Rep. George says Public Input Critical for Abandoned Mine Work

HARRISBURG, Sept. 7 – State Rep. Camille “Bud” George, D-74 Houtzdale is urging residents to join him at the Clearfield Campus of Lock Haven University on Wednesday for a town hall meeting on abandoned-mine cleanups.

“The federal government is stepping up to the plate on abandoned-mine cleanups, and citizens should make their voices heard on where the money will be best used,” George said. “This is simply our best shot to date at fixing many horrendous environmental harms and safety hazards.”

The town hall meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. at Founders Hall on campus. The meeting will be preceded by a presentation that begins at 4 p.m. featuring a video, a review of Pennsylvania’s abandoned mine land inventory and maps.

“Clearfield County sites in the abandoned mine land inventory take up more than six pages and total more than $9.6 million,” George said. “The harms run the gamut from dangerous highwall to polluted and hazardous water.”

Changes to the federal Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act will enable Pennsylvania to receive more than $1.4 billion to reclaim abandoned coal mines over the next 15 years. Under the changes, Pennsylvania now has the option to set aside more money to address water-quality problems stemming from abandoned coal mines.

The session is sponsored by the state Department of Environmental Protection’s Bureau of Abandoned Mine Reclamation, the Citizens Advisory Council and the Mining and Reclamation Advisory Board.

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