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Jeff Polenik, Robindale Energy,"Leanor GFCC - A Positive Impact


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Robindale Energy Services, Inc. entered into a Government Financed Construction Contract (GFCC) and contributed to the process of watershed improvements.

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Jeff Polenik, Robindale Energy,"Leanor GFCC - A Positive Impact

  1. 1. Robindale Energy Services, Inc.
  2. 2. SEANOR GFCC- A POSITIVE IMPACT Pennsylvania’s 2014 Abandoned Mine Reclamation Conference June 26-27, 2014 State College, PA Jeff Polenik, Manager - Engineering
  3. 3. But first…… A Thank you • To the 2014 PA Abandoned Mine Reclamation Conference Committee • ARIPPA and Congratulations on your 25th Anniversary • Sponsors for the Conference
  4. 4. Who we are • Robindale Energy Services, Inc. is a western Pennsylvania company that primarily deals with the permitting and mining, and transportation of waste coal from 8 counties in the bituminous coal fields to waste coal burning plants in the state. Robindale’s operations over the past 22 years have helped clean miles of streams and remove millions of gallons of acid mine drainage in Pennsylvania at no cost to the taxpayers. From 1991 through 2013, Robindale (and its affiliate RNS Services) has reclaimed over 40,080,744 tons of waste coal and has completely reclaimed 1,018 acres of abandoned mine land.
  5. 5. Background Information of the Seanor Site Located in Loyalhanna Township, Westmoreland County The Site is approximately two (2) miles southwest of Saltsburg, PA. The Loyalhanna Creek basin is the major drainage basin for the site and is bordered on the west by Getty Run which meets with Loyalhanna Creek just north of the site. To the east the site borders Loyalhanna Creek.
  6. 6. General Location
  7. 7. Prior Site Conditions The refuse pile, consisting of two (2) main piles and two (2) smaller piles, was generated from the abandoned Loyal Mine. It appears there was a coal tipple and rail load out associated with the deep mine. The deep mine complex was situated on the Upper Freeport coal seam.
  8. 8. Existing Conditions
  9. 9. Project Description • Located within the Loyalhanna Creek Watershed, the 46.6 acre Seanor site is situated in Loyalhanna Township, Westmoreland County consisted of approximately 18.6 acres of abandoned refuse piles scattered throughout the area with little to no vegetation existing. The abandoned waste coal piles were up to the edge of the stream bank on a portion of Getty Run and placed nearby Loyalhanna Creek providing a direct flow path for waste coal and acidic runoff during precipitation events to enter into the waters of the Commonwealth. Additional hazards / risks included steep slopes that pose a threat to hikers and ATV riders. Also, bisecting the site is a Westmoreland County owned Rails to Trail pathway that is frequently utilized.
  10. 10. Pre-Existing Conditions
  11. 11. Evaluation for Removal Authorization • Typically have 4 Avenues to pursue • 1 – Exploration Permit • 2 - Consent Order and Agreement • 3 – Surface Mine Permit for Refuse Removal (SMP) • 4 – Government Financed Construction Contract (GFCC) • For the Seanor Project, the GFCC was the preferred choice
  12. 12. Why GFCC? • Typically quicker to receive DEP approval • Designed for site such as Seanor • Preparation is less intense / involved • Allows for quick start up • Liability is minimized • Ash Back – (at one time) • Bond release time is reduced.
  13. 13. The Process • To evaluate the site qualifications, a GFCC Pre- Application was prepared and submitted to the Greensburg District Office on 12/26/07 • 1/29/08 – Site meeting with OSM, DEP, BMAR, Consultant. Result site qualifies. • 10/7/09 – GFCC application to DEP, with provisions for beneficial ash placement • 11/25/09 – DEP notifies Robindale that no ash is permitted on GFCC’s now and going forward
  14. 14. The Process - continued • 12/18/09 – revisions to remove ash submitted • Throughout 2010 – caught up in Department shuffle, notifications, Government shutdown and new fees • 1/3/2011 – Contract Issued – still not quite ready to go…. • Filed for NPDES Permit through the Westmoreland County SCS in 1/21/11 • 2/10/11 – SCS Approval received – site is now ready to activate
  15. 15. Summary • Total time to obtain Contract Approval almost - 3 years and 2 months • Other GFCC’s – 12 to 18 months • For comparison: Length of time to conduct refuse removal – started 3/3/2011 ended 8/27/12 followed by reclamation. • Total time – 1 year and 5 months • Tons of Waste Coal removed – 305,000
  16. 16. Exhibit Map
  17. 17. Site Entrance
  18. 18. Pre-Contract Crossing
  19. 19. Crossing Improvements
  20. 20. August 29, 2012
  21. 21. Destination Waste Coal was delivered to Seward Power Plant operated by NRG Still remains as the largest CFB Power Plant in the country (515 NMw) Receives on average 600 loads of waste coal and 120 loads of limestone per day – 5 days per week Removes on average 580 loads of beneficial ash and rejects per day – 5 days per week
  22. 22. Left Behind • Not all of the waste coal was considered useable material. Portions that were not usable remained on site and mixed with lime and soil like material excavated on-site and contoured into the proposed final grade for the site. Typically, traditional topsoil from these sites are limited and virtually non-existent. As the waste coal is removed to the original ground, the soil beneath the material is tested for potential cover material and if results are positive, the material is stockpiled and utilized for cover material at the completion of the project. Proper nutrients are added to the soil during the reclamation process to provide for successful revegetation.
  23. 23. Active Operation
  24. 24. Loading Material
  25. 25. Reclamation
  26. 26. The Trail
  27. 27. Trail Background • The Westmoreland Heritage Trail follows the rail bed of the former Penn Central RR, which fell into disuse in 1972. The rail line was originally opened in 1852 by a subsidiary of the Pennsylvania Railroad Company, led by George Westinghouse, Jr. to connect Saltsburg and Export. Currently the trail travels between Saltsburg and Slickville, but plans call for a 20 mile trail all the way to Trafford. The next phase of construction will extend the trail another 4 miles from Slickville towards Delmont and is expected to be completed by the Fall of 2013. In Saltsburg this trail converges with the West Penn Trail at the Saltsburg Playground.
  28. 28. Project Partnerships • During the active operation of the Seanor GFCC, the site was monitored monthly by the assigned Mine Conservation Inspector from the Greensburg District Office of the Department of Environmental Protection. During the life of the project, excellent communication was conducted between Robindale Energy personnel and the MCI to assure was project was completed as planned with no environmental incidents occurring during the operation.
  29. 29. Economic Impact • The estimated cost of the project was determined to be $250,034. All of which was completed at no cost the Commonwealth. During the project life, Robindale employed 3 employees at the site with a combined gross payroll of $210,000. The waste coal was removed from the site and transported by truck to the Seward Generating Station, which yielded a gross income of $1,586,504 for the various trucking companies contracted by Robindale Energy throughout the life of the Seanor GFCC project
  30. 30. Environmental Results • Several positive results occurred upon the completion of the project. A lush vegetative cover has been established to improve surface water runoff leading into the nearby streams. The approximate original contour of the land fits in well with the existing topography of the surrounding area. Small game species have been seen throughout the site feeding on various grasses planted. The individuals who frequent the trail now have a nice area to pass through to observe wildlife and discuss the improvements and enhancements that took place prior to remembering the area as a barren wasteland it once was.
  31. 31. A Nomination for Consideration • Given all the positive results of the project, Robindale nominated the site for the Governor's Award for Environmental Excellence for 2014
  32. 32. The Results • I am pleased to inform you that your organization has been selected to receive a 2014 Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence! Each year, projects that encourage and promote environmental stewardship are selected to be recognized at the Pennsylvania Environmental Council’s Annual Dinner. This year we received 37 applications for consideration and selected 19 projects to receive an award. Your project was one of those selected for recognition • Jessica Shirley | Executive Policy Specialist • Department of Environmental Protection | Policy Office
  33. 33. The Award