“Immediately, there was slime that ran through the ice maker. It just looked like orange Jell-O,” Lambert recalls. “It wasn’t gobs, but if you would stick your glass under the spigot to get some water, you’d see it was there.”
Now, she and 250 people with orange and black water in their taps, tubs and toilets are suing eight coal companies they believe poisoned their wells by pumping mine wastes into former underground mines.
The lawsuit filed recently in Boone County Circuit Court claims decades of surface and underground mining activities near the communities of Prenter and Seth fractured the geologic strata that had contained the slurry, a byproduct of cleaning the coal. It claims the network of cracks created a pathway for the slurry to contaminate the aquifer.