Legislation Supporting Coal Jobs Signed Into Law
By Kevin Randolph
October 8, 2019 - Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf recently signed into law legislation that updates Pennsylvania’s Coal Refuse Disposal Control Act to allow operators to retain their permits during periods of temporary cessation of operations.
“I’m proud that legislation I’ve authored will now take effect, helping the nearly 18,000 men and women statewide who work in the mines, as well as the $4 billion this industry generates annually,” Matt Gabler (R-Clearfield/Elk) said. “The coal industry is extremely sensitive to economic headwinds, and any level of stability we can provide for these hard-working Pennsylvanians gives them further peace of mind.”
Previously, retention during the cessation of operations was capped at one year. House Bill 1557, now Act 74 of 2019, brings the Coal Refuse Disposal Control Act into line with federal law.
“Act 74 is the product of meetings and discussions with local volunteers from the Quehanna Industrial Development Corporation in Clearfield County and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection,” Gabler said. “It is important to note coal operators must remain in compliance with all permit and water treatment requirements during any pause in operations.
Coal refuse includes the rock and soil that is unearthed during the mining, which is typically used to remediate legacy pits and highwalls, the House Republican Caucus noted in a news release.
“Last session, we worked successfully with the department on a similar provision for surface mining, and I’m glad we could come together on the second part of this effort to give the coal industry some flexibility and its workers some security,” Gabler said.