Governor Haslam Signs Primacy & Reclamation Act Sponsored By State Representative Dennis Powers and Senator Ken Yager

May 3, 2018

Primacy and Reclamation Act designed to create new jobs in surface mining industry.

(NASHVILLE) — Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam has signed an initiative sponsored by State Representative Dennis Powers (R-Jacksboro) and State Senator Ken Yager (R-Kingston) allowing Tennessee to reclaim control over its surface mining industry.

House Bill 571/Senate Bill 686, also known as the Primacy and Reclamation Act of Tennessee, restores sovereignty over mining and reclamation operations in the state.

It is the culmination of several years of hard work and advocacy by Representative Powers and Senator Yager in an effort to ensure that Tennessee has direct oversight — including the issuing of permits, as well as regulations enforcement by the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC).

Currently, Tennessee is the only state in the entire nation that allows the federal office of surface mining to regulate all surface mining and reclamation operations. This has been the case ever since our state relinquished control to the federal government in 1984.

This initiative is expected to create more than 1,200 new mining jobs in Tennessee.

“The federal government has controlled all aspects of this important industry for far too long, and it is time that we had a say in its future here in Tennessee,” said Representative Powers. “House Bill 571/Senate Bill 686 allows us to do just that, and I know it will promote new job growth; I am pleased that Governor Haslam has chosen to support this measure by signing it into law, and I will continue to fight for additional resources that bring more high-quality jobs to our region and to our state.”

“The Primacy and Reclamation Act will restore Tennessee’s competitive advantage and trigger significant economic development in Campbell and surrounding counties,” said Senator Yager.  “I am very pleased the governor has signed the bill.”

Additional information about House Bill 571/Senate Bill 686 is available by clicking here.

Dennis Powers serves as Vice-Chairman of the House Republican Caucus. He is also a member of the House Business & Utilities Committee, as well as the House Insurance & Banking Committee and Subcommittee. Powers lives in Jacksboro and represents House District 36, which includes Campbell and parts of Union and Anderson Counties. He can be reached by email at: Rep.Dennis.Powers@capitol.tn.gov or by calling (615) 741-3335.

Senator Yager serves as Chairman of the Senate State and Local Government Committee, Chairman of the Joint House and Senate Fiscal Review Committee and as a member of the Senate Commerce and Labor Committee.  He represents Campbell, Fentress, Morgan, Rhea, Pickett and Scott Counties in Senate District 12.  He can be reached by email at:  Sen.Ken.Yager@capitol.tn.gov or by calling (615) 741-1449.