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New House Infrastructure Proposal Includes Cartwright-led Northeastern Pennsylvania Priorities

Jun 25, 2020
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Representative Matt Cartwright (PA-08) today announced support for the sweeping new House infrastructure proposal unveiled this week, the Moving Forward Act, which includes two of his bills that would address the problem of abandoned mine lands in northeastern Pennsylvania and across the country. These bills would help eliminate dangerous health and safety risks like acid mine drainage, while making way for new economic development.

The Moving Forward Act would create millions of good-paying jobs by investing in modern and sustainable infrastructure. It is expected to be voted on in the U.S. House before July 4.

“We have an opportunity to put Americans back to work in good jobs by rebuilding our physical and digital infrastructure for the twenty-first century,” Cartwright said. “This bill drives major investments toward modernizing schools, roads, hospitals and broadband internet across the nation. I’m also proud that it will help grow northeastern Pennsylvania’s economy by enabling us to transform our abandoned mine lands for years to come. This legislation is an investment in our recovery and a down payment on our future.”

The Moving Forward Act includes Cartwright’s legislation to reauthorize the Abandoned Mine Land (AML) Trust Fund, which is essential to cleaning up our waterways and protecting communities from the hazards of abandoned mines, such as acid mine drainage, dangerous highwalls and waste coal piles. The fund would end in September 2021 if Congress does not act, and Pennsylvania’s Eighth District has more than 300 unfinished AML sites.

The infrastructure package also includes Cartwright’s RECLAIM Act, which would accelerate the investment of $1 billion in unappropriated funds from the AML Trust Fund over the next five years, bringing roughly $300 million to Pennsylvania alone for these projects.

“These bills were always important to improving the quality of life of our region through the reclamation of our abandoned mine lands and cleanup of our watersheds impacted by polluted mine water. Now, the current pandemic underscores an even greater need for urgent and immediate investments in the future of our communities, as well as those who are struggling with unemployment and are looking for jobs that can help sustain their families,” said Bobby Hughes, Executive Director, Eastern Pennsylvania Coalition for Abandoned Mine Reclamation (EPCAMR). “These reclamation bills are an important part of the infrastructure package and we are grateful for Congressman Cartwright’s support for these measures.”

A fact sheet on the Moving Forward Act is available here.