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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 4. Conservation and Natural Resources
Agency 25. Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy
Chapter 130. Coal Surface Mining Reclamation Regulations
7/6/2020

4VAC25-130-740.4. Responsibilities.

(a) The Secretary is responsible for:

(1) Approval, disapproval or conditional approval of mining plans with respect to lands containing leased Federal coal and of modifications thereto, in accordance with the Mineral Leasing Act of 1920, as amended, 30 USC § 181 et seq.;

(2) Execution, modification or termination of State-Federal cooperative agreements in accordance with 30 CFR 745; and

(3) Designation of areas of Federal lands as unsuitable for all or certain types of surface coal mining and reclamation operations, or termination of such designations, in accordance with 30 CFR 769.

(4) Determination of valid existing rights for surface coal mining and reclamation operations on Federal lands within the boundaries of any areas specified under Section 522(e)(1) or (2) of the Federal Act.

(5) Determination that there are no significant recreational, timber, economic, or other values which may be incompatible with surface coal mining and reclamation operations on any Federal lands within the boundaries of any national forest under Section 522(e)(2) of the Federal Act.

(b) The OSM is responsible for:

(1) Providing a decision document recommending to the Secretary approval, disapproval or conditional approval of mining plans and of modifications thereto;

(2) Approval of experimental practices on Federal lands;

(3) Inspection, enforcement and civil penalties with respect to surface coal mining and reclamation operations on Federal lands except as provided in Paragraph (c)(5) of this section;

(4) Processing citizen requests for Federal inspections on Federal lands in accordance with 30 CFR 842, 843 and 845; and

(5) Overseeing the division's administration and enforcement of the State program on Federal lands pursuant to the terms of the cooperative agreement.

(c) The following responsibilities of the OSM may be delegated to the division under the cooperative agreement:

(1) Review and approval, conditional approval or disapproval of permit applications for surface coal mining and reclamation operations on Federal lands, revisions or renewals thereof, and applications for the transfer, sale or assignment of such permits;

(2) Consultation with and obtaining the consent, as necessary, of the Federal land management agency with respect to post-mining land use and to any special requirements necessary to protect non-coal resources of the areas affected by surface coal mining and reclamation operations;

(3) Consultation with and obtaining the consent, as necessary, of the Bureau of Land Management with respect to requirements relating to the development, production and recovery of mineral resources on lands affected by surface coal mining and reclamation operations involving leased Federal coal pursuant to 43 CFR 3400;

(4) Approval and release of performance bonds, liability insurance and, as applicable, Federal lessee protection bonds required for surface coal mining and reclamation operations on Federal lands. Approval and release of Federal lessee protection bonds requires the concurrence of the Federal land management agency;

(5) Inspection, enforcement and civil penalty activities for (i) exploration operations not subject to 43 CFR 3480-3487, and (ii) surface coal mining and reclamation operations on Federal lands;

(6) Review and approval of exploration operations not subject to the requirements of 43 CFR 3480-3487; and

(7) Preparation of documentation to comply with the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) (42 USC § 4321 et seq.), except, the OSM shall continue to be responsible for:

(i) Determining the scope, content and format and ensuring the objectivity of NEPA compliance documents;

(ii) Making the determination of whether or not the preparation of an environmental impact statement is required;

(iii) Notifying and soliciting views of other State and Federal agencies, as appropriate, on the environmental effects of the proposed action;

(iv) Publishing and distributing draft and final NEPA compliance documents;

(v) Making policy responses to comments on draft NEPA compliance documents;

(vi) Independently evaluating NEPA compliance documents; and

(vii) Adopting NEPA compliance documents and determining Federal actions to be taken on alternatives presented in such documents.

(d) The Bureau of Land Management is responsible for:

(1) Receiving and approving exploration plans pursuant to 43 CFR 3480-3487;

(2) Inspection, enforcement and civil penalties with respect to the terms and conditions of coal exploration licenses issued pursuant to 43 CFR 3400;

(3) Inspection, enforcement and civil penalties with respect to the terms and conditions of exploration operations subject to 43 CFR 3480-3487;

(4) Reviewing the resource recovery and protection plan and modifications thereto, as required by 43 CFR 3480-3487 and recommending to the Secretary approval, disapproval or conditional approval of the resource recovery and protection plan;

(5) Inspection, enforcement and civil penalties with respect to the recovery and protection of the coal resource as required by 43 CFR 3480-3487;

(6) Protecting mineral resources not included in the coal lease;

(7) Issuance of exploration licenses for Federal coal subject to the requirements of 43 CFR 3400;

(8) Issuance of leases and licenses to mine Federal coal subject to the requirements of 43 CFR 3400; and

(9) Issuance, readjustment, modification, termination, cancellation, and approval of transfers of Federal coal leases pursuant to the Mineral Leasing Act and the Mineral Leasing Act for Acquired Lands of 1947, as amended, 30 USC § 351 et seq.

(e) The Federal land management agency is responsible for:

(1) Determining post-mining land uses;

(2) Protection of non-mineral resources;

(3) Requiring such conditions as may be appropriate to regulate surface coal mining and reclamation operations under other provisions of law applicable to such lands under its jurisdiction; and

(4) Where land containing leased Federal coal is under the surface jurisdiction of a Federal agency other than the Department of the Interior, concur in the terms of the mining plan approval.

Statutory Authority

§§ 45.1-161.3 and 45.1-230 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR480-03-19 § 740.4, eff. December 15, 1981; amended, eff. June 28, 1982; October 28, 1982; December 14, 1982; October 11, 1983; December 27, 1983; May 8, 1984; June 22, 1984; August 2, 1984; October 16, 1985; January 7, 1987; July 22, 1987; November 25, 1987; October 12, 1988; December 26, 1990; July 1, 1991; July 17, 1991; November 20, 1991; July 7, 1992; May 5, 1993; October 19, 1994.

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