TITLE 25. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION

 

CHAPTER 89. UNDERGROUND MINING OF COAL AND COAL PREPARATION FACILITIES

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Subchapter F. SUBSIDENCE CONTROL

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89.142. Maps.

(a) General mine map. The application shall include maps prepared under the supervision of and certified by a qualified registered professional engineer or qualified registered professional land surveyor drawn to a scale of 1 inch = 500 feet in a manner satisfactory to the Department, updated as requested by the Department, showing the items in this subsection. The requirements of paragraphs (2)-(7) may be satisfied by referencing the maps required by Subchapter B (relating to operations).

(1) The boundaries of areas proposed to be affected over the estimated total life of the mining activity, with a description of the size, sequence and time of the mining of subareas of the mine.

(2) The surface and coal elevations and the location of test borings and core samplings.

(3) Coal crop lines and the contours of the coal seam to be mined within the permit and adjacent areas.

(4) The location and extent of known workings of active, inactive or abandoned, underground or surface mines, including identification of the coal seams mined and mine openings to the surface within, above and below the proposed adjacent and permit areas.

(5) The portrayal of major aquifers on cross sections.

(6) The area covered by the subsidence control plan submitted under  89.141(d) (relating to application requirements) with the following information identified:

(i) The boundaries of lands and names of current surface owners of record and known subsurface owners.

(ii) Public buildings and noncommercial structures customarily used by the public including churches, schools, AND hospitals, and municipal utilities and municipal public service operations, indicating those buildings which were in place as of April 27, 1966, and identifying these features by a numerical reference.

(iii) Dwellings and cemeteries, indicating IDENTIFIED by numeral NUMERICAL reference those which were in place as of April 27, 1966.

(iv) Urbanized areas, cities, towns, communities and adjacent industrial or commercial buildings.

(v) Public parks and historic structures.

(vi) Other s Structures which are entitled to support-including support acquired under section 15 of The Bituminous Mine Subsidence and Land Conservation Act (52 P. S.  1406.15)-and identifying them IDENTIFIED by numerical reference.

(vii) Major electric transmission lines and pipelines, including identification by name or numerical reference.

(viii) Public roads and railroads.

(ix) Surface water bodies, including perennial streams, lakes, ponds, dams and impoundments with a volume of 20 acre-feet or more, indicating by numerical reference those perennial streams and other bodies of water which are a significant source for a public water supply.

(x) Coal refuse disposal areas identified by numerical reference, solid and hazardous waste disposal areas, and other air and water pollution control facilities.

(xi) Gas, oil and water wells, identified by numerical reference.

(xii) Mine surface operations and facilities.

(xiii) Landslide prone areas.

(xiv) Aquifers which serve as a significant source for a public water supply system, identified by numerical reference.

(xv) Political subdivisions.

(7) Areas over the proposed mine where the overburden is 100 feet or less.

(b) Six-month maps. The operator shall submit mining maps to the Department every 6 months. The maps shall:

(1) Be drawn to a scale of 1 inch = 100 feet or 1 inch = 200 feet.

(2) Be prepared under the supervision of and certified by a qualified registered professional engineer or qualified registered professional land surveyor.

(3) Show the area of mining projected for the next 6 months.

(4) Show the area of mining affected over the last 6 months, including pillar locations, and the areas abandoned or completed within the last 6 months.

(5) Provide the following information:

(i) The location and identifying number for structures and surface features required to be identified by number in subsection (a)(6).

(ii) The location and identifying number of structures and surface features required to be identified by number in subsection (a)(6), which have appeared since the permit application.

(iii) The location of features described in subsection (a)(6)(iv) and (viii).

(iv) The location of surface boundaries and identification of surface owners of record and the owner of record of the coal seam being mined.

(v) The boundaries of the projected mining area and within that area the designation of coal areas to be mined and coal areas to be left unmined, including: A description for areas to be supported by the pillar plan required by  89.143(b)(3) (relating to performance standards), coal left in place in compliance with other statutes including those listed in  89.141(d)(4) and identification of other areas of planned and controlled subsidence.

(vi) Existing mine workings adjacent to the projected mining area, including a designation of any survey stations, elevations of the bottom of the coal seam and areas of geographical faults.

(vii) Other information as requested in accordance with the policies and procedures of the Department.

(c) After the Department has determined that the 6 month map is in accordance with the subsidence control plan, the operator shall file a copy of the map with the Recorder of Deeds for each county in which mining is projected, and submit to the Department proof of this filing.

(d) No mining may occur until it is shown as projected mining on the maps required by this subsection and the maps have been on file with the Recorder of Deeds' office for 10 days.

 

89.143. Performance standards.

(a) General requirements. Underground mining activities shall be planned and conducted in accordance with the following:

(1) The subsidence control plan required by  89.141(d) (relating to application requirements) and be consistent with the postmining land use protected by  89.88 (relating to postmining land use).

(2) The performance standards in subsections (b)-(f).

(3) No underground mining activity will be authorized beneath structures where the depth of overburden is less than 100 feet, with the exception of mine related openings to the surface such as entries, shafts and boreholes and site specific variances for entry development as approved by the Department.

(4) The mine operator shall adopt and describe to the Department in his permit application measures to maximize mine stability; however, this subsection does not prohibit planned subsidence in a predictable and controlled manner or the standard method of room and pillar mining.

(b) Prevention of damage. Requirements are as follows:

(1) Underground mining activities shall be planned and conducted in a manner which prevents subsidence damage to the following:

(i) Public buildings and noncommercial structures customarily used by the public, including churches, schools and hospitals.

(ii) Dwellings, cemeteries, municipal public service operations and municipal utilities, in place on April 27, 1966.

(iii) (ii) Impoundments and other bodies of water with a storage capacity of 20 acre feet or more.

(iv) (iii) Aquifers, perennial streams and bodies of water which serve as a significant source for a public water supply system, as defined in the Pennsylvania Safe Drinking Water Act (35 P. S.  721.1-721.17).

(v) (iv) Coal refuse disposal areas authorized by permits issued under Chapter 90 (relating to coal refuse disposal).

(2) The damage prohibited by this subsection includes the cracking of walls, foundations and monuments, the draining of aquifers, perennial streams or other bodies of water which serve as a significant source for a public water supply system, as defined in the Pennsylvania Safe Drinking Water Act and the weakening of impoundments and embankments. Damage to structures described in paragraph (1)(i) and (ii) need not be prevented if done with the consent of the current owner.

(3) The measures adopted to comply with this subsection shall consist of one of the measures in subparagraph (i) or (ii).

(i) The support area beneath the structure or surface feature to be protected where coal extraction is limited to 50%, and the following:

(A) The support area shall consist of pillars of coal of a size and in a pattern which maximizes bearing strength and is approved by the Department.

(B) The support area shall be rectangular in shape and determined by projecting a 15 angle of draw from the surface to the coal seam beginning 15 feet from either side of the structure. For a structure on a slope of 5% or greater, the support area on the downslope side of the structure shall be extended an additional distance determined by multiplying the depth of the overburden by the percentage of the surface slope. A pillar lying partially within the support area shall be considered part of the support area and be consistent with the other support pillars in size and pattern.

(C) The area between the two support areas shall be treated as a support area, when the distance between the two support areas is less than the depth of the overburden.

(D) More stringent measures may be imposed or mining may be prohibited, if the measures fail to prevent subsidence damage.

(ii) Alternative measures, including full extraction techniques which result in planned and controlled subsidence, may be adopted where the operator demonstrates that the proposed measures are at least as effective in the prevention of subsidence damage as those described in this subsection. In support of the demonstration the Department may require:

(A) Premining and postmining elevation surveys of a nearby area which core samples demonstrate to be geologically similar to the area of the protected surface features.

(B) A history of mining in the surrounding area and a report listing claims of subsidence damage resulting from the mining.

(C) An engineering report on the damage to be expected from the proposed mining pattern.

(D) The operator to initiate a monitoring program to detect surface movement resulting from the mining operation. The program shall consist of monitors placed sufficiently in advance of the mining so that the mining can be stopped before the protected surface features are damaged; in calculating this distance a 25 angle of draw shall be used.

89.144. Public Notice.

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(c) The notices to be sent to property owners may include a statement as to an individual’s right to acquire support under Section 15 of the Bituminous Mine Subsidence and Land Conservation Act (52 P.S. 1406.15)

(d)(c) ***

 

89.145. Surface owner protection.

(a) The operator shall correct material damage resulting from subsidence caused to surface lands including perennial streams as protected under  89.143(d) (relating to performance standards), to the extent technologically and economically feasible, by restoring the land to a condition capable of maintaining the value and reasonably foreseeable uses which it was capable of supporting before subsidence.

(b) Within 10 days of being advised of a claim of subsidence damage to a structure or surface feature, either under this section or section 6(a) of The Bituminous Mine Subsidence and Land Conservation Act (52 P. S.  1406.6(a)), the operator shall provide the Department with a report of the claim which shall include the following information:

(1) The date of the claim.

(2) The name, address and telephone number of the owner of the structure, surface feature or surface land claimed to be damaged.

(3) The number assigned to the structure or feature under  89.142(a)(6) (relating to maps).

(4) A mine map, scale 1 inch = 100 feet or 200 feet, showing the structure, feature or surface land and the extent of mining either beneath or adjacent to it.

(5) Other information pertinent to the investigation.

 

89.146. Payment of damages. RESERVED.

Settlement of claims filed under section 6(a) of the Bituminous Mine Subsidence and Land Conservation Act (52 P. S.  1406.6(a)), shall be made within 6 months of the filing of the claim. The operator may postpone the time for satisfying the claim by depositing with the Department an amount as determined by the Department equal to the reasonable cost of remedying the damage. The deposit shall be held in escrow until the operator submits evidence that the claim has been settled. Failure to satisfy claims under  89.145(a) (relating to surface owner protection) or section 6(a) of the Bituminous Mine Subsidence and Land Conservation Act requires the Department to suspend or revoke the operator's mining permit.