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Residents' Lawsuit Against Clark County Mining Company Resumes In July

Property Adjacent To Proposed Mine
Chris Welter
Property adjacent to proposed mine

The trial in a lawsuit against a Clark County mining company will resume in late July. This comes after a four month delay due to the coronavirus.

Neighbors of a proposed limestone mine in southern Mad River Township are suing Enon Sand & Gravel. They say the company should have to apply for a conditional use permit before they begin mining because the land is zoned for agricultural use. The company says mining on the land is grandfathered in, so they don’t need a permit. The company sued Clark County in 2017 to get that prior nonconforming use designation, and the County settled in 2018.

Enon Sand and Gravel’s neighbors say they’re concerned about the impacts of a large mining operation on their community. Charlie Swaney, a lifelong resident of Mad River Township, says he was upset when the county settled the lawsuit. So he and a handful of other neighbors decided to sue as private individuals.

“Noise and dust are significant problems for an operation that size. And of course, there’s the issue of property values. No one really wants to live on the edge of a large scale industrial mining operation.”

Swaney says the plaintiffs have been pleased with the progress of the trial so far, during which their attorney has presented their case. Now, Enon Sand & Gravel will present its case at the next court date on July 27. An attorney for Enon Sand & Gravel declined to comment on the pending litigation. 

Environmental reporter Chris Welter is a corps member with Report for America, a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms.

Chris Welter is an Environmental Reporter at WYSO through Report for America. In 2017, he completed the radio training program at WYSO's Eichelberger Center for Community Voices. Prior to joining the team at WYSO, he did boots-on-the-ground conservation work and policy research on land-use issues in southwest Ohio as a Miller Fellow with the Tecumseh Land Trust.