Updated Fri, Sep 13, 2013 11:27 am
Wayne National Forest on Friday issued a decision to lease seven parcels of federally-owned coal to U.S. Department of Interior, Bureau of Land Management.
The coal is located beneath the Wayne National Forest in Perry and Morgan counties, east of the town of Corning.
The Forest Service Environmental Assessment concluded that no significant resources would be impacted if the coal were leased and mined by underground methods. The Assessment considered potential impacts to surface resources including water, air, wildlife, plants, heritage resources and recreational opportunities.
A private company requested that the parcels be leased to the Bureau. If the coal were leased by the Bureau, it could be mined in the future using a room and pillar method, through which pillars of coal remain after mining is completed to prevent mine collapse.
The project is now subject to a 45-day appeal period. Appeals may be filed by those who submitted timely comments during the comment period, which ran earlier this summer. The beginning of the appeal period is marked by a legal notice in The Athens Messenger.