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Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement

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Presentation on theme: "Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement"— Presentation transcript:

1 Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement
Update on Mining, Reclamation, and Acid Mine Drainage

2 AML Reauthorization What changes? Extension to 9/30/2021
Fee reductions Allocation changes and mandatory spending Treasury payments Priorities

3 AML Reauthorization More changes:
Remining incentives reinstated permanently Water lines – limit removed AMD Set aside expanded and revised Authority for other remining incentives Tribal primacy

4 AML Reauthorization What does it mean to WV?

5 AML Reauthorization What do changes mean for AMD?
AMD Set-Aside raised from 10% to 30% OSM approval no longer required Funding for Clean Streams grants Funding for Watershed Co-ops Watershed Co-ops: FY 07-continuing resolution at FY 06 level FY 08-requested $500K increase to $1.6M Goal is to leverage $2.5 other funds to $1 WCAP

6 Implementation of 2006 SMCRA Amendments
Some changes needed by 9/30/07 New rules Revised Directives System changes New rules: Interim final & proposed for some provisions Proposed rule for remining incentives Proposed rule on Tribal Primacy System changes: Treasury payments Inventory approval

7 OSM Rulemaking Status Coal combustion by-products
Proposed excess spoil/stream buffer zone rule with DEIS Proposed coal waste rule No national rule on long-term AMD TN final rule on AMD trust funds and reforestation CCBs—notice of proposed rulemaking 3/14/07 ES/SBZ—under review in DOI Coal Waste—published 1/17/07; comment period closed 3/28/07 TN rule—published 3/2/07

8 TN Treatment Trust Funds
Rule provides framework for income-generating funds for long-term treatment Modeled after OSM-approved PA program Negotiations underway to establish funds for several discharges Can serve as models for other states

9 AMDTreat v4.1 Released February 2007
Numerous enhancements including updated default costs and values OSM is available to present AMDTreat training at your meeting or conference If you care to mention any enhancements: -expanded help library -updated default costs and values -save, use and share variable sets -add a copy of an existing module when making a new module -model up to 99 structures or treatment systems (e.g., for structures in series) -itemize over 1400 “Other Costs” -eight new flow estimating tools -integrated metric conversion capability -new modules, such as: o Limestone bed and bioreactor in passive treatment section o Oxidants in chemical treatment section -improved “what-if” modeling capability

10 AMD-Related Litigation
WVHC v. Kempthorne WVHC Notice of Intent Pennsylvania Federated Sportsmen, et al. v. Kempthorn, Both filed on March 28, 2007: WVHC v Kempthorne--motion to reopen Count #9 on WV bonding program adequacy WVHC v WVDEP--on treatment and NPDES permitting at W VA forfeiture sites Pennsylvania Federated Sportsmen, et al. v. Norton, PA dropped bond pool Oral arguments before Federal 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals last week

11 Applied Science Program Hydrology-related Projects
2005--~$200K 2006--~$468K 2007—~$???K 2005 WVU-$50K-mine pools UK-$44K-headwater stream restoration VPI--$40K-CCBs PADEP--$50K + EPA $50K-kinetic testing VPI--$35K—watershed recovery 2006 MapTech--$83K-TDS BMPs UT--$90K—PHC/CHIA Sediment load prediction WV Water Research Inst.--$100K—In-situ Fe mitigation IN Geol.Surv.--$95-AMD prevention/treatment Prairie View A&M--$100K—AMD prediction test 2007 30 project proposals totaling $2.5M half deal with hydrology, AMD, CCBs, slurry project selection underway (~$1.0 M)

12 Technology Transfer & Programmatic Focus
Mine Pool Workshop Field Issues Workshops Reforestation Conference Drainage Control Certification (EY07) Prevent catastrophic events Tech transfer team made up of States and OSM selects current topics for events Last (calendar) year did stream restoration, underground injection, CCBs Just completed a Mine Pool Workshop—March 2007, Wheeling, WV States want more technical tools to predict mine pool levels and water quality Plan to do a workshop on the draft FWS IN Bat Recovery Plan On the programmatic side: Holding workshops looking to benchmark with regional states for program improvement on topics identified by states Last year’s topics: temporary cessation, oil & gas, water replacement This year: Field Issues Workshop on reclaiming inactive slurry impoundments—April 2007, Ashland, KY OSM field office also select a topic annually to get consistency in our inspection efforts. The past several years we worked on valley fill inspection to underscore the important of underdrains, drainage control, contemporaneous reclamation, and certifications. EY07 topic is drainage control certification. Our common goal should be to prevent catastrophic events….. Reforestation Conference--August 2007, Abingdon, VA 1st ARRI conference involving state, academia, industry, land owners, environmental community, other stakeholders Registration information coming soon on ARRI website

13 AMD Inventories OSM and the states are in the process of updating the 2000 inventory of post-law AMD discharges in the region An inventory of AML passive treatment sites in PA, WV, MD, and OH is available OSM’s website:

14 Appalachian Regional Reforestation Initiative
I would like to spend some time talking about an important initiative to plant more trees in WV and the rest of the Appalachian Region. This initiative is called the Appalachian Regional Reforestation Initiative (or ARRI for short).

15 Reforestation is a Logical Priority
ARRI Goals: Plant more high-value hardwood trees Increase survival rate of planted trees Increase growth rates of surviving trees Expedite forest habitat establishment through natural succession

16 ARRI is Partnerships ARRI’s goals can only be achieved through partnerships. ARRI’s partners include: Industry Environmental and citizen groups State regulatory authorities Academics OSM Landowners and the NCCL and anyone who wants to see more trees planted The partnerships cultivated by ARRI were recognized by the Department of the Interior this year when it awarded ARRI it’s Cooperative Conservation Award. The Department selects projects for this prestigious award from across the nation that best recognize cooperative conservation achievements that involve collaborative activity among a diverse range of entities. We are very proud to have won the award this year.

17 ARRI’s Focus: Address Barriers to Reforestation
Identify technical barriers to effective tree growth Change perceptions: What should good reclamation look like? Bond release is not easier without trees Regulations do not inhibit reforestation Technical barriers: Avoid compaction (excessive grading) and limit ground cover Cultural perception: Change the perception that reclaimed mine sites should look like golf courses instead of forests. The top four to six feet of growth media should be loosely graded, may be rocky and will not be perfectly smooth. This reclamation will grow trees and looks like forests Bond release: Reclamation with grasses and legumes isn’t necessarily less expensive or doesn’t make it easier to obtain bond release Regulatory barriers: Change the perception that regulations impede effective reforestation techniques and interfere with bond release.

18 Forestry Reclamation Approach
Provide at least 4 feet of material suitable for tree roots Avoid compaction Limit ground cover Plant variety of high quality hardwood tree species Use proper tree planting techniques Research has shown that the growth and survival of trees planted on reclaimed mine land can be significantly enhanced using the five steps depicted in this slide. These steps are known as the Forestry Reclamation Approach or FRA. ARRI promotes the use of FRA in reclaiming mined land. The five steps of the FRA are: Create a suitable soil for tree roots at least 4 feet deep. The growth media can include topsoil or topsoil substitutes. Loosely grade the soil material so that it is not compacted Use ground covers compatible with growing trees Plant two types of trees - trees that will stabilize the soil and trees that develop into commercially valuable hardwoods Use proper tree planting techniques

19 Advantages of Reforestation in Appalachia
Forest products are valuable Job opportunities Ecological asset values Environmental Recreational Forest products are valuable – six thousand wood and paper manufacturing facilities - $62 billion industry. Job opportunities - Over 300,000 jobs generating an annual payroll > $15 billion Ecological asset values - carbon sequestration credits, stream and wetland restoration credits, watershed pollution reduction credits, etc. Environment: Trees remove carbon dioxide from the air (forest lands take up almost twice as much carbon than grasslands). This carbon is sequestered in the tree trunks, branches and roots as well as the soil and the layers of leaf litter. Trees minimize soil erosion thereby preventing soil and nutrients from entering streams. Forests provide habitat for diverse animal and plant species. Trees conserve water resources by uptaking water that would normally runoff a mine site and returning it to the atmosphere. Recreational uses Forests provide an aesthetically pleasing location for hiking, hunting, bird watching, mountain biking and other outdoor activities.

20 WV Reforestation Progress!
In 2006: 11,000 acres permitted 92% of 59 permits issued chose land uses requiring trees 80% of permits incorporated FRA >2 million trees planted on 3,000 acres Forestland—48 permits F&W—6 permits

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