Joseph Pizarchik - Director, Office of Surface Mining and Reclamation Enforcement
Joseph Pizarchik is a pragmatic innovator with 17 years of involvement in many progressive advancements in Pennsylvania's mining program. Mr. Pizarchik has been the Director of the Bureau of Mining and Reclamation, Department of Environmental Protection, since 2002. Before becoming Director, he served as Assistant Director, Bureau of Regulatory Counsel, where he worked with the Pennsylvania mining program for 11 years. Mr. Pizarchik has been with the Department of Environmental Protection since 1991.
He was one of the authors of Pennsylvania’s Environmental Good Samaritan Act, provided counsel during the development and implementation of the Good Samaritan program, and now oversees its implementation. He has worked on various mining-related statutory and regulatory amendments. Mr. Pizarchik helped develop Pennsylvania’s program for volunteers to clean up abandoned coal refuse sites and helped develop Pennsylvania’s program for mine operators to establish trust funds as a means of meeting their financial obligation to ensure funds are available to perpetually treat the discharges caused by their mining. He also 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.
Mr. Pizarchik represents Pennsylvania at the Interstate Mining Compact Commission, the Mining and Reclamation Advisory Board, and serves as the Secretary of Environmental Protection’s designee on the Mine Subsidence Insurance Board. He has served several times as faculty for the Pennsylvania Bar Institute’s Environmental Law Forum providing continuing legal education training to Pennsylvania lawyers on “Regulatory Takings” and new developments in mining laws and regulations. He has also provided training for the Office of General Counsel’s Continuing Legal Education sessions covering “Original Jurisdiction of the Commonwealth Court” and covering “Water Supply Replacement” under Pennsylvania mining law. He is a past Treasurer of the Conference of Government Mining Attorneys.
Prior to serving with the Department of Environmental Protection, Mr. Pizarchik was counsel with the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation for five years dealing with contracts, mass transit, aviation, contractor qualifications, and minority business enterprises. He formerly worked in private practice and also for an insurance company. His vast experience has led to a deep understanding of the complex interests and duties of the states and Federal government as well as the roles of citizens and industry in protecting the environment while meeting the Nation's energy needs.