Last week, the Mining and Reclamation Advisory Board met in Harrisburg to discuss various issues and updates. Many of the discussions and materials presented at the meeting will affect abandoned mine lands and current mining in Washington & Greene counties.
Our blogs are written by the staff of the Center for Coalfield Justice, with an occasional guest post. The most recent post appears on top, and others show up below in order of publishing date. You can receive the blogs in your inbox by signing up for our mailing list. Once per month we publish a newsletter, which contains most of the blog posts.
Just a few days before climatologist, Dr. Michael E. Mann, came to speak at Washington and Jefferson College, forest fires in Westmoreland County flooded news reports throughout Southwestern Pennsylvania. With a dry early spring and very little green vegetation, forest floors in Southwestern Pennsylvania were tinder boxes ready to ignite at any moment. In preparation for the statewide trout season opener, the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources issued a warning for anglers to take precautions to prevent forest fires in the area. The next day, firefighters successfully extinguished two forest fires that spread across 30 acres in Westmoreland County.
Earlier this month, Executive Director Patrick Grenter joined other environmental attorneys from around Pennsylvania in condemning recent comments by a high-ranking Range Resources executive regarding that company’s apparent preference to locate shale gas wells away from big homes.
Letter to DEP & Environmental Justice Advisory Board regarding Range Resources’ Comments Raising Environmental Justice Concerns
Center for Coalfield Justice, Sierra Club, and Clean Air Council send letter to DEP Office of Environmental Justice in regards to Range Resources VP comments about targeting lower income homes.
On April 8, there was a major ruling in a landmark constitutional climate change lawsuit against the federal government. The U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon denied a motion to dismiss the case, allowing it to go forward.
Yesterday the Center for Coalfield Justice and Sierra Club filed a Motion for Summary Judgment in our appeal of the permits for the Bailey Mine’s Lower East Expansion, which authorize mining under part of Ryerson Station State Park and the surrounding area. We filed our first appeal back in May 2014 against the Department of Environmental Protection for issuing the permit which allows Consol to reduce and eliminate flow in certain streams based on Consol’s promise to try to repair the stream later. This is against the Clean Streams Law and the coal mining regulations that DEP is required to follow. A mitigation plan does not make it lawful to approve harm to streams in advance of mining, as the Department did in this case. The parties in our case are DEP, because they made the decision we are challenging, and Consol, because they have the permits we are challenging.