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Press Release



Interior Secretary Salazar Lauds Senate’s Confirmation of Joseph Pizarchik as Director of Office of Surface Mining



11/06/2009


Contact: Frank Quimby
(202) 208-6416


WASHINGTON, D.C. – Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today praised the Senate’s confirmation of Joseph Pizarchik as director of the Department’s Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement.

Pizarchik currently is director of the Pennsylvania’s Bureau of Mining and Reclamation, part of the state’s Department of Environmental Protection. The nomination requires Senate confirmation.

“Joe Pizarchik is a dedicated public servant whose experience in coal production will be invaluable as Director of Office of Surface Mining,” Secretary Salazar said. “I welcome his energy and insight on our policy team to balance the nation’s need for continued domestic coal production with protection of the environment,” Salazar said.

Pizarchik joined the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection in 1991. Before becoming its director of the Bureau of Mining and Reclamation in 2002, he served as assistant director of the Bureau of Regulatory Counsel.

Pizarchik was one of the authors of Pennsylvania’s Environmental Good Samaritan Act and provided counsel during the development and implementation of the Good Samaritan program, which he currently oversees.

In addition to working on various mining related statutory and regulatory amendments, Pizarchik helped develop Pennsylvania’s program for volunteers to clean up abandoned coal refuse sites and helped develop the state’s program for mine operator’s to establish trust funds as a means of meeting their financial obligations. This ensures funds are available to perpetually treat the discharges caused by mining.

Pizarchik also has worked closely with the Pennsylvania State Police and the Pennsylvania Office of Homeland Security promulgating regulations for security at explosive storage magazines to prevent unauthorized access to the sites.

Prior to joining the Department of Environmental Protection, Pizarchik severed as counsel to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation dealing with contracts, mass transit, aviation, contractor qualifications, and minority business enterprises. He also formerly worked in private practice and for an insurance company.