Administrative Code

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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

4VAC25-130-823.14. Soil Replacement.

(a) Soil reconstruction specifications established by the U. S. Natural Resources Conservation Service shall be based upon the standards of the National Cooperative Soil Survey and shall include, as a minimum, physical and chemical characteristics of reconstructed soils and soil descriptions containing soil-horizon depths, soil densities, soil pH, and other specifications such that reconstructed soils will have the capability of achieving levels of yield equal to, or higher than, those on nonmined prime farmland in the surrounding area.

(b) The minimum depth of soil and substitute soil material to be reconstructed shall be 48 inches, or a lesser depth equal to the depth to a subsurface horizon in the natural soil that inhibits or prevents root penetration, or a greater depth if determined necessary to restore the original soil productive capacity. Soil horizons shall be considered as inhibiting or preventing root penetration if their physical or chemical properties or water-supplying capacities cause them to restrict or prevent penetration by roots of plants common to the vicinity of the permit area and if these properties or capacities have little or no beneficial effect on soil productive capacity.

(c) The permittee shall replace and regrade the soil horizons or other root zone material with proper compaction and uniform depth. Excessive compaction shall be avoided.

(d) The permittee shall replace the B horizon, C horizon, or other suitable material specified in 4VAC25-130-823.12(c)(2) to the thickness needed to meet the requirements of Paragraph (b) of this section. In those areas where the B or C horizons were not removed but may have been compacted or otherwise damaged during the mining operation, the operator shall engage in deep tilling or other appropriate means to restore pre-mining capabilities.

(e) The permittee shall replace the topsoil or other suitable soil materials specified in 4VAC25-130-823.12(c)(1) as the final surface soil layer. This surface soil layer shall equal or exceed the thickness of the original surface soil layer, as determined by the soil survey.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from VR480-03-19 § 823.14, 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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