Starting in 2014, we partnered with the Sierra Club to bring an appeal to a permit that authorized longwall coal mining that predicted severe stream impacts in and around Ryerson Station State Park in Greene County. At the heart of the appeal is whether Consol’s right to longwall mine trumps the protections set forth in the Clean Streams Law, the Department’s mining regulations, and Article 1, Section 27 of the Pennsylvania Constitution.
This matter finally went to trial this past August, before the Honorable Steven C. Beckman of the Pennsylvania Environmental Hearing Board (EHB). We presented nearly four days of evidence showing the flow loss and change of use in the streams due to Consol’s longwall mining. During examination of DEP and Consol witnesses, we learned that those parties agreed with us that when a stream suffers mining-induced flow loss, pooling or is dewatered during mitigation activities to repair subsidence damage, fish cannot survive and recreational uses of that stream are lost. We believe that this is illegal.
On October 21, 2016, CCJ and Sierra Club filed their post-hearing brief. Consol and the Department must file their post-hearing response briefs by November 21, 2016. We then have the opportunity to reply to the arguments made by Consol and the Department in their respective response briefs. The deadline to file our reply brief is December 6, 2016.
We hope to receive a decision from the Environmental Hearing Board by the end of 2016 or in early January 2017.
We could not do this work without the continued support of our members and supporters. Unfortunately, this fight is far from over. Consol is again seeking permission from the DEP to undermine the portions of Polen Run and Kent Run that flow within Ryerson Station State Park. Please help us continue our work to protect these streams by donating today. Your contribution gives us the funding we need to protect Ryerson Station State Park and the surrounding area for fish, wildlife, and people alike.