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PA Bulletin, Doc. No. 11-387


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

[41 Pa.B. 1258]
[Saturday, March 5, 2011]

 The Department of Environmental Protection (Department) announces the 2011 bond rate guidelines for anthracite and bituminous coal mining operations. These rates become effective April 1, 2011. 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: http://www.elibrary.

 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.

 These bond rate guidelines do not apply to bonds ensuring 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 (52 P. S. §§ 1406.1—1406.21).

General Methodology

 The Department developed the bond rate guidelines for 2011 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 1998-2010. For most categories, a 3-year (2008-2010) average was used to calculate the guidelines. Some categories required another approach due to limited data. For example, there were no contracts in 2009 or 2010 that included selective grading. Therefore, a 4-year average was used for the 2010 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 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 3. There has been no change in these rates for 2011.

 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.

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 2011.

Effective Date: The bond rate guidelines in this notice become effective April 1, 2011.

Table 1

Standard Bond Rate Guidelines
for Year 2011

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     0.80
Grading (>=500-foot push/haul) Cubic Yard     1.00
Selective Grading Acre 1,050.00
Revegetation Acre 1,470.00
Tree Planting Tree     0.15
Ditch Excavation Cubic Yard     4.25
Jute Matting Square Yard     3.50
High Velocity Erosion Control Square Yard     3.00
AASHTO No. 1 Ton    24.00
AASHTO No. 57 Ton    25.00
R3 Rock Lining Square Yard    26.00
R4 Rock Lining Square Yard    20.00
R5 Rock Lining Square Yard    20.00
Geotextile/Filter Fabric Square Yard     1.75
PVC Lining1
Square Yard    12.00

Subsurface Drain Lineal Foot    16.00
Erosion and Sedimentation
Control (Temporary Installation)
Job Lump sum
(5% of direct costs for site)
Pond Removal Active Phase2
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   450.00
Stage 3 Maintenance Bond
Cropland Area-Row Crops
(includes seed cost)
Acre   650.00
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.

Table 2

Mine Sealing Bond Rate Guidelines
for Year 2011

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 & Earthwork3
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 Earthwork3 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

Table 3

Land Maintenance Financial Guarantee Fees
for Year 2011

Fee Category Fee ($)
Publication $1,000.00
Administrative   $300.00

Acting Secretary

[Pa.B. Doc. No. 11-387. Filed for public inspection March 4, 2011, 9:00 a.m.]


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 an industry-standard cost estimation publications, for example, Means Estimating Handbook or Walker's Building Estimator's Reference Book.

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