Should Amerikohl Aggregates, Inc. be Granted a Permit for a Noncoal Stripmine on Chestnut Ridge in Richland Township, Clarion Co.?
Should Amerikohl Aggregates, Inc. be granted permit No. 16150302 for a Large Noncoal Stripmine on Chestnut Ridge in Richland Township, Clarion Co.? That is the question residents in the township are asking the PA DEP Knox District Mining Office.
Amerikohl Aggregates, Inc. Butler, PA has filed for a Large Noncoal Mine Permit Application with the PA Department of Environmental Protection, Knox, PA. This application is for the removal of limestone on a 232.5 Acre tract along the top of Chestnut Ridge in Richland Township, Clarion Co., PA.
The permit, if approved, would allow for the removal of approximately 3-million Tons of limestone and incidental coal if encountered.
This application is for a time period of from five to eight years and renewable.
The proposed strip-mine has the potential to have the largest impact on Richland Township residents since I-80 was built 50 years ago.
Amerikohl’s application includes evidence that they have had 30 permit violations since December 2013 at other mining sites. These were primarily blasting and water discharge Violations.
Residents living closest to the proposed strip-mine are concerned about the risks and impacts to well water volume and quality, construction noise and air quality controls, structural damage from blasting and environmental impacts.
Those living along any of the state or township roads that may be used to haul the limestone to market are at risk for impacts from large volumes of truck traffic and other construction related traffic. Production of apprx. 1,800 tons a day translates to approximately one loaded, outbound, 20-TN truck plus one empty, inbound truck every five minutes on roads where the roadway width will be difficult for trucks to meet. Additionally, residents would be impacted by noise, dirt and dust, deteriorated road conditions and risks to children and school bus traffic.
Those living closer to the mining site questions about working hours; can they restrict working hours due to noise at night, ei: blasting and traffic.
A review of the most recent Richland Township Comprehensive Plan as well as the most recent Clarion County Comprehensive Plan show very clear responses to how residents responded to questions related to “land use” in Richland Township, Clarion County. Two significant questions that were asked are:
• What single feature do you think best characterizes the community you live in?
• What should never change?
The responses provided by residents to both of these questions are very similar and stand in stark opposition to the approval of this permit application.
Some examples of the responses are:
• The beauty and peace and quiet; natural rural beauty; scenic beauty; beautiful scenery and quiet surroundings; good water and clean air; the forests, trees, clean air and good water; water quality of streams and rivers; preserve the surrounding countryside.
According to the permit application, dust will be treated as needed or as necessary. Residents are asking how will this be monitored?
If you are interested in this application process and have questions or concerns the PA Department of Environmental Protection has scheduled an informal public conference to allow citizens the opportunity to comment on Amerikohl Aggregates, lnc. mining permit application. This conference will be held on Wednesday, January 25, 2017 beginning at 1:00 PM at the PA DEP Knox District Mining Office, White Memorial Building, 310 Best Avenue, Knox, PA 16232.