Increase in the Special Account for Remining Financial Guarantees
[43 Pa.B. 1660]
[Saturday, March 23, 2013]
The Remining Financial Guarantee Program (Program) is a remining incentive authorized by an amendment to the Commonwealth's Surface Mining Conservation and Reclamation Act (52 P. S. §§ 1396.1—1396.196) in August 1996. 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 million in 2006 and by another $200,000 to $1.2 million in 2010.
Chapter 86 of 25 Pa. Code (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 guarantee each year.
Since the inception of the Program, coal mine operators in this Commonwealth have reclaimed 3,522.6 acres of abandoned mine land saving the Commonwealth approximately $21,135,600 in reclamation costs and paid more than $1.3 million in fees.
The act of October 24, 2012 (P. L. 1276, No. 157) (Act 157) authorized the transfer of an additional $500,000 to the Remining Financial Assurance Fund. Effective immediately, the Department of Environmental Protection will increase the special account by $500,000 to $1.7 million. 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 $500,000 to the special account the maximum limits for the Program will be $510,000 per operator and $170,000 per permit effective immediately. The current limits are $360,000 per operator and $120,000 per permit. The increase in the allocated funding is a result of the additional funding included in Act 157.
For background information and supporting documentation regarding remining financial guarantees, contact the Bureau of Mining Programs, Division of Monitoring and Compliance, P. O. Box 8461, Harrisburg, PA 17105-8461, (717) 787-5103.
MICHAEL L. KRANCER,
[Pa.B. Doc. No. 13-516. Filed for public inspection March 22, 2013, 9:00 a.m.]
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