ODNR Reviews Updates to Mining’s Water Replacement Rules

CARROLLTON, OHIO: After pressure from landowners and the US Department of the Interior, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) has updated the Procedural Directive that dictates if and how domestic and agricultural water sources are replaced when coal mining impacts water wells or springs.

On September 4, Cheryl Socotch, Administrator of Remining and Field Hydrology at ODNR, will review the regulatory requirements, highlight recent changes, and the process for initiating a water replacement investigation. She will also discuss options for landowners to better document their premining water quality and quantity and answer general questions. Ms. Socotch will not be able to comment specifically on individual landowner issues or any pending coal permit applications.

“The initial 9,600 acre phase of the proposed Rosebud Carrollton Mine has already identified dozens of landowners who will either lose their water or have a likelihood of negative groundwater impacts. It is critical that people understand ODNR’s water replacement process, its shortcomings and the landowner’s responsibility in that process.” said Paul Feezel Chair of Carroll Concerned Citizens who will be hosting the meeting.

Future plans from Rosebud include mining North and very near the Village’s water well system and the abandoned Wynn/Tripp mine on SR 171. This water well field is considered to be a backup source for landowners at risk of water loss from the first phase of mining planned for South of the Village.

Feezel added, “We only have to look to nearby Toledo or Charleston, WV to see the consequences of impacting municipal water systems like Carrollton’s. In the Freedom Industries case, the leak of chemicals used in coal washing has a local connection. Clifford Forest, Freedom’s owner, also owns Rosebud Mining Company.”

The meeting will begin at 7:00pm at the Church of Christ, 353 Moody Ave. Carrollton. It is free and open to the public.
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