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.
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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.