Ramaco misleading public
Re: Plans for mine, manufacturing
Despite Ramaco’s ongoing misleading statements about job growth in Sheridan County, the real issue here is a seriously defective mine plan which endangers the valuable resources in the historic Tongue River Valley, which is home to more than 100 landowners within one-half mile of the proposed Brook Mine, hundreds of irrigators along the Tongue River and potential drawdown of more than 350 water wells in that area (in some cases up to 25 feet).
The EQC order was a carefully drafted decision containing 29 pages that outlined not minor, but major deficiencies in the current mine plan, specifically with respect to subsidence, hydrology and impacts to alluvial valley floors. Throughout the order, the EQC described in great detail “inadequate studies, testing and data collection; improperly used coal strength data; inadequate aquifer testing; no monitoring wells in the Tongue River; inaccurate characterization of overburden; insufficient drill hole testing; insufficient geologic data; failure to demonstrate that the hydrology of the valley will not be harmed by their mine,” to name a few. We encourage the public to read that order and educate themselves on the significant defects in the current mine plan.
(Thursday’s) decision letter issued by the DEQ mirrors the serious concerns expressed by the EQC, and by failing to approve the permit application in its present form, the DEQ acknowledges that there are “substantive deficiencies” with the application as described in the EQC’s order regarding subsidence, hydrology and the blasting plan.
Hopefully, Brook Mining Company, LLC will focus on correcting these substantial defects, perform the required comprehensive and substantive testing, monitoring and data analysis required by law and comply with all other recommendations to ensure the safe operation of its proposed new coal mine. This will impact countless lives and valuable resources in this community and it should not be taken lightly.
In Ramaco Carbon’s press release issued Thursday morning, Mr. Atkins made the statement, “Most of the EQC concerns raised had already been resolved to the DEQ’s satisfaction.” Again, this appears to be yet another mischaracterization of that is actually transpiring.
As stated above, the significant concerns raised by the EQC (and the landowners for that matter) are not quick fixes and cannot be rectified in a matter of hours or days. Ramaco’s attempts at misleading the public and minimizing the seriousness of the major deficiencies in the current mine plan seem to be that company’s approach to this entire process.
Incidentally, the release also state’s that, “…the DEQ will allow Ramaco Carbon to now supplement its current application.” The permit application was submitted by Brook Mining Company, LLC not Ramaco Carbon.
David and Mary Fisher Landowners near the proposed Brook Mine
Editor’s note: The Sheridan Press waived the word for this letter.