Stop Invasive Underground Coal Mine

Youghiogheny River in Pennsylvania

Target: Joel Koricich, District Mining Manager for Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection

Goal: Reject the proposal for an underground coal mine.

A 2000-acre coal mine has been proposed in an area dangerously close to local water sources. This site is known for bituminous coal, a variety of coal that releases gases known to cause explosions. This exact site has been denied for coal mining in the past because of the threat of toxic discharges into nearby creeks. The time is now to stop this dangerous coal mine from potentially contaminating waterways.

Known as Rustic Ridge #1, the coal mine hopes to operate near Pennsylvania’s Laurel Highlands. This area of southwest Pennsylvania is coveted by outdoor enthusiasts. Hiking, biking, rafting, fishing, and even skiing bring tourists all year round to this beautiful area of the state. The mine’s surface site will border Champion Creek while Indian Creek runs on the outskirts of the underground operation. Rustic Ridge #1 will jeopardize the area’s already struggling waterways. Millions of dollars have been spent restoring Champion Creek and Indian Creek from previous mining mishaps.

The nearby creeks are crucial to this area’s watershed, which support wildlife and recreational activities. No mining operation should come near such necessary freshwater streams. By signing this petition, you are urging Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection to deny the request for Rustic Ridge #1 coal mine. This underground mine could negatively impact the area’s precious water sources as well as interfere with the booming tourist industry.


Dear Mr. Koricich,

The Rustic Ridge #1 coal mine is a bad idea for this area of Pennsylvania because it will operate dangerously close to essential waterways. Champion Creek, Little Champion Creek, and Indian Creek could be directly affected by the mine’s toxic discharges. Due to earlier mining practices, millions of dollars have already been spent on cleaning up these creeks.

Contamination in these smaller streams could affect private wells and larger waterways, including the Youghiogheny River. Indian Creek is a major tributary to the Youghiogheny River, a freshwater river that is treasured by wildlife and outdoor enthusiasts. The dangers of toxic discharge could ruin the beauty that is the Laurel Highlands.

Even without the threat of polluted waterways, mining bituminous coal is a dangerous operation. When mined, this type of coal releases combustible gases that can cause underground explosions if not monitored adequately. The area is simply not suitable or safe for mining; it is obvious that the dangers outweigh the advantages. With your help, mining on this site could be denied for the third and, hopefully, final time. You must deny the proposal to mine in this sensitive area. I urge you to take action and protect Pennsylvania’s waterways and natural integrity.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Jon Dawson via Flickr

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