A grass-roots group on Ohio's Carroll County is asking the Ohio Department of Natural Resources to reject the June 2009 permit application by Rosebud Mining Company for a 9,600-acre room-and-pillar mine just south of the village of Carrollton due to its incompleteness.
An initial state review has identified more than 200 inadequacies and requests for additional information, including critical public safety information on the mine’s potential to collapse and whether the mine’s future operation would impact local drinking water supplies.
The application was submitted prior to the Utica shale gas drilling boom that has hit Carroll County and does not mention how the mine would further increase the vulnerability of the County’s groundwater supplies already affected by widespread gas drilling.
Carroll County is the No. 1 drilling hot spot in Ohio.
Carroll Concerned Citizens is asking ODNR to reject the current application and require Rosebud to restart the permit process with a fully detailed application.
Spokesman Paul Feezel said, "Rosebud says eventually the mine would grow to almost 30,000 acres right in the heart of the shale gas drilling. With over 2,000 shale gas wells planned for the county, it makes the risks from mine subsidence and mining water contamination even more concerning."
According to one of the group’s attorneys, Richard Sahli of Columbus, the 21-page response by ODNR, identifies many legal problems with the application with the most serious being the lack of a state required analysis of historic surface water levels that creates a benchmark for determining future impacts on water quantity and geologic information establishing the potential for subsidence given the mine’s shallow 250 foot average depth.
"In my 30 years of practicing environmental law across Ohio, I haven’t seen such a good groundwater supply facing a more concentrated assult than what I see in Carroll County today. Unfortunately that threat to the County’s water supply seems to far exceed our state government’s ability or inclination to protect it." said Attorney Sahli.
The grass-roots group will review the permit request status at is Jan. 3 meeting. It will be held at 7 p.m. at Carrollton's Church of Christ. 353 Moody Ave. The meeting is free and open to the public.
Chesapeake Energy Corp,the Oklahoma-based firm is the No. 1 driller in Ohio.
Rig Count Interactive Map by Baker Hughes, an energy services company.
Shale Sheet Fracking, a Youngstown Vindicator blog.
The Ohio Environmental Council, a statewide eco-group based in Columbus.
Earthjustice, a national eco-group.
People's Oil and Gas Collaborative-Ohio, a grass-roots group in Northeast Ohio.
Concerned Citizens of Medina County, a grass-roots group.
No Frack Ohio, a Columbus-based grass-roots group.
Fracking: Gas Drilling's Environmental Threat by ProPublica, an online journalism site.
Pipeline, blog from Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Marcellus shale drilling.
Allegheny Front, environmental public radio for Western Pennsylvania.