COLUMBUS - The Ohio House of Representatives leadership has appointed State Rep. Jack Cera, D-Bellaire to the Council on Unreclaimed Strip Mined Lands.
The appointment was effective Monday.
Cera represents Jefferson and Belmont counties.
According to Cera, strip mining has existed in Ohio since 1914. The need for reclamation of mined land was realized in the early 1970s when Ohio started requiring restoration of areas used in strip mining for coal. It was at that time that state government determined the unreclaimed strip mined areas should be used for research, teaching and recreational purposes.
"Many of the areas in question contain wildlife with unique ecosystems, and in order to be good stewards of the environment, the Division of Mineral Resources Management and the Council on Unreclaimed Strip Mined Lands started working together to manage and develop reclamation areas," said Cera.
Cera said the council is responsible for reviewing and setting applicable expenditure limits on reclamation projects identified by the Division of Mineral Resources Management. The council also makes recommendations on possible uses and the value of the eroded lands across the state utilized by strip mining.
"I am very pleased to serve on this council again. This panel helps foster rules and recommendations that will be used in the rebuilding efforts of land used in strip-mining. The ultimate goal is to provide damage control regarding the eroded lands and acid mine drainage created by strip mining," Cera stated.
Cera first served on the Council on Unreclaimed Strip Mined Lands during his prior terms in the Ohio House of Representatives in the 1980s and early 1990s.
Membership of the council includes the chief of the Division of Mineral Resources Management from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, four individuals recommended by the ODNR, three members of the Ohio House of Representatives and three members of the Ohio Senate, two of the majority party and one of the minority party in both chambers. The council meets at the call of the chief of the Division of Mineral Resources Management.