Thompson co-sponsors bipartisan bill on coal mines
U.S. Rep. Glenn Thompson, R-15th District, and U.S. Rep. Matt Cartwright, D-8th District, have introduced the Abandoned Mine Land Reauthorization Act (H.R. 4248) to reauthorize the Abandoned Mine Land (AML) trust fund.
According to a news release from Thompson's office, the bill will clean abandoned coal mines and foster economic development in communities that have been impacted by their closure.
Of Pennsylvania's 67 counties, 43 have abandoned mine land sites, with the 15th District ranking first nationally.
The AML Reauthorization Act will:
- Extend states' authority to collect fees at current levels for 15 years.
- Expand funding for states that have not been certified for reclaiming high-priority coal AML areas.
- Provide for the delegation of emergency AML programs to states.
- Reimburse states for AML fees that were sequestered since fiscal year 2013.
"Reauthorizing the AML fund will ensure continued support for critical reclamation activities, while also providing both environmental and economic benefits to coal regions," Thompson said in the release.
"With the current trust fund set to expire in September 2021, Congress must take up this bipartisan legislation."