Bond Rate Guidelines for the Calculation of Land Reclamation Bonds on Coal Mining Operations
[49 Pa.B. 991]
[Saturday, March 2, 2019]
The Department of Environmental Protection (Department) announces the 2019 bond rate guidelines for anthracite and bituminous coal mining operations. These rates become effective April 1, 2019. 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—1396.19b), the Coal Refuse Disposal Control Act (52 P.S. §§ 30.51—30.66) and 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 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 Document 563-2504-001, ''Conventional Bonding for Land Reclamation—Coal,'' which is available on the Department's web site at http://www.elibrary.dep.state.pa.us. The Department calculated the rate of inflation and rate of return using 5-year averages. For the rate of inflation, the Consumer Price Index (Northeast Urban) from the United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, was averaged for the calendar years 2014—2018, resulting in a rate of 1.26%. This rate of inflation will be used in calculating bond amounts for permit renewal or permit midterm bond liability reviews on or after April 1, 2019.
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 midterm of a permit and before approving a permit revision.
These bond rate guidelines do not apply to bonds ensuring replacement of water supplies under subsection 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 (52 P.S. §§ 1406.1—1406.21).
The Department developed the bond rate guidelines for 2019 from the unit costs for competitively bid contracts for mine reclamation. Contract bid data is available for various unit operations needed to complete reclamation of a mine site for the years 1998—2018. For most categories, a 3-year (2016—2018) average was used to calculate the guidelines. Some categories required another approach due to limited data. For example, there were no contracts in 2014—2018 that included selective grading. Therefore, a multiyear average of available data was used for the 2019 selective grading bond rate.
In general, the costs for a given unit operation for each year are determined using the weighted average of the three lowest total bids for each contract. However, grading costs were calculated using a frequency distribution in combination with the weighted averages.
In the event that a unit operation necessary to calculate a reclamation bond is not listed in Tables 1 or 2, then additional cost information available may be used. Unit costs may be adjusted using a standard reference like Means Building Construction Cost Data or Walker's Building Estimator's Reference Book. Specific unit costs may be adjusted using information provided by other stakeholders including the permittee provided the reclamation cost estimates include supporting calculations such as prevailing wage costs, installation costs, and the like.
The fees associated with the Land Maintenance Bond Program are presented in Table 3. There has been no change in these rates for 2019.
The bond rate guidelines are available electronically at http://www.dep.pa.gov/Business/Land/Mining/BureauofMiningPrograms/Bonding/Pages/BondRates.aspx. For background information and supporting documentation regarding bonding rate guidelines, contact the Bureau of Mining Programs, Division of Permitting and Compliance, P.O. Box 8461, Harrisburg, PA 17105-8461, (717) 787-5103.
Mine Sealing Costs
The mine sealing bond rate guidelines are presented in Table 2. Mine sealing and borehole sealing bond rate guidelines remain the same for 2019.
The bond rate guidelines in this notice become effective April 1, 2019.
Standard Bond Rate Guidelines for Year 2019
Unit Operation Unit Measure Unit Costs ($) Mobilization/Demobilization Job 4% of Direct Costs or $40,000, Whichever is Less Grading (< 500-foot push) Cubic Yard 0.90 Grading (≥ 500-foot push/haul) Cubic Yard 1.70 Selective Grading Acre 1,700.00 Revegetation Acre 2,000.00 Tree Planting Tree 0.75 Ditch Excavation Cubic Yard 6.70 Jute Matting Square Yard 2.50 High Velocity Erosion Control Square Yard 3.00 AASHTO No. 1 Ton 27.00 AASHTO No. 57 Ton 33.00 R3 Rock Lining Square Yard 31.00 R4 Rock Lining Square Yard 40.00 R5 Rock Lining Square Yard 31.00 Geotextile/Filter Fabric Square Yard 3.20 Subsurface Drain Lineal Foot 25.00 Erosion and Sedimentation Control (Temporary Installation) Job Lump Sum
(5% of Direct Costs for Site)
Pond Removal Active Phase1 Pond 3,800.00 Stage 3 Maintenance Bond Non-Cropland Areas (Land Uses Where Crop Yields are Not Required) Acre 100.00 Stage 3 Maintenance Bond Cropland (Not Row Crops) Pastureland or
Land Occasional Cut for Hay (Excludes Seed Cost)
Acre 550.00 Stage 3 Maintenance Bond
Cropland Area—Row Crops
(Includes Seed Cost)
Acre 840.00 Stage 3 Mobilization Job 2,500.00 Pond Removal—Stage 3 Cubic Yards
Plus Top Soiling and
Use < 500 Grading for Pond Embankment Volume Plus Top
Soiling and Revegetation Cost
for the Area Disturbed
Ditch Removal—Stage 3 Lineal Foot 0.75 Equipment Tire Removal and Disposal Tire 300.00 Structure Demolition Costs will be Calculated Using Costs Listed in the
Construction Industry's Latest Annual Cost Publications,
such as Means Building Construction Cost Data
Mine Sealing Bond Rate Guidelines for Year 2019
Sealing Bituminous Underground Mine Drift and Slope Openings Unit Operation Unit Measure Unit Costs ($) Concrete Work Cubic Yard 128.00 Masonry Work Square Foot 11.00 Fill Material and Earthwork2 Cubic Yard 23.00 Security Fencing Lineal Foot 29.00 Mobilization Cost Job 5% of Total Amount
Sealing Bituminous Underground Mine Shaft Openings Concrete Material Cubic Yard 96.00 Aggregate Material Cubic Yard 27.00 Fill Material and Earthwork2 Cubic Yard 4.00 Security Fencing Lineal Foot 29.00 Mobilization Cost Job 5% of Total Amount
Sealing Boreholes at Bituminous Underground Mines Dimension Minimum Cost Per Hole ($) Unit Cost ($) Per Lineal Foot 12-Inch or Less Diameter 1,500 5.50 Larger than 12-Inch Diameter 2,000 5.50
1 Unit cost not from BAMR bids; includes dewatering, grading, topsoil placement and revegetation.
2 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 an industry-standard cost estimation publication, for example, Means Estimating Handbook or Walker's Building Estimator's Reference Book.
Land Maintenance Financial Guarantee Fees for Year 2019
Fee Category Fee ($) Publication 1,000 Administrative 300
[Pa.B. Doc. No. 19-300. Filed for public inspection March 1, 2019, 9:00 a.m.]
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