March 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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Scattering Seeds of Community: CCJ’s 3rd Annual Seed Swap

By Allison Evans | April 4, 2023

We are pleased to announce that our 3rd Annual Seed Swap was a resounding success! We had over 100 community members attend our swap, handed out 60 grow your own […]

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The Covid-19 Public Health Emergency is Ending Soon. What Does that Mean for Medicaid and Healthcare?

By Paul Fedore | March 30, 2023

The Covid-19 Public Health Emergency is officially ending on May 11th, and the federal government is winding down its various emergency funding streams tied to COVID, including emergency funding that […]

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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 March 11th here.

Take Action

CCJ in the News

Sign Our Petition Regarding the Undermining of I-70

The mining company Tunnel Ridge has recently applied to expand their mining operations to go under stretches of Interstate 70 and Route 40 in Washington County. According to the PA Department of Transportation, in 2021 over 40,000 cars use these exact stretches of I-70 and Route 40 every day -- or 1.3 million vehicles per year! Since Tunnel Ridge began mining under I-70 in 2019, there have been lengthy cycles of construction zones and lane restrictions to repair mining-induced subsidence damage.  Generally speaking, these increase congestion and the risk of accidents on these highways.

Sign the petition asking the State Mining Commission to provide an opportunity for residents to share their concerns and respond to residents' comments within 90 days of the public meeting or the close of the public comment period.

"Center for Coalfield Justice hosts third-annual 'seedy' event"

Katherine Mansfield wrote this excellent recap of our 3rd Annual Seed Swap on March 11th. Read all about the families, organizations, and staff she met and the activities and seeds that were available for attendees in her article for the Observer-Reporter here.

"CCJ leads fight for environmental justice"

Three CCJ staff members attended the California United Women in Faith during their meeting earlier this month at California United Methodist Church. They discussed CCJ's mission and vision for the community and invited attendees to participate in upcoming actions and events. Read more about the event in this article by Liam Belan in the Mon Valley Independent (subscription needed).

"Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative proceeds could bring back main streets in energy communities"

CCJ Community Advocate Nina Victoria penned a Letter to the Editor about the benefits RGGI could provide for rural communities in southwestern Pennsylvania. It was published in the Mon Valley Independent earlier this month. Read the full letter here.

Upcoming Events

Center for Coalfield Justice Events

5/28 — Kids Fishing Day at Dutch Fork Lake

May 28th is a free fishing day at Dutch Fork Lake where kids and adults can fish all day without a license.  CCJ will be set up at the main parking lot by the boat launch from 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM to provide young beginners with free bait, lure and a fishing pole to keep! We’ll be joined by Buffalo Creek Watershed Association as part of our efforts to highlight and protect Dutch Fork Lake. Poles and supplies are first come, first serve for kids of all ages, so please register all family members today so we can try to have enough for everyone to enjoy a Sunday afternoon fishing on the lake!

6/24 — DRYerson 2023

Our 17th Annual DRYerson festival is coming up in June! Join us for FREE food, games, music, prizes, and community as we celebrate both the natural beauty of Ryerson Station State Park and bring awareness to the past and current environmental struggles facing the park.

Ally and Community Events

3/30 — How Have You Witnessed Climate Change?

  • 7 PM on Zoom

  • Better Path hosts a discussion about how Pennsylvania residents have been impacted by climate change. Attendees who are interested will have the opportunity to record their stories for use in a climate education series

  • More Info and Sign Up Here

4/2 — Volunteer Garden Work Party

  • 2-5 PM at Uptown Firefly Gardens

  • Get outside, play in the dirt, and join our neighbors at the Firefly Gardens to help plant and prepare the community garden for the spring. Arrive when you can, stay as long as you like, and bring a buddy or four-legged friend!

4/4 — Sustainability at Home Series: Backyard Chickens

  • 10 AM at Flenniken Public Library

  • Allegheny Land Trust’s Sustainability at Home Series focuses on living a more environmentally friendly lifestyle through at home sustainability practices. This workshop will focus on best practices on raising and managing a healthy flock of backyard chickens! All participants will receive a backyard chicken starter kit valued at approximately $100 (no chickens provided).

  • Register Here

4/6 — Radioactive Fracking Waste in Landfills - Impact on Cancer Risk

  • 12 - 1 PM on Zoom
  • CENSWPA and Cancer Bridges host a live webinar with Dr. Marsha Haley, Clinical Assistant Professor of Radiation Oncology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. She will cover the topic of The Accumulation of Radioactive Fracking Waste in Landfills and its Impact on Cancer Risk.
  • Register Here

4/6 — Hellbent Virtual Screening: One Community’s Fight to Stop a Fracking Waste Injection Well

  • 2 PM on Zoom

  • Join FracTracker and Halt the Harm Network for a special virtual screening of the documentary film Hellbent and Q&A session with the filmmakers and those involved in the fight to protect Grant Township, PA from a fracking waste injection well.

  • Register Here

5/9 — 2023 Pennsylvania Groundwater Symposium

  • 8:30 AM - 4: 30 PM - Virtual
  • Penn State Extension and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection host experts and presenters from across the state for a symposium addressing numerous important groundwater issues in Pennsylvania. Attendees may also join an optional in-person tour on Penn State’s main campus as part of the program on May 3.
  • Register by May 1 Here

4/21-22 — Washington County Ag Days

  • Friday: 2-9 PM; Saturday: 10 AM - 9 PM at Washington County Fairgrounds
  • The 35th Annual Washington County Agricultural Days are a family-friendly event that shares agriculture with the community. Featuring kids activities, costume contest, tractor pull, and more

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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