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PA Bulletin, Doc. No. 04-2192


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

[34 Pa.B. 6604]

   The Department of Environmental Protection (Department) announces the bond rate guidelines for 2005 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, coal processing facilities and the surface facilities of underground mining operations. The procedures for calculating land reclamation bonds are described in technical guidance 563-2504-001, ''Conventional Bonding for Land Reclamation--Coal,'' which is available on the Department's website at under ''eLibrary,'' Technical Guidance Documents--Final.

   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 section 3.1(c) of the Surface Mining Conservation and Reclamation Act (52 P. S. § 1396.3a(c)) 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 for 2005 from a spreadsheet of unit costs provided by the Department's Bureau of Abandoned Mine Reclamation (BAMR). The BAMR spreadsheet lists contract bid amounts for the various unit operations needed to complete reclamation of a mine site for years 1998--2003. A 3-year (2001-2003) average was used to calculate the guidelines.

   In general, the bond rate for a given unit operation is the weighted average of the three lowest total bids for each contract. In some cases, a longer-term average was used because of limited data. For example, for selective grading, a 4-year average was used since there were only 27 acres of selective grading in the contracts from 2003. Not all unit operations included in the BAMR spreadsheet are included in Table 1.

   In the event that a unit operation necessary to calculate a reclamation bond is not listed in Table 1, any additional cost information available from BAMR will be used. If enough data is still not available, the rate will be set from a standard reference such as Means Building Construction Cost Data or Walker's Building Estimator's Reference Book.

   The bond rate guidelines are available electronically on the Department's website at 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.

Effective Date:

   The bond rate guidelines in this notice become effective January 1, 2005.


Bond Rate Guidelines For Year 2005

Unit Operation Unit Measure Unit Costs ($)
Mobilization/demobilization Job 4% of direct costs or $40,000,
whichever is less
Grading (< 500-foot push) cubic yard 0.55
Grading (>= 500-foot push) cubic yard 0.80
Selective Grading Acre 985.00
Revegetation Acre 1,250.00
Tree Planting Tree 0.15
Ditch Excavation cubic yard 4.25
Jute Matting square yard 2.20
High Velocity Erosion Control square yard 2.00
R3 Rock Lining square yard 18.00
R4 Rock Lining square yard 18.00
R5 Rock Lining square yard 17.00
Geotextile/Filter Fabric square yard 2.75
PVC Lining1 square yard 9.50
Subsurface Drain lineal foot 13.25
Pond Removal2 Pond 3,500.00
Erosion and Sedimentation Control    (Temporary Installation) Job Lump sum
(5% of direct costs for site)
Stage 3 Maintenance Bond Acre 500.00
Structure Demolition Costs will be calculated using costs listed in the construction industry's latest annual cost publications, such as Means Building Construction Cost Data.
Mine Sealing3      shaft (10 ft. or less diameter)
   Nonhydraulic shaft seal--inert fill       shaft (11 to 15 ft. diameter)
      shaft (16 to 20 ft. diameter)
      shaft (21 to 25 ft. diameter)
Mine Sealing3       shaft (10 ft. or less diameter)
   Hydraulic shaft seal w/bulkhead       shaft (11 to 15 ft. diameter)
      shaft (16 to 20 ft. diameter)
      shaft (21 to 25 ft. diameter)
Mine Sealing3
   Non-hydraulic drift/slope seal
drift/slope 3,900.00
Mine Sealing3
   Hydraulic drift/slope seal w/bulkhead
drift/slope 6,200.00

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

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

   3.  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 BAMR bid abstracts or from industry-standard cost estimation publications, that is, Means Estimating Handbook or Walker's Building Estimator's Reference Book.


[Pa.B. Doc. No. 04-2192. Filed for public inspection December 10, 2004, 9:00 a.m.]

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