Earlier this month, an Ohio mining company filed for reorganization under Chapter 11 in bankruptcy court. The move concerns some environmentalists.
Oxford Mining Company already has thousands of acres of mine land in the state, and has submitted a permit application for more than 500 acres in the Perry State Forest, southeast of Columbus.
Environmentalists like Lauren Ketcham of the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association are worried Oxford’s unstable financial situation will prevent it from restoring former mines to their natural state.
“Here we are looking at turning over more than 500 acres of our public lands and gambling more on this company to fulfill its obligations at the end of the day,” Ketcham says.
A spokesman for the Ohio Department of Natural Resources says Oxford would have to pay into the pool of money dedicated to land restoration, in order to get its permit approved.