Remining Financial Guarantee Program; Increase to Financial Guarantee Special Account
[40 Pa.B. 2823]
[Saturday, May 29, 2010]
The Remining Financial Guarantee Program (program) is a remining incentive authorized by an amendment to the Surface Mining Conservation and Reclamation Act (52 P. S. §§ 1396.1—1396.19a). The program provides low-cost bonding for permittees who are willing to reclaim abandoned mine lands immediately adjacent to their active mining operations. The special account established to financially assure bonding obligations under this program was initially funded in 1997 with $800,000. This amount was increased by $200,000 to $1,000,000 in 2006.
In 25 Pa. Code Chapter 86 (relating to surface and underground coal mining: general) establishes an operator limit of 30% of the amount of money in the special account and a permit limit of 10% of the amount of money in the special account. Participants pay 1% of the amount of the Remining Financial Quarantee each year.
Since the inception of the program, this Commonwealth's coal mine operators have reclaimed 2,927 acres of abandoned mine land, saving the Commonwealth approximately $17,500,000 in reclamation costs and paid more than $1,000,000 in fees.
On July 1, 2010, the Department of Environmental Protection (Department) will increase the special account by $200,000 to $1,200,000. This will increase the Remining Financial Guarantee amount available to each operator as well as the maximum available for each permit. By allocating an additional $200,000 to the special account the maximum limits for the program will be $360,000 per operator and $120,000 per permit effective July 1, 2010. This allocation is possible based on the fee revenue from existing Remining Financial Guarantees. The current limits are $300,000 per operator and $100,000 per permit. The incremental increase is intended to keep pace with inflation.
For background information and supporting documentation regarding the program, contact the Bureau of Mining and Reclamation, Division of Monitoring and Compliance, P. O. Box 8461, Harrisburg, PA 17105-8461, (717) 787-5103.
[Pa.B. Doc. No. 10-998. Filed for public inspection May 28, 2010, 9:00 a.m.]
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