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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
10/21/2020

4VAC25-130-785.18. Variances for Delay in Contemporaneous Reclamation Requirement in Combined Surface and Underground Mining Activities.

(a) Scope. This section shall apply to any person or persons conducting or intending to conduct combined surface and underground mining activities where a variance is requested from the contemporaneous reclamation requirements of 4VAC25-130-816.100.

(b) Application contents for variances. Any person desiring a variance under this section shall file with the division complete applications for both the surface mining activities and underground mining activities which are to be combined. The reclamation and operation plans for these permits shall contain appropriate narratives, maps, and plans, which-

(1) Show why the proposed underground mining activities are necessary or desirable to assure maximum practical recovery of the coal;

(2) Show how multiple future disturbances of surface lands or waters will be avoided;

(3) Identify the specific surface areas for which a variance is sought and the sections of the Act, this chapter, and the regulatory program from which a variance is being sought;

(4) Show how the activities will comply with 4VAC25-130-816.79 and other applicable requirements of the regulatory program;

(5) Show why the variance sought is necessary for the implementation of the proposed underground mining activities;

(6) Provide an assessment of the adverse environmental consequences and damages, if any, that will result if the reclamation of surface mining activities is delayed; and

(7) Show how offsite storage of spoil will be conducted to comply with the requirements of the Act, 4VAC25-130-816.71 through 4VAC25-130-816.75, and the regulatory program.

(c) Issuance of permit. A permit incorporating a variance under this section may be issued by the division if it first finds, in writing, upon the basis of a complete application filed in accordance with this section, that-

(1) The applicant has presented, as part of the permit application, specific, feasible plans for the proposed underground mining activities;

(2) The proposed underground mining activities are necessary or desirable to assure maximum practical recovery of the mineral resource and will avoid multiple future disturbances of surface land or waters;

(3) The applicant has satisfactorily demonstrated that the applications for the surface mining activities and underground mining activities conform to the requirements of the regulatory program and that all other permits necessary for the underground mining activities have been issued by the appropriate authority;

(4) The surface area of surface mining activities proposed for the variance has been shown by the applicant to be necessary for implementing the proposed underground mining activities;

(5) No substantial adverse environmental damage, either onsite or offsite, will result from the delay in completion of reclamation otherwise required by Section 515(b)(16) of the Federal Act, Part 816, and the regulatory program;

(6) The operations will, insofar as a variance is authorized, be conducted in compliance with the requirements of 4VAC25-130-816.79 and the regulatory program;

(7) Provisions for offsite storage of spoil will comply with the requirements of Section 515(b)(22) of the Federal Act, 4VAC25-130-816.71 through 4VAC25-130-816.75, and the regulatory program;

(8) Liability under the performance bond required to be filed by the applicant with the division pursuant to Subchapter VJ will be for the duration of the underground mining activities and until all requirements of Subchapter VJ have been complied with; and

(9) The permit for the surface mining activities contains specific conditions--

(i) Delineating the particular surface areas for which a variance is authorized;

(ii) Identifying the applicable provisions of Section 515(b) of the Federal Act, Part 816, and the regulatory program; and

(iii) Providing a detailed schedule for compliance with the provisions of this section.

(d) Review of permits containing variances. Variances granted by permits issued under this section shall be reviewed by the division no later than three years from the dates of issuance of the permit and any permit renewals.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from VR480-03-19 § 785.18, 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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