25 Pa. Code § 88.482 - Definitions

The following words and terms, when used in this subchapter, have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

Acid-forming materials-Earth materials that contain sulfide minerals or other materials which, if exposed to air, water or weathering processes, form acids that may create acid drainage.

Adjacent area-Land located outside the permit area, where air, surface or groundwater, fish, wildlife, vegetation or other resources protected by this chapter may be adversely impacted by mining and reclamation operations.

Aquifer-A zone, stratum or group of strata that can store and transmit water in sufficient quantities for a specific use.

Best technology currently available-Equipment, devices, systems, methods or techniques which will:

(i) Prevent, to the extent possible, additional contributions of suspended solids to stream flow or runoff outside the permit area, but in no event result in contributions of suspended solids in excess of requirements set by applicable State or Federal laws.
(ii) Minimize, to the extent possible, disturbances and adverse impacts on fish and wildlife and related environmental values, and achieve enchancement of those resources where practicable. The term includes equipment, devices, systems, methods or techniques which are currently available anywhere as determined by the Secretary, even if they are not in routine use. The term includes, but is not limited to, construction practices, siting requirements, vegetative selection and planting requirements, scheduling of activities and design of sedimentation ponds in accordance with this chapter.

Coal-Anthracite coal.

Coal seam-Anthracite coal vein.

Cropland-Land used for the production of adapted crops for harvest, alone or in a rotation with grasses and legumes. The term includes row crops, small grain crops, hay crops, nursery crops, orchard crops and similar specialty crops.

Disburbed area-An area where vegetation, topsoil or overburden is removed or upon which topsoil, spoil, coal processing waste, underground development waste or noncoal waste is placed by coal mining operations.

Diversion-A channel, embankment or other manmade structure constructed at a controlled slope to divert water from one area to another.

Dry weather flow-The base flow or surface discharge from an area or treatment facility which occurs immediately prior to a precipitation event and which resumes 24 hours after the precipitation event ends.

Embankment-An artificial deposit of material that is raised above the natural surface of the land and used to contain, divert or store water, support roads or railways, or for other similar purposes.

Ephemeral stream-A water conveyance which lacks substrates associated with flowing waters and flows only in direct response to precipitation in the immediate watershed or in response to melting snowpack, and which is always above the local water table.

Ground cover-The area of ground covered by the combined aerial parts of vegetation and the litter that is produced naturally onsite, expressed as a percentage of the total area of measurement.

Groundwater-All subsurface waters of the Commonwealth.

Historically used for cropland-One or more of the following:

(i) Lands that have been used for cropland for any 5 years or more out of the 10 years immediately preceding the acquisition, including purchase, lease or option, of the land for the purpose of conducting or allowing, through resale, lease or option, the conduct of surface coal mining activities.
(ii) Lands that the Department determines, on the basis of additional cropland history of the surrounding lands and the lands under consideration, that the permit area is clearly cropland but falls outside the specific 5-years-in-10 criterion. In which case, the regulations from prime farmland may be applied to include more years of cropland history only to increase the prime farmland acreage to be preserved.
(iii) Lands that would likely have been used as cropland for any 5 out of the last 10 years immediately preceding such acquisition but for the same fact of ownership or control of the land unrelated to the productivity of the land.

Hydrologic balance-The relationship between the quality and quantity of water inflow to, water outflow from and water storage in a hydrologic unit, such as a drainage basin, aquifer, soil zone, lake or reservoir. The term encompasses the dynamic relationships among precipitation, runoff, evaporation and changes in groundwater and surface water storage.

Impoundment-A closed basin, naturally formed or artificially built, which is dammed or excavated for the retention of water, sediment or waste.

Interim permit-A permit issued by the Department prior to the effective date of these regulations and in accordance with the requirements of Chapter 13 (relating to compliance with the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977).

Intermittent stream-A body of water flowing in a channel or bed composed primarily of substrates associated with flowing water which, during periods of the year, is below the local water table and obtains its flow from both surface runoff and groundwater discharges.

Mine-All underground areas contained within a continuous barrier of undisturbed coal and all openings to the surface from those areas.

Operator-A person or municipality engaged in underground mining activities as a principal, as distinguished from an agent or independent contractor. When more than one person is engaged in coal mining activities in a single operation, they shall be deemed jointly and severally responsible for compliance with the provisions of the Surface Mining Conservation and Reclamation Act (52 P. S. §§ 1396.1-1396.19b), The Clean Streams Law (35 P. S. §§ 691.1-691.1001) and the Coal Refuse Disposal Control Act (52 P. S. §§ 30.51-30.66).

Overburden-The strata or material overlying a coal deposit or in between coal deposits in its natural state, and such material before or after its removal by surface mining.

Perennial stream-A body of water flowing in a channel or bed composed primarily of substrates associated with flowing waters and is capable, in the absence of pollution or other manmade stream disturbances, of supporting a benthic macroinvertebrate community which is composed of two or more recognizable taxonomic groups of organisms which are large enough to be seen by the unaided eye and can be retained by a United States Standard No. 30 sieve, 28 meshs per inch, 0.595 millimeter openings, and live at least part of their life cycles within or upon available substrates in a body of water or water transport system.

Permanent diversion-A diversion which is to remain after underground mining activities are completed and which has been approved for retention by the Department.

Permit area-The mine and areas where underground mining activities occur.

Precipitation event-A quantity of water resulting from drizzle, rain, snow, sleet or hail in a limited period of time. The term may be expressed in terms of recurrence interval. The term includes that quantity of water emanating from snow cover as snow melt in a limited period of time.

Prime farmland-Those lands which are defined by the Secretary of Agriculture in 7 CFR Part 657 (relating to prime and unique farmlands) (Federal Register, Vol. 43, No. 21) and which have historically been used for cropland as that phrase is defined in this section.

Property to be mined-The surface and mineral estates on and underneath lands which are within the permit area.

Reclamation-Actions taken to restore the area affected by underground mining activities as required by this chapter.

Sedimentation pond-A primary sediment control structure designed, constructed and maintained in accordance with Subchapter C (relating to anthracite bank removal and reclamation; minimum environmental protection performance standards) and including, but not limited to, a barrier, dam or excavated depression which detains water runoff to allow sediment to settle out. The term does not include secondary sedimentation control structures, such as straw dikes, riprap, check dams, mulches, dugouts and other measures that reduce overland flow velocity, reduce runoff volume or trap sediment, to the extent that the secondary sedimentation structures drain to a sedimentation pond.

Soil survey-A field classification and laboratory analysis resulting in a map showing the geographic distribution of different kinds of soils and an accompanying report that describes, classifies and interprets the soils for use. Soil surveys shall meet the standards of the National Cooperative Soil Survey.

Stratum (strata)-A section of geologic formation that consists throughout of approximately the same kind of rock material. A stratum may consist of an indefinite number of beds.

Substrates-Inorganic sediments which are 0.05 millimeters in diameter or larger, and includes sands, granules, pebbles, cobbles and boulders, based on Wentworth's Classification.

Temporary diversion-A diversion of a stream or overland flow which is used during surface coal mining activities and not approved by the Department to remain after reclamation as part of the approved postmining land use.

Toxic-forming materials-Earth materials or wastes which, if acted upon by air, water, weathering or microbiological processes, are likely to produce chemical or physical conditions in soils or water that are detrimental to biota or uses of water.

Toxic mine drainage-Water that is discharged from active or abandoned mines or other areas affected by coal exploration or underground mining activities, which contains a substance that through chemical action or physical effects is likely to kill, injure or impair biota commonly present in the area that might be exposed to it, or may be harmful to the public health and welfare.

Underground development waste-Waste rock mixtures of coal, shale, claystone, siltstone, sandstone, limestone or related materials that are excavated, moved and disposed of as part of the construction activities in preparing the mine for coal production.

Underground mining activities-The term includes the following:

(i) Surface operations incident to underground extraction of coal or in situ processing, such as construction, use, maintenance and reclamation of roads, aboveground repair areas, storage areas, processing areas, shipping areas, areas upon which are sited support facilities, including hoist and ventilating ducts, areas used for the disposal and storage of waste, and areas on which materials incident to underground mining operations are placed.
(ii) Underground operations, such as underground construction, operation and reclamation of shafts, adits, underground support facilities, in situ processing and underground mining, hauling, storage and blasting.
(iii) Operation of the mine, including preparatory work in connection with the opening or reopening of a mine, backfilling, sealing and other closing procedures, and any other work done on land or water in connection with the mine.

Water table-A mine pool or the upper surface of a zone of saturation, where the body of groundwater is not confined by an overlying impermeable zone.


25 Pa. Code § 88.482
The provisions of this § 88.482 adopted December 19, 1980, 10 Pa.B. 4789, effective 7/31/1982, 12 Pa.B. 2382; amended March 30, 1984, 14 Pa.B. 1143, effective 8/10/1985, 15 Pa.B. 2872; amended June 15, 1990, 20 Pa.B. 3383, effective 7/27/1991, 21 Pa.B. 3316; corrected August 16, 1991, effective 7/27/1991, 21 Pa.B. 3697; corrected December 6, 1991, effective 7/27/1991, 21 Pa.B. 5643; amended August 21, 2015, effective 8/22/2015, 45 Pa.B. 4904.

The provisions of this § 88.482 amended under section 5 of The Clean Streams Law (35 P. S. § 691.5); sections 4(a) and 4.2 of the Surface Mining Conservation and Reclamation Act (52 P. S. §§ 1396.4(a) and 1396.4b); and section 1920-A of The Administrative Code of 1929 (71 P. S. § 510-20).

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