MINING AND RECLAMATION ADVISORY BOARD
October 21, 1999
Delaware Room, 16th Floor RCSOB
Members in attendance: Fred Wolf, Chairman; Jack Chamberlin; George Ellis (alternate); Duane Feagley (alternate); Sue Germanio (alternate); David Osikowicz; Mark Snyder; David Strong; Sue Wilson (alternate); Mike Young (alternate).
Others in attendance: Timothy Bruno (Brockway Analytical), Wayne Crawford (PA House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee [R]), Robert Dolence, Tom Callaghan, Rod Fletcher, Mike Getto, Ernie Giovannitti, Dave Hogeman, Ted Kopas, Todd Lawton (U.S. Generating Company), Charles Miller (Allegheny Energy), Harold Miller, Joe Moscovitz (National Institute for Environmental Renewal [NIER]), Jo Mullendore (Allegheny Energy), Billie Ramsey, Marc Roda, Natalie Shepherd, Joe Sieber.
Meeting Called to Order
The meeting was called to order at 10:00 a.m. Chairman Wolf opened the meeting and introduced those in attendance.
The first order of business was to adopt the minutes of the previous quarterly board meeting of July 1 - 2, 1999. Mark Snyder moved that the minutes be accepted. It was seconded by Jack Chamberlin. MOTION CARRIED.
The next order of business was to select tentative meeting dates for the year 2000. The board unanimously agreed on the following dates: January 6, April 27, July 6 - 7 (field trip - location to be announced), and October 26. All meetings except for the field trip will be held in the Delaware Room of the Rachel Carson State Office Building. Dave Osikowicz moved that these meeting dates be adopted. It was seconded by Jack Chamberlin. MOTION CARRIED.
The third order of business was to choose a new logo for the board's letterhead. The members were asked to select one logo from the four examples provided them. The logo receiving the most votes will be placed on the board's new letterhead.
Beneficial Use of Ash for Mine Reclamation
Presented by Billie Ramsey, Executive Director of the Association of Independent Power Producers (ARIPPA)
Billie Ramsey, Executive Director of ARIPPA, made the first presentation. Billie provided an overview of a potential EPA ruling that would prohibit the use of various types of coal ash for mine reclamation and ARIPPA's activities in this matter which include presenting testimony, submitting written comments to EPA, meeting with EPA, inviting EPA to tour some of the sites; and encouraging numerous state legislators, OSM, and the Coal Caucus to submit written comments to EPA. Their next step is to begin meeting with members of the Pennsylvania Congressional Delegation. EPA is still accepting comments; a regulatory determination will not be made until March 10, 2000. The MRAB voted unanimously to submit a letter to EPA endorsing the beneficial use of fossil fuel combustion ash for mine reclamation (copy attached). Mark Snyder moved that the letter be prepared. It was seconded by Dave Osikowicz. MOTION CARRIED.
Annual Report Committee
Presented by Dave Hogeman, Chief, Division of Environmental Analysis and Support, Bureau of Mining and Reclamation
Dave reported that the Annual Report Committee has met twice since the last MRAB quarterly meeting in July and has produced a draft annual report (June 1998 to June 1999), which is currently being reviewed and edited by the committee members. The Annual Report Committee, chaired by Mike Young, consists of Fred Wolf, and Sue Wilson. Dave Hogeman, Ted Kopas and Natalie Shepherd with the Department are assisting. The draft annual report will be forwarded to the board members within the next two months and voted on at the next full board meeting on January 6, 2000.
Policy Committee: The Policy Committee had nothing to report.
Presented by Dave Strong, Chairperson, Reclamation Committee
Before any report was given, the board voted unanimously to change the name of the "Ad Hoc Committee on Reclamation Issues" to "Reclamation Committee." The committee is no longer ad hoc in nature; its work is ongoing. Dave then reported that additional Bark Camp data has been reviewed. The Reclamation Committee recommended to the board that technical staff from the Department be invited to MRAB meetings to talk about new technologies that have been successful in mine reclamation. This recommendation was referred to the Regulation, Legislation and Technical Committee for further review and follow-up.
Regulation ReviewProposed Revisions to Blasting Regulations, 25 PA. Code Chapters 210 and 211
The Regulation, Legislation and Technical Committee had met on August 10 in Harrisburg to further review the proposed blasting regulations after the July 1 - 2, 1999 quarterly MRAB meeting. Mike Getto, of DEP's Bureau of Mining and Reclamation, provided a summary of the significant issues that were discussed at the August 10 meeting and the Department's responses. Some changes were made to the proposed blasting regulations as a result of that meeting and that revised package was presented to the board for its approval. The MRAB voted unanimously to approve the proposed blasting regulations, with the stipulation that the board's approval letter to the Department contain the board's position on the following two issues: placement of the seismograph "at the nearest home" and third party analysis in monitoring. Mark Snyder made the motion. It was seconded by Dave Osikowicz. MOTION CARRIED.Proposed Revisions to Coal Refuse Disposal Activities Regulations, 25 Pa. Code Chapters 88 and 90
After Tom's presentation, the MRAB unanimously voted to refer these proposed regulatory packages to the Regulation, Legislation and Technical Committee for its review and then report back to the full board at its meeting on January 6, 2000. The Regulation, Legislation and Technical Committee will meet on November 17 at 8:00 a.m. in the Rachel Carson State Office Building to discuss these regulations, as well as new technologies to be presented to the board at future meetings. Sue Wilson made the motion. It was seconded by Jack Chamberlin. MOTION CARRIED.
Program Activity UpdatesReclaim PA
Dave reported that October 23 marks the one-year anniversary of Reclaim PA. The Department will be conducting two ceremonies in commemoration of this day. The first ceremony is being held to award two grants totaling almost $400,000 to Stream Restoration, Inc. to address acid mine drainage (AMD) problems in Slippery Rock Creek. Deputy Secretary Dolence will be making the award at the Jennings Environmental Education Center on October 22. Funding for these awards comes from a legislative appropriation to DEP of $962,000 to address AMD problems. The second ceremony will be on held on October 25 to commemorate the signing of the first Government Financed Construction Contract (GFCC) which is with ACV Power and involves surface reclamation and AMD abatement at the abandoned Soldier No. 1 Deep Mine in Winslow Township, Jefferson County. GFCCs were made possible through an amendment to Pennsylvania's Abandoned Mine Reclamation Plan, which was approved by the Office of Surface Mining in March.Bark Camp
Ernie reported that the Bureau of Abandoned Mine Reclamation has another project at Bark Camp, which is in the beginning stages. The Department will be bringing in municipal incinerator ash and mixing it with Pennsylvania dredge material from Parker Dam State Park near the Bark Camp site. On October 25, the Department is going to start bringing in the ash, preparing it and putting it on the site. Right now the Department is building a pad with a liner (that will slope away from the highwall towards the middle) on which the municipal incinerator ash and dredge material will be placed. The pad will be about 150' long by 300' wide, which will accommodate all the material that the Department will be taking from the state park. The Department's contractor finally got a contract from the New Jersey Port Authority for 325,000 yards of dredge material (from New York Harbor). The Department hasn't tested all of the material and doesn't have any results back yet. The Department will have to test the rest of the material in situ and if the material is okay, will probably start transporting it in the spring.Reed and Strattanville
Ernie reported that last summer the Bureau of Abandoned Mine Reclamation was assigned the job of reclaiming this site. The Department decided to put out a request for proposal (RFP) to have consultants both design and construct a project. One of the key elements in the RFP is to have the contractor supply a 100% construction cost bond that the Department will hold for five years after the job has been completed to ensure that the technology being utilized at the site works. The Department had a pre-proposal conference on September 1 which 30 consultants attended. On October 20, the Department toured the site with eight interested consultants. The discharges and the surface area that need to be reclaimed on both sides of the road were viewed. The deadline for submitting proposals is December 15. A contract will be awarded sometime next spring (April is the target date) with construction beginning shortly thereafter.Legislative Updates
H.B. 866, Attorney's Fees: The bill is still in the House. It came out of the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee in June. The Department is not sure if the House wants to take it up right now. The Department is looking for an appropriate vehicle to attach it to, in order to get it through, using the same language that came out of the House.
H.B. 867, Watershed Restoration and Partnership Act: This bill has had numerous amendments proposed to it and as a result, the future direction of this legislation is in question. Sue Germanio asked if H.B. 867 could be combined with H.B. 868 to facilitate its passage and Pam indicated that this was a possibility.
H.B. 868, Good Samaritan: On October 19, this bill was amended by the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee and moved out of the committee by unanimous vote. There was no discussion on the bill. It is believed this bill will be passed by the first week in December. There seems to be good bipartisan support.
H.B. 1546, Coal Conversion Amendment: Pam indicated that she did not feel that this bill would receive serious consideration during this session.
S.B. 800, Growing Greener: Senator White and Senator Musto offered a bipartisan amendment to S.B. 800 which provides for a $125 million a year for five years that would cover all of the areas that the Governor's Growing Greener proposal is attempting to address. There was a unanimous bipartisan vote coming out of the Senate and the Governor has said that Growing Greener is his highest priority for the fall legislative session. Leadership in the House and Senate are in agreement and would like to get something done this fall also.
Chairman Wolf's birthday is today. Happy birthday!
Next Meeting Date and Location
Date: January 6, 2000
Location: Delaware Room, 16th Floor, Rachel Carson State Office Building, Harrisburg
Dave Strong moved that the meeting be adjourned. It was seconded by Sue Wilson. MOTION CARRIED. The meeting adjourned at 2:00 p.m.