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Series IV. Longwall Mining

Scope and Content Notes:

The series deals primarily with the efforts of environmental groups to limit and control damage caused by longwall mining in Pennsylvania. Longwall mining is an efficient form of underground mining in which a cutting machine removes coal from a seam in large blocks or "panels". As the machine advances, leaving a gap, support structures are removed and the roof of the mine collapses. The resulting subsidence can have a severe impact on homeowners, leading to fissures and bumps in roads, cracked foundations and walls, broken pipes, or permanent loss of well water. Acid mine drainage and disrupted water sources can also harm local ecosystems.

Coleman worked with groups such as the Sierra Club, the Tri State Citizens Mining Network, and the Citizen's Coal Council to amend state and federal mining regulation and on enforcement of these laws. Most materials in this series reflect the environmentalists' perspective, but Coleman also collected information and articles from coal companies and from local miners, who feared for the security of their jobs.

This series has been arranged into five subseries: SMCRA, BMSLCA, Court Cases and Other Legal Issues, Bonding, and Groups.

Subseries 1. SMCRA- State and Federal

Scope and Content Notes:

There are two Acts referred to as SMCRA: one is a Pennsylvania statute passed in 1945 called the Subsidence Mine Conservation and Reclamation Act; the other is a federal statute passed in 1977 called the Subsidence Mine Control and Reclamation Act. Both of these acts have been through several attempts at amendment and this collection contains information about those amendments and the work surrounding them. One major attempt to amend SMCRA of 1977 is referred to as "State Window" Strip Mining Regulations. This was very controversial because it allowed states to create their own mining rules as long as they were no more or no less strict than the federal laws. Coleman and the groups to which she belonged were heavily involved in fighting this amendment and the papers reflect their work in this area.


Box 7
Folder 1 Coal Legislation- House Bill
Folder 2 Side by Side- PA v. Federal rules
Folder 3 Notes on SMCRA History
Folder 4 Title 25- 1975
Folder 5-7 Title 25
Folder 8 Comments of National Wildlife Federation Ownership and Control Rule
Folder 9 Background: Pennsylvania Subsidence Law
Folder 10 Subsidence Rules 82-84
Folder 11 PA Coal Regulation Changes 1991
Folder 12 Areas Unsuitable for Mining Program
Folder 13 1945 SMCRA
Folder 14 SMCRA
Folder 15 HB 329
Folder 16 Acts 173/43
Folder 17 HB 1076
Folder 18 Other Amendments to SMCRA 1945
Folder 19 SMCRA 1945- DER report
Folder 20 SMCRA 1977
Folder 21 Enforcement of SMCRA
Folder 22 "State Window" Strip Mining Regulations
Folder 23 "State Window" litigation, 1982-1983
Folder 24 Senate Bill 416
Folder 25 Other Amendments to SMCRA 1977
Folder 26 Senate Resolution 100
Folder 27 House Subcommittee of Environment, Energy, and Natural Resources Hearing 1987
Folder 28 Section 522 (e) of SMCRA- VER (Valid Existing Rights)
Folder 29 VER Opinion
Folder 30 VER
Folder 31 Office of Surface Mining (OSM) Reports 1986
Folder 32 SMCRA Litigation
Folder 33 SMCRA Litigation 1985
Folder 34 SMCRA Litigation 1987
Folder 35-36 OSM Proposal Revisions to SMCRA

Subseries 2. Bituminous Mine Subsidence and Land Conservation Act (BMSLCA)

Scope and Content Notes:

In 1966, Act 31, also known as the Bituminous Mine Subsidence and Land Conservation Act (BMSLCA), was passed in Pennsylvania. It addressed the damage caused to people and property by underground coal mining. Act 31 underwent a series of amendments, the most significant being Act 54. Throughout the legislation changes, Coleman and the groups in which she participated, mainly the Sierra Club and the Tri State Citizens Mining Network, were heavily involved in the deliberation surrounding the amendments and much of their correspondence regarding these activities is included in this section of the collection.


Box 8
Folder 1 Pennsylvania Longwall Mining Regulations
Folder 2 Act 31 of 1966 (Bituminous Mine Subsidence and Land Conservation Act)
Folder 3-4 BMSLCA
Folder 5 HB 2514 (Deep Mine Mediation Bill 1990)
Folder 6 HB 2514
Folder 7 HB 1828 (originally HB 2514)
Folder 8 HB 1828
Folder 9 House vote on HB 1828
Folder 10 Deep Mine Mediation Program CAWLM withdrawal
Folder 11 Other Amendments to Act 31
Folder 12-16 Act 54
Folder 17 Technical guidance- Act 54
Folder 18 Act 54- DEP, DER
Folder 19 Act 54- Public hearing, Oct.13, 1998
Folder 20 Meetings on Act 54
Folder 21 Comments on Act 54- Coal Caucus Meeting
Folder 22 Flannery decision on subsidence, 1990
Folder 23 Mining Litigation Correspondence
Folder 24 DEP's BMSCLA Regulatory Package
Folder 25 HB 2242 (Coal Community Fairness Act)
Folder 26 Coal Community Fairness Act Rally, 2001
Folder 27 HB 2653 ("Peter Daley's Amendment")
Folder 28 HB 1800 Coalfield Water and Protection Act

Subseries 3. Court Cases and Other Legal Issues

Scope and Content Notes:

As a result of much of the legislation, Coleman and her environmental colleagues took part in several court cases. Many of these cases were about the legislation itself and what it would mean for future coal regulations. These groups also participated in court cases in which a person or group was in violation of the legislation that had been passed. The documents in this section of the collection reflect some of the extent of the groups' legal involvement.


Box 9
Folder 1 HB 1075/Act 114 Valley Fills
Folder 2 Hughes Hollow/Vesta Valley Fills
Folder 3 Judge Haden Decision- Valley Fills
Folder 4 Valley Fills- West Virginia 2002 Rule Change
Folder 5 Mediation Working Conference
Folder 6-12 Permanent Surface Mining Regulation Litigation
Folder 13 BethEnergy Mines v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
Folder 14-15 Alice Water Protection Association
Folder 16 PUSH (People United to Save Homes)
Folder 17-19 PUSH Litigation
Folder 20 PUSH 1999-2000
Folder 21 Lucchino Case
Folder 22 Roaring Run Court Case
Folder 23 Consol Pennsylvania Coal Company v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
Folder 24 Consultants
Folder 25 Pt. Pleasant Settlement, 1994
Folder 26 Mine Subsidence Insurance Fund
Folder 27 Federal Register Notices
Folder 28 Release Agreements (Gag orders)

Box 10
Folder 1-2 Other Lawsuits
Folder 3 Citizen Complaints- FOI/DEP Sample Letters
Folder 4 Citizen Complaints- 1982-1990
Folder 5-6 84 Mining Company
Folder 7 Mine 84 Permit
Folder 8 Mine 84 Permit Renewal
Folder 9 Mine 84 Permit- Washington County, 1994-1995
Folder 10 Mine 84 Permit- Perspective of Water Companies
Folder 11 Permits
Folder 12 Mettiki Mine- West Virginia Longwall Mining
Folder 13 Hays Hill Proposal- Permit
Folder 14 Shoemaker Mine Permit
Folder 15 105 Permit
Folder 16 UMCO Mine Permit- Community Meeting
Folder 17 Willowbrook Mining (McConnels Mill State Park) - Permit
Folder 18 Hilsboro Coal Mining Permit
Folder 19 Enlow Fork Mine Extension
Folder 20 Baily Mine Extension, Greene County, Ryerson Park, 1997-2000
Folder 21 Mining in Schuylkill County
Folder 22 DEP- Technical Guidance Documents on Mining
Folder 23 Correspondence- Greene County Mine Permits
Folder 24 Coal Combustion Waste Disposal (CCW)
Folder 25 Coal Refuse Disposal Sites
Folder 26 Gas Spill- Hazelton
Folder 27 Consol Coal Mines in Greene County, 1981-1993
Folder 28 Pennzoil Underground Injection Control Permit, 1994
Folder 29 RAG- American Coal Co. - Emerald and Cumberland Mines, Greene County
Folder 30 Maple Creek, Montour, Matties, Monview Mines

Box 11
Folder 1 PA Regulatory Program
Folder 2 Office of Surface Mining (OSM) Performance Evaluations
Folder 3 OSM Federal Oversight
Folder 4 Ten-Day Notice Directive
Folder 5-6 OSM
Folder 7-9 OSM, 1997-1999
Folder 10 Environmental Quality Board (EQB) OSM Hearings on Mine Proposals
Folder 11 Intervention Department of Environmental Protection (DEP)/OSM Litigation
Folder 12 OSM/DEP Dispute
Folder 13 Comments on DEP/OSM Proposal, 2003
Folder 14 Final OSM/DEP Negotiation Settlement
Folder 15 DEP Amendment to OSM Decision
Folder 16 OSM Directives to DEP
Folder 17-18 OSM/DEP
Folder 19 OSM Inspection Reports
Folder 20 Mather Coal Refuse Pile
Folder 21 SB 1030- Renewable Portfolio Standard (Electric Generation)
Folder 22-23 Water
Folder 24 Clean Water Act- "Buffer Zone Rule", 2004
Folder 25 Streams- Dunkard Creek, WV
Folder 26 Water Resources Forums, 2001-2004
Folder 27 Probable Hydrologic Consequences of Mining
Folder 28 Stream Study- Enlow Fork, etc
Folder 29 Wheeling Creek Watershed Project
Folder 30 Watersheds- Settling Priorities Mon River Basin
Folder 31 Water Resources Symposium
Folder 32 Stream and Watershed Restoration
Folder 33 Watersheds- West Virginia
Folder 34 HB 866 Costs for Coal Mining Act
Folder 35 Oil Gas Act
Folder 36 Oil Gas Leasing
Folder 37 Noncoal Mining Legislation
Folder 38 HB 393- Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation (SLAPP)
Folder 39 HR No. 6- Sewage Sludge
Folder 40 National Coal Association v. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
Folder 41 1872 Mining Law Reform, 1979

Subseries 4. Bonding

Scope and Content Notes:

Under SMCRA, mining companies are required to pay a per-acre performance bond on all mined land. If the company fails to restore the land according to the standards outlined by SMCRA, the bond is forfeit and used to cover the cost of reclamation. Cleanup then falls to the "regulatory authority", which is either a state program or the OSM under a federal program. Some states have opted for a "bond pool" or "reclamation fund" instead of the usual performance bond system, which is permissible so long as the fund generates enough money to fully cover the cost of reclamation.

Many environmental groups found that performance bonds and bond pools were inadequate and poorly utilized and accused OSM and other regulatory authorities of failing to follow SMCRA guidelines. This led to extensive lawsuits throughout the 1980s and late 1990s, often involving multiple plaintiffs and defendants.


Box 12
Folder 1 Applicant Violator System (AVS)
Folder 2 Reg- 8 Oversight of State Regulatory Programs
Folder 3 Review of Bonding System
Folder 4 Coal Forfeiture Sites
Folder 5 Bonding- Articles/Clippings/News releases
Folder 6 Bonding Legislation, 1980s
Folder 7 Full Cost Bonding Draft, 1999
Folder 8 Bonding Suits, 1980s
Folder 9 Bonding Suits (PFSC v. Hess), 1999-2002
Folder 10 Research- Bonding Permits by State, 1987
Folder 11 Bonding Suit Mailing Lists, 1999
Folder 12 Suit Against OSM-2003 (PA Bond Program Approval)
Folder 13 Correspondence- Bonding, 1999-2003
Folder 14 Alternative Bonding System 1991 (Justification for 1999 suit)
Folder 15 Bonding Suits
Folder 16 Bonding Suits (Penn Future/DEP), 1999
Folder 17 Bonding Suits (Penn Future/DEP), 1999-2002
Folder 18 Bonding Legislation Research, 1999-2000
Folder 19 Bonding Suit- 1981
Folder 20 Reports on Bonding by DEP, 1985
Folder 21 Witness Questionnaires, 1999-2000
Folder 22 PFSC, et al. v. Norton, et al., 2005
Folder 23 Abandoned Mined Lands (AML)
Folder 24-25 AML Program/Fund
Folder 26 Abandoned Mined Lands/ Acid Mine Drainage
Folder 27 HB 1427 Mine Drainage Cleanup Act, 1997
Folder 28 Acid Mine Drainage Workshop, 1994

Subseries 5. Groups

Scope and Content Notes:

Many environmental groups strived for better mining regulations. Although the Pennsylvania Chapter of the Sierra Club's focus was wide-ranging, other groups, such as the Tri-State Citizens Mining Network and the Citizens Coal Council, were formed specifically to minimize damage caused by mining. The groups often worked together to achieve their goals, forming alliances and committees to address specific problems. Their efforts are documented here through meeting minutes, correspondence, committee and workshop information, and group publications.


Box 13
Folder 1-6 Sierra Club (SC), 1980-2001
Folder 7 Budgets, 1992-1997
Folder 8 Centennial
Folder 9 Funding Campaign
Folder 10 PA Chapter Testimony and Comment
Folder 11 Correspondence
Folder 12 Energy Committee, 1983-1994
Folder 13 Department of Environmental Resources (DER)-Proposal Division
Folder 14 Jobs v. the Environment
Folder 15 Sierra Club Foundation
Folder 16 Sierra Club and Minorities- Cultural Diversity
Folder 17-18 Conservation Committee, 1989-1996
Folder 19 Legal Committee
Folder 20 Training/Workshop
Folder 21 Leaders, May 1995
Folder 22 Environmental Petition and Green Agenda
Folder 23 Fifth Annual Environmental Justice In-Gathering, 2004
Folder 24 Pennsylvania Sierra Club Mining Committee, 2001-2005
Folder 25 Conflict Resolution, 1997
Folder 26 Coal Policy
Folder 27 "Dump Watt" Drive, 1981
Folder 28 Legal Fees - Richard Ehman
Folder 29 Grant Information
Folder 30 Alfred G. Etter
Folder 31 Publications

Box 14
Folder 1 Group Directories
Folder 2 Tri-State By-Laws
Folder 3-4 Tri-State, 1994-2002
Folder 5-6 Tri-State Meetings and Activities
Folder 7 Tri-State Meeting Notes
Folder 8 Tri-State Planning Retreat
Folder 9 Tri-State Underground Mining Workshop, Aug. 2005
Folder 10 Tri-State Grant Information
Folder 11 Tri-State Newsletters
Folder 12 General Tri-State Correspondence
Folder 13 Tri-State and Act 54
Folder 14 Tri-State and the 84 Mining Company
Folder 15 Tri-State and Water
Folder 16 Tri-State and OSM
Folder 17 Tri-State and SMCRA
Folder 18 National Citizen's Coal Law Project
Folder 19 Concerned About Water Loss Due to Mining (CAWLM)
Folder 20 Mining and Reclamation Advisory Board (MRAB) of DEP
Folder 21 Appalachian Regional Conservation Committee (ARCC), 2004
Folder 22 Ten Mile Protection Network
Folder 23 Citizens Organized Against Longwalling (COAL)
Folder 24 Coalfield Justice Coalition
Folder 25 Coal Justice Alliance
Folder 26 Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER)
Folder 27 Pennsylvania Environmental Defense Foundation
Folder 28 Environmental Quality Board
Folder 29-33 Citizen's Coal Council (CCC), 1994-2001
Folder 34 Learning About Organizing - CCC Workshop
Folder 35 Justice in the Coalfields of Appalachia - CCC Conference
Folder 36 Coal Summit - Lexington KY, 1987
Folder 37 Coal Summit, 2002
Folder 38 Coal Summit Follow-up
Folder 39 DER Policies and Roundtables, 2000
Folder 40 DEP Mining and Reclamation Advisory Board - Meetings
Folder 41 DEP Informational Roundtable
Folder 42 High Extraction Mining Forum, 1997
Folder 43 Vision Workshop, 2001
Folder 44 Workshops/Conferences - Other
Folder 45 Awards
Folder 46 Mine Tour - Fayette and Somerset Counties
Folder 47 Enlow Mining Tour Photos
Folder 48 Mining Tours
Folder 49 Correspondence and Other Activist Groups
Folder 50 Other Groups
Folder 51 Other Group Publications