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§ 3311. Rulemaking; orders; public health and safety; and related matters

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. § 3311
§ 3311. Rulemaking; orders; public health and safety; and related matters
(a) Regulations.--The Environmental Quality Board may promulgate such regulations as it deems necessary to carry out the provisions and purposes of this act and for the health and safety of those persons employed at surface mining operations.
(b) Orders.--The department may issue such orders as are necessary to aid in the enforcement of the provisions of this act. The orders shall include, but shall not be limited to, orders modifying, suspending or revoking permits or licenses and orders requiring persons to cease operations immediately. The right of the department to issue an order under this act is in addition to any penalty or requirement that may be imposed under this act. The authority to issue orders includes, but is not limited to, orders requiring the abatement and removal of nuisances. For purposes of this section, any condition that creates a risk of fire, landslide, subsidence, cave-in or other unsafe, dangerous or hazardous condition, including, but not limited to, any unguarded and unfenced open pit area, highwall, water pool, spoil bank, abandoned structure, equipment, machinery, tools and other property used in or resulting from surface mining or other hazard to public health or safety, is hereby declared to be a nuisance.
(c) Distance limitations.--
(1) Except as provided in paragraph (2), no person shall conduct surface mining operations, other than borrow pits for highway construction purposes, within 100 feet of the outside line of right-of-way of any public highway; within 300 feet of any occupied dwelling house or commercial or industrial building, unless released by the owner thereof; within 300 feet of any public building, school or community or institutional building; within 300 feet of a public park; or within 100 feet of any cemetery or the bank of any stream.
(2) The department may allow operators to mine within the distances where mining is prohibited by paragraph (1) where the operator demonstrates:
(i) For opening or expansion of pits, that special circumstances warrant a lesser distance, that the environment and the interests of the public landowners affected thereby will be adequately protected and that there are no feasible or prudent alternatives to opening the pit within a greater distance. Prior to allowing a lesser distance, the operator shall give public notice of his application therefor in two newspapers of general circulation in the area, once a week for two successive weeks, and shall give notice by mail to the municipality in which the operation is located. Should any person file an objection with the department within 20 days of the last publication thereof, the department shall conduct a public hearing.
(ii) For parts of surface mining operations other than opening or expansion of pits, that special circumstances warrant a lesser distance, that the public health and safety will not be endangered, that the environment and the interests of the public and the landowners affected thereby will be adequately protected and that there are no feasible or prudent alternatives to conducting those aspects of the operation within a lesser distance.
(d) Cleanup.--Upon the completion of any surface mining operation and prior to the release by the secretary of all or any portion of the bond or collateral pertinent thereto, the operator shall remove and clean up all temporary or unused structures, facilities, equipment, machines, tools, parts or other materials, property, debris or junk that were used in or resulted from the surface mining operations.
(e) Explosives.--
(1) The use of explosives for the purpose of blasting in connection with surface mining shall be done in accordance with regulations promulgated by the Environmental Quality Board. These regulations shall include, but not be limited to, provisions relating to public notice, blasting schedules, monitoring and recordkeeping, prevention of injury, prevention of damage to property outside the permit area, prevention of adverse impacts upon any underground mine, prevention of any change in the course, channel or availability of ground or surface water outside the permit area, preblast surveys and certification of blasting personnel.
(2) Precautions shall be taken when blasting in close proximity to any underground mine. Blasting shall be conducted in a manner as to protect the health and safety of persons working underground or to prevent any adverse impact upon an active, inactive or abandoned underground mine.
(3) It shall be unlawful for any blaster to leave a working place after a task completion without first filing a report, known as a blaster's report, with the mine operator. The report shall include the nature of the blasting operation, including, but not limited to, the type and amount of explosives used.
(f) Relocation of public roads.--Nothing contained in this act shall be construed to prohibit the relocation of any public road in the manner provided by law.
(g) Water restoration.--Any surface mining operator who affects a public or private water supply by contamination, interruption or diminution shall restore or replace the affected supply with an alternate source of water adequate in quantity and quality for the purposes served by the supply. If any operator fails to comply with this subsection, the secretary may issue orders to the operator as are necessary to assure compliance.

Credits

1984, Dec. 19, P.L. 1093, No. 219, § 11, effective in 60 days.
52 P.S. § 3311, PA ST 52 P.S. § 3311
Current through Act 10 of the 2024 Regular Session. Some statute sections may be more current, see credits for details.
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