February 17, 2000 MRAB Regulation, Legislation and Technical Committee Executive Summary

The MRAB Regulation, Legislation and Technical Committee held a meeting on Thursday, February 17, in the 14th Floor Conference Room of the Rachel Carson State Office Building, Harrisburg. Twenty-seven people attended, including 12 MRAB board members and/or alternates, 10 DEP employees, and representatives of EPCAMR, ARIPPA, the Pennsylvania Anthracite Counsel, OSM and the industry. The meeting was called to further discuss conventional or full cost bonding. Handouts included the Draft Technical Guidance: Full Cost Bonding for Land Reclamation - Coal (Document Number 563-2504-001) and the Permit Forfeiture and Land Reclamation Status Report (for the period July 31, 1982 to November 30, 1999). Department staff were present to answer questions. Aspects of conventional bonding as well as specific components of the Full Cost Bonding Initiative were discussed. The committee anticipates meeting at least once more before the next full board meeting on April 27. The committee decided to meet on March 17 in Indiana, PA (location to be announced).

During the January 6 MRAB meeting, the board requested OSM (Federal Office of Surface Mining) to attend this committee meeting. The purpose was to discuss OSM work in the bonding area and OSM activities related to bonding in other states. On February 16, OSM informed the Department Mr. Biggi was on travel in Birmingham, Alabama and would not be able to attend the committee meeting. The committee specifically requested that Bob Biggi of OSM attend this meeting.

Key Obligations:

  1. The Department was asked to critique the Draft Technical Guidance as it applies to new permits only.
  2. The Department was asked to determine the dollar amount needed to make the current fund solvent.
  3. The Department was asked to share the written responses to the questions posed at the Legislative Hearing on Wednesday, February 16.
  4. The Department was asked to prepare a synopsis of the Department's February 24 meeting with the Surety Companies in Pittsburgh.
  5. Even though the draft PGM is not officially out for comment, the Department again invited and encouraged written comments.