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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

4VAC25-130-843.11. Cessation Orders.

Part 843
Enforcement Procedures

(a)(1) An authorized representative of the Director shall immediately order a cessation of a coal exploration or a surface coal mining and reclamation operation or of the relevant portion thereof, if the representative finds, on the basis of any inspection, any condition or practice, or any violation of the Act, this chapter, or any condition of a permit or an exploration approval imposed under the Act, or this chapter which:

(i) Creates an imminent danger to the health or safety of the public; or

(ii) Is causing or can reasonably be expected to cause significant, imminent environmental harm to land, air, or water resources.

(2) Surface coal mining operations conducted by any person without a valid surface coal mining permit constitute a condition or practice which causes or can reasonably be expected to cause significant, imminent environmental harm to land, air, or water resources, unless such operations:

(i) Are an integral, uninterrupted extension of previously permitted operations, and the person conducting such operations has filed a timely and complete application for a permit to conduct such operations; or

(ii) Were conducted lawfully without a permit under this chapter because no permit under this chapter has been required for such operations by the division.

(3) If the cessation ordered under Paragraph (a)(1) of this section will not completely abate the imminent danger or harm in the most expeditious manner physically possible, the authorized representative of the Director shall impose affirmative obligations on the permittee to abate the imminent danger or significant environmental harm. The order shall specify the time by which abatement shall be accomplished.

(b)(1) When a notice of violation has been issued under 4VAC25-130-843.12(a) and the permittee fails to abate the violation within the abatement period fixed or subsequently extended by the authorized representative, the authorized representative of the Director shall immediately order a cessation of coal exploration or surface coal mining and reclamation operations, or of the portion relevant to the violation.

(2) A cessation order issued under this Paragraph (b) shall require the permittee to take all steps the authorized representative of the Director deems necessary to abate the violations covered by the order in the most expeditious manner physically possible.

(c) A cessation order issued under Paragraphs (a) or (b) of this section shall be in writing, signed by the authorized representative who issues it, and shall set forth with reasonable specificity: (1) The nature of the condition, practice or violation; (2) the remedial action or affirmative obligation required, if any, including interim steps, if appropriate; (3) the time established for abatement, including a schedule for meeting any interim steps, if appropriate; and (4) a reasonable description of the portion of the coal exploration or surface coal mining and reclamation operation to which it applies. The order shall remain in effect until the condition, practice or violation resulting in the issuance of the cessation order has been abated or until vacated, modified or terminated in writing by an authorized representative of the Director, or until the order expires pursuant to Section 45.1-245(D) of the Act and 4VAC25-130-843.15.

(d) Reclamation operations and other activities intended to protect public health and safety and the environment shall continue during the period of any order unless otherwise provided in the order.

(e) An authorized representative of the Director may modify, terminate or vacate a cessation order for good cause, and may extend the time for abatement if the failure to abate within the time previously set was not caused by the permittee's lack of diligence.

(f) An authorized representative of the Director shall terminate a cessation order by written notice to the permittee when the representative determines that all conditions, practices or violations listed in the order have been abated. Termination shall not affect the right of the division to assess civil penalties under Part 845 of this chapter for those violations.

(g) Within 60 days after issuing a cessation order, the division shall notify in writing any person who has been identified under 4VAC25-130-773.17(h) and 4VAC25-130-778.13(c) and (d) as owning or controlling the permittee, that the cessation order was issued and that the person has been identified as an owner or controller.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from VR480-03-19 § 843.11, 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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