HARRISBURG – Rep. Lee James (R-Venango/Butler) announced today his bill, which would add a member of the Coal Refuse Energy and Reclamation industry to the Mining Reclamation and Advisory Board (MRAB), passed the House of Representatives.
According to James, there are currently 10 coal refuse energy and reclamation facilities operating across the Commonwealth, which perform environmental remediation of polluting coal refuse piles and provide alternative energy in the anthracite and bituminous coal regions of Pennsylvania.
James noted when the industry is at full capacity, it 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. So far, the industry has wiped out more than 225 million tons of coal refuse, repaired over 1,200 miles of impaired streams and recovered more than 7,200 acres of polluted mining-affected land across the Commonwealth.
“Mining conservation and reclamation remain a critical focus in Pennsylvania,” James said. “In order to find ways to uphold the state’s goals, industry experts must be afforded the ability to generate a multitude of ideas. Adding another voice to the equation will only benefit the Department of Environmental Protection in evaluating methods and practices related to mine land reclamation and determining how best to allocate state abandoned mine land (AML) funding.”
Currently, the board consists 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.
The bill now heads to the Senate for consideration.
Representative R. Lee James
64th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Nate Temple