Camp Branch Watershed Litigation

Reviewing data for a law firm representing eastern Kentucky residents whose water quality was impaired by underground mining.


Letcher County, Kentucky
Getty & Childers, PLLC

Residents of the Camp Branch Watershed of eastern Kentucky experienced impaired water quality over several years following underground mining in the area. The state agency determined that some of the groundwater impacts were related to mining, but the determination was not made for all of the residents in the area.

A group of area residents filed a lawsuit after the state’s investigation concluded that the mine (operated by Golden Oak Mining Company) did not cause the groundwater impacts to their specific property. RESPEC was retained by the residents’ counsel to evaluate the mine mapping and to review the premining groundwater inventory reports, the permits, and the analyses of postmining water quality and quantity. Based on the data review, RESPEC concluded that the groundwater issues were related to mining and presented these findings at a hearing in Letcher County Circuit Court.

Over $650,000 in damages was awarded to five families whose water supply was impacted by the underground mining. In total, the water supply of 100 families were affected by the mine. Other lawsuits were settled privately.