Judge Allows Mining Under Polen Run Inside Ryerson Station State Park While Appeal is Being Heard

Posted Apr 24, 2018, by Veronica Coptis


Greene County, PA–The Pennsylvania Environmental Hearing Board (EHB) filed an order today denying a petition for supersedeas filed by Center for Coalfield Justice (CCJ) and Sierra Club. The petition sought to protect Polen Run within Ryerson Station State Park from significant harm caused by longwall mining. The EHB’s denial of our petition allows Consol Pennsylvania Coal Company (Consol) to longwall mine beneath Polen Run inside Ryerson Station State Park while an appeal filed by the Sierra Club and CCJ is being considered. The appeal comes after the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) issued a permit to Consol Pennsylvania Coal Company (Consol) last month allowing the company to perform extensive and destructive longwall mining beneath the surface of Polen Run which is within the Park.

This is the fourth time the groups have been forced to file an appeal of permits for Consol’s Bailey Mine East Expansion. Back in 2017, the EHB forbade Consol from mining within 100 feet of Kent Run inside Ryerson Station State Park while it heard an appeal of the company’s controversial permit to expand its Bailey Mine due to Consol and DEP predicting significant damage and flow loss in the stream.

In response Veronica Coptis, Executive Director of Center for Coalfield Justice and resident of Greene County said the following:

“The EHB’s decision to deny our petition to prevent longwall mining under Polen Run within Ryerson Station State Park is disappointing. Families in our region deserve to enjoy fishing and other recreational activities in and around Polen Run as they’ve done for generations. We are continuing in our efforts in the reinvestment and rebuilding of Ryerson Station State Park.”


  • Veronica Coptis

    Veronica Coptis joined the CCJ staff in March 2013 as a Community Organizer and is now serving as the Executive Director. She grew up in western Greene County near the Bailey Mine Complex and currently lives in the eastern part of the county. Before joining the CCJ staff, Veronica served on the Board of Directors for CCJ and organized with Mountain Watershed Association. She received a bachelor’s degree in biology from West Virginia University. She enjoys hiking and geocaching at Ryerson State Park and other areas around Greene County with her husband and daughters. Read more about Veronica in a New Yorker Magazine profile at https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/07/03/the-future-of-coal-country. Contact Veronica at veronica@centerforcoalfieldjustice.org.

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