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OSMRE announces rule making it easier for public to report coal mine problems

BRIDGEPORT, W.Va (WDTV) – According to a press release from the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, there will be many updates to the 10 day notice rule.

This will now make it easier for citizens to report mining concerns along with safeguarding people and the environment from adverse effects of coal mining.

According to the press release, the new rule enhances citizen participation, fixes the delays in the process, and increases efficiency by:

  • Removing language that require a citizen to first contact a state regulatory authority prior to contacting OSMRE to report a possible SMCRA violation.
  • Adding language stating that all citizen complaints be considered as requests for federal inspections.
  • Dropping the requirement that a citizen must state the basis for their allegation of a possible violation.
  • Allowing OSMRE to issue a single TDN for similar possible violations found on two or more permits.
  • Requiring OSMRE to issue a TDN for any possible violation after forming a reason to believe a SMRCA violation exists.
  • Requiring a state regulatory authority to respond to the TDN with actions to fix the violation, instead of submitting a plan to fix the violation.

The press release went on to say that during a public comment period, OSMRE received over 5,000 comments from concerned citizens, state governments, trade associations, environmental advocacy groups, and private companies. OSMRE considered these comments in developing the final rule.


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