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PA Bulletin, Doc. No. 97-451


Availability of Technical Guidance

[27 Pa.B. 1510]

Governor's Office List

   Once a year on the first Saturday in August, the Governor's Office publishes a list of the non-regulatory guidance documents of all State agencies in the Pennsylvania Bulletin. The first publication of this list was in the August 3, 1996, edition of the Pennsylvania Bulletin. The next publication of this list will be in the August 2, 1997, Pennsylvania Bulletin.

DEP's Technical Guidance Document Inventory

   DEP publishes a list of its technical guidance documents in its Technical Guidance Document Inventory twice a year. The most recent edition of the Inventory is the December 1996 edition. This edition is now available on DEP's World Wide Web site. DEP's Web address is To go to the location of the Inventory once on the DEP home page, persons should choose the Public Participation Center/Technical Guidance Document/Basic Inventory.

   Bound paper copies of the Inventory are available now for those who do not have access to the Web site. DEP automatically mails a paper copy of the December 1996 Inventory to persons who received a bound paper copy of the June 1996 Inventory. Persons who wish to add their address to the mailing list should call Nina Huizinga at (717) 783-8727.

DEP's Technical Guidance Documents on the World Wide Web

   DEP's Web address is To go to the location of DEP's Technical Guidance Documents once on the DEP home page, persons should choose the Public Participation Center. The Center contains several links to DEP's Technical Guidance Documents. Persons should look under the heading ''Proposals Open to Comment'' for the link to ''Draft Technical Guidance.'' Persons should look under the heading ''Proposals Recently Finalized'' for the link to ''Technical Guidance.'' Persons should look under the heading ''Technical Guidance'' for one link to the ''Basic Inventory'' and a second link to ''Final Guidance.'' The final documents menu will list DEP's bureaus. Persons should click on the name of the bureau to get to the list of the documents from that bureau that are currently on the Web. Then, to get to see a document, persons should click on the ID number of the document. DEP will be adding its revised documents to the Web throughout 1997.

Help Protect the Environment: Use the Web and Save Trees

   DEP encourages members of the public who read these announcements in the Pennsylvania Bulletin and DEP's UPDATE and who have access to the World Wide Web to avoid the needless duplication of paper copies of DEP's technical guidance documents. Persons can download those DEP documents which are posted on DEP's Web site onto their computers and read them electronically. This method saves both paper and money.

Ordering Paper Copies of DEP Technical Guidance

   Although DEP promotes the use of electronic copies of its technical guidance rather than paper copies, there are still reasons for DEP to continue to provide members of the public with paper copies: 1) It may be more convenient to use some documents in a paper form, 2) Not everyone has access to the World Wide Web and 3) Not all DEP documents are on DEP's Web site yet. Persons can order an unbound paper copy of the latest Inventory or an unbound paper copy of any of the final documents listed on the Inventory by calling Elwyn, Inc. (the printer) at 1 (800) 804-4020 if calling in Pennsylvania or (610) 497-5826 if calling from outside Pennsylvania. Elwyn's fax number is (610) 497-5932.

   In addition, bound copies of some of DEP's documents are available as DEP publications. Persons should check with the appropriate bureau for more information about the availability of a particular document as a publication.

Changes to Technical Guidance Documents

   Between publication of its Inventory, DEP announces changes to its technical guidance documents in its weekly newsletter, the UPDATE and the Pennsylvania Bulletin. Here is the current list of recently finalized documents, draft documents and notices of intended changes to technical guidance.

   Persons who have any questions or comments about a particular document should call the contact person whose name and phone number is listed with each document. Persons who have questions or comments about the Inventory, the documents on the World Wide Web, the availability of paper copies from the printer or the technical guidance document process in general should call Nina Huizinga at (717) 783-8727.

Final Technical Guidance Documents--Minor Revision to Existing Guidance

   DEP ID:  012-0830-001. Title: Data Standards for Names and Addresses. Description: This document contains procedures for the collection and input of name and address data elements into DEP's database systems. Effective Date: February 6, 1997. Page Length: 43 pages. Location: Volume 1, Tab 10. Contact Kim Nelson at (717) 787-3534.

Notice of Intent to Develop Technical Guidance--New Guidance

   Draft Title: Prompt Closure of Abandoned Underground Mine Openings. Background: Despite the significant safety and environmental issues associated with unsealed, accessible mine openings, there remain situations where operators abandon mines without sealing or securing openings. The proposed guidance document will spell out procedures for notifying mine operators of their responsibility to secure and seal mine openings and for taking prompt enforcement action against those mine operators who abandon sites and refuse to perform the required mine closure work. The policy document will also address instances where the Department is forced to perform the closure work and subsequently moves to recover expended funds. Anticipated Effective Date: May 20, 1997. Anticipated Draft Development Date: March 12, 1997. Proposed Development and Review Process: This policy already exists in draft form as a result of the efforts of a 16-member work group consisting of staff from the Bureau of Deep Mine Safety, Bureau of Mining and Reclamation, Bureau of Abandoned Mine Reclamation, District Mining Operations and the Office of Chief Counsel. Therefore, the draft preparation stage of the policy development process will be substantially shortened, consisting of minor editing and formatting. Copies of the draft will be distributed to the Pennsylvania Coal Association and the Pennsylvania Anthracite Council for review and comment. The draft will be announced in DEP's UPDATE and the Pennsylvania Bulletin for comment by members of the public. Contact: Thomas Callaghan at (717) 783-8845.

Notice of Intent to Revise Technical Guidance and Availability of Draft Technical Guidance

   DEP ID: 563-2112-654. Title: Technical Review, Mine Stability. Background: This document provides technical information regarding the measures which underground mine operators are expected to take to ensure the stability of mine workings upon completion of mining. It revises current policy by expanding the means by which mine operators can demonstrate compliance with the mine stability requirements in section 5(e) of The Bituminous Mine Subsidence and Land Conservation Act and 25 Pa. Code § 89.143(a). It also eliminates the exemption previously granted for mines which were permitted or covered by permit applications on January 1, 1986. Proposed Development and Review Process: The guidance was drafted internally with assistance from district mining staff and program counsel. The first draft was circulated among district office staff, program counsel, Policy Office and the Pennsylvania Coal Association. Availability of the draft is now being announced with request for comment by members of the public. Deadline for Submittal of Comments: April 16, 1997. Contact: Harold Miller at (717) 783-8845.

Notice of Intent to Revise Existing Technical Guidance

   DEP ID:  361-0300-002. Title: Special Protection Waters Implementation Handbook. Background: DEP proposed changes to its anti-degradation regulations, subsequent to extensive review by a stakeholder's group. In January, the Environmental Quality Board (EQB) approved DEP's proposed regulations; the final regulations will be published in the Pennsylvania Bulletin on March 22. Now, the Implementation Handbook can be revised. Anticipated Effective Date: February 1998. Contact: Ed Brezina at (717) 787-9637.

   DEP ID:  362-0400-001. Title: National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Technical Guidance Manual. Background: Sections of the manual need to be updated or revised to improve clarity. Some sections are based on regulations identified for possible revision. Anticipated Effective Date: December 1998. Contact: Lou Bercheni at (717) 787-4317.

   DEP ID:  550-0300-001. Title: Operators Manual. Background: The Operators Manual is being updated to reflect changes in areas of program responsibility. The Bureau of Oil and Gas Management will draft a shorter, more concise policy document, without the internal, purely administrative procedures. Anticipated Effective Date: January 1998. Contact: Frank Bialas at (717) 772-2199.

Notice of Intent to Rescind Technical Guidance

   DEP ID:  563-2000-601. BMR PGM: Section II, Part 6, Subpart 1. Title: Repermitting in High Quality Watersheds. Background: This guidance is no longer needed because it applied only to the repermitting of coal mining operations which existed on July 31, 1982. The rescission date was October 31, 1996. The notice is being published in the Pennsylvania Bulletin now for the sake of clarity. Contact: Nina Huizinga at (717) 783-8727.

   DEP ID:  563-2000-201. BMR PGM: Section VIII, Part 2, Subpart 1. Title: Permit Review, PHMC. Background: This guidance concerns PHMC involvement during review of mining permit applications. Guidance in this regard will be addressed in conjunction with revising Document No. 560-0700-301 titled, Coordination with PHMC. The rescission date was October 31, 1996. The notice is being published in the Pennsylvania Bulletin now for the sake of clarity. Contact: Nina Huizinga at (717) 783-8727.


[Pa.B. Doc. No. 97-451. Filed for public inspection March 21, 1997, 9:00 a.m.]

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