There are many, many critical pieces of information that are not
known according to the ODNR Dysart Woods Project Team's November 6's
report that must be answered with scientific study before the ODMR could
legally decide on permit 7.
OU consulted Attorney David Northrop said that the burden of proof
that permit 7 would not harm Dysart Woods rests with Ohio Valley Coal
Company. The report clearly states there is critically needed
information. Therefore the ODMR cannot by law decide on permit 7 without
these studies having been performed.
Further, the findings that permit 7 would not significantly affect
Dysart Woods were based on a fundamental error of fact, and without
adequate information or supporting science. Therefore, the team must
fully reconsider the impacts in light of the truth that a portion of the
proposed mine is in the direct watershed of the largest patch of ancient
forest in Dysart Woods.
The report states, "The portion of the watershed that lies within
the Ohio University's buffer zone that is proposed to be undermined is a
separate sub-basin than the Dysart Woods watershed area and does not flow
through the Dysart Woods property." (page 11)
In fact, a portion of permit #7 is within the direct watershed
the largest area of virgin forest in Dysart Woods. Only some of permit
#7 is in a sub-basin within the same watershed, that still is integrally
connected to the health of Dysart Woods. Further, even using the
coal-company biased data in the report, the permit #7 impact of 1,900 feet
plunges thousands of feet deep into the direct watershed of some of the
last ancient forest left in Ohio -- Dysart Woods.
This information is based upon Ohio University's watershed buffer
zone map submitted on July 9 by OU-hired attorney David Northrop. I
request a response, and a meeting with Lisa Morris to discuss this
critical issue before the ODMR decides on permit 7.
The report states, "Because discrepancies between field survey
data and soil survey information exist, Soil and Water Conservation staff
suggest that a detailed class 1 soil survey be performed on Dysart Woods"
(page 11-12). Further, the report states that potentiometric surface maps
for the different aquifers, more frequent water level measurements and
test wells on the Dysart property would help determine the impacts of
permit #7 on Dysart Woods.
Dysart Woods is exceptionally dependent upon the perched aquifers
that are throughout the portion of ancient forest within a few thousand
feet of permit #7.
This report is laughably inadequate in determining the impacts
permit 7 might have on Dysart Woods. It is based on a lie and must be
fully redone. Further, I request to meet with every member of the team,
and with the team as a whole so I can let them know what I know.
I am appalled at the closed-door, secretive manner in which this
study was conducted. Science can only be done where there is free inquiry
and critique. Rather, the ODNR has shielded the team from any scrutiny,
allowing this blatant lie to pass that could mean the destruction of
Dysart Woods if it is not corrected.
I request every informal and formal communication made since the
last packet was sent. I further request that permit 7 be denied in its
present form, and that the complete watershed buffer zone be removed from
the permit and declared unsuitable for mining.
The ODNR asked that the watershed buffer zone be protected back
1988. Why does the ODNR now call for a smaller buffer? The sensitive
geology and hydrology that supports Dysart Woods did not change. The view
of the scientists -- all of whom have publicly called for protecting this
watershed buffer zone and stopping permit 7 -- has not changed. It is
clear this is a political decision, not a scientific one. If the ODMR
truly cares about science, it would operate in an open manner, with
citizens involved in every step of the process, rather than the
closed-door secretive style that decisions are now made in.
Again, I request a response on every request made in this letter,
and I request a meeting with Lisa Morris, as mentioned, to further discuss
this very important revelation with maps to show further proof. I further
request that the ODMR respond to all of the letters and petitions received
by the ODMR.
For Dysart Woods,