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Chairmanís Message

As Chairman of the Interstate Mining Compact Commission (IMCC) for 2007, it is my pleasure to submit to you the Commissionís annual report. Throughout the past year, the Compact represented the interests and perspectives of the states on several issues of national importance before the U.S. Congress, the National Academy of Sciences, and other national organizations. These issues included cleanup of abandoned mines, several oversight hearings on implementation of the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act (SMCRA), and national energy policy. IMCC also engaged with several federal agencies on key regulatory issues including mine placement of coal combustion wastes, endangered species protection plans, stream buffer zones associated with mountaintop mining operations, and mine safety and health rules.

IMCC continued its successful benchmarking program, pursuant to which the member states shared their expertise in various regulatory areas with the goal of improving and enhancing state regulatory program implementation nationwide. During the year, workshops were held on the topics of subsidence impacts associated with mining, underground mine mapping, and surface and ground water database development and use in state mining regulatory programs.

Perhaps our most significant accomplishment came near the end of the year when Congress passed the Omnibus Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2008, which included a $9 million increase for state regulatory grants under SMCRA. This culminated a several year effort by the states to reverse the stagnant funding trend that had plagued the Title V program over the past 10 years.

It has been my privilege to serve as your Chairman during the past year. I encourage all of the states to continue their active support of the Compact as we strive to advance the protection of our natural resources while maintaining an efficient and productive mining industry.

Joe Manchin III
Governor of West Virginia
Interstate Mining Compact Commission

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