood-control lake.

* Assisted Pendleton County farmers in successful opposition to unneeded lake projects that would have inundated farmland.

* Continued monitoring all forest service activities in the Daniel Boone National Forest, successfully appealing the swap of a wildlife management area containing the scenic McCammon Gorge and waterfall, for previously strip mined land. The Council also facilitated an agreement to cease federal timber sales within the corridor of state-protected wild and scenic rivers and for improved state-federal communication concerning land management activities within state-protected areas.

* Opposed a proposal to build a high dam on the Kentucky River, developing a fact sheet and presenting public testimony. The city that had proposed the dam later withdrew the concept and developed a multi-interest task force to study water supply issues on the river; the Council was represented on that task force, working towards reduction of peak water demand rather than new dam construction as the preferred solution.

* Threatened suit over the failure to protect wetlands during mining, resulting in a state review of all existing permits and revision of those permits to protect wetlands areas from mining.

* Continued to assist the residents of Madison County, Kentucky in their efforts to oppose the construction of an incinerator for thermal destruction of chemical weapons, such as nerve and blister agents.

* Published What's In Your Backyard, a citizen's guide to Title III of the Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act, which explained the community-right-to-know aspects of the law regarding the storage and release of hazardous chemicals. The guide was reprinted and distributed by the state.

* Assisted the citizens of Latonia who complained about the fumes associated with a polymer production plant that bordered their community, resulting in intensive scrutiny of the plant by the state, including new stack testing, and commitments to clean up sewer and air discharges.

* Began a long relationship with the Concerned Citizens Coalition, a group of residents in southwestern Jefferson County opposed to the siting of a commercial hazardous waste incinerator directly upwind from the city of Louisville and located on the river side of the Ohio River floodwall. After successfully defeating the incinerator, the Coalition began a six-year battle to prevent burning of the same types of hazardous wastes in a cement kiln across the highway from the proposed incinerator. Work began in 1987 on an ordinance, passed in 1988, that required extensive local review of proposed hazardous waste disposal treatment and facilities.

* Worked to upgrade the state mining regulatory program in Kentucky, where the program suffered from a failure to enforce the law against willful and serious violators of the reclamation requirements of the law. A settlement of a lawsuit brought by the Council and a national environmental organization against the state of Kentucky for non-enforcement of mining laws, resulted in a comprehensive agreement to reform the enforcement of the laws in the state. Congress appropriated 13 million additional dollars for additional personnel, training, increased inspection capability, and improved equipment necessary to properly enforce the law at the thousands of minesites in the state.

* Pressured the state to begin permitting the shoreline activities of coal dredging operations, whose deposition of dredged material along shorelines was destroying aquatic habitat.

* Drafted model legislation requiring regulation of nerve agents as a hazardous waste and demanding additional demonstration that proposed destruction methods would be safe and that adequate emergency response plans were developed and funded.

* Drafted legislation to help address the large-scale importation of garbage from the northeast that began this year. The problem prompted public concern throughout rural Kentucky because of the threat to groundwater caused by the poor quality of Kentucky's landfills and the large population (31% of the state) that relies on groundwater for drinking water. The Council responded to the legislative request for assistance by drafting three bills enacted in the 1988 legislative session: the first, requiring all landfills to be upgraded and limiting the disposal of exempt hazardous wastes in solid waste landfills; the second, requiring expanded public notice and comment opportunities for new or expanded landfills, and the last, allowing counties to tax all waste disposal and authorizing the hiring of local inspectors.

1989 - 1990

During this year, the Council:

* Added a second full-time position and a part-time staff position this year, bringing total staff up from 1 to 2.5 persons.

* Assisted in developing a legislative proposal to create a Kentucky River Basin Authority to oversee management of the river basin. After participating as a public representative on a legislative task force on waste management, the Council saw enacted reforms it had proposed in the state superfund law, which is intended to remediate environmental contamination.

* Required modifications of a riverfront development proposal that would have destroyed wetland habitat along the Ohio River.

* Assisted local residents in opposing the damming of Station Camp Creek, a high quality tributary of the Kentucky River.

* Drafted a second petition to declare lands unsuitable for mining; this time a 10,000 acre tract comprising the research forest for a state university - the largest contiguous tract of mature forest remaining in the Cumberland Plateau coalfields of eastern Kentucky. The petition declaring the area as unsuitable for mining was approved for 95% of the area that had been petitioned, and major changes were made in the mining plan of those areas for which mining was allowed.

* Successfully urged the state administration to impose a moratorium on permitting solid and medical waste incinerators pending a revision to state regulations, and assisted numerous local groups in addressing large-scale solid waste importation to their communities.

* Began working with residents in the small mountain community of Dayhoit, Harlan County, and former workers who were exposed to PCBs, lead, 1,1 trichloroethylene and vinyl chloride from an equipment repair business that dumped its waste in and on the land for many years.

* Again coordinated public response to the triennial review of the state water quality standards.

* Began representing residents of Wurtland in opposition to PCI, Inc., alter ego to an Ohio company with an abysmal environmental compliance record.

* Successfully petitioned for denial of a claim of trade secret by a company seeking to avoid disclosure of the contents of a PCB transformer-cleaning fluid.

* Succeeded in protecting hundreds of communities from the adverse effects of coal tipples by challenging federal regulations that would have de-regulated coal tipples located away from coal mine sites.

* Defeated a proposal by a New Jersey company to retrofit a closed solid waste incinerator in rural Simpson County for use as a medical waste incinerator.

1990 - 1991

* The Council Director, at the request of the state Senate leadership, served as negotiator for the environmental and grassroots community in the 1991 special legislative session on solid waste. The result was a bill that substantially upgraded solid waste management, setting recycling goals, increasing state procurement of recycled material, requiring local communities to plan for solid waste needs and granting authority to limit volumes of waste disposed within the planning area, requiring background investigations of applicants for solid waste permits, and capping expansion of substandard landfills and requiring closure within 5 years.

Additionally, the Council:

* Assisted numerous communities in opposing unneeded landfill and incinerator proposals, and in developing strong solid waste management plans and drafting model host community agreements to assure protection of local communities wishing to host solid waste landfills. The model agreement formed the basis of the Estill, Franklin and Jefferson County agreements.

* Continued to review and selectively comment on hazardous waste permits, Daniel Boone National Forest land management proposals, underground injection control and surface water discharge proposals affecting the state's land and water resources.

* Began working with the residents of Browder to defeat a proposal to land-dispose a borderline hazardous waste in an under-designed solid waste landfill, and to close an aluminum "dross" facility that had caused a nuisance in a poor African-American community within the town of Drakesboro. The facility was closed in 1992 by the state for numerous air pollution violations.

* Worked to strengthen infectious waste incineration regulations, and conducted a study reflecting the poor performance of the state's medical waste incinerators.

* Successfully pushed for strong solid waste incinerator regulations, mandating 40% waste separation and removal of all batteries.

1991 - 1992

* The Council provided an unprecedented level of support to local efforts at implementing Senate Bill 2, the solid waste management bill written in significant part by the Council's Director, as head of a coalition of organizations involved in the month-long negotiations that resulted in adoption of the comprehensive reform of Kentucky's solid waste laws. The Council reviewed over 100 draft solid waste plans, worked with many local citizens groups and governments on solid waste issues, wrote legal briefs for a challenge to a "mega-landfill" proposed in a rural county with no need for such a facility; participated in review of plans for permits and closure of old facilities; drafted host agreements and solid waste plans.

Additionally, the Council:

* Worked with local residents to convince the town of Nicholasville to relocate and apply better technology to the discharge from a sewage plant so that the scenic Jessamine Creek gorge would be protected.

* Caused cancellation of a plan to field test an untested red dye within the national forest as an herbicide for control of marijuana.

* Drafted a local ordinance to regulate barrel cleaning for the Gallatin County Fiscal Court, which required background investigations and a performance bond; resulting in the decision of a company with a spotty environmental record not to relocate to rural Gallatin County.

* Successfully opposed the deregulation of asbestos-containing floor tiles during housing demolition - a significant health issue for the area near the 1,300 homes slated for demolition near the Louisville airport during the fall of 1991.

* Continued to litigate and comment on national mining rules, continuing a 20-year commitment of the Director to mining reform.

* Responded to a request by a Pike County state representative and drafted a bill, enacted during the 1992 state legislative session, requiring local approval of facilities proposing to thermally treat petroleum contaminated soil. A loophole in the federal regulations allows soils with hazardous levels of gasoline constituents to be treated as a solid waste and burned without proper precautions.

* Assisted the state administrative agency in negotiating a set of regulations governing special wastes (utility ash, sewage sludge and oil and gas related wastes); ending an impasse and developing a set of regulations which improved public participation and testing of wastes prior to approval of designs for land disposal of such wastes.

1992 - 1993

During this year, the Council:

* Researched the many violations of state mining laws committed by an applicant for a landfill permit in Whitley county, Kentucky, barring the permit issuance based on provisions of the 1991 state solid waste law drafted by the Council Director.

* Developed extensive comments raising significant environmental questions relating to a proposal to landspread New York City sewage sludge on mined land in western Kentucky, resulting in a withdrawal of the proposal.

* Assisted in drafting a bill to designate the red River Gorge into the federal Wild and Scenic River system.

* With two hours notice, represented residents of western Louisville in a successful fight against rezoning of a non-conforming hazardous waste site located in a working class residential neighborhood.

* Resolved administrative challenges to PCI water permit by imposing new monitoring limits.

* Successfully challenged a decision by federal mining agency to lift enforcement order against J & H Coal Company for landslide affecting the home of three families. Hired consultant, reviewed data developed by agency, appealed failure to conduct more thorough investigation. That investigation demonstrated link between former mining and landslide; the responsible party is now assessing how to stabilize slope and find replacement housing.

* Assisted Help Alert Western Kentucky (HAWK) in opposing a wood chip mill, which would involve extensive clearcutting of timber.

* Assisted residents of Ivel, Kentucky in challenging a proposed landfill for ash from burning coal. The challenge resulted in an agreement to redesign the landfill to include better groundwater monitoring, a liner, a better cap and other precautions lacking in the permit as originally approved.

* Worked to assure that Dan and Carol Turley's rights were respected by a utility company, that had built a high-voltage power line near their home despite their objections and despite the existence of other more remote rights-of-way. The challenge, which is pending before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, resulted in a Commission finding that the company lacked the legal right to have constructed the line, which the Commission may order relocated away from their property.

* Worked with other groups to successfully oppose a federal proposal to open up national parks and buffer zones around homes and cemeteries to underground and strip mining.

1993 - 1994

During this current year, the Council:

* Brought the issue of radioactive contamination of the state's oil fields to the public eye, and led to first actions by state to identify and demand clean-up of contaminated areas. Among the actions resulting from 9-page letter from Council to Governor were: a commitment to a health study of residents of contaminated areas; a recall of any contaminated piping; development of an interagency workgroup to develop plans for surveying the oilfields for contamination; and a commitment to remediate contamination to health-based levels.

* Succeeded in convincing the state Nature Preserves Commission to deny the request of the state transportation agency to take a portion of a state nature preserve for a highway corridor.

* Defeated an effort to rezone a former waste oil recycling facility as a hazardous waste blending and storage plant. The plant, located in a working class residential neighborhood, was less than 100 feet from a public park on a dead end street.

* Worked with the Concerned Citizens Coalition to convince a cement company to abandon plans to supplement coal fuel with hazardous wastes and waste tires.

* Assisted Eastern Kentucky University in successfully opposing efforts by a coal company to undermine the only protected old growth forest remnant in eastern Kentucky.

* Represented a landowner in eastern Kentucky concerned with the desecration of a prehistoric rockshelter. The case, which holds precedents significant for protection of all private burial sites, including family cemeteries, questions the extent to which such sites must be avoided or properly relocated consistent with scientific and legal principles.

* Developed a third Lands Unsuitable Petition; this time to protect the watershed of Fern Lake, which supplies the water for the City of Middlesboro, Kentucky and lies within the visual horizon of the Cumberland Gap National Historic Park - the route of the European migration into Kentucky.

* Challenged the failure of the state and federal mining agencies to assure that the productive capability of farm lands is restored after mining.

* Authored a brief in case of estate of child drowned in stream because of improperly sized road culvert from strip mine.

* Negotiated, at request of legislators and state administrative officials, resolution of controversy over disposal of coal combustion waste on mine sites, resulting in bill that provides full protection of surface and groundwater from contamination associated with metals in the ash.

In 1993, the Director of the Virginia Environmental Endowment, Gerald P. McCarthy, said this of the Council's work:

Since its inception in 1984, the Kentucky Governmental Accountability Project has made an extraordinary contribution to the development, implementation and interpretation of environmental laws and policies in Kentucky. Equally impressive is its record of public advocacy and representation of grassroots interests on many issues related to environmental health and resource protection.VEE is proud to have participated in KGAP's growth and to have supported the work of the Kentucky Resources Council.

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