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PA Bulletin, Doc. No. 08-454


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

[38 Pa.B. 1313]
[Saturday, March 15, 2008]

   The Department of Environmental Protection (Department) announces the 2008 bond rate guidelines for anthracite and bituminous coal mining operations. These rates become effective April 1, 2008. 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 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 web site at the following link:

   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 or to bonds ensuring compliance with the requirements of the Bituminous Mine Subsidence and Land Conservation Act (52 P. S. §§ 1406.1--1410d).

General Methodology

   The Department developed the bond rate guidelines for 2008 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 1998-2007. For most categories, a 3-year (2005-2007) average was used to calculate the guidelines. Some categories required another approach due to limited data. For example, there were no contracts in 2004, 2005 or 2007 that included R3 rock used for channel lining. Therefore, a 5-year average was used for R3 Rock Lining.

   In general, the bond rate for a given unit operation is the weighted average of the three lowest total bids for each contract. However, grading costs were calculated using the number of bids at a cost per cubic yard frequency distribution and a weighted total number of cubic yards at a cost per cubic yard frequency distribution, in combination with the averages and a cost trend analysis.

   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 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'' or ''Walker's Building Estimator's Reference Book.''

   The fees associated with the Land Maintenance Bond Program are presented in Table 2. There has been no change in these rates for 2008.

   The bond rate guidelines are available electronically 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 April 1, 2008.

Standard Bond Rate Guidelines
For Year 2008

         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 1.20
Selective Grading Acre 1,600.00      
Revegetation Acre 1,530.00      
Tree Planting Tree 0.15
Ditch Excavation cubic yard 5.50
Jute Matting square yard 3.25
High Velocity Erosion Control square yard 2.80
R3 Rock Lining square yard 18.00  
R4 Rock Lining square yard 24.00  
R5 Rock Lining square yard 19.50  
Geotextile/Filter Fabric square yard 2.00
PVC Lining1 square yard 11.00  
Subsurface Drain lineal foot 13.00  
Pond Removal Active Phase2 Pond 3,920.00      
Erosion and Sedimentation Control
   (Temporary Installation)
Job Lump sum (5% of direct costs for site)
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 600.00   
Stage 3 Maintenance Bond Cropland Area--Row    Crops (includes seed cost) Acre 800.00   
Stage 3 Mobilization Job 2,500.00      
Pond Removal--Stage 3 Cubic yards (Embankment volume) Plus Topsoiling and Revegetation Cost Use < 500 grading for pond embankment volume plus Topsoiling 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.

   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.


Land Maintenance Financial Guarantee Fees
For Year 2008

Fee Category Fee ($)
Publication $1,000
Administrative $300


[Pa.B. Doc. No. 08-454. Filed for public inspection March 14, 2008, 9:00 a.m.]

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