For Immediate Release

April 16, 2003


Contact: Chad Kister (740) 707-4110 or

ODMR finds 225 violations of law in OVCC permit

            The Ohio Division of Mineral Resources found 225 violations of law in Ohio Valley Coal Company’s Permit D-0360-12 that would undermine every acre of Dysart Woods.

            Violations include failing to document numerous wetlands, intermittent and perennial streams, Old Growth Forest areas, springs, wells and many other important ecological features that would be undermined by the 2,400 acre permit.

            “The ODMR has shown clearly that OVCC cannot be trusted to go ahead with this permit which would undermine the most significant tract of the last .004 percent of remaining ancient forest in Ohio, Dysart Woods,” said Dysart Defenders Coordinator Chad Kister.

            In the March 28, 2003 revision letter 11 a, of Page 25, D(12) of the –12 permit, the ODMR found “During the field review, several wetland areas were noted within lands overlying full coal recovery areas.  As required by 1501:13-4-14(r), revise to identify these wetlands…Also, revise your application narrative to provide information demonstrating that these wetlands will not be adversely affected by the propose operations…”

            In section 12 b of the revision letter, “The field reviewer noted sufficient numbers of fish in several streams within the proposed area, during low flow conditions, to assume there is a reasonable likelihood that these streams are large enough to support fish throughout the year.  Therefore, it would appear the statement that indicates that full coal recovery operations will not undermine any stream where fish live, is inaccurate.  As required by 1501:13-4-14(R), Revise to provide a more accurate assessment of the possible impacts on fish and wildlife and related environmental values, and what will be done to minimize those impacts.”

            In all, OVCC missed more than 70 streams, wetlands and springs in the application area.  “The ODMR found so many flaws in Ohio Valley Coal Company’s permit, that they clearly need to deny it,” said Kister.  “There are innumerable violations of Ohio Revised Code that require the division to refuse the permit.”

            OVCC also missed more than 50 buildings that would be undermined from the 2,400 acre permit.  The permit includes every acre of the 455 acre Dysart Woods Land Laboratory.  Dysart Woods is a National Natural Landmark.  It is also the among the most endangered ecosystem on Earth according to the U.S. Department of Interior.

            OVCC missed an entire section of old growth forest in their mining permit.  “OVCC claims to not even know that an old growth forest section of Dysart Woods exist.  How can we possibly trust such an idiotic coal company to mine underneath this ancient forest?” Kister asked.

            In related news, OU attorney Robert Shostak said that the pillars that OVCC would leave under Dysart Woods would collapse without question, causing subsidence and dewatering.  He said he would hire a consultant from Indiana to study the issue.

            “OU needs to pledge to appeal this permit if it is passed,” Kister said.

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