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ND coal regulatory and Abandoned Mines programs get high marks

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Dave Thompson, Prairie Public
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North Dakota Public Service Commissioners Randy Christmann (l), chairman Julie Fedorchak and Brian Kroshus

The two are under the auspices of the North Dakota Public Service Commission.

North Dakota’s Coal Regulatory and Abandoned Mine Lands programs again get high marks from the federal Office of Surface Mining.

OSM said the programs are very effective.

"In this case, you have a regulatory program, and most regulatory programs have somebody who really wants the regulation, and someone who wishes they were not regulated," said Commissioner Randy Christmann, who holds the portfolio for the two programs. "In this case, I think the mines, the landowners, even environmental groups, that maybe sometimes are on opposite sides — as far as I know, it seems everybody agrees that our state program is the far better alternative than turning it over, and having a federal program where you would have out-of-state people administering it. That would be far less responsive and nimble."

Commissioner Brian Kroshus said North Dakota has a "model" program.

The two programs have received accolades for years.

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