Staff Report: Petition to Designate Lands Unsuitable for Surface Coal Mining

by Council on Wage and Price Stability on October 8, 2009
by Council on Wage and Price Stability

This staff report discusses a petition to designate certain lands adjacent to Bryce Canyon National Park unsuitable for surface coal mining. The Office of Surface Mining (OSM) , within the Department of the Interior (DOl), must decide within the month whether to so designate the land. The pending petition is significant because it is the first one filed under provisions of the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act (SMCRA). This staff report contains five sections. The first section discusses the legal basis for unsuitability petitions.
The second section describes the facts relevant to the pending Bryce Canyon petition. In a third section, the report assesses the potential consequences of designating land unsuitable for coal mining. The fourth section discusses two general and three specific conceptual problems with OSM’s review of the Bryce Canyon petition, and the final section suggests a conceptual framework for addressing the Bryce Canyon and future Section 522 unsuitability petitions…

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