ALLEN - A lawsuit against a Floyd County coal processing plant grew considerably this week when some 66 residents of Allen, Dana and Banner joined in the environmental legal battle. According to the attorney Ned Pillersdorf, the lawsuit, which targets Grizzly Processing LLC and Frasure Creek Mining LLC, originally filed by Richard and Bonnie Crisp, has grown to 71 people. Daniel Branson, one of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit said, “You can't go outside, can't barbecue. Our lawn furniture is covered in dust.” In 2007 Frasure Creek/Grizzly was found to be out of compliance twice in as many months by the state Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet's Division for Air Quality when they were found in violation of two KAR statutes. Steve Hall, an environmental inspector out of the Hazard office, reported that during his inspection on Jan. 2, 2007, he monitored the site for several hours, noting that the coal trucks were tracking material onto Route 1426 and U.S. 23, and that the dust from this was not being vacuumed up, but merely swept to the side. Hall also spoke with local residents during his investigation and observed dust on several homes. A followup investigation by Hall in March 2007 revealed the coal operation to still be noncompliant. “It is almost insidious how that dust gets on everything overnight,” Branson said. “We'll go hose off the patio and the furniture, and it's covered again the next day.” In June, a notice of noncompliance was issued along with a fine of $2,500, and in October a final order for payment of the fine was demanded by EPPC. The current status of those proceedings could not be determined, as phone calls to officials with the cabinet were not immediately returned. Of particular interest to residents are the possible health issues the dust could cause. “That dust is in our furnace filters, which we're having to change more regularly,” Branson added, “If it's airborne, we have to be breathing it in.” In the complaint, the plaintiffs state that the coal mining activities at the processing plant and coal tipple have both contaminated and polluted their residences. According to the complaint, “The continuous coal dust and noise emitted from the defendant's coal mining and processing operations, including the running of their coal trucks, have caused substantive and unreasonable interference and violation of the rights of the plaintiffs to enjoy, use and utilize their houses and properties.” Pillersdorf says in the complaint that several of the plaintiffs have respiratory health problems, which have been reportedly exacerbated by the coal operations taking place. It is also alleged that the value of the plaintiffs' homes has diminished as a result of the processing plant. The plaintiffs are seeking compensatory damages for the loss of value in their residences, as well the loss of use of those residences, costs of repair, associated medical expense, and suffering damages. The plaintiffs also are asking for an assessment of punitive damages against the coal companies for their “reckless disregard of the plaintiffs' rights.” The plaintiffs now listed on the complaint include: Bonnie and Richard Crisp, Banner Mitchell and Mary Williams, Banner Gene and Norma Davis, Banner Angie Hall and Glenna Childers, Banner Kenneth and Liz Allen, Allen Daniel and Pat Branson, Allen Tony and Judy Childers, Allen Elsie Belle Conn, Allen Jackie Day and Rita Crisp, Allen Aaron and Patricia Derossett, Allen James Jr. and Wanda Harmon, Allen Geraldine Martin, Allen Belinda Martin, Allen Bill and Josephine Schlick, Allen Ruth Ramey, Allen Gertrude Bevins, Allen Jack and Daneque Howard, Allen John Goble, Allen Jeff and Heather Meade, Allen Edgar and Phyllis Craft, Allen Wendell and Alma Jean Patton, Allen Lloyd and Tommie Layne, Allen Roger and Vanessa McKinney, Allen Georgia Salisbury, Allen John and Minerva Pelphrey, Allen Bobby and Klora Osbourne, Allen Charlotte Reynolds, Allen Ova and Ruth Salyer, Allen Phillip and Alma Stumbo, Allen Brandon and Jamie Castle, Allen Ramon and Marie Childers, Allen Thomas and Margaret Holbrook, Allen Sherry Cline, Allen Larry and Mary Thompson, Allen Carl Sellards, Allen Tommy and Maudie May, Allen Melissa Anderson, Allen Beatrice Branham, Allen Charles Lemaster, Allen Scotty and Amy Jarvis, Allen James and Eileen Banks, Allen Christina Compton, Allen Colleen Compton, Allen
A legal complaint is not a determination of guilt, and only presents the plaintiffs' side of the case.