ABS PRIMACY FORFEITURE DISCHARGES
Treatment Opportunities and Challenges
Joseph G. PizarchikDirectorBureau of Mining and ReclamationDepartment of Environmental ProtectionCommonwealth of Pennsylvania
Federal Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act.
Addresses two broad coal mining categories.
1.Abandoned Mine Lands, including abandoned discharges (AML) created before 1977, generally speaking.
2.Active coal mining.
AML is covered by Title IV of Federal SMCRA
Each coal company pays a tax/AML fee, on every ton of coal mined.
Federal law mandates the money be used to reclaim AML.
States authorized to use up to 30% for mine drainage.
Not about Title IVNot about AMLNot about money that coming in FutureAbout $ Available Now
Active coal mining is covered by Title V.
Mine operators required to post bond to ensure reclamation.
If the operator does not complete reclamation, bond forfeited and used to complete reclamation.
Title V allows states to have primary responsibility for regulating coal mining.
Establishes the minimum standards.
Allows states to use full cost conventional bonding or an alternative system.
From 1982 until 2001 Pennsylvania used an alternate bonding system for surface coal mines.
-Bond was a portion of the reclamation cost plus a nonrefundable reclamation fee.
-Initially $50/acre. -Increased to $100/acre in 1992.
In 1991 OSM determined the ABS was deficient.
Did not generate sufficient $ to complete reclamation of BF sites.
OSM directed PA to amend its alternate bonding system.
PA made a number of changes and tried to fix ABS.
Concluded in late 1990s that ABS could not be fixed.
2001 PA terminated ABS and converted to full cost bonding.
General Assembly appropriated the money needed to complete land reclamation at primacy ABS BF Sites.
The number of primacy ABS BF sites needing land reclamation has been reduced from about 150 to about 2 dozen.
As of July 2008-61 primacy ABS bond forfeiture permits had post mining discharges that need continued treatment.
Some permits have multiple discharges.
As of July 2008-101 discharges on the 61 primacy ABS bond forfeiture sites, AKA ABS Legacy.
About 30 of the ABS Legacy have functioning treatment systems.
Treatment systems will be built on the remaining ABS Legacy discharges.
There are opportunities for you to be paid to build, operate and maintain these systems.
The new treatment systems will be a mix of passive and active systems.
Commonwealth contracting processes will be used to select the people to build, operate and maintain these systems.
Why should you care?PADEP: Has the $ to build treatment facilities.
Has the $ to O & M existing treatment facilities.
Has a revenue stream to permanently pay the future O & M and recapitalization.
PADEP does not have the people to build, operate and maintain these treatment systems.
The Cambria, Moshannon, Knox and Greensburg DMOs are working on securing contractors.
In position to now hire for O & M and soon hire to build.
Services to be obtained thru competitive bid process.
Law also allows for negotiating a contract w/certain people.
Law allows DEP to negotiate contract w/land owner or licensed operator.
25 Pa Code subchapter K. Sections 86.351 thru 86.359
Challenges may be property access issues.
Martin Bell Mine
291-30-2008Flow-15 gpmpH- 3Alk- 0Acid-226.8Iron-31.841Mn-35.249Al-4.565SO4-551.3TSS- 629-Discharge originating from old low wall drain