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Ohio Utica Shale

Grass-roots group asks Ohio to reject Carroll County mine application

By Bob Downing Published: December 18, 2012

 

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.

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Stop Fracking Ohio.

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Fracking: Gas Drilling's Environmental Threat by ProPublica, an online journalism site.

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Allegheny Front, environmental public radio for Western Pennsylvania.