In late August 2019, EC hosted an information session with Congressman Dan Meuser of the 9th District, focusing on reauthorization of the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act – aka SMCRA – in 2021. SMCRA helps fund reclamation of abandoned mine lands (AML) across the U.S., and has been integral to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection’s Bureau of Abandoned Mine Reclamation’s ability to reclaim priority AML sites. Together, the group toured Earth Conservancy‘s reclamation work of Bliss Bank, a large section of which lies within the Congressman’s district in Newport Township. The meeting was organized by Trout Unlimited – SMCRA funds are used to mitigate acid mine drainage impacts on streams and watersheds as well. Also on hand: representatives from Senator Pat Toomey; State Senator John Yudichak; DEP BAMR; the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission; Newport Township; and EPCAMR.  Photos below, from left to right:  1.) David Kinney, Eastern Policy Director of Trout Unlimited, gives an overview of AML issues in the region and the Commonwealth; 2.) Mike Dziak, President & CEO of Earth Conservancy, discusses EC’s work at Bliss Bank; 3.) Kinney, Dziak, and Congressman Dan Meuser; 4.) Information session attendees.

 

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