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Amerikohl Mining Permit Withdrawn

On April 1, 2020 the PA DEP eFacts webpage revealed that as of March 27, 2020 Amerikohl’s most recent Permit Application 16180304 for a limestone strip-mine on Chestnut Ridge in Richland Township, Clarion County was WITHDRAWN. The webpage, provides no explanation for the withdrawal and other information shown on the webpage does not provide any clarity. There seem to be more questions that there answers relative to this site. Here is what is known. In October 2016 Amerikohl submitted permit application 16150302 with the Knox office of the PA DEP. That permit became effective in December 2017 but work on site did not proceed because an appeal was filed with the PA Environmental Hearing Board in Harrisburg in January 2018. In September 2018, before that appeal was heard, Amerikohl suddenly and without explanation withdrew that permit. Then, almost a year later in August 2019 Amerikohl submitted a new permit application 16180304 for the same site. It was quickly learned that this application would be reviewed by the New Stanton office of the PA DEP. Based on information from the above webpage, this application was under Technical Review with a Target Completion Date of March 30, 2020 when, again without explanation, on March 27, 2020 Amerikohl WITHDREW this second application. Here is what is not known. Why did Amerikohl withdraw the permit in September 2018 while it was under appeal before the PA Environmental Hearing Board without allowing that process to play out? Why was the second permit application reviewed by the New Stanton office in lieu of the Knox office? Why was the second application nearly identical to the first? It is public knowledge that the Knox office wrote Amerikohl several letters of deficiency during their review in 2017. Did the New Stanton office find deficiencies during their review, what were those deficiencies and will those deficiency letters be made available to the public? What reasons could a successful business like Amerikohl have for withdrawing this second permit application while it is still under review? As of April 1, 2020 the PA DEP eFacts webpage shows the “STATUS” of Permit Number 16180304 is “Withdrawn as of 3/27/2020.”

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