We’re Back in Court to Defend Ryerson

For years, we have been fighting side by side with the Sierra Club against Consol’s plans to illegally mine coal from underneath Ryerson Station State Park. There was a three week trial over the summer about this issue; ultimately deciding whether the state-permitted plan to destroy streams and “rebuild” them later was consistent with the Clean Streams Law in Pennsylvania. We are eagerly awaiting the decision from the Pennsylvania Environmental Hearing Board on that issue.

In the meantime, Consol has been getting closer and closer to Ryerson. In fact, we learned this fall that they were seeking permission from the Governor to mine underneath and inside of Ryerson’s boundaries BEFORE we got a decision from the Environmental Hearing Board as to whether this was even legal. On December 13, we learned that the Wolf Administration approved this illegal plan. Within days, we assembled a team of lawyers and experts and filed for a supersedes, or an injunction, to force Consol to immediately stop mining before they reached Polen and Kent Run.

We were infuriated to learn that DEP had issued the permit in such a way to avoid this very type of legal action; even though we had filed as fast as possible, by the time the Judge conducted his first conference call of the parties, we learned that Polen Run had already been destroyed. Thankfully, the Judge put into place an order that prohibited Consol from mining within 500 feet of Kent Run until after he’d conducted a hearing about the issues.

That hearing is scheduled for next week, from Tuesday through Friday in downtown Pittsburgh. At the hearing, we will present evidence about the damage done to streams by longwall mining, and highlight the many options available to Consol to avoid this damage that they have so far refused to do.

This is a great opportunity for our members to show the Judge that they care about Ryerson Station State Park. Join us, be present, and show your support for a preserved and healthy Ryerson.

The trial starts on Tuesday, January 10, at 9:30 AM at the Environmental Hearing Board’s Pittsburgh Facility, Hearing Room 2014, Piatt Place, 301 5th Avenue. It is scheduled to continue through the 13th. If you want more information on the hearing or ride sharing, please call 724-229-3550 or email Veronica at veronica@coalfieldjustice.org.  

Thanks for your support and we look forward to seeing you in Pittsburgh.