A federal fund of $1.4 billion will be used to clean up pollution and safety hazards at abandoned mines sites at Pennsylvania. And, this will happen over the next 18 years! The fund is based on per-ton fees paid by coal mine operators and it has been reauthorized and renegotiated for this clean-up purpose.
This fund will supply $7.9 billion for mine clean-up across the nation! It was Dec. 8; a vote of 376 to 45 approved the legislation attached to a bill in the House of Representative. And it was on Dec. 9, the Senate took up the bill, approving it in the early morning hours.
It was eventually passed as a ‘law’ with President Bush’s signing. Thanks to the U.S. Rep. John Peterson (R-5) and Pennsylvania’s Republican senators Arlen Specter and Rick Santorum for backing the measure.
Calling Congress’ passing of the bill a much needed response to response to a national emergency, Peterson said,
The health and safety hazards created by abandoned coal mines constitute a national emergency for which there must be a swift, national response.
For far too long, though, the federal fund created to accelerate the clean-up and reclamation of our most dangerous sites was sending far too much money to places where there wasn’t an abandoned mine to b found.
We changed that formula, and…created the conditions necessary to clean up our sites sooner than we could have ever imagined.