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Pennsylvania's Implementation of the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act: An Assessment of How 'Cooperative Federalism' Can Make State Regulatory Programs More Effective

67 Pages Posted: 6 Feb 2013 Last revised: 23 Jul 2015

John C. Dernbach

Widener University - Commonwealth Law School

Date Written: 1985

Abstract

The federal Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 was said to have been modeled on Pennsylvania’s surface coal mining program. Yet, paradoxically, the federal act substantially improved the effectiveness of Pennsylvania’s program. This article explains that the new program in Pennsylvania has been responsible for substantial reductions in the adverse effects of surface coal mining. It also assesses why the program has improved, emphasizing those features of the federal scheme that have contributed the most to the effectiveness of the new program.

Keywords: Pennsylvania, coal mining, coal, strip mining, surface coal mining, regulation, environmental law, Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977

JEL Classification: L71, K32, R52, K42, Q01

Suggested Citation

Dernbach, John C., Pennsylvania's Implementation of the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act: An Assessment of How 'Cooperative Federalism' Can Make State Regulatory Programs More Effective (1985). University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform, Vol. 19, No. 4, 1985; Widener Law School Legal Studies Research Paper No. 13-16. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2212326

John C. Dernbach (Contact Author)

Widener University - Commonwealth Law School ( email )

3800 Vartan Way
Harrisburg, PA 17110-9380
United States

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