OFFICE OF SURFACE MINING RECLAMATION AND ENFORCEMENT
COALEX Research Reports are the products of research and analysis conducted on specific issues relating to the regulation of Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977. The research is conducted in response to requests for information from State Regulatory Authorities, under a cooperative agreement between the Office of Surface Mining (OSM) and the Interstate Mining Compact Commission (IMCC).
COALEX refers to the Library of Surface Mining Materials maintained by OSM in LEXIS-NEXIS and is a major source for the research.
Each Report includes a list of resources which were sent as attachments to the individual who requested the research. To obtain a copy of the attachments or to obtain any additional information, click here.
Christine Stein-Koenig, Esquire
Maryland Department of the Environment
Office of the Attorney General
2500 Broening Highway
Baltimore, Maryland 21224
SEARCH RESULTS: Research was conducted using the COALEX Library, as well as other legal, administrative and published materials in LEXIS. Items identified during the research are discussed below. Copies are attached.
On November 2, 1988, OSM issued a final rule clarifying "the circumstances whereby a regulatory authority may terminate regulatory jurisdiction under a regulatory program" approved under SMCRA (53 FR 44356). As described in the preamble:
"This final rule requires the regulatory authority either to make a written determination that the permittee has met all reclamation requirements, or to decide to release fully a permanent program performance bond before regulatory jurisdiction over the reclaimed site of a completed surface coal mining and reclamation operation, or increment thereof, or of a coal exploration can be terminated."
"The regulatory authority is vested with the authority to determine that reclamation has been completed."
"An operator's obligations...and regulatory authority jurisdiction...simultaneously terminate at the time of proper final bond release...because the period of extended responsibility will have run, all reclamation obligations will have been met successfully and, by definition in the statute, as surface mining and reclamation operation no longer exists. Liability...for a failure of reclamation, however, may be subject of a Secretarial or regulatory authority inquiry or a civil suit...[A] regulatory authority will be required to reassert jurisdiction if it can be shown that the bond release was based upon fraud, collusion, or any other misrepresentation of a material fact at the time of bond release."
DIRECTIVE: "Use of Wetland Treatment Systems for Coal Mine Drainage", Transmittal No. 468, Subject No. TSR-10 (September 8, 1988).
This directive established guidelines for the use of wetlands.
45 FR 49872 (JULY 25, 1980) and EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 11990, 42 FR 26961 (MAY 25, 1977).
Both of these documents focus on the protection of existing wetlands.
ARTICLES FROM COAL AND RELATED PUBLICATIONS
Chironis, "Mine-Built Ponds Economically Clear Acid Mine Waters", Coal Age, Jan., 1987, at 58.
"New studies show that properly designed and constructed wetlands outfitted with cattails and other marsh plants can efficiently and inexpensively treat discharges of acid mine water."
"Nature Treats Tainted Runoff", Engineering News-Record, Sept. 17, 1987, at 26.
"[T]he Tennessee Valley Authority is creating larger projects to microbiologically treat seepage from ash generated by its coal-fired powerplants."
"Moss Tested to Remove Manganese from Mine Drainage", Coal Age, Sept., 1984, at 28.
John Burris, a researcher at Pennsylvania State University, is experimenting with the use of sphagnum moss in settling ponds to remove manganese and iron from mine water discharges.
Chironis, "R & D Aims at Safer, Faster Mining", Coal Age, Feb., 1984, at 60.
"The Bureau of Mines' [research and development] programs will pay off well in 1984 with practical innovations. But the bureau is being restricted to more basic research."
"Build Your Own Bog to Neutralize Acid Mine Drainage", Coal Age, June, 1983, at 77.
Gerald Lang and R. Kelman Wieder, researchers at West Virginia University, are seeking "an expensive way to neutralize acid-laced water from coal mines."
"Use of Wetlands May Solve Acid Mine Drainage Problem", Coal Week, Nov. 22, 1982, at 3.
Gerald Lang was awarded a grant to "examine the use of natural and artificial freshwater wetlands in controlling acid mine drainage."
"Stopping Acid Mine Drainage", Chemical Engineering, Nov. 1., 1982, at 35.
"Bacteria and chemicals are featured in new methods for checking water pollution caused by drainage from coal mines in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia."
BLACK FOX MINING & DEVELOPMENT CORP., 2 IBSMA 110, IBSMA 80-28 (June 6, 1980) and
BLACK FOX MINING & DEVELOPMENT CORP. v OSM, Docket No. CH 9-172-R (Jan. 28, 1980).
The Interior Board of Surface Mining and Reclamation Appeals affirmed the Administrative Law Judge's finding that OSM had shown that "surface drainage left the permit area."
[NOTE: Additional information on "mining off the permit area" may be found in State Inquiry Reports 105 ("Bond forfeiture - relationship of bond to permitted area") and 102 ("Forfeiture of reclamation bonds; liability period").]
Research conducted by: Joyce Zweben Scall