The Western PA Coalition for Abandoned Mine Restoration is advising nonprofit groups, landowners and individuals who have or are planning to develop mine reclamation or mine drainage treatment projects to be sure they are registered under Pennsylvania’s Environmental Good Samaritan Act.
The law was enacted in 1999 law to encourage landowners and others who have no legal responsibility for creating mine drainage to undertake projects to reclaim abandoned mineral extraction lands and abate water pollution caused by abandoned mines and oil and gas wells.
The Act protects landowners and individuals who volunteer to do such projects from civil and environmental liability.
The lack of registration under the Act could be putting your organization and project cooperators in jeopardy, according to WPCAMR.
WPCAMR is pushing to have a great number of existing systems registered in the next couple months as Congress is considering similar federal legislation.
WPCAMR, along with multiple other local and national environmental agencies and organizations, have been pushing for federal Good Samaritan legislation for abandoned mine reclamation projects for several years now.
Recently, lawmakers have been taking notice and a proposal is expected soon and will be modeled after Pennsylvania’s Good Samaritan Act.
Proponents of the law hope that projects already registered with the Pennsylvania law will automatically benefit from the added protections of a federal law.
Visit DEP’s Environmental Good Samaritan Act webpage to learn about eligibility, specific protections available under the Act and an application for registering your project. A list of projects already registered is also available.
Anne Daymut of WPCAMR will be directly contacting those responsible for AMD Treatment systems across Pennsylvania that have yet to register in the coming months. Questions can be directed by email to: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 724-832-3625.
For more information on regional programs and initiatives related to abandoned mine reclamation, visit the Western PA Coalition For Abandoned Mine Restoration and Eastern PA Coalition For Abandoned Mine Reclamation websites.
(Reprinted from WPCAMR’s November 29 Abandoned Mine Posts.)
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