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Environmentalists to appeal mining decision



Published: Fri, June 17, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



COLUMBUS (AP) -- An environmental group will appeal a decision allowing coal mining underneath one of the state's oldest forests, its lawyer said.

The Buckeye Forest Council will argue in its appeal before the Ohio 7th District Court of Appeals in Youngstown that the state ignored evidence that mining will harm the 400-year-old trees in Dysart Woods, attorney Richard Sahli said on Wednesday.

The Ohio Reclamation Commission, which review mining disputes, on May 26 upheld a state permit allowing the Ohio Valley Coal Co. to remove coal under the forest in Belmont County, about 80 miles east of Columbus. Company officials and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources say the mining will not harm the forest.

Ohio Valley Coal proposed using room and pillar mining, which will leave pillars of coal to help prevent cave-ins. The company will carve a path under 14 acres of the forest to get to 2,400 acres of coal.

Sahli said the mining will leach away ground water that feeds the trees.

The group has until June 26 to file the appeal.




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