Rates to be Used for Calculating Long-Term Operation and Maintenance Cost Bonds for Water Supply Replacement Mining Operations
[49 Pa.B. 994]
[Saturday, March 2, 2019]
The Department of Environmental Protection (Department) announces the rates to be used to calculate bond amounts for water supply replacement operation and maintenance costs for anthracite and bituminous coal and industrial mineral mining operations. The authority for bonding 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), The Bituminous Mine Subsidence and Land Conservation Act (52 P.S. §§ 1406.1—1406.21), the Noncoal Surface Mining Conservation and Reclamation Act (52 P.S. §§ 3301—3326) and the regulations promulgated thereunder at 25 Pa. Code Chapters 77 and 86 (relating to noncoal mining; and surface and underground coal mining: general).
The rates are used in calculating the water supply operation and maintenance bond amounts for replacement water supplies affected by activities at mining operations including surface mines, coal refuse disposal sites, coal refuse reprocessing sites, coal processing facilities, underground coal mining operations and industrial mineral surface mines. The procedures for calculating water supply operation and maintenance bonds are described in Technical Guidance 562-4000-102, ''Increased Operation and Maintenance Costs of Replacement Water Supplies,'' which is available on the Department's eLibrary web site at www.elibrary.dep.state.pa.us.
The Department may review the adequacy of bonds on existing permits 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.
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%. For the rate of return, the interest rate for the 20-year Treasury bill as reported by the Federal Reserve was averaged for the calendar years 2014—2018 resulting in a rate of 2.7%.
For background information and supporting documentation regarding the rates, contact the Bureau of Mining Programs, Division of Permitting and Compliance, P.O. Box 8461, Harrisburg, PA 17105-8461, (717) 787-5103.
The rates in this notice will become effective on April 1, 2019. They will remain in effect until new rates are published. It is anticipated that these new rates will be published in February 2020, to be effective April 1, 2020.
[Pa.B. Doc. No. 19-303. Filed for public inspection March 1, 2019, 9:00 a.m.]
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