As we begin our long-awaited trial before the Environmental Hearing Board, I’d like to take a moment to say thank you. Thank you to all of our members who have attended DRYerson Festivals for the past ten years. Thank you to all those who have donated your precious time and resources to support our organization’s fight for environmental justice. Thank you to all those who have shared our message with family, friends, neighbors and colleagues. We could not do this work without you, and for that, I thank you.
You may know that the Center for Coalfield Justice and Sierra Club are opposing an illegal mining permit issued to Consol Energy. CCJ has been preparing for this moment since 2007, when our staff first requested a public hearing on this proposal. Since that time, board and staff members have come and gone. We’ve had successes and failures. But our eye has been on this fight, the fight for the streams in and around Ryerson Station State Park. This is our line in the sand.
We understand that the odds are stacked against us. We are taking on one of the most powerful coal companies in the world and their corporate lawyers. We are also forced to oppose the very state agency tasked with protecting our environment for present and future Pennsylvania residents. However, it would be a mistake to underestimate us. Our fight for justice is strong and it is right. In time, we will prevail. That fight begins anew today.