Posted by: Lawyer Sanders | June 9, 2009

Kentucky environmental attorney Sanders says construction begins on new $1.1 million water supply project in Knott County, Kentucky.

The Department for Natural Resources’ Division of Abandoned Mine Lands (AML) announced the commencement of construction for the Irishman Creek Phase IV Water Supply Project for Knott County, Kentucky. 

Music Construction, Inc. has been awarded the approximate $1.1 million project contract, with RM Johnson Engineering providing engineering inspection services.  On-site construction began the end of May. 

A groundwater contamination study performed by the Knott County Fiscal Court, and funded by AML, found that much of the groundwater in the Irishman Creek watershed has been impacted by pre-1982 mining, making it eligible for assistance for water supply replacement from the AML program.

This will be the final phase of construction for the extension of public waterlines to serve the remaining 241 affected residences of the watersheds of Big Branch of Troublesome Creek, Irishman Creek and Trace Fork of Irishman Creek. 

The project area will include Flax Patch Branch, Mill Branch, Alum Cave Branch, Madden Fork, Mill Creek, Lick Branch, Short Branch and Swift Shoal Branch and will be conducted entirely in Knott County.  The project will involve the installation of approximately 13.7 miles of water main, one booster pump station and meters at approximately 208 residences.

Since the project’s inception, AML has installed approximately 37.5 total miles of water main and four booster pump stations within the project area.  Moreover, AML has provided approximately 672 residences with access to a much needed public water supply.   

AML is authorized under KRS 350 to abate hazards to public health, safety and the environment from abandoned coal mines.  AML has a water supply replacement program that extends waterlines into areas where well water has been contaminated by past coal mining. 

To date, AML has expended over $71 million dollars for waterline improvements and has provided over 11,316 households with potable water supplies in 24 counties in eastern, southern, and western Kentucky.  AML funds a portion of the cost of these water replacement projects based on the mining impacts found in groundwater quality studies.

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