Benham, Kentucky Now Backs Controversial Black Mountain Mine

The Benham city council is now backing the proposed coal mine within 100 feet of its water supply because it does not want to lose the coal industry. Below is the note in May 2010 in which the National Trust for Historic Preservation put the town on its endangered list because of the mine.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation has listed Black Mountain as one of “America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places.” The site is less clear than we would like on what specifically it is citing as it says, “Now, the towns face the threat of multiple surface and deep mining permits on and around Black Mountain – a move that would be tremendously harmful to the mountain’s natural beauty as well as the area’s fragile ecology and growing tourism industry.” Digging down it is implied that the issue is the Massey mine affecting Benham’s drinking water. The link to the Kentuckian for the Commonwealth gives more details (pointing to the water issue). It also provides a wonderful background about the earlier Lands Unsuitable for Mining debate in the 1990sin which Kentucky banned strip mining above 3,200 feet (and which the Highpointers Club got access to the mountain). In any even there’s a wonderful slide show (perhaps the best I’ve ever seen) about the mountain on the page. We came in because of an article on Bloomberg.

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