Summary of FCB Comments
Analysis by DEP indicates the FCB can be implemented without changes to statute or regulation. If this is true, what assurance does industry have that it won't be changed again in a year or two?
Why do this? FCB is not necessary.
FCB will cause more forfeitures and less industry reclamation of AML via remining.
FCB will result in a loss of jobs.
Why hasn't OSM developed some national standards for bonding programs to eliminate potential disparities?
The FCB will upset the status quo with other states and create a disparity that will place the states industry at a competitive disadvantage.
Under FCB, is it possible to get permits issued using the minimum bond?
What's the hurry?
Change the implementation to apply FCB to new sites only.
What is the time framework for adoption of the FCB?
Increased bond amounts lower the profit margins and decrease an operator's ability to raise capital. But to post increased bond amounts, the company will need more capital to collateralize the bond.
Is self-bonding a possibility?
Can the FCB be modified to allow the operator to draw down on the collateral posted to finance site reclamation?
What will happen with the per acre reclamation fee?
With the FCB, the $0.35 cents per ton federal fee is even more of a burden.
Prevailing wage makes state reclamation costs higher than industry reclamation costs. They should not be included in the BRGs.
The BRGs should include values from surety and private industry reclamation projects.
Can there be credits for reclaiming AML?
How will disputes between operators, consultants, and DEP reviewers be settled?
Is topsoil counted twice?
In calculation of the site-specific bond amount, is it possible to include compensatory factors, e.g. compliance history?
Yearly mapping requirements are burdensome.
Reporting is too restrictive. The MCI should ID the problem in advance.
Be careful using a GPA for monitoring because of accuracy concerns.
On larger operations that employ large pits, the Stage I bond release of 60% of the total will result in having more bonds on the site between Stages I and II than currently are needed.
The $500 per acre amount required after Stage II is to high for minor repairs. $250 per acre is more reasonable.
The FCB will encourage mining of virgin areas by avoiding sites with existing highwalls and higher OB ratios.