May 2023 Coalfield Review

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

Kids Fishing Day 2023


Our third annual Free Kids Fishing Day at Dutch Fork Lake was a huge success! We had more attendees than ever and handed out free fishing poles, bait, and lures to kids of all ages. Kids and parents alike enjoyed free hot dogs and other snacks, won fun prizes at the Ducky Matching Game, explored the park, and talked to staff and volunteers from CCJ and Buffalo Creek Watershed Association about why Dutch Fork Lake is worth protecting. The amazing turnout is just another reminder of the importance and popularity of Dutch Fork Lake and water recreation in Washington County. Thank you to everyone who attended, volunteered, and donated to make this awesome event possible!

Kids Fishing Day Group

Make sure to sign onto our petition to protect Dutch Fork Lake from the Tunnel Ridge coal mine expansion so we never have to worry about this event and park being threatened by damage to the lake.

Our Work in the Past Month

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Press Release: Parents Still Left in the Dark about Childhood Cancer Studies, Demand Update from Pitt and the DOH

By Lisa DePaoli | May 22, 2023

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE May 18, 2023 Contact: Lisa DePaoli, Communications Manager, Center for Coalfield Justice, 724-229-3550, lisa@centerforcoalfieldjustice.org Ned Ketyer, M.D., F.A.A.P., President, Physicians for Social Responsibility Pennsylvania, 724-255-7440, ned@psrpa.org Scott […]

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CCJ at MIT – Legacies of Coal: In Search of a Just Transition

By CCJ | May 11, 2023

Back in April, our Community Organizer for Greene County, Tonya Yoders, sat on a panel at MIT during their event titled Legacies of Coal: In Search of a Just Transition. […]

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CCJ Awarded the 2023 Agency Award

By CCJ | May 11, 2023

On May 10th, 2023, CCJ was awarded the 2023 Agency Award from our friends at the Washington County Teen Outreach during their annual “One Kid at a Time” Awards. The […]

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Xylazine is becoming more common in PA

Xylazine is becoming more common in PA. Here’s what you need to know.

By Paul Fedore | May 10, 2023

In advance of the following update about overdose impacts in our community, we want to remind folks that they can reach out to the Washington Drug and Alcohol Commission to […]

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In Case You Missed It

Tell DOH to Update the Public on the Childhood Cancer Studies

In November 2019, Governor Tom Wolf committed to spending $3 million on a pair of studies to explore the potential health impacts of oil and gas development after families impacted by rare childhood cancers demanded that the state investigate the ties between cases of rare cancers and shale gas development. The data collection for these studies concluded in September 2022. The University of Pittsburgh’s public-facing website for the studies has not been updated since then. And in early October 2022, the Pennsylvania Department of Health and the University of Pittsburgh backed out of a public forum to discuss the progress and process of the studies.

Unfortunately, neither Pitt nor the DOH has provided any updates on the status of the studies since the forum. That's why we're collecting as many signatures as possible on our petition for the DOH to provide an update on the status of the studies to the public as soon as possible. We believe that a timely, transparent update on the study is an important step for community inclusion in the research process that will ensure that residents' concerns about the timeline are heard and addressed. The petition already has over 250 signatures. Add your name to make sure the DOH cannot ignore us!

Donate Today to the New Freeport Water Drive

Since June 2022, residents of New Freeport in Greene County, PA have been without safe, reliable drinking water after a nearby EQT fracking operations interacted with a surface well. Residents have had to rely on expensive options like bottled water and refillable jugs for drinking and cooking and many continue to shower with unsafe water. They have reported rashes and oily residue after using the water, unpleasant odors, and tiny, black pellets in their faucets. This community has been awaiting answers and aid from EQT and the state for nearly a year now.

We have been supporting this community by delivering clean water to folks and need your help to continue doing so until there is a more permanent solution. In April, we delivered another 60 jugs of water to residents but we need you help to continue providing aid going forward. Donate as little as $5 to help fund ongoing water deliveries and show your support for the people of New Freeport.

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. 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.

Public Notices

Read all of the latest relevant public notices from the past month for Washington and Greene Counties as of May 15 here.

Upcoming Events

Center for Coalfield Justice Events

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6/15 — MAD FACTS: Moms & Dads - Family Awareness of Cancer Threat Spike

Do you have concerns about the potential health effects of the natural gas industry in our community? Does someone you know suffer from a rare childhood cancer or other rare cancer? We are raising awareness and seeking answers for community members that live in our area, the most heavily drilled region in the state. We encourage you to attend the first of our three-meeting series on June 15th at 6:30 PM at the Quail Acres Pavilion in North Strabane Park to connect with other community members in bringing awareness to this issue.

Register Today!

DRYerson 2023 Cover (Small)

6/24 — DRYerson 2023

Our 17th Annual DRYerson Festival is coming up on June 24th from 1-4 PM at Ryerson Station State Park Pavilion #2! Join us for FREE food, games, prizes, kids' activities, music from Dan Baker, and more 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.

Register Here!

Ally and Community Events

6/3 — Native Plant Sale

  • 9 AM - Noon at The Hill Henderson Civic Center

  • Penn State Extension Master Gardeners of Washington County will have OVER 2,000 native plants PLUS 72 native tree/shrub seedlings available for sale.

  • Learn More

6/8 — Rally for Action: Stop Shell's Pollution!

  • 9 AM at Irvine Park in Beaver, PA
  • Join the Shell Accountability Campaign for their first in-person rally since the toxic Shell plant came online. They’ll deliver their petition with more than 50k signatures to Shell calling for the plant to halt operations until emissions issues are resolved, hear from local leaders, demand that Shell immediately stop poisoning the Ohio River Valley, and celebrate the community.
  • Register Here

6/10 — Washington Pride

6/17 — Juneteenth

6/24 — Living Near Shale Gas - Community Workshop

Weekly Events

Tuesdays  “Sounds of Summer” Concert Series

Tuesdays & Saturdays — Greene County Flea Market

Wednesdays — Waynesburg Farmer’s Market

Thursdays — Main Street Farmer's Market (Washington)

Fridays — Monongahela Farmer’s Market

Second Saturday Monthly — Free Food Pantry

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

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

Communications Associate


  • 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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