Government

Trump Visit, Protest Planned for Thursday

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – President Donald Trump is expected to visit the Mahoning Valley Thursday, a trip that already has spurred plans for a protest.

Local news outlets reported over the weekend that Trump was coming to the area to stage a formal signing of legislation passed earlier this month to reverse the Department of the Interior’s Stream Protection Rule. The trip by Trump would be his first since taking office Jan. 20, less than a month ago.

No formal plans for the trip have been announced but Dan Dickten, aviation director at the Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport in Vienna Township, confirmed the upcoming presidential visit.

“Not sure if we are handling the flight or the air base is,” he said. The adjacent Youngstown Air Reserve Station shares facilities with the Vienna Township airport.

U.S. Rep. Bill Johnson, R-6 Ohio, introduced House Joint Resolution in late January to reverse the Stream Protection Rule, a rule by Interior’s Office of Surface Mining. It required companies to restore mined sites to their earlier state and to monitor streams near surface mines.

Johnson’s office has not released any information about the presidential visit, and no information has been released by the White House.

In a statement released last month following passage of the legislation he sponsored, Johnson said, “It is clear that the poorly named ‘Stream Protection Rule” was not designed to protect streams. Instead, it was an effort to regulate the coal mining industry out of business, through overly burdensome regulations.”

In response, opponents of the rule change and of the president have planned a protest to coincide with the president’s visit Thursday. The Protect Our Water Rally and Trump Protest is tentatively set for noon Thursday, according to the Mahoning County Young Democrats’ Facebook Page. An organizational meeting is set for 7:30 p.m. tonight at the Public Library of Youngstown & Mahoning County’s Canfield Library.

Protests have marked the weeks since Trump took office, including the Women’s March the day after his inauguration.

Pictured: Then candidate Donald J. Trump delivers a speech on immigration policy Aug. 15 at Youngstown State University.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.