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Act 54

Bituminous underground mining activities in Pennsylvania are regulated by DEP under the Bituminous Mine Subsidence and Land Conservation Act (BMSLCA) of 1966 which calls for protection of structures, including buildings, homes and cemeteries. BMSLCA was amended in 1980 and again in 1994. The 1994 amendment, known as Act 54, included provisions for protection and restoration of water supplies affected by mining and additional remedies for structural damage. It also required regular assessment of the underground mining regulatory program. The specific regulations pertaining to this program are codified in 25 Pa. Code Chapters 86 and 89.

Protection of streams and their uses is regulated under 25 Pa Code Chapter 89 as well as the Clean Streams Law, and informed by 25 Pa. Code Chapters 93, 94, 96 and 105. An underground mine operator must demonstrate that activities are designed in such a way as to prevent damage to aquifers and perennial streams (§§ 89.35 and 89.36).

Under the Act 54 amendments to BMSLCA, DEP is required to compile data and report findings regarding the effects of underground mining on land, structures and water resources. This review is done with assistance from professionals with appropriate expertise as stipulated by Act 54. A Report is prepared and presented to the Governor, General Assembly and the Citizens Advisory Council (CAC) every five years.

The Act 54 Report is deemed to be an important audit of Pennsylvania's underground mining program providing the public, organizations, and the mining industry with an opportunity to review and comment on the program and allowing DEP and overseeing parties to consider program edits and improvements.

5th Report (2014-2018)

Data collection and analysis is currently in process with the next report to be delivered to the DEP in August 31, 2019.

Agreement and scope of work (PDF)

Act 54 Report on the Impacts of Underground Coal Mining (2008 - 2013)

Assessment of the Effects of Subsidence (ACT 54) Report 2008-2013 (2015)

An internal review of the report "The Effects of Subsidence Resulting from Underground Bituminous Coal Mining 2008-2013" by Tonsor, et al., University of Pittsburgh, August 30, 2014, and related public comments (PDF)

Act 54 Report on the Impacts of Underground Coal Mining (2003 - 2008)

The following additional reports are available by contacting DEP's Bureau of Mining Programs:

  • Act 54 Report on the Impacts of Underground Coal Mining (1998 - 2003)
  • Supplemental Report on the Effects of Underground Coal Mining (February 2001)
  • Act 54 Report on the Impacts of Underground Coal Mining (1993 - 1998)