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COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION
BUREAU OF WATERWAYS ENGINEERING AND WETLANDS
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ABANDONED MINE RECLAMATION
GENERAL DESCRIPTION AND AUTHORITY - The Department of Environmental Protection hereby
authorizes, by general permit, subject to the terms and criteria set forth below, the construction, operation or
maintenance of an encroachment or water obstruction for reclamation of an abandoned mining site, where the
Department has issued a notice of intent to forfeit the bond for a mining activity permitted after August, 1977
and before July, 1982. This authorization is under Section 7 of the Dam Safety and Encroachments Act,
(32 P.S. §693.7) and the rules and regulations promulgated thereunder at 25 Pa. Code §§105.441 - 105.449.
DENIAL OF AUTHORIZATION - The Department shall have the discretion, on a case-by-case basis, to deny,
revoke or suspend the authorization to use this general permit for any project which the Department
determines to have a substantial risk to life, property or the environment or otherwise could not be adequately
regulated by the provisions of this general permit.
SITES AND CONDITIONS WHERE THIS GENERAL PERMIT DOES NOT APPLY - This General Permit does
not apply and is not valid in the following situations:
Projects located where there would be an impact on species of special concern listed under the
Endangered Species Act of 1973, the Wild Resources Conservation Act, the Fish and Boat Code or the
Game and Wildlife Code. Records regarding species of special concern are maintained in a computer
database called the “Pennsylvania Natural Diversity Inventory” (PNDI). To verify that there will be no
such impacts for a specific project, complete the Pennsylvania Natural Diversity Inventory (PNDI) Form
and submit it to the person conducting the online PNDI Project Planning and Environmental Review
Tool search. This person performing the search could be someone from DEP, the County Conservation
Districts, or a consultant. Alternatively, if you plan to conduct the PNDI online search yourself – a
search form is not needed prior to the PNDI online search.
After conducting a PNDI online search, if your PNDI Project Environmental Review Receipt has
"Potential Impacts," DEP and the jurisdictional agencies require that you submit additional information to
the agencies noted on the Receipt for further review. Please send a copy of the PNDI Receipt, a
completed PNDI Form, and a USGS 7.5 minute quadrangle map with project boundaries delineated on
the map to the agencies referenced on your PNDI Reciept.
Construction activities in stocked trout streams from March 1 through June 15, wild trout streams from
October 1 through December 31 and Lake Erie tributaries from September 1 through December 1,
unless approval is obtained from the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission's Division of
Environmental Services (see “Exhibit A”). Stocked and wild trout stream locations are compiled by the
Commission's Division of Fisheries Management (see “Exhibit A”).
DEFINITIONS - The terms as used in this General Permit shall have the following meanings:
BODY OF WATER - A natural or artificial lake, pond, reservoir, swamp, marsh or wetland.
OWNER - Any person who owns, controls, operates, maintains, or manages a dam or reservoir, water
obstruction, or encroachment.
PERSON - Any natural person, partnership, association, corporation, public utility, municipality, municipal
authority, political subdivision of the Commonwealth, receiver or trustee and any department, board,
commission or authority of the Commonwealth.
RECLAMATION - Those actions set forth in the forfeiting operators permit taken to restore the area affected by
surface and underground mining activities as required by 25 Pa. Code Chapters 86-89 and for which State
and/or Federal reclamation funding is used to perform the reclamation.
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REGULATED WATERS OF THE COMMONWEALTH - All watercourses, streams or bodies of water and their
floodways wholly or partly within or forming part of the boundary of this Commonwealth.
RESERVOIR - Any basin, either natural or artificial, which contains or will contain the water or other fluid or
semifluid impounded by a dam.
STOCKED TROUT STREAM - A stream classified as approved trout waters by the Fish and Boat
Commission. For current designations of stocked trout streams contact the Division of Fisheries Management
(see “Exhibit A”).
WATERCOURSE - Any channel or conveyance of surface water having defined bed and banks, whether
natural or artificial, with perennial or intermittent flow.
WETLANDS - Those areas that are inundated or saturated by surface or groundwater at a frequency and
duration sufficient to support, and that under normal circumstances do support, a prevalence of vegetation
typically adopted for life in saturated soil conditions, including swamps, marshes, bogs and similar areas.
WILD TROUT STREAMS - A stream classified as supporting reproducing trout populations by the Fish and
Boat Commission. For current designations of wild trout streams, contact the Division of Fisheries
Management (see “Exhibit A”).
OTHER PERMITS - Nothing in this General Permit relieves the owner(s) of the obligation of complying with all
Federal, Interstate Compact and State laws, regulations and standards for the construction, operation or
maintenance of the activities covered by this General Permit.
REGISTRATION FOR USE - Prior to construction, the owner(s) shall submit two copies of the completed
Notification to Use (“Exhibit D”) along with two copies of the location map and processed PNDI to the
Permitting and Technical Services Section or the County Conservation District (“Exhibit B” and “Exhibit C”).
The notification must be sent to the County Conservation District only if there is a delegation agreement
between the Department and the District. A copy of “Exhibit D” shall also be sent to the municipality and
county in which the work will be performed. The owner(s) may not begin work until he has received an
acknowledgement from the Permitting and Technical Services Section or County Conservation District that the
“Exhibit D” notification has been received and registered.
FEES - The fee required for a project authorized under this General Permit shall be consistent with 25 PA
Code §105.13 (relating to regulated activities – information and fees).
EFFECTIVE TIME PERIOD - This General Permit will remain in effect indefinitely unless specifically modified,
suspended or revised by the Department.
SUSPENSION, MODIFICATION OR REVOCATION - The Department may suspend, modify or revoke this
General Permit at any time upon notice in the Pennsylvania Bulletin.
PROJECT INTERFERENCE - This General Permit does not authorize any interference with any existing or
proposed local, State, Federal or Federally licensed project, and permittee shall not be entitled to
compensation for damage or injury to the work authorized herein which may be caused by or a result of
existing or future operations undertaken by the United States or the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania or its
Political Subdivisions in the public interest.
Any archeological artifacts discovered during the performance of work authorized under this General
Permit must be adequately protected and their discovery promptly reported to the Bureau for Historic
Preservation, Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, 400 North Street, Second Floor,
Harrisburg, PA 17120-0093, Telephone (717) 783-2891.
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All excess fill or excavated and dredged material shall be deposited and immediately stabilized outside
floodways, floodplains, wetlands and other regulated waters of this Commonwealth. Waste materials,
scrap or excess construction materials shall be collected, stored and disposed of in accordance with the
Solid Waste Management Act (35 P.S §§6018.101 - 6018.1003) and the regulations promulgated
Owner(s) shall investigate for drinking water intakes or reservoirs to public and private water supplies
within 5 miles downstream of the reclamation site and written notice shall be given at least 10 days prior
to construction to operators of such intakes or reservoirs. Owner(s) shall notify public and private water
supply operators and the Department immediately and no longer than 1 hour after an occurrence at the
reclamation site which results in the release of suspended solids and turbidity to the drinking water
supply, including both surface and groundwater sources, that maintain the quality or quantity of the
drinking water supply.
Reclamation projects shall not extend beyond the reclamation site.
During construction activities, all public and private property including existing vegetation, landscape
features and monuments within, along and adjacent to the work area, shall be protected and preserved
to the maximum degree possible. This shall include, but not be limited to, precautions taken to
minimize damage, erosion, injury, or destruction; prevent pollution; provide protection of all trees and
other woody plants; special care being taken to protect the natural vegetation and surroundings to
include all natural drainageways, ponds, lakes, swamps, woods and fields; and storage of materials in
such manner to prevent leaching which would be injurious to soils and to plants. Precautions should be
taken to prevent damage to pipes, conduits and other underground structures.
The owners shall notify the Fish and Boat Commission's Regional Field Office Manager (see “Exhibit A”)
responsible for the County where the activities are proposed 10 days prior to start of construction.
Written notification is suggested. The project site shall at all times be available for inspection by
authorized officers and employees of the Fish and Boat Commission.
Prior to the use of explosives in a watercourse or body of water, the permittee shall secure a written
permit from the Fish and Boat Commission, pursuant to the Fish and Boat Code, Act 1980-175,
30 Pa.C.S. 2906 (relating to permits for use of explosives). Requests should be directed to the Fish and
Boat Commission, Division of Environmental Services (see “Exhibit A”).
Prior to construction, approval must be obtained from the Fish and Boat Commission's Division of
Environmental Services for use of this project on reclamation sites bordering (1) stocked trout streams
from March 1 through June 15 and (2) wild trout streams from October 1 through December 31.
All temporary road crossings of the regulated waters of the Commonwealth in areas unaffected by
mining activities shall be constructed in accordance with the design standards and conditions of General
Prior to construction, the property owner of the abandoned mine site shall be sent, by certified mail, a
questionnaire inquiring whether there are existing facilities on site such as ponds, wetlands or diversion
ditches which the property owner wants left in place in their present condition. Construction may not be
commenced until receipt of the complete questionnaire.
DEPARTMENT INSPECTION - As a condition of use of this General Permit, and of the owner's authority to
conduct the activities authorized by this General Permit, the owner hereby authorizes and consents to allow
authorized employees or agents of the Department or County Conservation District, without advance notice or
a search warrant, at any reasonable time and upon presentation of appropriate credentials, and without delay,
to have access to and to inspect all areas where the project is being constructed, operated or maintained. The
authorization and consent shall include consent to conduct tests or sampling, to take photographs, to perform
measurements, surveys and other tests, to inspect the methods of construction, operation or maintenance, to
examine and copy books, papers and records pertinent to any matter under investigation, and to take any
other action necessary to assure that the project is constructed, operated or maintained in accordance with the
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terms and criteria of the General Permit. This General Permit condition is referenced in accordance with
section 16 of the Dam Safety and Encroachments Act (32 P.S. §693.16) and in no way limits any other powers
granted under the Dam Safety and Encroachments Act.
ACTIVITIES NOT IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE TERMS OR CONDITIONS - If the Department or County
Conservation District determines, upon inspection, that the construction, operation or maintenance of a project
has violated the terms or criteria of this General Permit, the Chapter 105 and 102 Rules and Regulations or the
appropriate NPDES permit for discharge of stormwater from construction activities, the Department may take
such actions, legal or administrative, that it may deem to be appropriate.
PROPERTY RIGHTS - This General Permit does not convey any property rights, either in real estate or
material or in any exclusive privileges; nor does it authorize any injury to property or invasion of rights or any
infringement of Federal, State or local laws or regulations.
OTHER APPROVALS - The owners shall secure all other approvals that may be necessary under other
Federal, State or local laws or regulations.
EROSION AND SEDIMENT CONTROL PLAN - Work must be done in compliance with Chapter 102 (relating
to Erosion Control) and/or under the appropriate NPDES permit for discharge of stormwater from construction
activities. Prior to construction, an Erosion and Sediment Control Plan must be reviewed and determined
adequate by the County Conservation District in which the activities are proposed and implemented prior to,
during and after construction. The County Conservation District shall be notified ten (10) days prior to the start
of construction. The project site shall at all times be available for inspection by authorized employees of the
County Conservation District. The Erosion and Sediment Control Plan shall be available at the site.