Prevent Water Pollution by Opposing Proposed Coal Mine

by the falls. by Jukie Bot

Target: John Quigley, Secretary of Pennyslvania’s Department of Environmental Protection

Goal: Protect water quality from a proposed coal mine’s operations.

Water quality could be danger if a proposed coal mine is approved for operation. This is the third attempt to open a bituminous coal mine at this location, and the past two attempts were denied due to a possible risk to surface water and groundwater. Our country is trying to move away from using dirty coal as an energy source. If approved, this mine will operate for 18 years. We must take action to stop this mine before it is approved to operate.

LCT Energy, the company behind the coal mine, needs approval for a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit to be able to operate. The permit is in place to be able to control and regulate water pollution so that watersheds stay clean and healthy. However, the mine poses potential risks to the Indian Creek Watershed located near Westmoreland and Fayette counties in Pennsylvania.

Surface water sources that are within the Indian Creek Watershed, such as creeks and tributaries, have experienced $7 million in cleanup efforts due to past mining operations that polluted the waterways. If this mine is approved, the Rustic Ridge Mine could reverse these efforts and contaminate these water sources once again.

The Rustic Ridge Mine has been proposed to operate 24 hours a day, six days a week. The mine will have an expansive underground operation spanning 2,886.5 acres. Not only could this invasive mine be troublesome for groundwater and surface water by excreting toxins into the water supply by acid mine drainage, but local roads and residents will suffer due to the increase in truck traffic that will haul the dirty energy source.

Supporters of the mine only consider the job benefits but lack to consider the job losses that could occur if this beautiful area is compromised due to pollution and increased truck traffic. This area in Pennsylvania, known as the Laurel Highlands, is a common tourist attraction that boasts hiking and biking trails and numerous fishing and rafting spots. The tourist sector employs over 14,000 workers, way more than the 120 full-time opportunities that would be available at Rustic Ridge Mine.

By signing this petition, you are urging Pennsylvania’s Secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection to openly oppose this mine by not issuing the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit to LCT Energy. We must prevent any and all mining operations at Rustic Ridge Mine from destroying water quality and the area’s integrity.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Secretary Quigley,

The Rustic Ridge coal mine poses a huge risk to the Indian Creek Watershed and to the booming tourist industry in the Laurel Highlands. Our nation is moving past using coal as an energy source and, if this mine is approved, it would oppose this ideal by pumping out dirty coal for 18 years. The mine will not only contribute to disastrous environmental degradation in Pennsylvania but also impact air quality wherever this coal is burned.

I am urging you to please oppose this coal mine and stop it from being approved by not issuing LCT Energy the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit. Millions of dollars have already been spent on cleaning up creeks and tributaries in the Indian Creek Watershed due to past mining operations, and this mine could reverse these expensive cleanup efforts.

I demand that you consider Pennsylvania’s waterways and tourist industry and protect them from the proposed Rustic Ridge bituminous coal mine.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Jukie Bot

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