Subchapter C. SURFACE COAL MINES: MINIMUM
REQUIREMENTS FOR INFORMATION ON
ENVIRONMENTAL RESOURCES


Sec.


87.41.    Responsibilities.
87.42.    General environmental resource information.
87.43.    Description of hydrology and geology: general requirements.
87.44.    Geology description.
87.45.    Groundwater information.
87.46.    Surface water information.
87.47.    Alternative water supply information.
87.48.    Climatology information.
87.49.    Vegetation information.
87.50.    Fish and wildlife resource information.
87.52.    Land use information.
87.53.    Prime farmland investigation.
87.54.    Maps, cross sections and related information.

Cross References

   This subchapter cited in 25 Pa. Code §  86.261 (relating to program services); 25 Pa. Code §  87.201 (relating to scope); 25 Pa. Code §  87.204 (relating to application for authorization); 25 Pa. Code §  87.205 (relating to approval or denial); and 25 Pa. Code §  87.206 (relating to operational requirements).

§ 87.41. Responsibilities.

 Each permit application shall contain a description of the existing, premining resources within the proposed permit and adjacent area that may be impacted or affected by the proposed surface mining activities. The description shall include all the information required in this subchapter.

Source

   The provisions of this §  87.41 adopted December 19, 1980, 10 Pa.B. 4789, effective July 31, 1982, 12 Pa.B. 2382; amended July 30, 1982, 12 Pa.B. 2473, effective July 31, 1982, 12 Pa.B. 2382.

Cross References

   This section cited in 25 Pa. Code §  86.81 (relating to program services).

§ 87.42. General environmental resource information.

 Each application shall describe and identify:

   (1)  The location and extent of the proposed surface mining activities for which a permit is being sought and an identification of the size, sequence and timing of those lands adjacent to the proposed permit area for which it is anticipated that individual permits for mining will be sought.

   (2)  The nature of archaeological, cultural and historic resources listed on or eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places and known archaeological sites within the permit and adjacent areas. The description shall be based on available information, including, but not limited to, data of the Historical and Museum Commission and local archaeological, historical and cultural preservation agencies. The Department may require the applicant to identify and evaluate important historic and archaeological resources that may be eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places, through one or more of the following:

     (i)   The collection of additional information.

     (ii)   The conducting of field investigations.

     (iii)   Other appropriate analysis.

Source

   The provisions of this §  87.42 adopted December 19, 1980, 10 Pa.B. 4789, effective July 31, 1982, 12 Pa.B. 2382; amended July 30, 1982, 12 Pa.B. 2473, effective July 31, 1982, 12 Pa.B. 2382; amended February 17, 1984, 14 Pa.B. 524, effective August 4, 1984, 14 Pa.B. 2860; amended June 25, 1993, effective June 26, 1993, 23 Pa.B. 3075. Immediately preceding text appears at serial pages (158823) to (158824).

Cross References

   This section cited in 25 Pa. Code §  86.81 (relating to program services).

§ 87.43. Description of hydrology and geology: general requirements.

 (a)  Each application shall contain a description, in accordance with this section and § §  87.44—87.47, of the geology, hydrology and water quality and quantity of lands within the proposed permit area, the adjacent area and the general area. The description shall include information on the characteristics of surface and groundwaters within the general area, and water which will flow into or receive discharges of water from the general area.

 (b)  Information on hydrology, water quality, and quantity and geology related to hydrology of areas outside the proposed permit area may be obtained from an appropriate Federal or State agency. If this information is not available from those agencies, the applicant may gather and submit this information to the Department as part of the permit application. However, the permit will not be approved until this information is made available in the application.

 (c)  The use of modeling or other predictive techniques may be included as part of the permit application, but the same surface and groundwater information may be required for each site as when models are not used.

Source

   The provisions of this §  87.43 adopted December 19, 1980, 10 Pa.B. 4789, effective July 31, 1982, 12 Pa.B. 2382; amended July 30, 1982, 12 Pa.B. 2473, effective July 31, 1982, 12 Pa.B. 2382.

Cross References

   This section cited in 25 Pa. Code §  86.81 (relating to program services).

§ 87.44. Geology description.

 Each application shall contain a description of the geology within the proposed permit and adjacent area down to and including the aquifer system that may be affected below the lowest coal seam to be mined including the following:

   (1)  The stratigraphy and results of test borings from the proposed permit area, identifying the location of subsurface water if encountered, lithologic and physical characteristics, and thickness of each stratum and coal seam, and the actual surface elevation of the drill holes.

   (2)  The structure within the proposed permit and its relation to the structure of the general area.

   (3)  Chemical analyses of the coal and overburden or a request for a waiver. The Department may waive the chemical analysis after making a written determination that it has equivalent information in a satisfactory form.

   (4)  Location, identification and status of other mining within or adjacent to the proposed permit area.

   (5)  Other analysis or test borings within the proposed permit or adjacent area that the Department deems relevant for evaluation of the impact of the proposed activities on the hydrologic balance.

Source

   The provisions of this §  87.44 adopted December 19, 1980, 10 Pa.B. 4789, effective July 31, 1982, 12 Pa.B. 2382; amended July 30, 1982, 12 Pa.B. 2473, effective July 31, 1982, 12 Pa.B. 2382.

Cross References

   This section cited in 25 Pa. Code §  86.81 (relating to program services); 25 Pa. Code §  86.261 (relating to program services); 25 Pa. Code §  87.43 (relating to description of hydrology and geology: general requirements); and 25 Pa. Code §  87.45 (relating to groundwater information).

§ 87.45. Groundwater information.

 (a)  The application shall contain a description of the groundwater hydrology for the proposed permit and adjacent area, including, at a minimum:

   (1)  The depths to groundwater over the general area.

   (2)  The hydrologic characteristics of the strata described in §  87.44 (relating to geology description).

   (3)  The uses of the groundwater.

   (4)  The chemical characteristics of groundwaters in the area, including a description of known groundwater quality problems. At a minimum, water quality descriptions shall include total dissolved solids or specific conductance corrected to 25°C, pH, total iron, total manganese, alkalinity, acidity and sulfates.

 (b)  The application shall contain additional information which describes the storage and discharge characteristics of the groundwater for the permit and the adjacent area and the quality and quantity of groundwater, according to the parameters and in the detail required by the Department.

Authority

   The provisions of this §  87.45 amended under the Surface Mining Conservation and Reclamation Act (52 P. S. § §  1396.1—1396.19a); The Clean Streams Law (35 P. S. § §  691.1—691.1001); and section 1920-A of The Administrative Code of 1929 (71 P. S. §  510-20).

Source

   The provisions of this §  87.45 adopted December 19, 1980, 10 Pa.B. 4789, effective July 31, 1982, 12 Pa.B. 2382; amended July 30, 1982, 12 Pa.B. 2473, effective July 31, 1982, 12 Pa.B. 2382; amended December 15, 1995, effective December 16, 1995, 25 Pa.B. 5821. Immediately preceding text appears at serial page (198932).

Cross References

   This section cited in 25 Pa. Code §  86.81 (relating to program services); 25 Pa. Code §  87.43 (relating to description of hydrology and geology: general requirements); and 25 Pa. Code §  87.69 (relating to protection of hydrologic balance).

§ 87.46. Surface water information.

 (a)  An application shall contain a description of the surface waters, including the name of the watershed which will receive water discharges, the location of surface water bodies, such as streams, lakes, ponds and deep mine discharges and seeps, the location of a water discharge into a surface body of water and descriptions of surface drainage systems sufficient to identify, in detail, the seasonal variations in water quantity and quality within the proposed permit and adjacent areas.

 (b)  Surface water information shall include the following:

   (1)  The surface elevations and rate of flow of springs, seeps and deep mine discharges located within and adjacent to the proposed permit area.

   (2)  Minimum, maximum and average discharge conditions which identify critical low flow and peak discharge rates or streams sufficient to identify seasonal variations.

   (3)  Water quality data to identify the characteristics of surface waters in, discharging into, or which will receive flows from surface water or groundwater from the proposed permit area, sufficient to identify seasonal variations, showing the following:

     (i)   Total dissolved solids in milligrams per liter or specific conductance in micromhos per centimeter corrected to 25°C.

     (ii)   Total suspended solids in milligrams per liter.

     (iii)   Acidity in milligrams per liter.

     (iv)   pH in standard units.

     (v)   Total iron in milligrams per liter.

     (vi)   Total manganese in milligrams per liter.

     (vii)   Alkalinity in milligrams per liter.

     (viii)   Sulfates in milligrams per liter.

     (ix)   Total aluminum in milligrams per liter.

     (x)   Other information as the Department determines relevant.

Authority

   The provisions of this §  87.46 amended under the Surface Mining Conservation and Reclamation Act (52 P. S. § §  1396.1—1396.19a); The Clean Streams Law (35 P. S. § §  691.1—691.1001); and section 1920-A of The Administrative Code of 1929 (71 P. S. §  510-20).

Source

   The provisions of this §  87.46 adopted December 19, 1980, 10 Pa.B. 4789, effective July 31, 1982, 12 Pa.B. 2382; amended July 30, 1982, 12 Pa.B. 2473, effective July 31, 1982, 12 Pa.B. 2382; amended June 15, 1990, 20 Pa.B. 3383, effective July 27, 1991, 21 Pa.B. 3316; amended December 15, 1995, effective December 16, 1995, 25 Pa.B. 5821. Immediately preceding text appears at serial pages (198932) to (198933).

Cross References

   This section cited in 25 Pa. Code §  86.81 (relating to program services); 25 Pa. Code §  87.43 (relating to description of hydrology and geology: general requirements); and 25 Pa. Code §  87.69 (relating to protection of hydrologic balance).

§ 87.47. Alternative water supply information.

 The application shall identify the extent to which the proposed surface mining activities may result in contamination, diminution or interruption of an underground or surface source of water within the proposed permit or adjacent area for domestic, agricultural, industrial or other legitimate use. If contamination, pollution, diminution or interruption may result, then the description shall identify the means to restore or replace the affected water supply in accordance with §  87.119 (relating to hydrologic balance: water rights and replacement).

Source

   The provisions of this §  87.47 adopted December 19, 1980, 10 Pa.B. 4789, effective July 31, 1982, 12 Pa.B. 2382; amended July 30, 1982, 12 Pa.B. 2473, effective July 31, 1982, 12 Pa.B. 2382.

Notes of Decisions

   The Environmental Hearing Board properly found that the operator of a surface coal mine was required to permanently provide compensation for the increased maintenance costs of an adjacent property owner’s well water supply and establish an individual trust or escrow account for such future costs. Carlson Mining Co., Inc. v. Department of Environmental Resources, 639 A.2d 1332 (Pa. Commw. 1994); appeal denied by 649 A.2d 676 (Pa. 1994).

Cross References

   This section cited in 25 Pa. Code §  87.43 (relating to description of hydrology and geology: general requirements); and 25 Pa. Code §  86.81 (relating to program services).

§ 87.48. Climatology information.

 When requested by the Department, the application shall contain a statement of the climatological factors that are representative of the proposed permit and adjacent area. The statement shall contain the information the Department deems relevant to ensure compliance with the requirements of this chapter.

Source

   The provisions of this §  87.48 adopted December 19, 1980, 10 Pa.B. 4789, effective July 31, 1982, 12 Pa.B. 2382; amended July 30, 1982, 12 Pa.B. 2473, effective July 31, 1982, 12 Pa.B. 2382.

§ 87.49. Vegetation information.

 Each application shall contain a description of the extent of cover, in percent ground cover, of the natural vegetation within the proposed permit area. When the postmining land use is wildlife habitat, the description shall include information adequate to establish the stocking standards of §  87.155(b)(2)(iii) (relating to revegetation: standards for successful revegetation). When requested by the Department, the application shall contain a map or aerial photograph that delineates existing vegetation types and a description of the plant communities within the proposed permit and adjacent area.

Source

   The provisions of this §  87.49 adopted December 19, 1980, 10 Pa.B. 4789, effective July 31, 1982, 12 Pa.B. 2382; amended July 30, 1982, 12 Pa.B. 2473, effective July 31, 1982, 12 Pa.B. 2382.

§ 87.50. Fish and wildlife resource information.

 An application shall include fish and wildlife resource information for the proposed permit area and adjacent area.

   (1)  The scope and level of detail for the information shall be determined by the Department in consultation with State and Federal agencies with responsibilities for fish and wildlife and shall be sufficient to design the protection and enhancement plan required under §  87.84 (relating to fish and wildlife protection and enhancement plan).

   (2)  Site-specific resource information necessary to address the respective species or habitats are required when the proposed permit area or adjacent area is likely to include one or more of the following:

     (i)   Listed or proposed endangered or threatened species of plants or animals or their critical habitats listed by the United States Secretary of the Interior under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, act of December 28, 1973 (Pub. L. No. 93-205) (87 Stat. 884), or species or habitats protected by Pennsylvania law or regulations, including species listed as threatened or endangered by the Game Commission and the Fish Commission.

     (ii)   Habitats of unusually high value for fish and wildlife, such as important streams, wetlands, riparian areas, cliffs supporting raptors, areas offering special shelter or protection, migration routes or reproduction and wintering areas.

     (iii)   Other species or habitats identified through agency consultation as requiring special protection under Pennsylvania or Federal law.

Source

   The provisions of this §  87.50 adopted June 15, 1990, 20 Pa.B. 3383, effective July 27, 1991, 21 Pa.B. 3316. Immediately preceding text appears at serial page (148620).

Cross References

   This section cited in 25 Pa. Code §  87.84 (relating to fish and wildlife protection and enhancement plan).

§ 87.52. Land use information.

 (a)  Each application shall contain a statement and map of the uses, conditions, capability and productivity of the land within the proposed permit area, including:

   (1)  The uses of the land existing at the time of application and, if the land use has changed within 5 years prior to time of application, the prior use of the land; and if the land has been previously mined and not reclaimed, the uses which preceded any mining.

   (2)  The capability of the land prior to any mining to support a variety of uses, giving consideration to soil and foundation characteristics, topography, vegetative cover and hydrology.

   (3)  The productivity of cropland, pastureland, land occasionally cut for hay or commercial forestland, expressed as average yield of food, fiber, forage or wood products. The productivity shall be determined by yield data or estimates for similar sites based on current data from the United States Department of Agriculture or the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture.

 (b)  Each application shall contain a description of the existing land uses and land use classifications under local law, if any, of the proposed permit and adjacent areas.

Source

   The provisions of this §  87.52 adopted December 19, 1980, 10 Pa.B. 4789, effective July 31, 1982, 12 Pa.B. 2382; amended July 30, 1982, 12 Pa.B. 2473, effective July 31, 1982, 12 Pa.B. 2382.

Cross References

   This section cited in 25 Pa. Code §  87.65 (relating to maps and plans).

§ 87.53. Prime farmland investigation.

 (a)  The applicant shall conduct a preapplication investigation of the proposed permit area to determine whether lands within the area may be prime farmland.

 (b)  Land will not be considered prime farmland if the applicant can demonstrate one of the following:

   (1)  The land has not been historically used as cropland.

   (2)  Other factors exist, such as a very rocky surface, or the land is frequently flooded during the growing season, more often than once in 2 years, and the flooding has reduced crop yields.

   (3)  On the basis of a soil survey of lands within the permit area, there are no soil map units that have been designated prime farmland by the United States Soil Conservation Service.

 (c)  If the investigation establishes that the lands are not prime farmland, the applicant shall submit with the permit application a request for a negative determination which shows that the land for which the negative determination is sought meets one of the criteria of subsection (b).

 (d)  If the investigation indicates that lands within the proposed permit area may be prime farmlands, the applicant shall contact the United States Soil Conservation Service to determine if a soil survey exists for those lands and whether the applicable soil map units have been designated as prime farmlands. If no soil survey has been made for the lands within the proposed permit area, the applicant shall cause a survey to be made.

   (1)  When a soil survey, as required in this subsection, contains soil map units which have been designated as prime farmlands, the applicant shall submit a soil survey of the proposed permit area according to the standards of the National Cooperative Soil Survey and in accordance with the procedures in the United States Department of Agriculture Handbooks 436 (Soil Taxonomy, 1975) and 18 (Soil Survey Manual, 1951) as amended. The soil survey shall include a map unit and representative soil profile description as determined by the United States Soil Conservation Service for each prime farmland within the proposed permit area unless other representative descriptions from the locality, prepared in conjunction with the National Cooperative Soil Survey, are available and their use is approved by the State Conservationist, United States Soil Conservation Service.

   (2)  When a soil survey, as required in this subsection, contains soil map units which have not been designated as prime farmland after review by the United States Soil Conservation Service, the applicant shall submit a request for negative determination for nondesignated land with the permit soil survey establishing compliance with subsection (b).

Source

   The provisions of this §  87.53 adopted December 19, 1980, 10 Pa.B. 4789, effective July 31, 1982, 12 Pa.B. 2382; amended July 30, 1982, 12 Pa.B. 2473, effective July 31, 1982, 12 Pa.B. 2382; amended June 15, 1990, 20 Pa.B. 3383, effective July 27, 1991, 21 Pa.B. 3316. Immediately preceding text appears at serial pages (148621) to (148622).

Cross References

   This section cited in 25 Pa. Code §  86.37 (relating to criteria for permit approval or denial); 25 Pa. Code §  87.83 (relating to prime farmlands); and 25 Pa. Code §  87.181 (relating to prime farmland: revegetation).

§ 87.54. Maps, cross sections and related information.

 (a)  A permit application shall contain maps and plans of the proposed permit and adjacent area showing the following:

   (1)  The boundaries and the name of present owners of record of land, both surface and subsurface, for the proposed permit and adjacent lands; and the boundaries of the land within the proposed permit area which the applicant has the legal right to enter and begin surface mining activities.

   (2)  The boundaries of the land to be affected.

   (3)  The boundaries of the areas proposed to be affected over the estimated total life of the proposed operation.

   (4)  The location, names of the owners and present occupants, and the current use of the buildings on and within 1,000 feet of the perimeter of the proposed permit area.

   (5)  The location and the names of public roads, railroads, utility lines and other surface and subsurface manmade features within or adjacent to the proposed permit area.

   (6)  The location and the name of current public and private surface water supplies that have intakes on the receiving stream within 10 miles downstream of the proposed permit area, public water supplies on or within 1/2 mile of the affected area and private water supplies on or within 1,000 feet of the proposed permit area.

   (7)  The location of monitoring stations and the location and elevation of springs and wells.

   (8)  The boundaries of land within the proposed permit or adjacent area identified in Chapter 86, Subchapter D (relating to areas unsuitable for mining) as unsuitable, limited or prohibited to mining.

   (9)  The boundaries of a public park and location of cultural or historical resources listed on or eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places and known archaeological sites within the permit and adjacent area.

   (10)  Each public or private cemetery or Indian burial ground located in or within the permit or adjacent area.

   (11)  Land within the proposed permit and adjacent area which is within the boundaries of the National Trails System or the Wild and Scenic Rivers System, including study rivers designated under section 5(a) of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act (16 U.S.C.A. §  1276(a)).

   (12)  The drainage area above and below the proposed permit area and the location and names of the surface water bodies such as streams, lakes, ponds, springs, constructed or natural drains, and irrigation ditches within the affected and adjacent areas.

   (13)  The municipality or township and county and, if in a township, the nearest municipality.

   (14)  The elevation and location of test borings and core samplings.

   (15)  The nature, depth and thickness of the coal or rider seams and each stratum of overburden to the depth of the stratum immediately below the lowest coal seam to be mined.

   (16)  All coal crop lines, and the strike and dip of the coal to be mined.

   (17)  The ownership, if known, location and extent of known workings of active, inactive and abandoned underground mines including mine openings, and the extent of deep mine pools and discharge points to the surface within the proposed permit and adjacent areas.

   (18)  The location and extent of existing or previously surface-mined areas.

   (19)  The location and areal extent of existing areas of spoil, waste and noncoal waste disposal, dams, embankments, other water treatment and air pollution control facilities within the proposed permit area.

   (20)  The location and depth, if available, of gas and oil wells within the proposed permit area.

   (21)  Sufficient slope measurements to adequately represent the existing land surface configuration of the proposed permit area, measured and recorded according to the following:

     (i)   Each measurement shall consist of an angle of inclination along the prevailing slope extending 100 linear feet above and below or beyond the coal outcrop or the area to be disturbed, or, when this is impractical, at locations specified by the Department.

     (ii)   The measurements shall extend at least 100 feet beyond the limits of mining disturbances, or another distance determined by the Department to be representative of the premining configuration of the land, when the area has been previously mined.

     (iii)   Slope measurement shall take into account natural variations in slope, to provide accurate representation of the range of natural slopes and reflect geomorphic differences of the area to be disturbed.

   (22)  The location of each haul road and access road and appropriate cross sections, design drawings and specifications for road widths, gradients, surfacing materials, cuts, fill embankments, culverts, bridges, drainage ditches and drainage structures for each road to be constructed, used or maintained within the proposed permit area, but not including roads within the pit or on unreclaimed spoil areas.

   (23)  Other information the Department deems relevant.

 (b)  Maps, plans and cross sections required by this section shall be accurately surveyed and on a scale satisfactory to the Department, not less than 1:25,000 and in a manner satisfactory to the Department. The maps or plans and cross sections shall be prepared and certified by a qualified registered professional engineer, qualified registered land surveyor or qualified registered professional geologist with assistance from experts in related fields.

Authority

   The provisions of this §  87.54 amended under the Surface Mining Conservation and Reclamation Act (52 P. S. § §  1396.1—1396.19a); The Clean Streams Law (35 P. S. § §  691.1—691.1001); and section 1920-A of The Administrative Code of 1929 (71 P. S. §  510-20).

Source

   The provisions of this §  87.54 adopted December 19, 1980, 10 Pa.B. 4789, effective July 31, 1982, 12 Pa.B. 2382; amended July 30, 1982, 12 Pa.B. 2473, effective July 31, 1982, 12 Pa.B. 2382; amended June 15, 1990, 20 Pa.B. 3383, effective July 27, 1991, 21 Pa.B. 3316; amended June 25, 1993, effective June 26, 1993, 23 Pa.B. 3075; amended December 15, 1995, effective December 16, 1995, 25 Pa.B. 5821. Immediately preceding text appears at serial pages (198937) to (198938).

Cross References

   This section cited in 25 Pa. Code §  86.81 (relating to program services); and 25 Pa. Code §  86.261 (relating to program services).



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