The Kentucky Court of Appeals has overturned a previous ruling that restricts coal mining on Wilson Creek in Floyd County. In 2006, residents of Wilson Creek asked the Energy and Environment Cabinet to declare the area unsuitable for mining. They cited concerns about water quality, flooding and the destruction of renewable resources. The cabinet rejected the petition, but placed certain restrictions on mining in the area.
The restrictions included not allowing coal to be hauled on a narrow road in the community, as well as requiring the land to be reclaimed with trees after mining.
The decision was upheld by Franklin Circuit Court. But now the Court of Appeals has ruled that the cabinet can’t place restrictions unless the land is first declared unsuitable for certain types of mining.
Floyd County resident Beverly May spearheaded the original petition. She says she’s still hopeful.
“So it could turn out to be both a good thing for Wilson Creek and a good thing for future communities that want to pursue this if there’s more clarity in the process,” she said.
A cabinet spokesman says the agency is still reviewing the court’s decision.