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Coal Authority Granted Category 2 Responder Status

Coal Authority confirmed as a significant player in the response to emergencies and incidents on the coalfield – on which 25% of people in Great Britain reside

The Coal Authority has today (27 February 2023) been given Category 2 responder status, confirming its position as a key organisation in the response to emergencies that happen on the UK’s coalfields.

Julia Draycon, Community and Emergency Response Director at the Coal Authority, said:

The Coal Authority has always been called upon to support the ‘blue-light’ emergency services on major incidents related to historical mining.
The Category 2 responder status is formal recognition of this work as well as the new measures we have put in place to be a truly 24/7 emergency responder to incidents or hazards that happen on the coalfield.
The Coal Authority is not the Coal Board of old. We operate to protect the public and the environment from any potentially negative effects of our hugely significant mining past and this recognition, along with our wider goals to treat more mine water, improve customer service and regenerate huge areas of our estate, also helps us to deliver for the communities we serve on a long-term basis.

The Coal Authority was established in 1994 under the Coal Industry Act 1994, to manage some of the functions of the then-British Coal Corporation.

Nearly 30 years on, it is now responsible for licensing coal mining in Britain, managing the safety issues that have resulted from years of coal and metal mining, dealing with water pollution caused by historical coal mining, and working with partners and the public to provide mining reports and respond to planning consultation requests.

Jim Repp, Head of Emergency Response at the Coal Authority, added:

We have an expert, committed and passionate work force at the Coal Authority; people who work with our customers and partners 24/7 to help protect life, drinking water and the environment from the challenges of Great Britain’s mining legacy.
Category 2 responder status helps us raise awareness of the work we do across Great Britain, working with local resilience forums in emergency planning and multi-agency training exercises to highlight potential risks. It also means we can provide mutual assistance in incidents where our expertise may be extremely valuable.

Incidents that the Coal Authority commonly assists with include sudden ground collapses, releases of water or gas, land drainage related to mine subsidence, coal tip slips, and incidents of spontaneous combustion on the coalfield. The Coal Authority also manages and responds to incidents relating to metal mine pollution.

In 2021 to 2022, the Coal Authority carried out 10,148 mine entry inspections, investigated 493 surface hazard reports, assessed 330 subsidence damage claims, treated 128 billion litres of water and prevented 3,934 tonnes of iron solids from entering water courses.


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