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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: May 22, 2019 09:16 AM
From: Representative Matt Gabler
To: All House members
Subject: Amending the Coal Refuse Disposal Control Act to Align with Federal Temporary Cessation Provisions
In the near future, I plan to introduce legislation that would ensure that coal refuse disposal site operators are empowered to take the necessary actions to survive during market downturns. My legislation proposes to amend the Coal Refuse Disposal Control Act (CRDCA) to align the requirements of temporary cessation of a coal refuse disposal site with those required under the Federal Surface Mine Conservation and Reclamation Law (SMCRA).

Currently, while Federal rules under SMCRA provide flexibility, Pennsylvania limits the temporary cessation of operations at a coal refuse disposal site to no more than one year. This bill will remove Pennsylvania’s one-year limitation and clarify that any rules or regulations promulgated must be consistent with Federal provisions on this subject. During temporary cessation, all permit and water treatment requirements remain the responsibility of the mine operator.

During the 2017-18 session, I introduced House Bill 1333, which proposed to align Pennsylvania’s temporary cessation provisions for surface mining with the Federal SMCRA. That legislation passed the House but was not considered in the Senate. Fortunately, DEP moved forward in promulgating a regulation package which incorporates the provisions of former House Bill 1333 without the need for new legislation for surface mining. Therefore, amending the CRDCA temporary cessation provisions as proposed in this bill is the next logical step to aligning Pennsylvania’s state requirements with Federal provisions and other state mining regulations. These updates will ensure that mining operators are empowered to prevent permanent shutdowns as a result of temporary market conditions.

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

Introduced as HB1557