Ohio Regulator Says Coal Industry Forced His Resignation

A veteran state environmental regulator told staffers in an email Monday that Republican Gov. John Kasich was forcing his resignation after pressure from the coal industry.
August 20, 2013

A veteran state environmental regulator told staffers in an email Monday that Republican Gov. John Kasich was forcing his resignation after pressure from the coal industry.

George Elmaraghy's message, distributed widely to employees of the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, said the Division of Surface Water, which he's headed since 2005, faced "considerable pressure" this year to accommodate industry demands.

"Because of the industry's interpretation of the federal Clean Water Act and state water pollution control laws, DSW staff worked under difficult conditions but you have done your jobs honorably," Elmaraghy wrote.

He said coal companies sought permits that he said would have violated state and federal laws and harmed Ohio's streams and wetlands.

The email went on to say that Kasich and Ohio EPA Director Scott Nally had asked Elmaraghy to resign effective Sept. 13. He has been with the agency for 39 years.

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