Public Notices

Environmental Justice Public Participation Draft Leave Out Oil and Gas Permits

The DEP Office of Environmental Justice has released a draft Environmental Justice Public Participation Policy, under the guidance of the Environmental Justice Advisory Board and with input from the Environmental Justice Listening Sessions. The draft Environmental Justice Public Participation Policy is open for public comments until August 28, 2018. While there are some improvements to the policy document, it does not go far enough to adequately ensure environmental justice communities will be heard in the permitting process.

In particular, the draft policy still leaves oil and gas permits off the trigger list to kickstart increased public participation. This demand was raised at every Environmental Justice Listening Sessions and should be added to the new public participation policy. In addition, DEP should use language requiring the applicants to follow this policy rather than merely encouraging them to do so.

Sign this petition supporting CCJ comments and demanding stronger EJ Public Participation Policy.

Additional Discharges Possible into Mon. River from Cumberland Mine

 The Monongehela River near Carmichaels, PA

The Monongehela River near Carmichaels, PA

The Cumberland Mine is renewing their water discharge permit, and it will increase the amount of sulfate pollution into the Monongahela River, which is a major drinking water source for southwestern Pennsylvania. The discharge is located just a few miles upstream from the Carmichaels Water Authority drinking water intake. The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) will hold a public hearing regarding the NPDES Water Quality Permit for the Cumberland Mine Coal Refuse Disposal Facility on August 9th, 2018 at the Greensboro VFD/Church Building, 384 Stoney Hill Road, Greensboro from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m.  The nature of the public hearing is to solicit concerns and comments regarding the draft amended NPDES permit for the Cumberland Mine Coal Refuse Disposal Facility.

The Monongahela River is considered to be no longer impaired for sulfates, so the mine is increasing the amount of sulfates they will discharge into the river, without taking into consideration the other mine discharges in that area.

The site has three (3) NPDES outfalls located in Monongahela and Whiteley Townships, Greene County. We encourage you to attend the public hearing where Department representative will be available to receive written and verbal testimony regarding the draft NPDES permit. Testimony will be placed into public record for the draft NPDES permit and considered by Department staff in the review process.

If you have any other questions, concerns or comments please contact Nick at the Center for Coalfield Justice at (724) 229-3550 x4 or by email at nick@coalfieldjustice.org.

Public Hearing on Proposed Natural Gas Plant in Robinson Township, Washington County

 Map of Shale Gas Activity in Robinson Township, Washington County

Map of Shale Gas Activity in Robinson Township, Washington County

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) will hold a public hearing on Wednesday, July 12, 2017 at 6:00 PM at the Fort Cherry Jr./Sr. High School Auditorium (110 Fort Cherry Road, McDonald, PA 15057) for an Air Quality Plan Approval application for the proposed Robinson Power Company, LLC Beech Hollow Project. The proposed natural gas-fired combined cycle power plant with a 1,000 MW generating capacity would be located adjacent to the Champion Processing Inc. waste coal pile in Robinson Township, Washington County.

Attend the meeting to learn what Robinson Power plans are and get your questions answered. Public testimony will begin at 7:00 PM and each individual will have 5 minutes to testify. The DEP encourages people to register beforehand to testify at the hearing by submitting written notice to Lauren Fraley, Community Relations Coordinator at lfraley@pa.gov, care of DEP’s Southwest Regional Office, 400 Waterfront Drive, Pittsburgh, PA 15222, or by phone at 412-442-4203. There will also be an opportunity to register on site on the evening of the hearing.

Individuals who cannot attend the hearing may submit written public comments to the attention of Alan Binder, Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, 400 Waterfront Drive, Pittsburgh, PA 15222 or abinder@pa.gov. Written testimony must include the commenter’s name, address, and phone number and reference the proposed Robinson Power Plan Approval (PA-63-00922D). Public comments will be accepted until July 22, 2017 at 4:00 PM.

Documents for the application are available at DEP office or at the link below:

http://www.dep.pa.gov/About/Regional/SouthwestRegion/Community%20Information/Pages/default.aspx

New Process to Announce Permit Activity and Public Meetings

We have been thinking about how we can make it easier for all of you to stay up to date on the most recent notices from the Pennsylvania Bulletin regarding permits and projects in Washington and Greene counties. We have decided to try a new way of sharing the most relevant notices with everyone. Rather than posting them on our blog as we did in the past, we will now post a weekly facebook post on Mondays and we will include the notices in our weekly emails.