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§ 30.55. Applications

Purdon's Pennsylvania Statutes and Consolidated StatutesTitle 52 P.S. Mines and MiningEffective: February 20, 2001

Purdon's Pennsylvania Statutes and Consolidated Statutes
Title 52 P.S. Mines and Mining (Refs & Annos)
Chapter 2. Coal Refuse Disposal Control Act (Refs & Annos)
Effective: February 20, 2001
52 P.S. § 30.55
§ 30.55. Applications
(a) Applications for permits shall be in writing and shall be made on a form prescribed, prepared and furnished by the department and shall set forth such information and be accompanied by such data as the department may require including but not limited to maps, geological reports, soil reports, design and operational plans, and shall be prepared by or under the supervision of and bear the seal and signature of a registered professional engineer or professional geologist, with assistance from experts in related fields.
(b) The department is authorized to charge and collect from persons and municipalities in accordance with rules and regulations reasonable fees for applications filed and for permits issued.
(c) The application shall specify the manner in which topsoil and subsoil will be conserved and restored.
(d) The application shall include a statement specifying whether or not disposal of coal refuse in deep mines and inactive, abandoned or unreclaimed surface mines is proposed for the operation, and if not, detailing the reasons why underground disposal was not proposed. Subject to the provisions of subsection (g) of this section, unless the applicant demonstrates to the satisfaction of the department that such disposal will be economically or technically infeasible, the operator shall maximize disposal of coal refuse by underground disposal.
(e) The application shall also set forth the manner in which the operation will establish on the areas proposed to be affected a diverse, effective, and permanent vegetative cover of the same seasonal variety native to the area of land to be affected and capable of self-regeneration and plant succession at least equal in extent of cover to the natural vegetation of the area: Provided, however, That introduced species may be used in the vegetation process where desirable and necessary to achieve the approved postmining land use plan. The application shall in addition set forth the manner in which the operation will achieve a final contour of the coal refuse disposal area which will be compatible with natural surroundings.
(f) The application shall include a statement of the uses and productivity of the land proposed to be affected, and a statement of the land use proposed for the affected area after reclamation is completed. No post-operational land use or uses shall be approved unless the application demonstrates that the use or uses are likely to be achieved, are proposed in the operator's permit application as the post-operational land use for the affected area, do not present any actual or potential threat to public health or safety, or any actual or potential threat of water contamination, diminution, interruption or pollution, are consistent with applicable land use policies and plans and involve no unreasonable delay in implementation.
(g) The application shall also set forth the manner in which the operator plans to comply with the requirements of the act of January 8, 1960 (1959 P.L. 2119, No. 787),1 known as the “Air Pollution Control Act,” the act of June 22, 1937 (P.L. 1987, No. 394),2 known as “The Clean Streams Law,” the act of November 26, 1978 (P.L. 1375, No. 325),3 known as the “Dam Safety and Encroachments Act,” the act of May 31, 1945 (P.L. 1198, No. 418),4 known as the “Surface Mining Conservation and Reclamation Act,” and where applicable the act of July 31, 1968 (P.L. 788, No. 241),5 known as the “Pennsylvania Solid Waste Management Act” or the act of July 7, 1980 (No. 97),6 known as the “Solid Waste Management Act.” No approval shall be granted unless the plan provides for compliance with the statutes hereinabove enumerated, and failure to comply with the statutes hereinabove enumerated during mining or thereafter shall render the operator liable to the sanctions and penalties provided in this act for violations of this act and to the sanctions and penalties provided in the statutes hereinabove enumerated for violations of such statutes. Such failure to comply shall be cause for revocation of any approval or permit issued by the department to the operator: Provided, however, That a violation of the statutes hereinabove enumerated shall not be deemed a violation of this act unless this statute's provisions are violated but shall only be cause for revocation of the operator's permit. Nothing in this subsection, however, shall be construed to limit the department's authority to regulate activities in a coordinated manner. Compliance with the provisions of this subsection and with the provisions of this act and the provisions of the statutes hereinabove enumerated shall not relieve the operator of the responsibility for complying with the provisions of all other applicable statutes, including but not limited to the act of July 17, 1961 (P.L. 659, No. 339),7 known as the “Pennsylvania Bituminous Coal Mine Act,” the act of November 10, 1965 (P.L. 721, No. 346),8 known as the “Pennsylvania Anthracite Coal Mine Act,” and the act of July 9, 1976 (P.L. 931, No. 178),9 entitled “An act providing for emergency medical personnel; employment of emergency medical personnel and emergency communications in coal mines.”
(h) For those lands in the permit application which a reconnaissance inspection suggests may be prime farmlands, a soil survey shall be made or obtained by the permit applicant according to standards established by the United States Secretary of Agriculture in order to confirm the exact location of any such farmlands. The department shall grant a permit to affect prime farmland only after consultation with the United States Department of Agriculture and only if the Department of Environmental Resources finds in writing that the operator has the technological capability to restore such affected area, within a reasonable time, to equivalent or higher levels of yield as nonaffected prime farmland in the surrounding area under equivalent levels of management and can meet such soil reconstruction standards as the department may by rule and regulation prescribe.
(i) Public notice of every application for a permit or bond release under this act shall be given by notice published in a newspaper of general circulation, published in the locality where the permit is applied for, once a week for four consecutive weeks. The department shall prescribe such requirements regarding public notice and public hearings on permit applications and bond releases as it deems appropriate. For the purpose of these public hearings, the department shall have the authority and is hereby empowered to administer oaths, subpoena witnesses or written or printed materials, compel the attendance of witnesses, or production of witnesses, or production of materials, and take evidence including but not limited to inspections of the land proposed to be affected and other operations carried on by the applicant in the general vicinity. Each applicant for a permit under this act shall file a copy of his application for public inspection with the recorder of deeds at the courthouse of the county or an appropriate public office approved by the department where the coal refuse disposal is proposed to occur. Should any person having an interest which is or may be adversely affected by any action of the department under this subsection, or by the failure of the department to act upon an application for a permit, he may proceed to lodge an appeal with the Environmental Hearing Board in the manner provided by law, and from the adjudication of said board he may further appeal as provided by Title 2 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes (relating to administrative law and procedure).
(j) Permit applications shall specify how the coal refuse disposal area will be maintained.
(k) Permits shall specify how the operation shall provide for stability within the meaning of this act.
(l) All papers, records, and documents of the department, and applications for permits pending before the department, shall be public records open to inspection during business hours: Provided, however, That information which pertains only to the analysis of the chemical and physical properties of the coal (excepting information regarding such mineral or elemental content which is potentially toxic in the environment) shall be kept confidential and not made a matter of public record.
(m) The application for a permit shall include, upon a form prepared and furnished by the department, the written consent of the landowner to entry upon any land to be affected by the operation of the operator, by the Commonwealth and by any of its authorized agents prior to the initiation of coal refuse disposal operations, during coal refuse disposal operations, and for a period of five years after the operation is completed or abandoned for the purpose of reclamation, planting and inspection or for the construction of any such pollution abatement facilities as may be deemed necessary by the department for the prevention of pollution from coal refuse. Such forms shall be deemed to be recordable documents, and prior to the initiation of coal refuse disposal operations under the permit, such forms shall be recorded at the office of the recorder of deeds in the county or counties in which the area to be affected under the permit is situate.
(n) Permit applications shall contain such other information as the department may require.


1968, Sept. 24, P.L. 1040, No. 318, § 5. Amended 1980, Oct. 10, P.L. 807, No. 154, § 3, imd. effective. Affected 2000, Dec. 20, P.L. 980, No. 138, § 2, effective in 60 days.


35 P.S. § 4001 et seq.
35 P.S. § 691.1 et seq.
32 P.S. § 693.1 et seq.
52 P.S. § 1396.1 et seq.
35 P.S. §§ 6001 to 6017 (repealed).
35 P.S. § 6018.101 et seq.
52 P.S. § 701-101 et seq. (repealed); see now, 52 P.S. § 690-101 et seq.
52 P.S. § 70-101 et seq.
52 P.S. § 27.7-1 et seq.
52 P.S. § 30.55, PA ST 52 P.S. § 30.55
Current through Act 10 of the 2024 Regular Session. Some statute sections may be more current, see credits for details.
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