Monitoring and Compliance Section
Duties of the Monitoring and Compliance Section
- The Monitoring and Compliance Section is responsible for:
- Providing information and advice to the general public, mining operators, and municipal officials, relating to monitoring and enforcement activities within Pennsylvania's bituminous underground coal field.
- The logging of complaints that are attributed to underground mining activities involving changes to water quality and/or quantity of private water supplies such as wells and springs; and subsidence events involving damage to homes or property. The staff coordinates with technical staff and other agencies to assist in providing a resolution of the problems.
- The evaluation of areas affected by mining activities, initiation of follow-up actions, including the submittal of mitigation plans and the monitoring their implementation, and when necessary to achieve compliance, the issuance of orders.
- The employees that work in the field to monitor the surface effects of underground mining operations are known as Surface Subsidence Agents (SSA). The SSA's provide one-on-one contact with the general public to explain their rights and responsibilities under the Bituminous Mine Subsidence and Land Reclamation Act and will assist landowners in their dealings with the coal operator. The SSA's provide guidance to the operators for complaint investigations, methane monitoring, and replacement standards for private water supplies. They are assigned areas of responsibility and monitor surface features before, during, and after underground mining occurs. The SSA's report to a Supervisor who coordinates their activities.