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House of Representatives
Session of 2015 - 2016 Regular Session


Posted: March 16, 2016 11:00 AM
From: Representative Matt Gabler and Rep. Tommy Sankey
To: All House members
Subject: Temporary Cessation of Coal Mining Operations
As you know, for a variety of reasons, our coal industry in Pennsylvania is experiencing severe economic hardships. To add to these problems, the current regulatory requirements for temporary cessation of surface mining activities in the Commonwealth are stricter than federal standards.

Although operators continue to remain responsible to meet all permit obligations including water treatment activities during cessations, state regulations limit temporary cessation to 180 days except for reasons of seasonal shutdown or labor strike. However, under Federal regulations, temporary cessation is not limited by specific timeframes, but rather by failure to submit an application for permit renewal 120 days prior to its expiration.

Accordingly, in the near future, I will introduce legislation to align the requirements for temporary cessation with those in Federal regulation allowing operators to cease operations beyond 180 days for reasons other than seasonal shutdown or labor strike so that our operators are not forced to either completely restart operations or permanently halt their mining sites.

Please join us by co-sponsoring this commonsense legislation to cut needless bureaucracy for job creators while maintaining appropriate protections for our environment.

Introduced as HB1967