Strip-Mine to Take Out Jones Road

Richland Twp.

If the DEP Knox Mining District Office approves the strip-mine permit application for a 232-AC tract in Richland Township, Clarion County, the Chestnut Ridge area will experience many significant changes.

The proposed strip-mine crosses Jones Road. Agreement was reached in January 2015, between the Richland Township Supervisors and Amerikohl Aggregates Inc. of Butler, PA, that will allow Amerikohl to close and excavate at least 50 feet deep, more than 1,000 feet of Jones Road to remove the limestone that is within the Jones Road Right-of-Way. This nasty gash could remove Jones Road for five to eight years or longer if the permit were to be extended. This agreement is a variance to PA Code § 77.504.

The township supervisors revealed at their most recent meeting that this was in exchange for $30,000.

PA Code § 77.504 requires there to be a demonstration that there are no feasible or prudent alternatives to these distance variances. The following language from the pending permit is the only attempt to satisfy this requirement, 

“The alternative to operations within the distance limitations is to restrict the removal of the mineral resources outside the 100-foot highway barrier. This would not be prudent due to the elimination of a large area of mineral reserves, which in turn has a direct effect on the economics and feasibility of mining within the area.” And, “without this variance the mineral reserves within the distance limitations would remain intact which affects the economic feasibility of mining in this area.”

Simply stated, it’s all about money. This agreement provides increased revenue for Amerikohl and creates a considerable inconvenience and hardship for the township residents.

Township supervisors are charged with “a dedication to the public good and a commitment to community”. This agreement is clearly not in the best interest of the community. This agreement must be dissolved. If you agree, stand-up and speak-out.

LeRoy Best, Richland Twp., Clarion County