The Pennsylvania Abandoned Mine Reclamation Plan
Proposed Reclamation Plan Amendment #3
The Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977, Public Law 95-87 (SMCRA), Section 405, requires that states having abandoned coal mine lands that are eligible for reclamation under the act must also prepare and submit a State Reclamation Plan. OSM's acceptance of the Reclamation Plan signifies that a state has developed a program for reclamation of abandoned mines and has the ability and necessary state legislation to implement the state's responsibilities under SMCRA. With the approval, OSM grants the state exclusive responsibility and authority to implement the provisions of the approved program. An approved Reclamation Plan is required before a state can receive AML funding, in the form of annual distributions, from the U.S. Treasury trust fund known as the Abandoned Mine Reclamation Fund. The state must also have an approved state regulatory program pursuant to section 503 of SMCRA.
Pennsylvania's Abandoned Mine Reclamation Plan was originally prepared in 1983. The plan was updated in 1992 and 1997 to incorporate changes resulting from congressional amendments to SMCRA.
RECLAMATION PLAN AMENDMENT PENDING OSMRE APPROVAL
Since July 30, 1982, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has administered the Title IV AML Reclamation Program in Pennsylvania. The purpose of this Reclamation Plan Amendment No. 3 is to modify Pennsylvania's Plan to allow DEP to administer a State Emergency Program under Title IV of the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 (SMCRA). The coordination of emergency reclamation work between the State and the U.S. Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE) will be handled by DEP as outlined in the OSMRE Emergency Response Protocol for the Pittsburgh Field Division in the Appalachian Region. Coordination with other agencies for environmental clearance will be on a project specific basis as outlined in the "OSMRE Handbook on Procedures for Implementing the National Environmental Policy Act" and other state procedures.