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Published: Thursday, 5/12/2011

Judge denies request to stop coal mining near Ohio lake


COLUMBUS, Ohio — A federal judge has denied the government’s request to shut down mine tunnels being developed within the watershed of an Ohio state park reservoir.

A lawsuit by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers alleged Ohio’s decision to issue a permit to Buckingham Coal Co. violated a 1948 state-federal agreement that created the park and reservoir.

U.S. District Court Judge James Graham said Thursday that nothing in the agreement stops Ohio from extending interests in the state’s coal reserves. The judge also questioned why the government waited until the project was underway to sue.

Buckingham’s project would link an existing mine about two miles from Burr Oak State Park in southeast Columbus with new coal reserves.

U.S. Justice Department spokesman Wyn Hornbuckle says the government is reviewing the decision.

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