Salazar Lauds President's Intent to Nominate Joseph Pizarchik as Director of Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement

Last edited 09/29/2021

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today praised President Obama's announcement that he intends to nominate Joseph Pizarchik to be 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 brings a lifetime of experience and dedicated public service to ensuring mines are operated safely and in an environmentally sound manner,” Salazar said. “His expertise and record of innovation will ensure the coal production that is so necessary to meet our nation's energy needs is conducted in a way that respects the land and protects the environment.”

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.

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