Friday, November 3, 2017

Bailey Longwall Coal Mine Issued Permits For New Mining By DEP In Greene County

Rep. Pam Snyder (D-Greene) Friday announced the Department of Environment Protection today cleared Consol Energy to mine new sections at the Bailey Mine in Greene County.
"I have worked with Consol, DEP and the Wolf administration virtually night and day over the last couple of months to keep people working and the mines operating in Greene County," Rep. Snyder said. “I thank DEP and Governor Tom Wolf for their diligence and determination to get this done.”
Rep. Snyder said Consol in September furloughed about 300 miners as permit reviews and lawsuits threatened production at the mine, the largest-producing underground coal mining operation in North America.
However, Consol shifted mining operations to other sections of the mine while the permits were being reviewed, enabling miners to be recalled to work.
“Besides permits for new longwall sections, today’s approvals also will enable operations to continue in other panels, which should ensure mining at the Wind Ridge complex for as long as five years,” Rep. Snyder said. “I regret the uncertainty while the permits were being secured, but now there is a viable long-term solution so coal will continue to be our region’s economic engine.
“It’s been a nail-biting, months-long marathon, but many people worked long and hard to ensure that the Bailey Mine received this new lease on life. The working families in my district will always be my top priority, and today was a big win for them,” added Rep. Snyder.
The Bailey Mine has been at the heart of a legislative and legal battle over enforcement of Pennsylvania’s Act 54 regulating underground mining.
In July, Gov. Wolf let legislation become law without his signature changing Act 54 that was promoted by the owners of Bailey Mine.
In August, the Environmental Hearing Board ruled in favor of challenges brought by the Sierra Club and the Center for Coalfield Justice to a 2015 expansion permit issued by DEP to the Bailey Mine violates DEP’s trustee responsibilities under the state constitution’s Environmental Rights Amendment.
Other appeals are pending.

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