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Budinsky v. Pennsylvania Dep't of Envtl. Resources

Citation: 17 ELR 21281
No. No. 86-3665, 819 F.2d 418/26 ERC 1339/(3d Cir., 05/27/1987)

The court holds that the two-acre exemption under the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act (SMCRA) does not preempt Pennsylvania's laws and regulations governing surface mining operations smaller than two acres. Nothing in SMCRA's plain language suggests that state laws affecting such small operations are preempted. SMCRA §505, which states that SMCRA does not supersede any more stringent state law or regulation, applies to all provisions of SMCRA, including the two-acre exemption. Regulations promulgated under SMCRA emphasize that the states retain the authority to enforce more stringent state land use and environmental controls andregulations. That other states have chosen to adopt the two-acre exemption in their regulatory schemes does not dictate that Pennsylvania must also do so.

Counsel for Appellant
Mark Clement
1005 Grandview Ave., Pittsburgh PA 15237
(412) 431-1470

Counsel for Appellees
LeRoy S. Zimmerman, Attorney General; Thomas F. Halloran, John G. Knorr, Sr. Deputy Attorneys General
Strawberry Square, 16th Fl., Harrisburg PA 17120
(717) 787-3391

Before GIBBONS, Chief Judge, MANSMANN, Circuit Judge, and KATZ, District Judge.*