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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
7/5/2020

4VAC25-130-843.12. Notices of Violation.

(a) An authorized representative of the director shall issue a notice of violation if, on the basis of an inspection pursuant to § 45.1-244 of the Act, the representative finds a violation of the Act, this chapter, or any condition of a permit or an exploration approval imposed under the Act, or this chapter, which does not create an imminent danger or harm for which a cessation order must be issued under 4VAC25-130-843.11.

(b) A notice of violation issued under 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 violation;

(2) The remedial action required, which may include interim steps;

(3) A reasonable time for abatement, which may include time for accomplishment of interim steps; and

(4) A reasonable description of the portion of the coal exploration or surface coal mining and reclamation operation to which it applies.

(c) An authorized representative of the director may extend the time set for abatement or for accomplishment of an interim step, if the failure to meet the time previously set was not caused by the permittee's lack of diligence. The total time for abatement under a notice of violation, including all extensions, shall not exceed 90 days from the date of issuance, except upon a showing by the permittee that it is not feasible to abate the violation within 90 calendar days due to one or more of the circumstances in subsection (f) of this section. An extended abatement date pursuant to this section shall not be granted when the permittee's failure to abate within 90 days has been caused by a lack of diligence or intentional delay by the permittee in completing the remedial action required.

(d)(1) If the permittee fails to meet the time set for abatement, the authorized representative shall issue a cessation order under 4VAC25-130-843.11(b).

(2) If the permittee fails to meet the time set for accomplishment of any interim step the authorized representative may issue a cessation order under 4VAC25-130-843.11 (b).

(e) An authorized representative of the director shall terminate a notice of violation by written notice to the permittee when the representative determines that all violations listed in the notice of violation have been abated. Termination shall not affect the right of the division to assess civil penalties under Part 845 for those violations.

(f) Circumstances which may qualify a coal exploration or a surface coal mining operation for an abatement period of more than 90 days are:

(1) Where the permittee of an on-going permitted operation has timely applied for and diligently pursued a permit renewal or other necessary approval of designs or plans but such permit or approval has not been or will not be issued within 90 days after a valid permit expires or is required, for reasons not within the control of the permittee;

(2) Where there is a valid judicial or administrative order precluding abatement within 90 days as to which the permittee has diligently pursued all rights of appeal and as to which the permittee has no other effective legal remedy;

(3) Where the permittee cannot abate within 90 days due to a labor strike;

(4) Where climatic conditions preclude abatement within 90 days, or where, due to climatic conditions, abatement within 90 days clearly would cause more environmental harm than it would prevent; or

(5) Where abatement within 90 days requires action that would violate safety standards established by statute or regulation under the Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977.

(g) Whenever an abatement time in excess of 90 days is permitted, interim abatement measures shall be imposed to the extent necessary to minimize harm to the public or the environment.

(h) If any of the conditions in subsection (f) of this section exists, the permittee may request the authorized representative to grant an abatement period exceeding 90 days. The authorized representative shall not grant such an abatement period without the concurrence of the director and the abatement period granted shall not exceed the shortest possible time necessary to abate the violation. The permittee shall have the burden of establishing by clear and convincing proof that he is entitled to an extension under the provisions of 4VAC25-130-843.12 (c) and (f). In determining whether or not to grant an abatement period exceeding 90 days the authorized representative may consider any relevant written or oral information from the permittee or any other source. The authorized representative shall promptly and fully document in the file his reasons for granting or denying the request. The authorized representative's immediate supervisor shall review this document before concurring in or disapproving the extended abatement date and shall promptly and fully document the reasons for his concurrence or disapproval in the file.

(i) No extension granted under subsection (h) of this section may exceed 90 days in length. Where the condition or circumstance which prevented abatement within 90 days exists at the expiration of any such extension, the permittee may request a further extension in accordance with the procedures of subsection (h) of this section.

(j) Any determination made under subsection (h) of this section shall be subject to formal review pursuant to the provisions of the Virginia Administrative Process Act (§ 2.2-4000 et seq. of the Code of Virginia).

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from VR480-03-19 § 843.12, 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 23, Issue 13, eff. April 4, 2007.

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