Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Our Work’s Not Done: Mining States Push For Reauthorization Of Federal Abandoned Mine Reclamation Fee

Pennsylvania and Wyoming recently unveiled a new Our Work’s Not Done website to help educate lawmakers and the public about the abandoned reclamation challenge across the United States and the urgent need to reauthorize the federal Abandoned Mine Reclamation fee.
The federal fee is due to expire in 2021.
John Stefanko, DEP Deputy Secretary for Active and Abandoned Mine Operations, told the Citizens Advisory Council on July 17 authorization of the federal reclamation fee is critical to the continued success of Pennsylvania Abandoned Mine Reclamation Program.
He said for one of the first times mining states are united in the effort to get Congress to reauthorize the federal reclamation fee in a timely way, noting the last time the fee was reauthorized it took 13 years.
The Our Work’s Not Done website notes the progress states have made, with federal funding, to successfully reclaim abandoned mine lands, but even with these successes, thousands of acres of abandoned mines, open pits and shafts, mine fires and mine subsidence need to dealt with.
The profiles of accomplishments in Pennsylvania and Wyoming include on the website not only the numbers, but videos about projects funded with the federal AML fee.
John Stefanko, Eric Cavazza, Director of DEP’s Bureau of Abandoned Mine Reclamation, and mine reclamation officials in Wyoming are featured in a series of videos that make the case for continued funding.  Here are some examples you can watch--
Stefanko noted Pennsylvania has nearly 250,000 acres of abandoned mine sites yet to be reclaimed causing over 5,500 miles of streams to be polluted.  (Click Here to see if the stream near you is one.)
For more information on DEP’s mine reclamation programs, visit the Active and Abandoned Mine Operations webpage.
Get a national view of abandoned mine reclamation challenges, by visit the Our Work’s Not Done website.  You can also visit the Our Work’s Not Done Facebook page.  Lots more information will be added to these sites in the coming months.
Also visit the National Association of Abandoned Mine Land Programs and the Interstate Mining Compact Commission websites for more on abandoned mine lands from an interstate perspective.
(Note: Thanks to Brandon Diehl, Foundation for PA Watersheds, for the heads up.)
(Photo: Ehrenfeld Mine Reclamation Project, Cambria County.)
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