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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 9. Environment
Agency 25. State Water Control Board
Chapter 151. Virginia Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (VPDES) General Permit Regulation for Discharges of Stormwater Associated with Industrial Activity

9VAC25-151-160. Sector H - Coal mines and coal mining-related facilities.

A. Discharges covered under this section. The requirements listed under this section apply to stormwater discharges associated with industrial activity from coal mining-related areas (SIC Major Group 12) if (i) they are not subject to effluent limitations guidelines under 40 CFR Part 434 or (ii) they are not subject to the standards of the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 (SMCRA) (30 USC § 1201 et seq.) and the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy's individual permit requirements.

The requirements of this section shall apply to stormwater discharges from coal mining-related activities exempt from SMCRA, including the public financed exemption, the 16-2/3% exemption, the private use exemption, the under 250 tons exemption, the nonincidental tipple exemption, and the exemption for coal piles and preparation plants associated with the end user. Stormwater discharges from the following portions of eligible coal mines and coal mining related facilities may be eligible for this permit: haul roads (nonpublic roads on which coal or coal refuse is conveyed), access roads (nonpublic roads providing light vehicular traffic within the facility property and to public roadways), railroad spurs, sidings, and internal haulage lines (rail lines used for hauling coal within the facility property and to off-site commercial railroad lines or loading areas); conveyor belts, chutes, and aerial tramway haulage areas (areas under and around coal or refuse conveyor areas, including transfer stations); and equipment storage and maintenance yards, coal handling buildings and structures, coal tipples, coal loading facilities and inactive coal mines and related areas (abandoned and other inactive mines, refuse disposal sites and other mining-related areas).

B. Special conditions. Prohibition of nonstormwater discharges. In addition to the general prohibition of nonstormwater discharges in Part I B 1, the following discharges are not covered by this permit: discharges from pollutant seeps or underground drainage from inactive coal mines and refuse disposal areas that do not result from precipitation events and discharges from floor drains in maintenance buildings and other similar drains in mining and preparation plant areas.

C. SWPPP requirements. In addition to the requirements of Part III, the SWPPP shall include at a minimum, the following items.

1. Site description.

a. Site map. The site map shall identify where any of the following may be exposed to precipitation or surface runoff:

(1) Haul and access roads;

(2) Railroad spurs, sliding, and internal hauling lines;

(3) Conveyor belts, chutes, and aerial tramways;

(4) Equipment storage and maintenance yards;

(5) Coal handling buildings and structures;

(6) Inactive mines and related areas;

(7) Acidic spoil, refuse or unreclaimed disturbed areas; and

(8) Liquid storage tanks containing pollutants such as caustics, hydraulic fluids and lubricants.

b. Summary of potential pollutant sources. A description of the potential pollutant sources from the following activities: truck traffic on haul roads and resulting generation of sediment subject to runoff and dust generation; fuel or other liquid storage; pressure lines containing slurry, hydraulic fluid or other potential harmful liquids; and loading or temporary storage of acidic refuse or spoil.

2. Stormwater controls.

a. Good housekeeping. As part of the facility's good housekeeping program required by Part III B 4 b (1), the permittee shall consider the following: using sweepers, covered storage, and watering of haul roads to minimize dust generation; and conservation of vegetation (where possible) to minimize erosion.

b. Preventive maintenance. The permittee shall also perform inspections of storage tanks and pressure lines for fuels, lubricants, hydraulic fluid or slurry to prevent leaks due to deterioration or faulty connections; or other equivalent measures.

c. Routine facility inspections. Sites shall be inspected at least quarterly unless adverse weather conditions make the site inaccessible. The requirement for routine facility inspections is waived for facilities that have maintained an active VEEP E3/E4 status.

D. Inactive and unstaffed sites. Permittees in Sector H seeking to exercise a waiver from the quarterly visual monitoring and routine facility inspection requirements for inactive and unstaffed sites (including temporarily inactive sites) are conditionally exempt from the requirement to certify that "there are no industrial materials or activities exposed to stormwater" in Part I A 4.

This exemption is conditioned on the following:

1. If circumstances change and the facility becomes active or staffed, this exception no longer applies and the permittee shall immediately begin complying with the quarterly visual monitoring requirements and routine facility inspection requirements; and

2. The board retains the authority to revoke this exemption and the monitoring waiver when it is determined that the discharge causes, has a reasonable potential to cause, or contributes to an instream excursion above an applicable water quality standard, including designated uses.

Subject to the two conditions in subdivisions 1 and 2 of this subsection, if a facility is inactive and unstaffed, the permittee is waived from the requirement to conduct quarterly visual monitoring and routine facility inspections. The permittee is not waived from conducting a minimum of one annual site inspection. The board encourages the permittee to inspect the site more frequently when there is reason to believe that severe weather or natural disasters may have damaged control measures.

E. Benchmark monitoring and reporting requirements. Coal mining facilities are required to monitor their stormwater discharges for the pollutants of concern listed in Table 160. There are no benchmark monitoring requirements for inactive and unstaffed sites that have received a waiver in accordance with Part I A 4 (Inactive and unstaffed sites).

Table 160
Sector H - Benchmark Monitoring Requirements

Pollutants of Concern

Benchmark Concentration

Coal Mines and Related Areas (SIC Codes 1221-1241)

Total Recoverable Aluminum

750 μg/L

Total Recoverable Iron

1.0 mg/L

Total Suspended Solids (TSS)

100 mg/L

Statutory Authority

§ 62.1-44.15 of the Code of Virginia; § 402 of the federal Clean Water Act; 40 CFR Parts 122, 123, and 124.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 15, Issue 9, eff. June 30, 1999; amended, Virginia Register Volume 20, Issue 16, eff. July 1, 2004; Volume 21, Issue 2, eff. November 3, 2004; Volume 25, Issue 19, eff. June 24, 2009; Volume 30, Issue 11, eff. July 1, 2014; Volume 35, Issue 19, eff. July 1, 2019.

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