The Foundation for Pennsylvania Watersheds

Clean Water Policy

BayExecTestimonyIIAbandoned Mine Drainage and restoration of Abandoned Mine Lands is the largest program area for The Foundation for Pennsylvania Watersheds. On this issue, we play a policy leadership role in addition to our usual grant making efforts. Since 1996, the Foundation has successfully sought to secure a more equitable share of federal clean up dollars for Pennsylvania. In 2003, as Federal assistance was due to end, the Foundation brought together environmental leaders from 10 Eastern coal states to make the case for reauthorizing and reforming the program and expediting cleanups around the nation.

The result: a joint platform that we we submitted to Pennsylvania’s senators and representatives, who used it as the basis for their negotiations with their colleagues. In 2006, Congress renewed the cleanup program, guaranteeing $6 billion to address these sites around the country, including $1.4 billion in funding for the Commonwealth.The Foundation plays a leadership role on policy matters related to pollution from abandoned mines

The Foundation is an expert on mine land cleanup and continues to testify to state and federal officials about these activities.


In the ongoing efforts to ensure that rulemaking related to the Abandoned Mine Lands Fund is beneficial to water resources many of our grantees have provided comments to the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE).

Mountain Watershed Association provided detailed comments on excess spoil material, coal mine waste as well as buffers. To read their testimony click here. Comments provided 01/17/08.

To read Trout Unlimited’s comments click here. Comments provided 11/20/07.

Statement by Cynthia Walter, Ph.D., at Hearing on Proposed Rule Changes  (OSM 30 CFR Parts 780, 784, 816, 817) and Environmental Impact Statement (OSM EIS-34), 10/24/07
Click here:  Statement by Dr. Cynthia Walter

Testimony of Lisa Smith, ecological consultant, In re: Comments on Docket Number RIN — 1029-AC04; Excess Spoil, Coal Mine Waste, and Buffers for Waters of the United States; Proposed Rule, 10/23/2007.

Click here:  Testimony of Lisa Smith

Letter to Dennis Rice, Department of the Interior, requesting public hearings and extension of the public comment period for the proposed rulemaking on “Excess Spoil, Coal Mine Waste, and Buffers for Waters of the United States,” 9/6/2007. Click here: Letter to DOI

Statement of R Jobn Dawes, Administrator of WPWP and Chair of the AML Campaign Before The Joint Legislative Air and Water Pollution Control and Conservation Committee, 5/21/2007. Click here: Testimony to Pennsylvania Legislature

Official comments from the PA AML Campaign on the Interior Department’s proposed rulemaking on “Excess Spoil, Coal Mine Waste, and Buffers for Waters of the United States,” 5/7/2007. Click here: PA AML Comments

Pennsylvania Legistlature proclamation designating May, 2007 as “Watershed Awareness Month.” Click here: Watershed Awareness Month resolution

Press Release: Draft Stream Buffer Zone Environmental Impact Statement Will Be Released for Public Review, 4/21/2007. Click here: DOI Press Release

Letter announcing reauthorization of the the Abandoned Mine Land cleanup program in Congress.  Click here: AML Victory Announcement

Fast facts about abandoned mine lands in Pennsylvania. Click here: Fast facts about AML