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PA Bulletin, Doc. No. 96-1446


Seaboard Surety Company and Consolidation Coal Company v. DEP; Doc. No. 96-055-R

[26 Pa.B. 4291]

   At all times material to this matter the Plum Creek Mining Company (Plum Creek) operated an underground bituminous coal mine with surface effects in Penn Hills Township, Allegheny County, under Coal Mining Activity Permit No. 02931301 (Newfield Mine). The surface and mineral rights at the Newfield Mine are owned by Consolidation Coal Company (Consol). Seaboard Surety Company (Seaboard) issued surety bonds in the amount of $288,000 on behalf of Plum Creek for Plum Creek's mining activities at the Newfield Mine. On February 16, 1996, the Department declared the surety bonds issued by Seaboard for the Newfield Mine forfeit, because Plum Creek failed to conduct required water monitoring at the Newfield Mine, and failed to comply with the reclamation obligations set forth in Compliance Order No. 951125 which was issued on August 9, 1995. On March 6, 1996, Seaboard and Consol appealed the bond forfeiture to the Environmental Hearing Board, which appeal was docketed at EHB Docket No. 96-055-R.

   The parties have agreed to a settlement of the above-captioned appeal, the major provisions of which include:

   1.  Seaboard's and Consol's appeal at EHB Docket No. 96-055-R is discontinued with prejudice.

   2.  Consol has submitted to the Department a plan to reclaim and close the Newfield Mine, which plan the Department has approved.

   3.  Upon Consol's completion of the reclamation of the Newfield Mine in accordance with the approved reclamation plan, the Department shall be deemed to have waived collection of the bonds issued by Seaboard for the Newfield Mine. This waiver of collection shall occur in stages, roughly corresponding to the standards and schedules for bond release found in 25 Pa. Code §§ 86.174 and 86.175.

   Copies of the full agreement are in the possession of:

   Steven Lachman, Assistant Counsel, Department of Environmental Protection, Office of Chief Counsel, 400 Waterfront Drive, Pittsburgh, PA 15222-4745, (412) 442-4262;

   Thomas C. Reed, Esquire, Attorney for Consol and Seaboard, Buchanan Ingersoll, P.C., One Oxford Centre, 301 Grant Street, 20th Floor, Pittsburgh, PA 15219-1410, (412) 562-1694;

and at the offices of the Environmental Hearing Board, and may be reviewed by any interested person on request during normal business hours.

   Persons who are aggrieved by the above settlement have a right to appeal to the Environmental Hearing Board, Second Floor, Rachel Carson State Office Building, 400 Market Street, P. O. Box 8457, Harrisburg, PA 17105-8457. Appeals must be filed within 20 days of this publication.

   If information concerning this notice is required in an alternative form, contact the Secretary to the Board at (717) 783-3483. TDD users may telephone the Board through the AT&T Pennsylvania Relay Service at 1 (800) 654-5984.

   The Environmental Hearing Board is empowered to approve this settlement if no objection is timely filed with the Board.


[Pa.B. Doc. No. 96-1446. Filed for public inspection August 30, 1996, 9:00 a.m.]

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