Monday, July 10, 2017

Bill Rolling Back Protection For Streams From Mining Goes To Governor

By a vote of 28 to 21, the Senate Monday gave final approval to Senate Bill 624 (Scarnati-R- Jefferson) retroactively rolling back protections for streams from deep coal mining.  It now goes to the Governor for his action, who is likely to sign the bill.  
The legislation was introduced in April to influence an appeal now pending before the Environmental Hearing Board involving an underground coal mining permit allowing Consol to longwall mine under streams in and around Ryerson Station State Park in Greene County.  (EHB Docket No. 2014-072-B)
Groups like the PA Environmental Council have opposed the bill on the grounds recent studies by the Department of Environmental Protection have demonstrated the existing protections in Act 54 are not adequate to prevent permanent, long-term damage to streams. (Click Here for more.)
The bill was amended in the House with language supported by the Department of Environmental protection.
A House Fiscal Note and summary is available.
(Photo: Dam at Ryerson Station State Park, Greene County damaged by the same underground coal mine involved in this legislation.)

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