PUBLIC INTEREST CENTER: (614) 644-2160
MEDIA CONTACT: Erin Strouse
CITIZEN CONTACT: Amber Finkelstein
Ohio EPA to Hold Meeting About Meigs County Mine Discharge Diversion
Ohio EPA will hold an information session and public hearing on Tues., March 26, 2013, at 6 p.m. to discuss the water quality impacts of a proposed pipeline project to divert discharges from Meigs Mine No. 31 near Langsville (around 30012 SR 124) to the Ohio River (mile 257.5). The meeting will be held at the Rutland Civic Center Council Room, 337 Main St. in Rutland.
Ohio EPA is reviewing Southern Ohio Coal Company’s applications for a wastewater discharge permit renewal and a permit-to-install to construct the diversion pipeline from the mining operations. Facility owner, Consol Energy Inc., is proposing to install a pipeline to divert treated discharge from Parker Run (which joins Leading Creek before discharging into the Ohio River) to the Ohio River. The 14-mile project would go through Salem, Rutland and Salisbury townships.
The Agency’s review of the applications is to ensure that discharges would comply with Ohio's water quality standards that protect aquatic life and human health. Ohio EPA also is considering other alternatives that may have lesser or no impacts to water quality, for example, treatment to reduce the total dissolved solids.
While the company is in the process of applying to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources for permits pertaining to the pipeline itself, Ohio EPA representatives at the meeting also will answer water quality questions associated with the pipeline crossing wetlands and streams, as these matters fall under Ohio EPA’s regulatory authority. The federal Clean Water Act requires anyone discharging dredged or fill material into Ohio waters to obtain a Section 401 water quality certification from Ohio EPA and Section 404 permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Ohio EPA has not yet received a Section 401 certification application for this project.
Ohio EPA places a high priority on public involvement and encourages citizens to become involved in the decision-making process. During the information session, representatives from Ohio EPA will explain the applications and answer questions. During the hearing, which immediately follows the information session, the public can submit comments for the record regarding the applications. The purpose of the hearing is to obtain additional information that will be considered before Ohio EPA issues or denies the permits.
In addition to oral comments provided at the public meeting, Ohio EPA will equally consider written comments received through April 2 at email@example.com or Ohio EPA-Division of Surface Water, Attention: Permits Processing Unit, P.O. Box 1049, Columbus, OH 43216-1049. Interested parties may request to be placed on a mailing list for information by writing to the same address. The permit applications and related materials are available for review at Ohio EPA’s Southeast District Office, 2195 Front St., Logan, by first calling (740) 385-8501.
The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency was created in 1972 to consolidate efforts to protect and improve air quality, water quality and waste management in Ohio. In the past 40 years, air pollutants dropped by as much as 90 percent; large rivers meeting standards improved from 21 percent to 89 percent; and hundreds of polluting, open dumps were replaced with engineered landfills and an increased emphasis on waste reduction and recycling. Ohio EPA -- 40 years and moving forward.