• Dirty Energy,  State Policy

    Farmers Celebrate as Ohio EPA Terminates Permit for Coal Mine in Perry State Forest

    After two years of grassroots organizing, local farmers, community members, and forest supporters celebrated a major victory in their campaign to prevent coal mining on public land just outside New Lexington, Ohio in Perry County.

    On January 30, the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (OEPA) announced it will terminate CCU Coal and Construction’s wastewater discharge permit for a proposed 545-acre strip mine in the Perry State Forest in close proximity to farmland, local residents, and public recreation spaces. The termination of the permit came at the request of the coal company, according to OEPA, and will take effect April 1.

    “This is a huge victory for our community, our forest, and our farm,” said Lauren Ketcham, an OEFFA member produce and flower farmer at Down the Road Farm, whose farm borders the forest. “This project has cast a dark shadow over our farm and the businesses and homes of our neighbors for a long time. We moved here to put down roots, start a small business, feed our community, and invest in the land. Coal mining put all that at risk.”