Regulation of Surface Coal Mining: The End of a Thirty-year Balancing Act?

Vol. 27 No. 1

Stephen Braverman is vice president for DTE Coal Services, a wholly owned indirect subsidiary of DTE Energy. He is also a member of the Pennsylvania Bar. Michael Braverman is an associate with Elliott Greenleaf & Siedzikowski, P.C., in Blue Bell and Philadelphia.

Coal mining is a difficult business. Unpredictable geologic conditions, challenging energy commodity markets, shortages of skilled labor, intense industry competition, and transportation uncertainties all contribute to its challenges. Mining may have adverse environmental impacts on ground surface, water, and air resources. It also can pose a risk to the lives, health, and safety of workers. While governments have recognized the necessity of coal as a source of energy and its economic importance, they have also recognized that it is necessary to regulate coal mining in order to protect the health and safety of their citizens and the integrity of the environment.

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