North Dakota PSC’s coal regulatory program receives positive federal review

Published on December 07, 2016 by Daily Energy Insider Reports

In an annual federal evaluation of the North Dakota Public Service Commission’s Coal Regulatory and Abandoned Mine Lands (AML) Program, the Federal Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE) reported no concerns and said the commission operated successful programs.

The NDPSC is in responsible for regulations and permitting of the coal mining industry in North Dakota. The state agency has 26 permits throughout six surface coal mining operations.

The OSMRE report found that the North Dakota Public Service Commission operates an effective program with no need for corrective actions. “The Reclamation Division carries out its duties using the appropriate technical expertise and with a high level of professionalism,” the report said.

“The complimentary language in these reviews emphasizes the outstanding work our AML and reclamation teams do throughout the year,” said Commissioner Randy Christmann. “Their efforts are assuring that North Dakota’s landscape will be safe, productive, and beautiful for future generations.”

The AML program was established prior to the 1977 federal reclamation act to eliminate hazards relating to coal mining.  Funding for the program has been provided to the commission by OSMRE through federal reclamation fees collected on mined coal since the late 1970s.

In 2016, the program received approximately $2.8 million in funding.