After collecting a year's worth of images of what they say are illegal discharges from one of Louisville Gas & Electric's coal ash ponds into the Ohio River, environmental groups say they plan to sue the company.
The Notice of Intent to sue filed by the Sierra Club and Earthjustice alleges that even though LG&E's permit allows “occasional” discharges directly into the Ohio River, the company has released water from its coal ash ponds into the river at least daily for the past five years.Tom Pearce is a local Sierra Club organizer.
It’s obvious that they think they can operate with impunity. It’s the reason that we can’t eat fish out of our river. It’s the reason that our river is rated as one of the dirtiest rivers in the country. Is it any wonder? asked Pearce
Coal ash is a byproduct of burning coal for electricity, and contains chemicals and heavy metals like mercury, arsenic, and lead. An LG&E spokeswoman says the company won’t comment on pending litigation. The Kentucky Division of Water sent a statement saying the releases captured on film by the Sierra Club are legal, and LG&E’s permit doesn’t limit how frequently the company can discharge into the Ohio River.