January 4, 1998

Contact: Environmentalist Chad Kister: 614-594-7287 or chad@pageville.com
Chris Crews, OU Campus Greens: 614-662-4029 or shaman2b@frognet.net

ODMR sends permit 7 back for 393 revisions

 The Ohio Division of Mines and Reclamations sent permit #7 back to
Ohio Valley Coal Co. for 393 revisions that "are required before
processing can continue."

 The 35 page report documents serious flaws, omissions of data and
distortions that favored the perception that this mine would have little
environmental impact.  In fact, the document shows how massive amounts
more impacts will be caused by this mine than the coal company admitted.

 "It has come to our attention that the Ohio Valley Coal Company
does not own the coal or mineral to Deed Rights to tracts 1-22-52 & 53
(Floyd & Shirley Simpson Property)," stated the Dec. 24 ODMR report signed
by Governor George Voinovich (page 3, 11.d.).

 "The addendum indicates the proposed operation will not undermine
any streams where fish live.  It is probably that some of the streams
located within the proposed area can and do support some fish species,
therefore, revise the response accordingly," stated the report, (page 4,

 "One of the land owners, Floyd Simpson, has a wetland on his
property that has a foreseeable use.  Revise to show this wetland on the
map and indicate how adverse impacts will be mitigated or prevented."  The
report found another wetland missing on OVC's permit in the following

 The report notes that the permit application findings were based
on the assumption that the permit application drained into McMahon Creek,
which some does.  But a portion of the permit drains into Joy Fork,
passing through the old-growth forest at Dysart Woods.  The permit did not
take this into account, thus questioning the credibility of the coal
company, as the massive flaws and distortions shown in the report
repeatedly does.  "Revise the response accordingly," the report states.

 "The lack of an entry suggests that no analysis for this parameter
was performed, or that the analysis failed to be reported."  The report
also found numerous samples collected November 3 which reported
precipitation on November 1, when in fact the last precipitation was
October 24.  The Coal company is attempting to distort well-running
streams into intermittent stream with its lies (page 10, ee.).

 The report also found "discrepancies" in 26 hydrological data
given by the biased coal industry (page 11-12).  The report also found
that the soil and geological survey provided by the coal company "does not
appear to be correct."   The report chastises the coal company, "Note that
accurate flow and static water level values are critical, since dewatering
is a possibility due to subsidence."

 In response to the coal company's answer to the EPA water quality
question in the permit, the report asks, "Where is this data? (page 16 10
c."  The report also found that the coal company seasonal variations were
"over generalized," and that the hydrological determination narrative was
"overly generalized and largely redundant."

 The report asks, "Why would these percentages have changed between
the two applications, if they are based on the same data base?"  The state
found that the data submitted showed less of a number of wells that had a
significant impact than in actuality.  While the coal company submitted
that 76 percent of developed springs underwent severe dewatering,  in fact
the coal company data found that 91 percent were severely drained.

 The report states that the column should be revised to "indicate
Severe impact, rather than Significant impact, as Minimal and Moderate
impacts are also significant, in particular to those people affected by
these impacts."  The report found that the coal company's assertion that
it's proposed mine would not affect the hydrological balance as being
"misleading, since some diminution of supplies and re-distribution of a
portion of the groundwater is likely to be permanent...the assertion that
it should re-establish itself within 18 months to two years after mining
does not appear to be warranted."

 "The headwaters of streams occasionally re-locate to lower
elevations following subsidence that resulted in the dewatering of
hillside/hilltop springs.  Revise accordingly," the report states on page
22.  The report asks for two more sampling stations to be initiated (page

 "OU Graduate Student Chad Kister said, "This report clearly shows
how the coal industry has attempted to slip its mine through with lies and
distortions, while OU has done little to stop permit 7 because they
thought it was a done deal.  In fact, these revisions should delay the
project months, and the data generated should help show how the portion of
permit 7 within the watershed buffer zone needs to be removed from mining
to protect Dysart Woods, one of the last ancient forests left in Ohio."