The administrator who oversees the state’s efforts to protect streams, lakes and wetlands from pollution says he will resign in September, after the governor asked him to step down over disputes with the coal industry.
In an email sent to his staff yesterday and obtained by The Dispatch, George Elmaraghy, chief of the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency’s division of surface water, wrote that the coal industry wants “permits that may have a negative impact on Ohio’s streams and wetlands and violate state and federal laws.
“Now, due to this situation, the governor’s office and the director have asked me to resign my position.”
The resignation will be effective on Sept. 13.
* * * * *
Since Kasich began his gubernatorial campaign in 2009, Ohio coal interests have poured nearly $1 million into campaign coffers of statewide and legislative candidates, a Dispatch analysis of secretary of state data shows.
The Kasich campaign received about $130,000; House Speaker William G. Batchelder, R-Medina, took in about $85,000.
More than $870,000 of the overall amount comes from just two coal families: the Boiches, who run the Boich companies, and Robert Murray, who runs Murray Energy.