The Coal Authority
The Coal Authority is a non-departmental public body created to manage the historic legacy of coal mining throughout the United Kingdom.
It was established under the Coal Industry Act 1994 to take over the nation’s coal assets and the historical coal mining liabilities. Although the coal mining industry and licensing activity has significantly diminished, the organisation manages a £4 billion coal mining legacy that includes property and environmental risks as well as related public safety.
Based in Nottinghamshire, it is a partner organisation of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and is expert at resolving the many social, economic and environmental impacts of mining. Along with its core role of safeguarding the public and protecting and restoring the environment in mining areas, it also provides services to governments, public bodies, private organisations and land owners. One of its ongoing purposes is to also create value and minimise long term costs therefore reducing the burden on the taxpayer and stimulating economic growth.
Water level management is an important feature of the organisation, whose responsibility includes contaminated mine water discharges and rising mine water within old mine workings. After the water companies, the Coal Authority is one of the largest managers of water in the UK. Within the mine workings there are extensive resources of water and it treats over 100 billion litres of water each year at its 75 mine water treatment schemes with 34% of this water at a near fresh water quality. It also has responsibilities for 83 pumping stations in areas where mining subsidence has caused surface flooding.
Currently, the authority invests around £15 million a year on water level management around pumping stations and mine water treatments schemes.
It has a vigorous innovation programme developing technologies, skills and winning value from its by-products such as water and heat. Working in partnership with a wide range stakeholders and businesses the Coal Authority is turning the liability of mining legacy into an asset of strategic importance to the UK. Providing substantial commercial and wellbeing benefits for the communities built on coal.