Posted by: Lawyer Sanders | August 23, 2010

Kentucky environmental attorney Sanders says SMCRA is 33 years old this year.

August 3, 2010 marked the 33rd anniversary of President Jimmy Carter’s signing of the surface mining control and reclamation act (SMCRA) into law. Sadly, SMCRA is an utter failure as a regulatory program. 

Enforcement is spotty and lax.  When enforcement of the plain meaning of the law is done, the offending state employees are sanctioned or terminated.  The Kentucky Department of Law has been dismantled. Senior program staff have been forced out going back to Governors Patton and Fletcher.  Today, the Department of Mines and Minerals and the entire Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet is a mere shadow of itself.  The regulatory agency’s limited staff and resources are severely understaffed, under funded, and are outgunned in every enforcement action.  SMCRA is a broken system of regulations that does not work.

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