Friday, July 21, 2017

Gov. Wolf Allows Bill Rolling Back Protection For Streams From Mining To Become Law

Gov. Tom Wolf’s Office Friday announced he will allow Senate Bill 624 (Scarnati-R- Jefferson) retroactively rolling back protections for streams from deep coal mining to become law without his signature.  
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)
In a statement, Gov. Wolf said, “Under this law, mining companies will continue to be required to submit extensive permit applications documenting existing flow rates and biological communities present in potentially affected waterways, and a plan to restore those waterways to pre-mining conditions within a set time period.”
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.)
Related Story:
DEP Public Conference July 26 On Revised Bailey Underground Coal Mine Permit In Greene County

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