The White House has issued its announcement concerning the nominations of Joseph A. Main to serve as assistant secretary of labor in charge of the Mine Safety and Health Administration and Joseph G. Pizarchik to be director of the Interior Department’s Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement. Here’s what the White House said about the two nominees:
Joseph Pizarchik is a pragmatic innovator with 17 years of involvement in many progressive advancements in Pennsylvania’s mining program. Â Joe has been the Director of the Bureau of Mining and Reclamation, Department of Environmental Protection since 2002. Â Before becoming Director, he served as Assistant Director, Bureau of Regulatory Counsel where he counseled the Pennsylvania mining program for 11 years. Â Mr. Pizarchik has been with the Department of Environmental Protection since 1991. Â He was one of the authors of Pennsylvaniaâ€™s Environmental Good Samaritan Act, provided counsel during the development and implementation of the Good Samaritan program, and now oversees its implementation. Â He has worked on various mining related statutory and regulatory amendments. Â Mr. Pizarchik helped develop Pennsylvaniaâ€™s program for volunteers to clean up abandoned coal refuse sites and helped develop Pennsylvaniaâ€™s program for mine operatorâ€™s 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. Â 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. Â As well, Mr. Pizarchik represents Pennsylvania at the Interstate Mining Compact Commission, the Mining and Reclamation Advisory Board, and serves as the Secretary of Environmental Protectionâ€™s designee on the Mine Subsidence Insurance Board. Â He has served several times as faculty for the Pennsylvania Bar Instituteâ€™s Environmental Law Forum providing continuing legal education training to Pennsylvania lawyers on â€œRegulatory Takingsâ€ and new developments in mining laws and regulations. Â He has also provided training for the Office of General Counselâ€™s Continuing Legal Education sessions covering â€œOriginal Jurisdiction of the Commonwealth Courtâ€ and covering â€œWater Supply Replacementâ€ under Pennsylvania mining law. Â He is a past Treasurer of the Conference of Government Mining Attorneys. Â Prior to serving with the Department of Environmental Protection he was counsel with the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation for 5 years dealing with contracts, mass transit, aviation, contractor qualifications, and minority business enterprises. Â He formerly worked in private practice and also for an insurance company.Â
Joseph A. (Joe) Main, has vast mine health safety experience in the U.S. and is internationally recognized as an expert in mining health issues.Â A Greene County Pennsylvania native, now residing in Spotsylvania, VA, Mr. Main began working in coal mines in 1967 and quickly became an advocate for miners safety as a union safety committeeman as well as serving in various local union positions in the United Mine Workers of America (UMWA). He was employed by the UMWA in 1974 as a Special Assistant to the International President, and joined the UMWA Safety Division in 1976, serving as Safety Inspector, Administrative Assistant, and Deputy Director. In 1982 he was appointed Administrator of the UMWA Occupational Health and Safety Department, a position he held for 22 years, managing the international health and safety program and staff. He has considerable hands on experience inspecting and evaluating mining conditions, plans and systems. Mr. Main currently works as a self-employed mine safety consultant.Â His recent work has focused on international mine safety, research and analysis projects on preventing mining accidents, and development of training programs and facilities to prepare miners and emergency responders for mine emergencies.Â He was born in Waynesburg, PA, and is a graduate of the National Mine Health and Safety Academy.
And here’s a statement for the Interior Department on the OSMRE appointment:
WASHINGTON, D.C.â€”Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today praised President Obamaâ€™s announcement that he intends to nominate Joseph Pizarchik to be director of the departmentâ€™s Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement.
Pizarchik currently is director of the Pennsylvaniaâ€™s Bureau of Mining and Reclamation, part of the stateâ€™s Department of Environmental Protection. The nomination requires Senate confirmation.
â€œJoe Pizarchik brings a lifetime of experience and dedicated public service to ensuring mines are operated safely and in an environmentally sound manner,â€ Salazar said. â€œHis expertise and record of innovation will ensure the coal production that is so necessary to meet our nationâ€™s energy needs is conducted in a way that respects the land and protects the environment.â€
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 Pennsylvaniaâ€™s Environmental Good Samaritan Act and provided counsel during the development and implementation of the Good Samaritan program, which he currently oversees. Â
In addition to working on various mining related statutory and regulatory amendments, Pizarchik helped develop Pennsylvaniaâ€™s program for volunteers to clean up abandoned coal refuse sites and helped develop the stateâ€™s program for mine operatorâ€™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. Â
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. Â
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. Â He also formerly worked in private practice and for an insurance company.