HARRISBURG – Rep. Lee James (R-Venango/Butler) announced his bill, which would add a member of the Coal Refuse Energy and Reclamation industry to the Mining Reclamation and Advisory Board (MRAB), was signed into law by Gov. Tom Wolf as Act 105 of 2022.
“Mining conservation and reclamation remain an important focus in Pennsylvania,” James said. “As we continue to search for innovative ideas on how we can uphold the state’s goals, industry experts must be put in a position to generate as many thoughtful ideas as possible. Adding another voice to the equation will only benefit the Department of Environmental Protection in evaluating methods and practices related to mine land reclamation and determining how best to allocate state abandoned mine land (AML) funding.”
According to James, there are currently 10 coal refuse energy and reclamation facilities operating across the Commonwealth, which perform environmental remediation of polluting coal refuse piles and provide alternative energy in the anthracite and bituminous coal regions of Pennsylvania.
When the industry is at full capacity, James said over 10 million tons of coal refuse can be removed from the environment, and approximately 200 acres of mining-affected land is reclaimed in Pennsylvania each year.
Previously, the board consisted of three coal operators, a professional engineer, a member from the county conservation districts, four public members from the Citizens Advisory Council, and four members of the General Assembly.