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§ 3303. Definitions

Purdon's Pennsylvania Statutes and Consolidated StatutesTitle 52 P.S. Mines and Mining

Purdon's Pennsylvania Statutes and Consolidated Statutes
Title 52 P.S. Mines and Mining (Refs & Annos)
Chapter 28. Noncoal Surface Mining Conservation and Reclamation Act (Refs & Annos)
52 P.S. § 3303
§ 3303. Definitions
The following words and phrases when used in this act shall have the meanings given to them in this section unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:
“Active operation.” An operation where a minimum of 500 tons of minerals for commercial purposes have been removed in the preceding calendar year.
“Approximate original contour.” Contouring as defined in this act.
“Cash.” Includes, when used in regard to bond requirements, negotiable certificates of deposit.
“Conservation district.” Any county in the Commonwealth whose county governing body has, by resolution, declared the county to be a conservation district under the act of May 15, 1945 (P.L. 547, No. 217), known as the Soil Conservation Law.1
“Contouring.” Reclamation of the land affected to approximate original contour so that it closely resembles the general surface configuration of the land prior to mining and blends into and complements the drainage pattern of the surrounding terrain with no highwall, spoil piles or depressions to accumulate water and with adequate provisions for drainage.
“Degree.” The inclination from the horizontal.
“Department.” The Department of Environmental Resources.
“Fund.” The Noncoal Surface Mining Conservation and Reclamation Fund.
“Land.” The surface of the land upon which surface mining is conducted.
“Landowner.” The person or municipality in whom legal title to the land is vested.
“Minerals.” Any aggregate or mass of mineral matter, whether or not coherent, that is extracted by surface mining. The term includes, but is not limited to, limestone and dolomite, sand and gravel, rock and stone, earth, fill, slag, iron ore, zinc ore, vermiculite and clay; but it does not include anthracite or bituminous coal or coal refuse, except as provided in section 4, or peat.
“Municipality.” Any county, city, borough, incorporated town, township, school district, institution or any authority created by any one or more of the foregoing.
“Operation.” The pit located upon a single tract of land or a continuous pit embracing or extending upon two or more contiguous tracts of land.
“Operator.” A person or municipality engaged in surface mining as a principal, as distinguished from an agent or independent contractor. Where more than one person is engaged in surface mining activities in a single operation, they shall be deemed jointly and severally responsible for compliance with the provisions of this act.
“Overburden.” The strata or material overlying a mineral deposit or in between mineral deposits in its natural state before or after its removal by surface mining.
“Person.” Any natural person, partnership, association, corporation or municipality or any agency, instrumentality or entity of Federal or State Government.
“Pit.” The place where any minerals are being mined by surface mining.
“Secretary.” The Secretary of Environmental Resources.
“Spoil pile.” The overburden and reject minerals as piled or deposited in surface mining.
“Surface mining.” The extraction of minerals from the earth, from waste or stockpiles or from pits or from banks by removing the strata or material that overlies or is above or between them or otherwise exposing and retrieving them from the surface, including, but not limited to, strip mining, auger mining, dredging, quarrying and leaching and all surface activity connected with surface or underground mining, including, but not limited to, exploration, site preparation, entry, tunnel, drift, slope, shaft and borehole drilling and construction and activities related thereto; but it does not include those mining operations carried out beneath the surface by means of shafts, tunnels or other underground mine openings. The term does not include any of the following:
(1) The extraction of minerals by a landowner for his own noncommercial use from land owned or leased by him.
(2) The extraction of sand, gravel, rock, stone, earth or fill from borrow pits for highway construction purposes of the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation or the extraction of minerals pursuant to construction contracts with the department if the work is performed under a bond, contract and specifications that substantially provide for and require reclamation of the area affected in the manner provided by this act.
(3) The handling, processing or storage of slag on the premises of a manufacturer as a part of the manufacturing process.
(4) Those dredging operations that are carried out in the rivers and streams of the Commonwealth and in Lake Erie.
(5) The extraction, handling, processing or storing of minerals from any building construction excavation on the site of the construction where the minerals removed are incidental to the building construction excavation, regardless of the commercial value of the minerals.
“Terracing.” Grading where the steepest contour of the highwall is not greater than 35 degrees from the horizontal, with the table portion of the restored area a flat terrace without depressions to hold water and with adequate provision for drainage, unless otherwise approved by the department.
“Tract.” A single parcel of land or two or more contiguous parcels of land with common ownership or control.


1984, Dec. 19, P.L. 1093, No. 219, § 3, effective in 60 days. Amended 1985, July 11, P.L. 236, No. 59, § 1, imd. effective.


3 P.S. § 849 et seq.
52 P.S. § 3303, PA ST 52 P.S. § 3303
Current through Act 10 of the 2024 Regular Session. Some statute sections may be more current, see credits for details.
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