Skip to main content

Stopping Destruction at Kentucky's Stacy Branch Coal Mine

Devastation caused by mountaintop removal mining.

Mountaintop removal coal mining, often described as "strip mining on steroids," is an extremely destructive form of mining that is devastating Appalachia.

Chris Jordan-Bloch / Earthjustice

What's at Stake

The proposed permit for the Stacy Branch mine in Knott and Perry Counties of Eastern Kentucky would allow the Leeco to destroy 3.5 miles of streams that local families depend on, by burying them with toxic coal mining waste. Hundreds of people live within a half-mile of the proposed mountaintop removal mining site.

Case Overview

When the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers issued a permit to Leeco Inc. for a new mountaintop removal coal mining operation in eastern Kentucky, it did so without having considered the mountains of evidence that such mining may cause cancer, birth defects and other serious health problems. Earthjustice filed suit on behalf of local citizen groups to stop the practice of ignoring human health risks in coal mine permitting decisions.

The proposed Army Corps permit for the Stacy Branch mine in Knott and Perry Counties of Eastern Kentucky would allow the Leeco to destroy 3.5 miles of streams that local families depend on, by burying them with toxic coal mining waste. Hundreds of people live within a half-mile of the proposed mountaintop removal mining site. The site would overshadow the nearby Lotts Creek Community School, which serves 325 students kindergarten through high school. Numerous peer-reviewed scientific studies show significantly higher disease, cancer, and mortality rates in the areas closest to mountaintop removal.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit upheld the permit, saying the Army Corps is free to ignore public health when it issues permits to coal mines. Earthjustice attorneys, co-counsel and clients are considering next steps.

Case ID

2453

Attorneys

Clients

Kentuckians for the Commonwealth

Case Updates