The Business of Mining
At Rare Green, we believe it is not only possible, but socially desirable and ultimately, profitable, to engage in environmentally sound mining practices. This means not only protecting the miners and people we work with, but preserving the land, the air and the water of which we are part. .
We are not unique in this view, nor are we the first to take it. In fact, our thinking on this can be traced to the The Constitution of the Iroquois Nation which, in its language stated:"Look and listen for the welfare of the whole people and have always in view not only the present but also the coming generations, even those whose faces are yet beneath the surface of the ground – the unborn of the future Nation." It is often translated as "In every deliberation, we must consider the impact on the seventh generation".
And so we will consider the future and the impact that we will have on it, when choosing our projects and our partners.
Where We Start
Mining can be dangerous work, but it is much safer today, thanks in part to federal and state laws and regulations enacted to raise standards to protect miners and otherwise regulate the industry. In addition to these regulations, advancements in technology and training have helped to lower risks associated with working in coal mines. New regulations also protect the environment from potential damage caused by mining.
Federal and State Laws
The Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act (SMCRA) was the first national surface mining law. Enacted during the late 1970s, it has led to the development of strict regulations in the industry. In addition, the Office of Surface Mining (OSM) regulates surface coal mining, and the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) regularly inspects coal mines.
Other federal laws that affect the coal mining industry include the following:
- National Historic Preservation Act (1966), which governs the preservation of historic properties throughout the United States
- National Environmental Policy Act (1969), which established a national policy for the environment
- Endangered Species Act (1973), which governs the protection of endangered species
- Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (1976), which governs the control of hazardous wastes
- Clean Water Act (1977), which regulates the discharge of pollutants into water
- Clean Air Act (1990), which regulates the discharge of pollutants into the air