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PA Bulletin, Doc. No. 02-91


Bond Rate Guidelines for the Calculation of Land Reclamation Bonds on Coal Mining Operations

[32 Pa.B. 374]

   The Department of Environmental Protection (Department) announces the bond rate guidelines for 2002 for anthracite and bituminous coal mining operations. The authority for bonding coal mining operations is found under The Clean Streams Law (35 P. S. §§ 691.1--691.1001), the Surface Mining Conservation and Reclamation Act (52 P. S. §§ 1396.1--1396.19a), the Coal Refuse Disposal Control Act (52 P. S. §§ 30.51--30.66) and the regulations promulgated thereunder at 25 Pa. Code Chapter 86, Subchapter F (relating to bonding and insurance requirements). The unit costs listed in these guidelines will be used in calculating the land reclamation bonds for surface coal mining operations including surface mines, coal refuse disposal sites, coal refuse reprocessing sites, preparation facilities and the surface facilities of underground mining operations. The procedures for calculating land reclamation bonds are described in technical guidance number 563-2504-001, ''Conventional Bonding for Land Reclamation--Coal,'' which is available on the Department's website (, at the Public Participation Center.

   The bond rate guidelines will be applied as prescribed in the effective date section of this notice. The Department may review the adequacy of bonds on existing permits based on the bond rate guidelines at any time. The Department will conduct these reviews before issuing permit renewals. The Department may conduct similar reviews at the mid-term of a permit and before approving a permit revision.

   The bond rate guidelines do not apply to bonds assuring replacement of water supplies under subsection 3.1(c) of the Surface Mining Conservation and Reclamation Act or to bonds ensuring compliance with the requirements of the Bituminous Mine Subsidence and Land Conservation Act.

General Methodology

   The Department developed the bond rate guidelines using a database of unit costs provided by the Bureau of Abandoned Mine Reclamation (BAMR). The BAMR database lists costs for the various unit operations needed to complete reclamation of a mine site. These costs were obtained from bids on recent reclamation contracts.

   The bond rate guidelines for Year 2002 are listed in Table 1. Not all unit operations included in the BAMR database are included in Table 1. Certain unit operations, such as ''clearing and grubbing'' are not normally needed when reclaiming bond forfeiture sites. Some unit operations listed in the database were combined to streamline the guidelines. In the event that a unit operation necessary to calculate a reclamation bond is not listed in Table 1, then any additional cost information available from the BAMR will be used. If enough data is still not available, the rate will be set from a standard reference like ''Means Building Construction Cost Data.''

   For background information and supporting documentation regarding bonding rate guidelines, contact the Bureau of Mining and Reclamation, Division of Monitoring and Compliance, P. O. Box 8461, Harrisburg, PA 17105-8461, (717) 787-5103 or on the website at

Effective Date

   The bond rate guidelines in this notice become effective in 30 days.

Table 1

Bond Rate Guidelines for Year 2002

Unit Operation Unit Measure Unit Costs ($)
job 4% of direct costs
or $40,000,
whichever is less
Grading (<500-foot push) cubic yard 0.50
Grading (>=500-foot push) cubic yard 0.80
Selective Grading acre 625
Revegetation1 acre 1,000
Seed bed preparation acre 107
Agricultural Lime ton 25.69
Nitrogen pound 0.58
Phosphate pound 0.42
Potash pound 0.32
Seed Type 12 pound 2.22
Seed Type 22 pound 4.31
Mulching3 acre 250
Tree Planting tree 0.15
Ditch Excavation cubic yard 3.19
Jute Matting square yard 1.62
High Velocity Erosion Control square yard 1.71
R3 Rock Lining square yard 16
R4 Rock Lining square yard 16.14
R5 Rock Lining square yard 20
Geotextile/Filter Fabric square yard 0.75
PVC Lining4 square yard 5.38
Subsurface Drain lineal foot 7.75
Pond Removal5 pond 3,500
Erosion and Sedimentation Control (Temporary Installation) job Lump sum (5%
of direct costs for
Stage 3 Maintenance Bond acre 500
Structure Demolition Costs for structure demolition will
be calculated using costs listed in
the construction industry's latest
annual cost publications, such as
the Means Building Construction
Cost Data
Mine Sealing6 Nonhydraulic shaft seal--inert fill shaft (10 ft. or
less diameter)
Mine Sealing6 Nonhydraulic shaft seal--inert fill shaft (11 to 15 ft.
Mine Sealing6 Nonhydraulic shaft seal--inert fill shaft (16 to 20 ft.
Mine Sealing6 Nonhydraulic shaft seal--inert fill shaft (21 to 25 ft.
Mine Sealing6 Hydraulic shaft seal w/bulkhead shaft (10 ft. or
less diameter)
Mine Sealing6 Hydraulic shaft seal w/bulkhead shaft (11 to 15 ft.
Mine Sealing6 Hydraulic shaft seal w/bulkhead shaft (16 to 20 ft.
Mine Sealing6 Hydraulic shaft seal w/bulkhead shaft (21 to 25 ft.
Mine Sealing6 Nonhydraulic drift/slope seal drift/slope 3,900
Mine Sealing6 Hydraulic drift/slope seal w/bulkhead drift/slope 6,200

   1  Includes seed bed preparation, lime, fertilizer, seed and mulch. This unit operation is used on sites that conserve and replace existing soils.

   2  Seed Type 1 does not include Crown Vetch. Seed Type 2, used on steep slope areas, includes Crown Vetch. Both used at application rate of 50 pounds per acre.

   3  Three tons per acre application rate.

   4  Typically used for lining of ponds or ditches crossing fill material.

   5  Unit cost not from the BAMR bids, includes dewatering, grading, topsoil placement and revegetation.

   6  Mine sealing costs are minimum costs. Additional costs per mine seal will be assessed based on specific design criteria, such as the thickness of the seal and the volume of backfill material required, using appropriate material, equipment and labor costs from the BAMR bid abstracts or from an industry-standard cost estimation publications, for example, Means Estimating Handbook or Walker's Building Estimator's Reference Book.


[Pa.B. Doc. No. 02-91. Filed for public inspection January 18, 2002, 9:00 a.m.]

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