Updated Tue, May 7, 2013 7:46 am
Wayne National Forest is seeking public comment on a proposal by the Bureau of Land Management to allow the leasing of coal below seven noncontiguous parcels totaling 433 acres of national forest in Perry and Morgan Counties.
The “BLM Federal Coal Lease Project” was created to respond to a request made to the BLM by a private company to lease the coal.
According to a news release from Wayne National Forest, this project does not include mining; however, if the coal were leased, it could be mined in the future.
“The coal would be removed by room and pillar mining, whereby pillars of coal remain after mining is completed to prevent mine collapse,” the news release states. “Potential for subsidence, stream capture and other impacts to water quality and global climate change have been assessed and deemed unlikely. Additional analysis considered if there may be impacts to wildlife, plants, heritage resources and recreational opportunities. Resource specialists concluded there would be no impacts to these resources if the lands were leased and subsequently mined by underground mining methods. If mining were to occur, there would be no surface activities or disturbance on the 433 acres.”
Wayne National Forest is now seeking public input about the proposed project following the assessment.
The 30-day public comment period began with the publication of a legal notice in The Athens Messenger on Sunday, May 5. After the 30-day public comment period, Forest Supervisor Anne Carey will make a decision on whether and how to implement the project.
The environmental assessment and additional information about the project can be found online at http://www.fs.usda.gov/projects/wayne/landmanagement/projects or by calling the Athens Ranger District at 753-0101. Comments should be submitted to Rich Jones in person or by mail at 13700 US Hwy 33, Nelsonville, OH 45764; by phone at 753-0101; or by email at email@example.com.