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Public Meeting on the Proposed Mine Adjacent to Ohiopyle State Park, Great Allegheny Passage Trail

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Photo by Flickr user Jason Pratt

They’re at it again…Public Meeting June 10

According to the Mountain Watershed Association, the mining company, Amerikohl, “has approached the Fayette County Zoning Board for a special exception to mine on the Curry Mine in Dunbar Township, Fayette County. Many of our members will remember this proposal from last spring, when the DEP returned the mining permit application to Amerikohl as incomplete.”  They are planning to open a 500-acre surface coal mine adjacent to Ohiopyle State Park, State Gamelands #51, and 1000 feet from Great Allegheny Passage Bike Trail.

Known as the Curry property, the area is currently zoned for agricultural use.  Amerikohl is petitioning the Fayette County Zoning Board for a zoning exception. Mining cannot proceed without this exception. It is a step separate from the DEP permit process.

Some of the very serious concerns with this proposed strip mine along the Youghiogheny River are:

  • The close proximity of the site to high-quality streams including Morgan Run, Johnson Run and the Yough River and the impact that diverting water from these streams and discharging into others will have on the health of the Yough River.
  • Irreversible damage to a piece of land that is adjacent to important public land features including Ohiopyle State Park, State Gamelands #51 and the Yough River Trail.
  • Loss of important  habitat for plant and animal species of special concern and natural communities of high biodiversity importance in Pennsylvania and  the eastern U.S., some of which are dependent on large expanses of unfragmented forest ecosystems.

The Venture Outdoors blog does a good job explaining all the facts, and figures on how this will impact the environment that gives us some of the most important recreational and tourist destinations in the State of Pennsylvania.

You can also join a discussion about this on the BikePGH Messageboard here.

ORGANIZATIONS WITH AN INTEREST IN OHIOPYLE State Park and the Laurel Highlands area in general, are urged to attend the following meeting and express their opinions:

Public Meeting

Fayette County Zoning Board Meeting
10:00 am, Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Fayette County Public Works Building

22 East Main Street
Uniontown, PA 15401

WRITE: TELL THE DEP YOUR CONCERNS

DEP Greensburg District Mining Office
Armbrust Building, RR #2, Box 603-C
Greensburg, PA, 15601

Letters to the Editor Can be submitted regarding the proposed Curry mine and the impacts it will have on public safety, the natural environment, and recreation in the area. The two local papers are below the Herald Standard (Uniontown) and the Daily Courier (Connellsville).

Herald Standard
300 word limit
Include name, address and phone for verification
hsletters@heraldstandard.com
Herald Standard
8-18 E. Church Street
Uniontown PA 15401
fax: 724 439 7559

Daily Courier
200 word limit
Include name, address and phone for verification
rabramowitz@tribweb.com
Daily Courier
PO Box 864
Connellsville PA 15425

One Response to “Public Meeting on the Proposed Mine Adjacent to Ohiopyle State Park, Great Allegheny Passage Trail”

  1. [...] a special exception for a strip mine near Ohiopyle State Park.  Back in June, the Board held a second public hearing about the proposed strip mine that abuts Ohiopyle State Park.  This second hearing was called [...]

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