February 26, 2013

Premium, Kentucky Residents File Lawsuit Against Coal Company

Close to 40 residents of the eastern Kentucky town of Premium, in Letcher County, have filed a lawsuit against United Coal Company for allegedly contaminating the water supply of the city.

The particular mines in question are Sapphire Mining's UZ No. 1 and UZ No. 2 mines.

Sandra Napier, one of those suing the company, said this, "We had wonderful water, clear, crystal clear, soft water, good drinking water, bath water, and all of a sudden it just turned really bad. Until the state ruled Sapphire was at fault, we had to drive to Neon every day and haul drinking water and all of our water because there wasn't any water here."

According to Kentucky Department for Natural Resources spokesman Dick Brown, drinking water has been supplied by the company to the residents claiming theirs has been contaminated.

"Forcing Sapphire into expensive and protracted litigation while the company awaits word of possible public funding for a permanent water supply solution, a project that should be underway soon, is counter-productive, in the department's opinion," Brown said.

United Coal Company said it had no comment.

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