“This new project proves that Ohio’s regulatory policies give us a key competitive advantage,” said ODNR Director Sean Logan. “The department’s recent regulatory reforms made Ohio the best place for this new business by providing predictability to the process while maintaining all federal and state environmental protections.”

In January 2009, Governor Ted Strickland signed Senate Bill 386 into law, reforming the coal permitting regulatory processes. Additionally, the ODNR Division of Mineral Resources Management streamlined its coal permitting process to reduce duplication, streamline decisions and modernize the process by replacing paper documents with electronic communications. The improvements reduced the time necessary to issue a new permit by nearly 100 days, without affecting critical oversight of mining activities to ensure worker safety and environmental protection and restoration.

“Rosebud Mining is proud to expand its Ohio operations; the new mine will provide high quality coal and new job opportunities for the Appalachian region for 30 years,” said J. Clifford Forrest, president, Rosebud Mining. “Ohio’s regulatory climate and transportation infrastructure were key in our decision to invest here instead of less predictable surrounding states.”

The first underground mine to open in Ohio since 2008, the Vail mine operation encompasses 15,000 acres. The company will be extracting a lower sulfur coal from the Upper Freeport seam. Site preparation work will begin this year, with mining operations beginning in 2011. An estimated 750,000 tons of coal will be extracted annually when the site is fully operational.