January 8, 2014

Coal regulatory, abandoned mine programs in compliance

By April Baumgarten

North Dakota’s coal regulatory and abandoned mine programs have received high marks on an annual review, officials said Monday. But one group feels policy changes have hurt surface mining.
The federal Office of Surface Mining recently released its review of the state Public Service Commission’s programs, stating its staff continues to implement the program in a professional, cooperative and fair manner.
“During evaluation year 2013, no off-site impacts occurred,” officials said in the report. “NDPSC does an appropriate job of collecting and tracking the data necessary to accurately track and assess reclamation success as well as the contemporaneous nature of that reclamation.”
OSM reviews components of the coal regulatory and abandoned mine lands programs
annually to make sure they are in compliance with the federal Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977. The agency looks at off-site impacts, contemporaneous reclamation, reclamation success, customer service and innovations.


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