Chronology of Significant Events Relating to Pennsylvaniaís Bonding Program

and Record of Recent Activities

The glossary below provides information on selected organizations and individuals referenced in the detailed chronology.

 

Organization

Description

Key Personnel

Mining Reclamation Advisory Board (MRAB)

Established by law to provide input to DEP on mining issues

Members are drawn from the House, Senate, the anthracite and bituminous mining industry, and the environmental community

Fred Wolf, Chairman

Citizens Advisory Council (CAC)

The Council provides input to DEP on environmental issues

The CAC holds five of the membership positions on the MRAB

Office of Surface Mining (OSM)

The federal agency responsible for the oversight of implementation of Pennsylvaniaís coal mining program

Kathy Karpan, Director

Al Klein, Regional Director

Bob Biggi, Director, Harrisburg Field Office

Pennsylvania Coal Association (PCA)

Membership is comprised of surface and deep bituminous coal operations

George Ellis, President

Gary Slagel, Chairman of PCAís Technical Committee

Pennsylvania Anthracite Council (PAC)

Membership is comprised of anthracite operators

Fred Wolf

ARIPPA

Represents the independent power producers

Billie Ramsey, Executive Director

 

 

 

Date

Activity

Contacts

Description

DEP Participants

2/16/2000

Hearing

House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee

Follow-up discussion on Full-Cost Bonding proposal

Dolence, Jarrett, Roberts, Fletcher

2/15/2000

Meeting

Mike Young, (PCA)

Discuss Full-Cost Bonding details.

Roberts

2/3/2000

Meeting, Greensburg

PCA and many operators

Discuss Full-Cost Bonding

Roberts, Jarrett

2/2/2000

Correspondence

Office of Surface Mining

Full-Cost Bonding issues

Jarrett

2/2/2000

Meeting

Fred Wolf MRAB Chairman

Anthracite issues related to Full-Cost Bonding

Roberts and Pottsville district Office staff

2/1/2000

Meeting and conference call

ARIPPA's Billie Ramsey, Bruce Tetosky, Todd Lawton, and others by conference call.

Discuss Full-Cost Bonding

Roberts

1/27/2000

Meeting

John Blaschak, Fisher Mining.

Review impact of Full-Cost Bonding on specific sites

Roberts

1/24/2000

Meeting

Dave Osikowicz., Original Fuels, Inc. and Chairman, MRAB Technical Committee

Review impact of Full-Cost Bonding on specific sites

Roberts

1/18/2000

Field Visit

MRAB Chairman Fred Wolf

Helicopter overview of Anthracite Coal fields

Roberts and Pottsville District Office staff

1/14/2000

Correspondence

 

Received copies of Bureau of Waste Managementís bonding guidelines for comparison.

Roberts

1/11/2000

Phone Call

Kurt Tipton, Rockwood Insurance Company

Interview on surety issues

Roberts

1/6/2000

Meeting, Harrisburg

MRAB

Discussed Full-Cost Bonding proposal

Roberts, Jarrett, Dolence, Fletcher

12/20/1999

Correspondence

R. S. Means & Associates

Sent copy of draft Full-Cost Bonding proposal for RFP on Confirmation of Practice

Roberts

12/14/1999

Hearing

House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee

Discussed Full-Cost Bonding proposal

Dolence, Jarrett

12/6/1999

Meeting, Pittsburgh

OSM legal and program staff

Discussed Pennsylvania program amendment regarding trust funds

Jarrett, Fletcher, Pizarchik, Reiley

12/6/1999

Research

 

Internet search of OSM requirements in other states.

Roberts

12/3/1999

Meeting

TJS Mining; Stitt Coal Company; Joseph Imler, Evergreen Insurance; Kurt Tipton, Rockwood Insurance Company, and W. D. Mohney & Associates

Discuss Full-Cost Bonding and review examples

Roberts

11/23/1999

Phone Call

Joel Elbert, Geotech

Discuss Sky Haven sites in Clearfield County and costs for reforestation.

Roberts

11/18/1999

Meeting, McMurray

OSM legal and program staff

Discussed Pennsylvania program amendment regarding trust funds

Jarrett, Fletcher, Pizarchik, Reiley

11/12/1999

Phone Call

Pennsylvania Anthracite Council

Discussed Full-Cost Bonding and Anthracite sites

Roberts

11/12/1999

Phone call

Keith Smith (KY), Ron Robinson (VA), and Bob Baker (OH)

Discussed bonding requirements

Roberts

11/10/1999

Phone Call

Robert Scott, PBS Coal

Discussed Full-Cost Bonding.

Roberts

11/10/1999

Phone call

John Ailes

Discussed West Virginia bonding requirements

Roberts

11/9/1999

Phone call

Mark Carney

Discussed Maryland bonding requirements

Roberts

11/4/1999

Meeting

Amerikohl

Discussed Full-Cost Bonding and reviewed examples

Roberts

11/3/1999

Meeting, Pittsburgh

OSM legal and program staff

Discussed Pennsylvania program amendment regarding trust funds

Rod

11/1/1999

Phone call

Pennsylvania Anthracite Council, PCA, and Amerikohl.

Follow-up discussion on Full-Cost Bonding proposal

Roberts

10/28/1999

Meeting, Meadowlands

Pennsylvania Anthracite Council, PCA, Independent Power Producers Association (ARIPPA), MRAB Chairperson Fred Wolfe, and the following operators: Blaschak Coal Corporation, Fisher Mining Co, Kocher Coal, Beth Energy, State Industries, Inc., PBS Coal, Amerikohl Mining, Inc., CONSOL, Reading Anthracite Co.

Discussed Full-Cost Bonding proposal

Dolence, Roberts, Jarrett, Fletcher

10/8/1999

Meeting

Hank Ingram (PCA attorney)

Discussed industry positions on full-cost bonding and OSMís position on bonding issues.

Jarrett

10/8/1999

Phone Call

Bob Biggi (OSM)

Discussed OSMís involvement in completing bond pool study.

Jarrett

10/6/1999

Phone Call

Al Klein (OSM)

Discussed DEPís decision to propose conventional bonding.

Jarrett

10/6/1999

Phone Call

Bob Biggi (OSM)

Discussed DEPís decision to propose conventional bonding. Discussed the need for a response from OSM on outstanding Questions.

Jarrett

9/29/1999

Phone Call

John Stilley, Amerikohl

Discussed possible impact of full cost bonding.

Jarrett

9/29/1999

Meeting

Barbarita (Marsh)

Discussed surety industry concerns. Started planning for surety industry meeting

Jarrett

9/22/1999

Meeting

OSM, TetraTech(OSM contractor), Slagel

Discussed DEPís proposed use of trust funds to help resolve AMD/bonding issue.

Jarrett

9/16/1999

Phone Call

PCA/OSM/DEP

Discussed roles in resolving bonding issues. Discussed OSMís contract status with TetraTech to develop options to resolve AMD/bonding issues.

Jarrett

9/16/1999

Phone Call

Mike Young (PCA)

Request for information on significant discharges with bonding problems.

Jarrett

9/14/1999

Meeting

George Ellis

Discussed PCA committee working on bonding issues. Again, requested PCA to work with DEP. Cautioned Ellis that if PCA didnít start working with DEP, DEP would be forced to make unilateral decisions.

Jarrett

9/13/1999

Correspondence

Al Klein (OSM)

Requested clarification on OSMís position to various issues related to the bonding program

Jarrett

9/13/1999

Phone Call

Al Klein (OSM)

Proposed stakeholder process to identify solutions to bonding issues.

Jarrett

9/6/1999

Phone Call

John Stilley, Amerikohl

Discussed the need for the AMD/bonding issue to be resolved at the national level.

Jarrett

9/1/1999

Meeting

PCA Technical Committee

Discussed status of bonding program evaluation

Fletcher, Jarrett, Dolence et al

8/3/1999

Phone Call

Al Klein (OSM)

Discussed PHC/CHIA issues as they relate to AMD/bonding litigation.

Jarrett

8/3/1999

Phone call

Bob Biggi (OSM)

Discussed PHC/CHIA issues as they relate to AMD/bonding litigation.

Jarrett

8/2/1999

Meeting

PCA

Solicited input from PCA on how to resolve AMD bonding issues.

Jarrett

7/30/1999

Meeting

OSM staff

Discussed steps DEP is taking to resolve the bonding issue.

Jarrett

7/27/1999

Phone Call

Al Klein (OSM)

Discussed OSM position on bonding issues as they relate to pending litigation.

Jarrett

7/27/1999

Phone Call

Bob Biggi (OSM

Discussed status of cooperative efforts to characterize the extent of AMD/bonding problem.

Jarrett

7/23/1999

Phone Call

Bob Biggi (OSM)

Discussed cooperative efforts to properly characterize scope of AMD/bonding problem.

Jarrett

7/23/1999

Phone Call

Robert Scott, PBS Coal

Discussed various options to resolve bonding issues.

Jarrett

7/21/1999

Phone Call

Al Klein (OSM)

Discussed AMD/bonding regarding pending litigation.

Jarrett

7/20/1999

Phone Call

John Stilley, Amerikohl

Discussed options to resolve bonding issues. Stilley supports full cost bonding provided it is properly developed and implemented.

Jarrett

7/20/1999

Phone Call

Mike Young (PCA)

Discussed scope of AMD/bonding inventory on primacy sites.

Jarrett

7/19/1999

Phone Call

Al Klein (OSM)

Discussed issues regarding OSMís pending decision on DEPís proposal to use trust funds to resolve AMD/bonding issue.

Jarrett

7/19/1999

Phone Call

Hank Ingram (PCA Attorney)

Discussed DEPís position on AMD/bonding issues related to pending litigation.

Jarrett

7/16/1999

Phone Call

Bob Biggi (OSM)

Discussed PHC/CHIA issues as they relate to deep mine bonding issues.

Jarrett

7/15/1999

Meeting

OSM/DEP/Citizens

Discussed AMD/bonding issues

Jarrett, Dolence, Fletcher, others

7/14/1999

Meeting

OSM/DEP

Discussed AMD/bonding issues

Jarrett, Dolence, Fletcher, others

7/9/1999

Phone Call

Bob Biggi (OSM)

Discussed DEP comments on OSMís RFP to develop solutions to AMD/bonding problem.

Jarrett

7/6/1999

Phone Call

Al Klein (OSM)

Discussed use of AML funds to treat pre-existing discharges on forfeited primacy sites. Klein confirmed that such use is allowable.

Jarrett

7/2/1999

Phone Call

Bob Biggi (OSM)

Discussed DEPís needs to be incorporated into OSMís RFP to develop solutions to AMD/bonding problem. Discussed possible use of AML funds to supplement forfeited primacy remining sites.

Jarrett

6/29/1999

Phone Call

George Ellis (PCA)

Discussed meeting with OSM regarding bonding issues.

Jarrett

6/29/1999

Phone Call

George Ellis (PCA)

Discussed meeting schedules/agendas.

Jarrett

6/22/1999

Meeting, Washington

Kathy Karpan and OSM staff

Discussed resolution of 732 issues regarding bonding.

Dolence, Jarrett, Fletcher and others

2/4/1999

Meeting, Somerset

PCA

Discussed the AMD/bonding issue, the initiatives on improving the trust fund concept, and requested help from PCA in developing solutions.

Jarrett

9/28/1998

Correspondence

PCA

AMD bonding problem and discussion of considerations that may be used to help resolve problem. Request for PCA participation

Jarrett

5/20/1998

Meeting, State College

Fred Wolf

Discussed wide pit bonding draft PGM, and improvements/ideas on the use of trust funds.

Jarrett

7/10/1997

Meeting

MRAB

Reported to MRAB updating database of permits having AMD discharges. Reported over $100 million in reclamation bonds not being released due to AMD problems.

DEP staff

5/20/1997

Meeting

PCA

Discussed various issues with PCA Technical Committee including full-cost bonding

DEP staff including Dolence, Jarrett, Fletcher

4/24/1997

Meeting

MRAB

MRAB passed motion forwarding recommendations of ""Ad Hoc"" committee to DEP.

 

2/21/1997

Meeting

MRAB Ad Hoc Committee

MRAB ""Ad Hoc"" committee met to discuss a May 1996 draft report to the Governor titled Alternative Financing Mechanisms for the Perpetual Treatment of Post-Mining Discharges. Committee developed 8 recommendations for improving the report.

Fletcher, Shuster and others

9/11/1995

Correspondence

PCA

Department provided responses to talking points (included full-cost bonding for postmining discharges) identified by PCA at their August 23, 1995 annual meeting.

 

10/20/1994

Report

 

""Report of the Mining and Reclamation Advisory Board to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Resources, January 1993 to October 1994."" The Bonding Committee identified the adequacy of bonding for land reclamation as an area of concern.

 

1/6/1994

Report

MRAB AD Hoc Committee

The Ad Hoc Committee reported that it had reviewed the Report to the Governor dated September 24, 1993. The purpose of this committee is to examine the adequacy of bonding to meet the requirements of the Commonwealth.

 

10/28/1993

Report

 

Department reported that the actuarial study was completed in July.

 

9/24/1993

   

Department completed the ""Report to Governor Robert P. Casey on Alternative Financing Mechanisms for the Perpetual Treatment of Post-Mining Discharges"". This report states that ""there has been a concern over the past few years that the bond program was insufficiently funded to complete the reclamation plan at forfeited mine sites.""

 

9/23/1993

   

Department completed report to Governor titled ""Alternative Financing Mechanisms for the Perpetual Treatment of Postmining Discharges.

 

8/7/1993

   

Notice published in the Pa. Bulletin of final rulemaking increasing the reclamation fee from $50/acre to $100/acre.

 

8/4/1993

   

Actuarial study of coal mining bonding program submitted to MRAB and EQB.

 

7/28/1993

   

Actuarial study of coal mining bonding program submitted to OSM.

 

7/16/1993

   

Actuarial study of coal mining bonding program completed by Milliman & Robertson, Inc.

 

7/6/1993

   

OSM published notice in the Federal Register announcing approval of rulemaking increasing the reclamation fee from $50/acre to $100/acre.

 

4/27/1993

   

Department responded to PCAís April 5, 1993 letter.

 

4/5/1993

   

PCA submitted a letter to DEP expressing concerns for implementing site-specific trust fund alternative to bonding for postmining discharges.

 

1/7/1993

   

Department reported that the recommendation to increase the reclamation fee from $50 to $100 will be presented to the EQB. The actuarial study is underway.

 

10/16/1992

   

Report of the Mining and Reclamation Advisory Board, July 11, 1991 ĖĖ October 16, 1992. One key resolution was to recommend increasing the reclamation fee from $50 to $100. The report also mentions OSMís 732 letter that identified deficiencies in the Pennsylvania alternate bonding system with regard to reclamation and postmining discharges.

 

7/30/1992

   

BMR Director provided testimony to the House Conservation Committee relating to the acid mine drainage problem. Testified that the total estimated annual cost of treatment of AMD discharges is between $32-46 million.

 

5/30/1992

   

Notice published in the Pa. Bulletin of proposed rulemaking increasing the reclamation fee from $50/acre to $100/acre.

 

4/15/1992

   

The MRAB Bonding Committee reported its discussions on the OSM study and impacts on the surety industry.

 

12/6/1991

   

Department responded to OSMís ""732"" letter. (Administrative Record #PA 802.01)

 

10/24/1991

   

The MRAB Bonding Committee reported its discussions on the marginal status of the reclamation fund. One concept was to use site-specific bonds to reflect the actual cost of reclamation and to possibly eliminate reclamation fees.

 

10/1/1991

   

OSM submitted ""732"" letter to Department indicating the alternative bonding no longer meets federal requirements. (Administrative Record #PA 802.00)

 

7/11/1991

   

The MRAB Bonding Committee reported that raising the bond rate was not an alternative to increasing the reclamation fee from $50 to $100. The MRAB discussed the draft OSM Bonding Program Evaluation Report including reclamation fees and full-cost bonding.

 

4/26/1991

   

Report of the Mining and Reclamation Advisory Board, April 19, 1990 - April 26, 1991. Report identifies the adequacy of the Pennsylvania bonding program as a future issue to be discussed.

 

3/1/1991

   

OSM Harrisburg Field Office completed an evaluation of PAís alternative bonding program.

 

1/10/1991

   

MRAB Bonding Committee report stated that the Bonding Committee agreed that funding [for bond forfeitures] is marginal. The Bonding Committee debated raising bond rates. The bond adequacy report was discussed under pending issues. This reportís primary focus is on postmining discharges but included a discussion of the adequacy of the bonding pool.

 

5/29/1990

   

CAC provided Department with comments on Departmentís Evaluation of Pennsylvaniaís Alternative Bonding Program.

 

4/5/1990

   

Report of the Mining and Reclamation Advisory Board January 1989 - April 1990. This report indicated that bonding was a major subject over this reporting period, and mentioned a DER evaluation of the existing bonding program to determine if bond rates are adequate to reclaim forfeited mine lands.

 

5/20/1988

   

Department provided a report to the Bonding Advisory Board titled ""Bond Rate Guidelines and Bonding Alternatives"".

 

2/23/1988

   

Department established a Bonding Advisory Board comprised of the MRAB subcommittee on bonding and the Coal Work Group subcommittee on bonding.

 

11/21/1985

Meeting

PCA Board of Directors

Department Secretary briefed PCA Board of Directors on bonding/ bond amounts (in addition to other subjects) to include referencing Department testimony before the House Mines and Energy Management Committee concerning a bill to raise bond amounts to minimum of $7,500/acre.

 

7/30/1981

   

PA Federation of Sportsman Club filed lawsuit relating to bonding program.