Regional Coordinator's Report
Nov 16, 2006
The 2006 Annual AMR Conference hosted by WPCMAR and EPCAMR was a big success with nearly 200 in attendance. This year’s conference was held at the Atherton Hotel in State College, August 24-26 in which 43 presentations were made as well as keynote addresses by DEP Deputy Secretary J. Scott Roberts and former DEP Secretary Dave Hess. The “Back to Basics” theme aimed at watershed groups received high marks and was generally praised as extremely useful. PDF’s of the presentations are available on the http://treatminewater.com website.
SMCRA Reauthorization Progress
Although the process of Congressional reauthorization on the ability to collect fees for every ton of coal mined in the US for reclamation purposes has gained steam and supporters, it has not yet been enough to get passage in this election year. Language for the re-enactment was attached to the so-called Trifecta bill, but was unsuccessful in passing because of its several politically divergent elements. It remains possible to have AMR legislation pass in the “Lame Duck” session in November and December, perhaps by attachment to the “Tax-Extenders” bill. At least as likely, the subject will be taken up in the new Congress. With the seismic changes in the Congressional makeup, it’s too soon to tell how that might shake out.
On-line newsletter Abandoned Mine Posts resurrected
WPCAMR has re-instituted its on-line newsletter Abandoned Mine Posts, which provides a variety of timely information related to abandoned mine reclamation. We try to keep each issue short and limited to one or two topics. That venue seems to be popular. Thanks to Jeff Gerard who put the mechanics of doing the emailing, subscription, and archiving functions. Thanks to Andy and Jeff for providing timely content. We’d like suggestions for future articles or guest authors.
Chapter 105 Permitting Overhaul On Hold
The DEP re-vamp of 105 regulations that are more “environmental-group-friendly” is apparently on hold during a change in personnel. Kelly Heffner has left her position for another in DEP. The position has been filled by Troy Conrad who needs some time to come up to speed.
Move to Greenforge Building – Dec 11