Wayne National Forest coal decision challenged

NELSONVILLE, Ohio (AP) — A coalition of environmental groups is challenging Wayne National Forest's agreement to lease rights to federally-owned coal under more than 430 acres in eastern Ohio.

The groups claim that officials illegally ignored pollution and climate change impacts associated with the coal lease.

The Buckeye Forest Council, Sierra Club, Ohio Environmental Council, Earthjustice and others filed their appeal Monday with the U.S. Forest Service.

Forest Supervisor Anne Carey issued the lease decision in September after a review of potential impacts. The request came to her from the federal government, as a private company seeks lease rights to seven parcels of land in Perry and Morgan counties, east of the town of Corning.

A competitive sale could be held. That decision would come after the appeals process.

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