|Posted:||December 19, 2019 08:50 AM|
|From:||Representative R. Lee James|
|To:||All House members|
|Subject:||Adding Coal Refuse Energy Member to the Mining and Reclamation Advisory Board|
|In the near future, I will be introducing legislation to add a member of the Coal Refuse Energy and Reclamation industry to the Mining Reclamation and Advisory Board (MRAB).
The MRAB was created to assist the Secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) in disbursing funds for the purposes provided by the Pennsylvania Surface Mining Conservation and Reclamation Act and to advise the Secretary on all matters pertaining to surface coal mining and reclamation. The board is currently comprised of three coal operators, a professional engineer, a member from the County Conservation Districts, four public members from the Citizens Advisory Council and four members of the General Assembly.
There are currently 11 coal refuse energy and reclamation facilities operating across the Commonwealth performing environmental remediation of polluting coal refuse piles and providing alternative energy in the anthracite and bituminous coal regions of Pennsylvania. At full capacity, this industry can remove over 10 million tons of coal refuse from the environment and reclaim approximately 200 acres of mining affected land in Pennsylvania each year. To date, the industry has removed more than 225 million tons of coal refuse, restored over 1,200 miles of impaired streams, and reclaimed more than 7,200 acres of polluted mining affected land across Pennsylvania.
These facilities provide the most significant amount of abandoned mine land (AML) reclamation in the Commonwealth. As a vital tool in the state’s efforts to remediate AML sites, I believe the input of the coal refuse energy and reclamation industry would be beneficial to the DEP in evaluating methods and practices related to mine land reclamation and determining how best to allocate state AML funding. I appreciate your support in adding this important voice to the MRAB.
Introduced as HB2219