Friday, October 25, 2019

Senate Committee Unanimously Approves Resolution Urging Reauthorization Of Federal Abandoned Mine Reclamation Fund

On October 22, the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee unanimously reported out Senate Resolution 191 (Yudichak-D-Luzerne, Yaw-R-Lycoming) urging Congress to reauthorize the federal Abandoned Mine Reclamation Fee which is the primary source of funding for Pennsylvania’s abandoned mine reclamation program (sponsor summary).
“More than 5,000 abandoned mine sites have left deep scars across our great Commonwealth,” said Resolution prime sponsor Sen. John Yudichak, Minority Chair of the Senate Environmental Committee. “In northeastern Pennsylvania, we have witnessed an economic resurgence by reclaiming abandoned mine lands for economic development and recreational opportunities. It is vitally important for Congress to reauthorize the Abandoned Mine Reclamation Fund, so that we can continue to make strides in cleaning up Pennsylvania’s landscape and turn environmental hazards into opportunities.”
The Abandoned Mine Reclamation Fund is scheduled to sunset in 2021. The AMRF has been instrumental in providing the resources to help states reclaim and restore abandoned mine lands. 
Pennsylvania receives approximately $25 million annually to clean up these areas and to help restore the quality of waterways that have been impaired by acid mine drainage.
SR 191 also urges the federal government to raise the mandatory distribution for minimum program grants states to $5 million to support the surface coal mine regulation program
The Resolution is now on the Senate Calendar for action.
Sen. Gene Yaw (R-Lycoming) serves as Majority Chair of the Senate Environmental Committee and can be contacted by calling 717-787-3280 or sending email to:   Sen. John Yudichak (D-Luzerne) serves as Minority Chair and can be contacted by calling 717-787-7105 or sending email to:
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[Posted: October 25, 2019]

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