Pennsylvania’s economy has long been tied to its coal industry. In the 19th century the state’s pioneering coal companies fueled America’s industrial revolution, and thousands of mining sites opened over the decades that followed. Yet, over a century later, many of Pennsylvania’s coal mines have closed as the resource’s primacy has waned.
John Stefanko, Deputy Secretary for the Office of Active and Abandoned Mine Operations at Pennsylvania’s DEP, and Greg Driscoll, Chief Executive of Blaschak Coal Company, look at the environmental damage that remains after mines have been abandoned, and on cooperation between today’s coal industry, and regulators, to clean up some of that damage. The focus is on the Anthracite coal industry of Northeastern Pennsylvania, where the remains of a once large coal industry attempts to find profits, while bearing costs for cleaning up the damage of past decades.