But according to a new suit filed by the environmental groups, the companies not only failed to stop polluting, they are actually polluting at even higher levels than they were before the agreement. According to the suit, “almost every reported pollutant in the permits analyzed had multiple violations at significant factors above what is considered safe for waterways of Kentucky and the people who use and enjoy those waterways”:
Lisenby’s and Chance’s affidavits allege a review of the companies’ DMRs showed the companies “self-reported” pollution levels as much as eight to 15 times above allowable, permitted levels of several pollutants.
Kentucky politicians are fighting the federal government’s efforts to regulate coal pollution, with dire consequences for its citizens. According to a recent study by professors at West Virginia and Washington State universities, mountaintop removal has a direct link to the prevalence of birth defects in the communities where it is practiced.