The Kentucky Court of Appeals let stand, for now, four environmental groups' intervention in a settlement between the state and two coal companies over water-pollution reports.
The court denied a motion for emergency injunction by the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet.
Last month, the cabinet appealed a ruling by Franklin Circuit Judge Phillip Shepherd that allowed the four groups, calling themselves Appalachian Voices, to intervene in the settlement, which totaled $660,000, covering about 2,700 incorrect pollution reports and faulty recordkeeping by water-testing labs contracted by ICG and Frasure Creek Mining.
Shepherd ordered a 90-day period of discovery that would allow the four environmental groups to present evidence in June.
The emergency injunction would have halted Shepherd's order while the court waits to hear the cabinet's and the companies' underlying appeal. The parties have until March 14 to file responses.