April 24, 1997


Members Present: Fred Wolf, Chairman, David Strong, Jack Chamberlin, Howard Laur, Pat Krommes, Duane Feagley, George Ellis, Sue Wilson, Sue Germanio, David Osikowicz


Also present were: Rod Fletcher, Evan Shuster, & Albert Dalberto from the Bureau of Mining and Reclamation; Joe Pizarchik, Office of Chief Counsel; Joe Sieber, Office of Policy; Alan Tamm, Gannett Fleming; Rod Kelley, Office of Mineral Resources Management.


The meeting was called to order at 9:00 a.m.


The Bureau of Mining and Reclamation (BMR) presented two documents to be discussed. They were: Technical Guidance Document for Beneficial Uses of Coal Ash and Certification Guidelines for Beneficial Uses of Coal Ash. These documents were developed due to the revised uses of Coal Ash. They were put out for comments and the Bureau hopes to have the final guidelines by the end of May.


Certification Guidelines for Beneficial Uses of Coal Ash:


This document outlines the guidelines for certifying coal ash for beneficial uses. It also provides the forms the Department will use to determine if the coal ash is being used beneficially.


Several comments by the board members were:


Unannounced spot checks by DEP personnel may help with quality control


Operators should allow access to samples for more quality control checks


The ground water at the site should be monitored as well to be sure the ash is being applied properly.


There was a question about the amount of time between inspections. It was suggested that the Department visit the sites using ash every six months. By incorporating the use of unannounced checks as well it will be easier to ensure that the operator is properly using the coal ash. The guidelines are written for the use of ash as a soil additive to help sustain vegetation. BMR staff pointed out that if the coal ash is going to be used as anything other than a liming agent the operator must provide a justification for that use.


Technical Guidance for Beneficial Uses of Coal Ash:


This document outlines the four beneficial uses of coal ash that the Department will approve at either active mine sites or for reclamation at abandoned sites. There was only one concern among the members and that was that the language in this document could be more stringent than the federal regulations. There was a suggestion that the first sentence in Section A, Coal Ash Placement, be changed to reflect the federal laws more effectively. BMR staff will look into changing the wording of the sentence.


Chapter 86, Postmining Discharges/Licensing and Bonding:


BMR staff only handed out the changes to the draft proposed rulemaking that were a result of the comments made by the Independent Regulatory Review Commission (IRRC). The main concern of the IRRC was the calculations used to determine the financial assurances for the long-term treatment of postmining discharges. As a result, BMR incorporated the use of an index to determine the interest and inflation figures. By using a formula instead of specific numbers the need for a periodic review will be eliminated. This draft rulemaking package will be presented to the EQB for final rulemaking on June 17. The sub-committee will recommend to the full board to accept the changes as presented by BMR.



The meeting was adjourned at 11:00 a.m.