Administrative Code

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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 4. Conservation And Natural Resources
Agency 25. Department of Energy
Chapter 130. Coal Surface Mining Reclamation Regulations

4VAC25-130-800.51. Administrative review of performance bond forfeiture.

(a) The permittee or surety, if applicable, may request, in writing, a hearing on the division's determination to forfeit the performance bond within 30 days of receipt of the written determination from the division.

(b) A request for hearing shall not operate as a stay of the bond forfeiture decision. Unless the division decides to withhold forfeiture as provided by 4VAC25-130-800.50 (a) (2), it shall take immediate steps to collect the necessary performance bond amounts so that it, or its contractor, may complete the reclamation plan and any other regulatory requirements in the most expeditious manner possible, pending administrative and/or judicial review.

(c)(1) The division shall commence the hearing within 30 days of the hearing request. The hearing shall be conducted in accordance with § 2.2-4020 of the Code of Virginia by a Hearings Officer appointed by the director.

(2) The burden of proof at such hearing shall be on the party seeking to reverse the decision of the division.

(3) For the purpose of such hearing, the hearings officer may administer oaths and affirmations, subpoena witnesses, written or printed materials, compel attendance of witnesses or production of those materials, compel discovery, and take evidence, including but not limited to site inspections of the land affected.

(4) The hearings officer shall cause an accurate verbatim record of the hearing to be made. The division may charge the reasonable cost of preparing such record to any party who requests a copy of the record.

(5) Ex parte contacts between representatives of the parties to the hearing and the hearings officer shall be prohibited.

(6) Within 30 days after the close of the record, the division shall issue and furnish the permittee, surety (if applicable) and each person who participated in the hearing with the written findings of fact, conclusion of law, and order of the hearings officer with respect to the appeal. The decision of the hearings officer shall be final as of the date of issuance, subject to the review and reconsideration by the director or his designee, provided in subsection (d) of this section.

(d) Within 14 days after the issuance of the hearings officer's decision under subdivision (c) (6) of this section, the permittee, surety (if applicable), or any person who participated in the hearing and has an interest which is or may be adversely affected by the decision, may appeal to the director or his designee for review of the record and reconsideration of the hearings officer's decision. The director or his designee may also on his own motion, with notice to the parties, review the record and reconsider the hearings officer's decision within the same time period. No further evidence will be allowed in connection with such review and reconsideration, but the director or his designee may hear further arguments and may, after considering the record, remand the case for further hearing if he considers such action necessary to develop the facts. Within 30 days of the appeal or motion for review and reconsideration, the director or his designee shall complete his review of the hearings officer's decision and issue a final decision.

(e) All requests for hearing, or appeals for review and reconsideration made under this section; and all notices of appeal for judicial review of a hearing officer's final decision, or the final decision on review and reconsideration shall be filed with the Director, Division of Mined Land Repurposing, Department of Energy, 3405 Mountain Empire Road, Big Stone Gap, Virginia 24219.

Statutory Authority

§ 45.2-103 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR480-03-19 § 800.60, 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; Volume 38, Issue 13, eff. March 31, 2022.

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