Center for Biological Diversity

Stop Pizarchik From Becoming Dirty Coal Czar

Bookmark and Share

Environmental groups and concerned citizens from coal-mining states are increasing their opposition to the nomination of Joseph Pizarchik as director of the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement because of his dismal environmental record. As director of the Bureau of Mining and Reclamation in the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, Mr. Pizarchik consistently made decisions that benefited industry at the expense of the environment and communities living in mining areas.

Mr. Pizarchik's record includes advocating for unsafe disposal of toxic coal ash, disregarding the scientific evidence concerning coal-ash pollution, weakening stream buffer-zone rules, promoting valley fills, and downplaying the devastation caused by long-wall mining. His agency has failed to meet legal requirements to prevent water pollution and has attempted to block citizens from obtaining information under public records laws.

In 2001, Mr. Pizarchik supervised the drafting of regulations that weakened stream buffer-zone rules to allow the filling of stream valleys in Pennsylvania. Ignoring science demonstrating the hazards of improper coal-ash disposal, Mr. Pizarchik's agency has allowed waste to be buried in unlined pits and old mines without regulatory safeguards. His coal-ash mine-fill program was found deficient by the Interior Board of Land Appeals.

We can still stop this pro-industry regulator from taking over the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement by asking our senators to reject the nomination of Pizarchik when it comes up for a vote on the Senate floor, and to warn the Obama administration that they intend to do so. Let's send a message to the White House that a real change in regulation of coal mining is desperately needed.
Please contact your senator today and ask for the rejection of the Pizarchik nomination.

This action is no longer active. To view the current list of our active campaigns click here

Please take action by October 31, 2009.

*Fields marked with an asterisk are required.

Coal-fired power plant photo by J.C. Willett, USGS.