Our Concerns

Dinner at Jordon Hill Farm

Kentucky Riverkeeper prepared a feast at the gorgeous Jordon Hill Farm for the guest of Craig and Terri Williams.  Craig is a local activist with the Kentucky Environmental Foundation and longtime supporter of the Kentucky Riverkeeper.  He is also the winner of the 2006 Goldman Prize.  The views, deck and weather couldn’t have been better.  Yea to a wonderful evening for all!

Thanks Craig, Terri and your excellent friends.


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mtr pic


From: Waterkeeper Magazine Volume 11, Issue 2
By Waterkeeper Alliance Attorney Pete Harrison

Waterkeeper Alliance and Kentucky Riverkeeper joined a coalition of

citizens’ groups in filing a federal lawsuit against Frasure Creek Mining,

LLC, for submitting to the State of Kentucky more than 100 false waterpollution-

monitoring reports on its coalmines in the state. These reports

are intended to ensure that companies stay within the permitted limits

for pollutants, but Frasure Creek reports hid nearly 20,000 violations of

the federal Clean Water Act. The violations carry a maximum penalty of

more than $700 million.

The Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet share culpability

with the company, having failed for years to take action against mounting

violations, which occurred at mountaintop-removal coal mines in Floyd,

Magoffin, Pike and Knott counties in eastern Kentucky.

“Self-reported data are the backbone of Clean Water Act

enforcement,” says Alice Howell, of the Sierra Club’s Cumberland

(Kentucky) Chapter. “When companies like Frasure Creek submit false

data it completely undermines all the protections we have in place to

make sure our water is safe.”

Frasure Creek, once Kentucky’s largest producer of coal from

mountain-top-removal mining, is a subsidiary of Essar Group, a multibillion-

dollar international corporation based in India.

“By all indications, this case looks like the biggest criminal

conspiracy to violate the federal Clean Water Act in the history of that

law,” says Waterkeeper Alliance attorney Pete Harrison. The coalition also

includes Appalachian Voices, Kentuckians For The Commonwealth, and

the Sierra Club.

Frasure Creek has long been guilty of false reporting. Almost five

years ago, citizens’ groups uncovered falsified pollution reports that

led to two cases against the company, which have yet to be resolved. In

both cases, the cabinet reached slap-on-the-wrist settlements with the

company, pre-empting citizen involvement. After a Kentucky judge threw

out those settlements last December, the cabinet appealed the ruling.

That case continues. Meanwhile, in January, the cabinet initiated action

against the company. The citizens’ groups have filed to intervene in that

action to ensure that the State of Kentucky appropriately enforces the law.

“Our state officials have turned a blind eye to what is obviously a

serious problem,” says Ted Withrow, a member of Kentuckians for the

Commonwealth and retired Big Sandy River Basin coordinator for the

Kentucky Division of Water. “False reporting is widespread within the coal

industry, but state regulators have little incentive to identify problems like

these when there are false reports that make everything look great.”

Kentucky Riverkeeper Pat Banks adds that, as coal production

declines in the state, “we need to be more diligent than ever to make

sure companies can’t cut corners at the expense of local residents and

the environment. We need healthy people and a healthy environment for

eastern Kentucky to be able to flourish.

“Coal jobs may be leaving the state, but they’re leaving behind the

industry’s legacy of environmental damage for us to clean up.”

Earth Day Golf Scramble 2016

Golf BallKentucky RIVERKEEPER© 2016 Earth Day Golf Scramble

Thanks to all our sponsors and players for a great event…


Golden Corral of Richmond, Ky


Tournament Underwriter


Beverage Cart Sponsor:

   Kort Physical Therapy

Hole Sponsors:

   Baldwin Farms
   Bluegrass Tomorrow
   C-4 Events
   Citizens Guaranty Bank
   Cumberland Valley National Bank
   Davis Law, PSC
   Dr. Steve Mattingly, DMD
   Gates’s Honda
   Jennings Home Center
   Kaylor’s Marine Services
   Kentucky Environmental Foundation
   Madison County Ford
   Marc Robbins
   Pat Banks Watercolors
   Soft Show Inc.
   Spurlin Mobile Home Park
   The Paddy Wagon Irish Pub
Toyota South

   Waterkeeper Alliance

Cart Sponsors:

   C-4 Events
   Stantec Environmental Services
   Whitaker-Vencill Insurance Agency
   William Morgan, DMD

Gifts/Awards Provided By:

The University Club at Arlington
Boone’s Trace National Golf Course
Gibson Bay Golf Course
Southwind Golf Course
Bechtel Parsons
Hinkle Block & Masonry
Kaylor’s Marine Services
Studio J Salon Spa & Boutique

Shaped by Water

In 2001, the Kentucky Foundation for Women awarded an “Arts Meets Activism” grant to four women artists/activists working with the Kentucky RIVERKEEPER, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization in residence at Eastern Kentucky University’s Center for Appalachian Studies. The planning grant was designed to promote arts activism within eastern Kentucky schools and communities and devise a funding strategy to give the project legs. The long-term goal was to establish an annual River Festival as an art/environmental event with feminist leadership. Co-directors of this project included Judy Sizemore (Circuit Rider for the Kentucky Arts Council), Pat Banks (artist-educator), Joanne Guifoil (Professor of Art Education, Eastern Kentucky University), and Gabrielle Beazely (independent videographer/photographer).

Poem by Louan Christensen


The purpose of this ongoing program has been to promote watershed awareness and cultural heritage education through arts experiences. Led by Kentucky Riverkeeper Pat Banks, various teams of environmentally active artists/educators have provided workshops/retreats for artists, educators and activists Kentucky River watershed communities.  An annual exhibit and reception is held at Richmond’s Gallery on Main. 

The goals of the projects in this program are to:

  • Recognize rural women as leaders and guardians of their community watersheds.
  • Inspire more rural women to use their creativity as environmental activists.
  • Develop a network of rural women artists and leaders who will promote watershed awareness.
  • Reconnect rural women with cultural heritage in the rivers and creeks as they work toward watershed restoration and preservation.


Poem: Splashing


by: Louan Christensen


Goose bump water rushes

over near frozen feet


on a hot summer afternoon.

Child-hands launch

hollowed out cucumber boats

And the race begins!

Bare feet sink in garden mud

of thirsty dirt and irrigation water.

Back- bent farmers hoe peas and beets.


on ragged jeans

Then eat them.

We slurp clear water from cupped hands

letting it trickle down our chins;

We pick green apples and pucker

at their sour sweetness.

Beyond the pasture fence

A tire swing hangs

From a sycamore tree.

We soar above the canal

Our voices squeal, ”Higher! Higher!”

Still, we drag

delighted toes and sunburned feet

through the gentle coolness.


>How I wish I could gift you

the long ago afternoon

when your daddy and the city kids

opened up the hydrant

in the humid streets of Philadelphia, <

bent their backsides

into the fierce, escaping Niagara,

creating water umbrellas,

rainbows, splashing puddles,

and laughter.

Oh to fill a bucket with

long agos and yesterdays

till they spill over the rim

and flood the summer grass.

To dance child, in the mist

of the garden hose

and paint wet footprints

on concrete canvas.

Kentucky River (67 Miles) Impaired by Mercury



The 2008 Integrated Report on the condition of Kentucky’s streams and waterways was recently released by the Kentucky Division of Water (KDOW).  While monitoring results for all of the Commonwealth’s water bodies were reported during this two-year cycle, the Kentucky River Basin was one of the primary focuses of this 2008 reporting cycle.

A review of the monitoring results from the 2008 report for waters within the Kentucky River watershed show area waters to be typically impaired by fecal coli form, e-coli, eutrophication and sedimentation/siltation and other biological indicators.  But, perhaps of most concern, is that the 2008 Integrated Report lists 67 river miles of the Kentucky River, starting in Estill County (56 miles) to Owen County (another 11 miles) as impaired by methyl mercury (p.76).

Considering that methyl mercury (like lead) is a potent neurotoxin, the Kentucky Environmental Quality Commission (EQC) recently asked for clarification and more information from KDOW on this matter. During May of this year, mercury impairment levels were discussed via a teleconference session and at the May 28 EQC open forum with KDOW regulators.

Considering the number of river miles involved and the type of contaminant, the Kentucky State Environmental Quality Commission has placed this issue on its agenda for its November meetings. KDOW regulators will be invited, as well as members from the 2004/2005 Special Taskforce on Mercury. EQC meetings are open to the public and members of the Kentucky RIVERKEEPER and other stakeholders are encouraged to attend to discuss these results on mercury from the 2008 Integrated Report.

 By Stephanie McSpirit, Ph.D.
Board Member, Kentucky State Environmental Quality Commission

Kentucky River Water Trail

Pool 9 was dedicated June 4th, 2011. We are currently working on Pools 11 & 12 for 2012 with the eventual goal of completing the entire Kentucky River.

Pool 9 was dedicated June 4th, 2011. We are currently working on Pools 11 & 12 for 2012 with the eventual goal of completing the entire Kentucky River.

The following documents are available in PDF format. You will need the free Adobe Acrobat Reader in order to view and print the files.

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