Thompson Bros. Coal Co., Inc. v. DEP; EHB Doc. No. 96-031-R
[26 Pa.B. 3380]
The Department of Environmental Protection (Department) and Thompson Bros. Coal Co., Inc. (Thompson Bros.) have agreed to a settlement of the above matter. On December 28, 1995, the Department notified Thompson Bros. that its application for bond release had been denied. Under 25 Pa. Code §§ 86.171 and 86.172 the application was denied because of the existence of an acid mine drainage discharge on or emanating from areas disturbed by mining on the Emigh #1 mine site in Morris Township, Clearfield County, specifically flow at Monitoring Point 5 (MP 5). On or about January 26, 1996, Thompson Bros. appealed the Department's denial of the application for bond release to the Environmental Hearing Board, which appeal was docketed at EHB Docket No. 96-031-R. The parties have agreed to a settlement, the major provisions of which include:
1. Within 60 days of the execution of the Consent Order and Adjudication, Thompson Bros. will complete the following tasks:
a. retain a contractor with experience in pressure sealing boreholes; and
b. submit a work plan, and a stream encroachment permit application, if necessary, for the sealing of the borehole, located in the vicinity of MP 5.
2. Within 120 days of the execution of the Consent Order and Adjudication, the contractor for Thompson Brothers will pressure seal the borehole, located in the vicinity of MP 5.
3. Within 20 days of the contractor completing the work to seal the alleged borehole, Thompson Bros. will submit a report documenting the sealing of the borehole.
4. Upon successful elimination of the flow of acid mine drainage, as a result of Thompson Bros.' activities, Thompson Bros. may request the release of one half of the Stage I bond release amount for bond numbers KO3300729 and MKO3295886. The total bond amount eligible for release under this subparagraph is $82,100.
5. Upon successful elimination of the flow of acid mine drainage, as a result of Thompson Bros. activities,Thompson Bros. shall, for a period of 1 year complete the following tasks described below:
a. Monitor MP 5, all areas to be affected by the borehole sealing activities and Emigh Run, both above and below the project area to the limits of the area affected by the borehole sealing activities, for new acid mine drainage discharges, and submit monthly reports to the Department documenting the conditions at MP 5, all areas to be affected by the borehole sealing activities and the water quality of Emigh Run.
b. Determine whether the seal continues to eliminate the flow of acid mine drainage emanating from in and around MP 5. For the purposes of this determination, elimination of the flow of acid mine drainage from in and around MP 5 will be confirmed only if the following conditions are documented within the permit area for the Emigh #1 mine site;
(1) no acid mine drainage discharge is present at or within a 25 foot radius of MP 5; and
(2) no acid mine drainage flows are created elsewhere which are determined by the Department to be related to MP 5. If any acid mine drainage flows not previously documented by the Department are found by the Department to be created by Thompson Bros.' activities, the Department reserves the right to take whatever further action it deems appropriate to abate such discharges and Thompson Bros. reserves whatever rights of appeal it may have to such actions.
6. Upon successful elimination of the flow acid mine drainage from the area in and around MP 5 and after completion of the Thompson Bros.' obligations set forth above, and if no new acid mine drainage discharges have developed which are determined by the Department to be related to MP 5, Thompson Bros. may request the release of at least the remaining one half of the Stage I bond release amount for bond numbers KO3300729 and MKO3295886. The total bond amount to be released under this subparagraph is $82,100. In addition, if the requirements described above are met, Thompson Bros. may file additional completion reports for the release of any additional bond for the Emigh #1 mine site which may be eligible for release.
7. Prior to the commencement of the activities described above, the parties shall complete a stream recognizance and survey of Emigh Run, as well as the Emigh #1 Mine Site, documenting the hydrologic conditions of the stream. This survey shall serve as a baseline for determining whether any new discharges are created by the activities described above. Upon the execution of this Consent Order and Adjudication, Thompson Bros. shall not be held responsible for any discharges noted in this preproject survey, so long as the discharge points noted are not adversely affected as a result of the activities described above.
8. If the Department makes a determination that the seal is not eliminating the flow of acid mine drainage from MP 5, the Department's denial of the bond release will remain in full force and effect.
Copies of the full agreement are in the hands of:
Marc A. Ross, Esquire, Assistant Counsel, DEP, 400 Market Street, Ninth Floor, P. O. Box 8464, Harrisburg, PA 17105-8464;
George S. Test, Jr., Esquire, P. O. Box 706, Philipsburg, PA 16866;
and at the office of the Environmental Hearing Board and may be reviewed by any interested party on request during normal business hours.
Persons who are aggrieved by the above settlement have a right to appeal to the Environmental Hearing Board, 400 Market Street, Second Floor, P. O. Box 8457, Harrisburg, PA 17105-8457.
Appeals must be filed within 20 days of this publication.
If information concerning this notice is required in an alternative form, contact the Secretary to the Board at (717) 783-3483. TDD users may telephone the Board through the AT&T Pennsylvania Relay Center at 1 (800) 654-5984.
The Environmental Hearing Board is empowered to approve this settlement if no objection is timely made.
GEORGE J. MILLER,
[Pa.B. Doc. No. 96-1145. Filed for public inspection July 12, 1996, 9:00 a.m.]
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