February 2023 Coalfield Review

Read our monthly e-newsletter, which will update you on our work, current action items, and upcoming events.

Our Work in the Past Month

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From Abandoned Mine Land to Lavender Farm and Second-Chance Jobs in West Virginia

By Allison Evans | February 16, 2023

A Q&A blog by Jocelyn Sheppard, Founder & President at Appalachian Botanical Company, and CCJ’s Event Coordinator Allison Evans Allison: Jocelyn, it was so nice making your acquaintance at the […]

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Senator Muth Introduced Several Bills in the Pennsylvania Senate to Protect the People from the Oil and Gas Industry and Its Waste

By Nina Victoria | February 9, 2023

Since her election in 2018, Senator Katie Muth has stood up to protect all Pennsylvanians’ constitutional right to clean water, air, and land by holding corporate polluters accountable. She has […]

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Exciting Leadership Changes at CCJ

By CCJ | February 9, 2023

Veronica has led the Center for Coalfield Justice for the past five years and it has brought her so much joy and purpose. She truly believes that bringing in new […]

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Public Notices

Read all of the latest relevant public notices from the past month for Washington and Greene Counties as of February 11th here.

In Case You Missed It

East Palestine Train Derailment - Petition for OH and PA Governors to Take Action

The February 3rd derailment of a Norfolk Southern freight train in East Palestine on the Ohio-Pennsylvania border has left residents in both states with unanswered questions about the safety of their air, water and soil. Impacted residents are calling for medical monitoring, independent environmental testing, and regular meetings with officials. Sign the petition below from River Valley Organizing and People Over Petro Coalition demanding Governors DeWine and Shapiro agree to these requests. We'll help present these signatures to both Governors next Monday, March 6th, followed by a press conference in each state. More details soon, for now please keep signing and sharing the petition below!

Upcoming Events

Center for Coalfield Justice Events

2/28 February Community Meeting: Online Resources to Protect your Health and Home

Do you own property near a coal mine? Were you witness to an event or activity you believe hurt the environment or public health? Want to learn more about how to protect yourself and your community from potential harms to property, the environment, and health? Join our February community meeting to learn about two new resources: Landowners’ Guide to Subsidence Damage Repair and Water Supply Replacement and HOW TO: Report an Environmental Emergency/File an Environmental Complaint (or the video version here).

3/11 3rd Annual CCJ Seed Swap

Join us for the Center for Coalfield Justice's 3rd Annual Seed Swap. Our seed swap is a wonderful way to welcome the start of spring, connect with one another, and share our resources as a community. The event will be in-person in CCJ’s office at 31 East Chestnut St., Washington, PA on March 11th from 1:00-4:00 PM. Please consider bringing seeds to share, but don’t worry if you don’t have any to share as we’ll have lots of extras -- leave what you can, take what you need! And along with free seeds, we'll have kids’ activities, supplies, resources, and refreshments available as long as supplies last -- so please pre-register so we can get enough supplies for everyone!

3/15 Seed to Supper Program with the Penn State Master Gardeners

Would you like to know more about growing your own food while taking part in a transformative six-week gardening experience under the expert guidance of the Penn State Master Gardeners? Join the Seed to Supper Program, to be held at the office of the Center for Coalfield Justice, with some classes being held at neighboring Firefly Gardens, depending on the weather. This free program starts on Wednesday, March 15th and will include 6 weekly Wednesday sessions beginning at 6:30 P.M. The program dates are: 3/15, 3/22, 3/29, 4/12, 4/19, & 4/26.

4/1 March Community Meeting: Fracking in the Coalfields Tour

Curious about the history of fossil fuel infrastructure in our area? Join CCJ on Saturday, April 1st at 10AM for our Fracking in the Coalfields Tour. First, you’ll see the largest coal mining complex in North America, massive coal refuse disposal areas, and additional infrastructure from the industry’s long history in the region. Then, you’ll see how the modern fracking and natural gas industry fills in the gaps with well pads, pipelines, compressor stations, and more.

The tour will include lunch and transportation for all registered guests. Space is limited, so all interested attendees must register by March 27th to reserve a spot. If you are interested and would require a Greene County pick-up location, please contact our office at 724-229-3550.

Ally and Community Events

3/8 Free Community Baby Shower

11 AM - 12:30 PM at Greene County Fairgrounds

Beverly's Birthdays provides birthday cheer and critical baby supplies for children experiencing homelessness and families in need. This in-person event is designed for expecting parents or parents/individuals of a newborn (0-3 months), and will be a morning of fun, food, games, resources, and baby items. This event will be held inside. Attendees are welcome to bring their other children and a guest/partner.

Reserve a Spot

3/11 BPHS Lecture Series - The Coal Mining Industry

1 PM at 2600 South Park Rd, Bethel Park, PA

The historical society's Lecture Series will highlight Bethel Park and the surrounding area's coal mining history. The lecture will be presented by Warren Merritt, Coal Mining Historian. Space is limited for this free event and reservations are required.

Email historicalsocietybp@gmail.com for reservations

3/16 Women's Rights in our Fight for Climate Justice

6:30 PM on Zoom

Join Mothers Out Front to discuss the intersection between women’s rights and climate justice. Learn about the rich history of environmental feminist movements in the U.S. and how you can make a difference.

Register Here

3/18 2023 Kids Fest

10 AM - 4 PM at Washington Crown Center

The 8th annual Kids Fest is a free, fun-filled day of activities for the whole family. The day includes visits with exotic animals from the Wild World of Animals, a singalong with Royal Princess Engagements, the Mascot Mashup race, local non-profits providing resources for families, healthy activities, shopping and more! Don't miss the Children's Entrepreneur Market who will be setting up their kids market at the event as well.

3/21 PFAS: Breaking Down the Future of Forever Chemicals in our Water

7 - 8:30 PM on Zoom

PFAS, or per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, are designed to last. They are the substances that earn the labels fire-retardant, stain-resistant, non-stick, and water-resistant on important consumer products. However, widespread use has led to PFAS contamination of the environment in which we live. This panel discussion will delve into how PFAS gets into our water, what this means for human health, and how we can protect public health and our most vulnerable communities.

Register Here

Weekly Events

Greene County Flea Market

Second Saturday Monthly - Free Food Pantry

9am - 12pm Lemoyne Center

You can find community events in Washington County here and Greene County here.

Support Our Work

We could not do this work without the continued support of our members and supporters. Please help us to continue our work to fight for environmental justice in Southwestern Pennsylvania by becoming a member of CCJ. Recurring monthly donations help to best support our work. Any gift made to the Center for Coalfield Justice is 100% tax-deductible.

Please don't hesitate to reach out to me if you have any questions or concerns by responding to this email or reaching me at the email below.


Alex Downing

Alex Downing

Outreach Fellow


  • Alex Downing

    Alex Downing is the Digital Communications Strategist for CCJ. He was previously our Communications Associate and an Outreach Fellow. He manages all of our social media and writes our monthly newsletter, the Coalfield Review. Alex was born and raised in Pittsburgh's north suburbs and learned about the importance of nature and conservation at a young age through his father and grandfather’s involvement with preserving parks and hiking trails in the area. He has a bachelor’s degree in Public Relations and Strategic Communications from American University and a master’s degree in Environmental Studies from Point Park University. Alex currently lives in Bethesda, Maryland with his partner Lindsey. Outside of work, he enjoys kayaking, watching movies, and rooting for the Steelers, Penguins, and Pirates. Contact Alex at alex@centerforcoalfieldjustice.org.

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