Dysart Defenders appeals -9 permit to undermine ancient forest

Dysart Defenders turned in its appeal of the D-0360-9 permit to allow mining under Dysart Woods at Ohio Division of Mineral Resources in Columbus in December 21, 2002.

The Ohio Division of Mines and Reclamations has approved a permit by Ohio Valley Coal Company (OVCC) to allow mining impacts to Dysart Woods, and underneath hundreds of acres of the Dysart Woods Lands Unsuitable Petition area that the ODMR declared should be off limits to some kinds of mining and the Dysart Defenders has appealed to strengthen it to allow no mining.

The appeal shows that the permit would allow mining directly underneath Dysart Woods and under the area declared as unsuitable to mining in the ODMR decision of 1998. The Dysart Defenders appeal documents old growth trees outside of the current 80 acres of delineated forest, and directly above the area where mining would be approved by the -9 permit.

The ODMR’s claim that there will be no subsidence is absurd. Whenever there is mining and not backfilling, subsidence will occur. It may take a while, but it surely will take place. OVCC’s permit said the pillars will last only as long as the life of the mine.

The permit area includes nearly two miles of the Dysart Woods watershed buffer zone and more than 500 acres of the buffer zone. It goes directly underneath Dysart Woods, despite ODMR claims to the contrary. A map with the permits overlaid on a map of Dysart Woods and the watershed buffer zone will soon be at and free for media use. All pictures and information at the web site is open for use and media are encouraged to include the web site so readers can find more information.

The appeal shows that room and pillar mining does cause subsidence and should not be allowed within the watershed buffer zone of Dysart Woods. The appeal reminds the Ohio Reclamation Commission that the ODNR back in 1988 declared that mining should not occur within the watershed buffer zone.

The mine entry is taller and receives a much greater volume of traffic than other mined areas, making its impact on the forest far greater. And, as OVCC has made clear with its filing of the D-0360-12 permit last month (-12 for short), the company wants to mine virtually every acre underneath the old growth forest of Dysart Woods.

Room and pillar mining inevitably subsides, creating sink holes like the one under I-70 that occurred very near Dysart Woods. Dysart Woods is only 7 miles from I-70.

Dysart Woods is among the last .004 percent of remaining ancient forest left in Ohio. It is among the most endangered ecosystems in the world according to the U.S. Department of Interior.

Also, the ODMR failed to notify Ohio University or the Buckeye Forest Council about the approval of the -9 permit. Both entities, which are obviously interested parties, were notified by Dysart Defenders.

Dysart Defenders has two expert witnesses and an attorney, John Sproat.