Kevin Johnson of the Ohio EPA needs to receive comments by Feb. 18
for the coal waste valley fill. You can email, fax or mail your comments.
Please take the time to email something.
FAX: (614) 752-0732
The company wanting to mine coal beneath Dysart
Woods, Ohio Valley Coal Company, has pending permits to
fill a valley in Belmont County with coal waste and to
release 72,000 gallons of polluted water per day into
Captina Creek. It is the Company's intention to get
this waste out of its mines below Dysart, if they
should win the court cases.
The State EPA held a second public hearing about these
permits Feb. 8. For those who couldn't
make it, please take the opportunity to send the EPA a
letter, which will be entered into the decision-making
process just as if you spoke at the hearing. The letter must
be sent by Monday, so please take the time to do it this weekend.
Things to mention in your letter include;
-- you are opposed to the three permits OVCC is applying for for their
waste facility on Perkins Run, just 1,000 feet upstream of Captina Creek. One permit is to
destroy the stream (which OVCC already bulldozed illegally), one is for pollution into Captina
Creek just upstream from an endangered salamander population, and one permit is for the
permit to install the waste facility.
--questioning why OVCC has not been punished for
their illegal destruction of the valley in question,
including the stream that flowed there, before the
public hearing regarding the permits for such action
had even taken place. This action has been
acknowledged as illegal by the State EPA, yet they
continue to drag their feet when it comes to doing
something about it. (pictures of destruction available
on web at www.dysartwoods.org)
--the existence of an endangered species, the Eastern
Hellbender, Ohio's largest salamander, downstream
from OVCC's proposed valley fill.
--the 72,000 gallons of polluted discharge OVCC wishes
to send out every day into Captina Creek, one of
Ohio's cleanest water bodies. Captina Creek is rated as an exceptional warmwater
habitat, and is has the highest water quality ranking in Ohio, according to Mike Smith,
The Ohio EPA permit specialist for the three permits OVCC needs for this valley fill.
-- the fact that OVCC is trying to get a permit for their waste coal,
or 'gob', which releases
sulfuric acid when it comes into contact with water, as if it was simply fill dirt.
A recent court decision by a federal judge in W Virginia
has set an important precedent against this, but it
has yet to be applied to these permits. More info and photos are here.
-- the fact that acidity in Captina creek increases more than 5 times
from tests conducted above
compared to tests below OVCC's effluent from their existing waste facility that they want to
– the fact that Ohio EPA officials found numerous errors with Ohio Valley
"scientists" and found that all of these errors helped to underscore the quality of the stream. The
EPA official, Marc Smith of the Division of Surface Water, said, "Ohio Valley Coal Company's
activities appear to be responsible for this turbidity" found at the confluence of the coal
companies existing coal waste facility. The company wants to greatly expand the facility. The
EPA official suggest ground-truthing the coal company's data, but before they could complete
that, OVCC bulldozed the site illegally. What were they trying to hide? What kind of a
precedence would this be to allow the illegal bulldozing of a site to prevent EPA study, then to
give the permits to the company to go ahead? Is this what will happen to all endangered species
found on land that developers want to develop?
letters about any or all of these things would be
valuable. BUT know that the EPA is not allowed to
take the popularity of the facility into account in
its decision, so any idealistic or non-substantive
writing will be largely ignored.
The EPA CAN take into account;
Does the source (of pollution);
1.Ensure the protection of aquatic life and
2. Comply with all industry standards?
3. Employ the best available technology?
4. Maintain water quality standards?
Clearly, this permit does not meet any of the four criteria with the information listed above.
So there ya go.
Send letters to.....
(Note: You must be logged on to your email system to use this email link)
Division of Surface Water
Attention: Permits processing unit
PO BOX 1049
And remember the letter must be sent or postmarked Monday, Feb.
14 (though Kevin Johnson
just emailed Friday (Feb. 11) morning "try to get everyone's comments in by the end of next
week. Thanks, Kevin.") So you may have more time but please try to get these sent ASAP to
make sure they can be used. Dysart Defenders intends to appeal all of these permits, so the
more comments in, the better our appeal will be.
thanks for your time,