HARRISBURG – Legislation authored by state Rep. Matt Gabler (R-Clearfield/Elk) to protect jobs in Pennsylvania’s coal industry during difficult economic times passed the State House on Monday. House Bill 1333 may now be considered by the state Senate.
“House Bill 1333 is a piece of legislation that supports jobs in a business that has fallen on difficult times in recent years,” Gabler said.
“My bill is a product of a series of meetings we have held in Karthaus, sponsored by the Quehanna Industrial Development Corp., and involving many local concerned citizens and industry leaders.
“This excellent, hard-working group has identified the issue remedied by House Bill 1333 as an important one that will support employment in our local industry.”
Under current law, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection will only allow a coal mine operator to temporarily cease operation for no more than 90 days unless the operator applies for an extension. If approved, the extension cannot exceed 180 days. After that time, an operator may be forced to close permanently.
House Bill 1333, if enacted, would allow coal operators to temporarily cease active operations as long as they secure and maintain their site and they maintain a valid mining permit that would allow them to resume operations when economic conditions allow.
“Federal law places no time restriction on temporary cessation of operations,” added Gabler. “The coal business is particularly sensitive to the economy.
“Bringing state law in line with federal law would give operators needed flexibility in their business options and not leave them facing permanent closure during difficult economic times.”
Questions about this legislation or any state-related matter may be directed to Gabler’s DuBois office at 814-375-4688, his St. Marys office at 814-781-6301 or Clearfield office at 814-765-0593.