New Athens’ Erdos receives presidential appointment

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By JD LONG

jim@harrisonnewsherald.com

HARRISON COUNTY – Lanny Erdos, the New Athens native and former head of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, has now become Acting Director of the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE).

The website (whitehouse.gov) issued a statement on Oct. 22 that President Donald Trump planned to nominate several individuals to his administration and Erdos was one of those mentioned. Erdos stated he officially began his new job in Washington D.C. on Sept. 1 of this year.

Erdos, who managed the Division of Mineral Resources Management at ODNR where he oversaw the coal program, industrial minerals and mine safety for the state of Ohio, now obviously has a broader range of responsibilities. These include the nationwide coal program and abandoned mines’ program.

“So we work with…those states that have regulatory authority, we oversee their program [and] we also regulate the tribes where we are the primary regulator,” Erdos explained.

Erdos said regarding improvements in the coal industry, that’s another matter, though he did manage the mine safety program in Ohio, describing improvements as “significant,” but OSMRE does not oversee that part of the business of coal.

He said he is going to follow the OSMRE mission, which is to enforce the Surface Mining Control Reclamation Act of 1977 and regulate the coal industry as it was meant to be.

“So, we’re going to continue to make sure that happens at the state level as we work with our state partners that have primacy as regulatory authority. And we’ll do the same in regard to the tribes where we are the regulatory authority,” Erdos explained.

“I want to thank the president and secretary for allowing me to have this opportunity,” Erdos stated. “I’m very excited about being here in D.C. [and] I’m very excited about working with the office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement. There’s a lot of work to do, there’s certainly a lot of activity in the coal industry today and I’m looking forward to those challenges.”

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