Administrative Code

Virginia Administrative Code
7/5/2022

Part 785. Requirements for Permits for Special Categories of Mining

4VAC25-130-785.1. Scope.

These requirements are in addition to the general permit requirements contained in this Subchapter VG. All of the provisions of Subchapter VG apply to these operations, unless otherwise specifically provided in this Part.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from VR480-03-19 § 785.1, 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.

4VAC25-130-785.13. Experimental practices mining.

(a) Experimental practices provide a variance from environmental protection performance standards of the Act, of Subchapter VK, and the regulatory program for experimental or research purposes, or to allow an alternative postmining land use, and may be undertaken if they are approved by the division and the Director of the OSM and if they are incorporated in a permit or permit revision issued in accordance with the requirements of Subchapter VG.

(b) An application for an experimental practice shall contain descriptions, maps, plans, and data which show--

(1) The nature of the experimental practice, including a description of the performance standards for which variances are requested, the duration of the experimental practice, and any special monitoring which will be conducted;

(2) How use of the experimental practice encourages advances in mining and reclamation technology or allows a postmining land use for industrial, commercial, residential, or public use (including recreation facilities) on an experimental basis;

(3) That the experimental practice--

(i) Is potentially more, or at least as, environmentally protective, during and after mining operations, as would otherwise be required by standards promulgated under Subchapter VK; and

(ii) Will not reduce the protection afforded public health and safety below that provided by the requirements of Subchapter VK; and

(4) That the applicant will conduct monitoring of the effects of the experimental practice. The monitoring program shall ensure the collection, analysis, and reporting of reliable data that are sufficient to enable the division and the Director of the OSM to--

(i) Evaluate the effectiveness of the experimental practice; and

(ii) Identify, at the earliest possible time, potential risk to the environment and public health and safety which may be caused by the experimental practice during and after mining.

(c) Applications for experimental practices shall comply with the public notice requirements of 4VAC25-130-773.13.

(d) No application for an experimental practice under this section shall be approved until the division first finds in writing and the Director of the OSM then concurs that--

(1) The experimental practice encourages advances in mining and reclamation technology or allows a postmining land use for industrial, commercial, residential, or public use (including recreational facilities) on an experimental basis;

(2) The experimental practice is potentially more, or at least as, environmentally protective, during and after mining operations, as would otherwise be required by standards promulgated under Subchapter VK;

(3) The mining operations approved for a particular land-use or other purpose are not larger or more numerous than necessary to determine the effectiveness and economic feasibility of the experimental practice; and

(4) The experimental practice does not reduce the protection afforded public health and safety below that provided by standards promulgated under Subchapter VK.

(e) Experimental practices granting variances from the special environmental protection performance standards of Sections 515 and 516 of the Federal Act applicable to prime farmlands shall be approved only after consultation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service.

(f) Each person undertaking an experimental practice shall conduct the periodic monitoring, recording and reporting program set forth in the application, and shall satisfy such additional requirements as the division or the Director of the OSM may impose to ensure protection of the public health and safety and the environment.

(g) Each experimental practice shall be reviewed by the division at a frequency set forth in the approved permit, but no less frequently than every 2 ½ years. After review, the division may require such reasonable modifications of the experimental practice as are necessary to ensure that the activities fully protect the environment and the public health and safety. Copies of the decision of the division shall be sent to the permittee and shall be subject to the provisions for administrative and judicial review of Part 775.

(h) Revisions or modifications to an experimental practice shall be processed in accordance with the requirements of 4VAC25-130-774.13 and approved by the division. Any revisions which propose significant alterations in the experimental practice shall, at a minimum, be subject to notice, hearing, and public participation requirements of 4VAC25-130-773.13 and concurrence by the Director of the OSM. Revisions that do not propose significant alterations in the experimental practice shall not require concurrence by the Director of the OSM.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from VR480-03-19 § 785.13, 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.

4VAC25-130-785.14. Mountaintop removal mining.

(a) This section applies to any person who conducts or intends to conduct surface mining activities by mountaintop removal mining.

(b) Mountaintop removal mining means surface mining activities, where the mining operation removes an entire coal seam or seams running throughout the upper fraction of a mountain, ridge, or hill, except as provided for in 4VAC25-130-824.11(a)(6), by removing substantially all of the overburden off the bench and creating a level plateau or a gently rolling contour, with no highwalls remaining, and capable of supporting postmining land use in accordance with the requirements of this section.

(c) The division may issue a permit for mountaintop removal mining, without regard to the requirements of 4VAC25-130-816.102, 4VAC25-130-816.104, 4VAC25-130-816.105, and 4VAC25-130-816.107 to restore the lands disturbed by such mining to their approximate original contour, if it first finds, in writing, on the basis of a complete application, that the following requirements are met:

(1) The proposed postmining land use of the lands to be affected will be an industrial, commercial, agricultural, residential, or public facility (including recreational facilities) use and, if:

(i) After consultation with the appropriate land-use planning agencies, if any, the proposed land use is deemed by the division to constitute an equal or better economic or public use of the affected land compared with the premining use;

(ii) The applicant demonstrates compliance with the requirements for acceptable alternative postmining land uses of Paragraphs (a) through (c) of 4VAC25-130-816.133;

(iii) The applicant has presented specific plans for the proposed postmining land use and appropriate assurances that such use will be:

(A) Compatible with adjacent land uses;

(B) Obtainable according to data regarding expected need and market;

(C) Assured of investment in necessary public facilities;

(D) Supported by commitments from public agencies where appropriate;

(E) Practicable with respect to private financial capability for completion of the proposed use;

(F) Planned pursuant to a schedule attached to the reclamation plan so as to integrate the mining operation and reclamation with the postmining land use; and

(G) Designed by a registered engineer in conformance with professional standards established to assure the stability, drainage, and configuration necessary for the intended use of the site;

(iv) The proposed use would be compatible with adjacent land uses and existing State and local land use plans and programs; and

(v) The division has provided, in writing, an opportunity of not more than 60 days to review and comment on such proposed use to the governing body of general purpose government in whose jurisdiction the land is located and any State or Federal agency which the division in its discretion, determines to have an interest in the proposed use.

(2) The applicant demonstrates that in place of restoration of the land to be affected to the approximate original contour under 4VAC25-130-816.102, 4VAC25-130-816.104, 4VAC25-130-816.105, and 4VAC25-130-816.107, the operation will be conducted in compliance with the requirements of Part 824.

(3) The requirements of Part 824 are made a specific condition of the permit.

(4) All other requirements of the Act, this chapter, and the regulatory program are met by the proposed operations.

(5) The permit is clearly identified as being for mountaintop removal mining.

(d)(1) Any permits incorporating a variance issued under this section shall be reviewed by the division to evaluate the progress and development of mining activities to establish that the permittee is proceeding in accordance with the terms of the variance:

(i) Within the thirtieth month from the date of its issuance;

(ii) Before each permit renewal; and

(iii) Not later than the middle of each permit term.

(2) Any review required under Paragraph (d)(1) of this section need not be held if the permittee has demonstrated and the division finds, in writing, within three months before the scheduled review, that all operations under the permit are proceeding and will continue to be conducted in accordance with the terms of the permit and requirements of the Act, this chapter, and the regulatory program.

(3) The terms and conditions of a permit for mountaintop removal mining may be modified at any time by the division, if it determines that more stringent measures are necessary to insure that the operation involved is conducted in compliance with the requirements of the Act, this chapter, and the regulatory program.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from VR480-03-19 § 785.14, 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.

4VAC25-130-785.15. Steep slope mining.

(a) This section applies to any person who conducts or intends to conduct steep slope surface coal mining and reclamation operations, except:

(1) Where a permittee proposes to conduct surface coal mining and reclamation operations on flat or gently rolling terrain, leaving a plain or predominantly flat area, but on which an occasional steep slope is encountered as the mining operation proceeds;

(2) Where a person obtains a permit under the provisions of 4VAC25-130-785.14, or

(3) To the extent that a person obtains a permit incorporating a variance under 4VAC25-130-785.16.

(b) Any application for a permit for surface coal mining and reclamation operations covered by this section shall contain sufficient information to establish that the operations will be conducted in accordance with the requirements of 4VAC25-130-816.107.

(c) No permit shall be issued for any operations covered by this section, unless the division finds, in writing, that in addition to meeting all other requirements of this Subchapter, the operation will be conducted in accordance with the requirements of 4VAC25-130-816.107.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from VR480-03-19 § 785.15, 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.

4VAC25-130-785.16. Permits incorporating variances from approximate original contour restoration requirements for steep slope mining.

(a) The division may issue a permit for nonmountaintop removal, steep slope mining which includes a variance from the requirements of 4VAC25-130-816.102, 4VAC25-130-816.104, 4VAC25-130-816.105, and 4VAC25-130-816.107 or 4VAC25-130-817.102 and 4VAC25-130-817.107 to restore the disturbed areas to their approximate original contour. The permit may contain such a variance only if the division finds, in writing, that the applicant has demonstrated, on the basis of a complete application, that the following requirements are met:

(1) After reclamation, the lands to be affected by the variance within the permit area will be suitable for an industrial, commercial, residential, or public postmining land use (including recreational facilities).

(2) The requirements of 4VAC25-130-816.133 or 4VAC25-130-817.133 will be met.

(3) The watershed of lands within the proposed permit and adjacent areas will be improved by the operations when compared with the condition of the watershed before mining or with its condition if the approximate original contour were to be restored. The watershed will be deemed improved only if--

(i) The amount of total suspended solids or other pollutants discharged to ground or surface water from the permit area will be reduced, so as to improve the public or private uses or the ecology of such water, or flood hazards within the watershed containing the permit area will be reduced by reduction of the peak flow discharge from precipitation events or thaws;

(ii) The total volume of flow from the proposed permit area, during every season of the year, will not vary in a way that adversely affects the ecology of any surface water or any existing or planned use of surface or ground water; and

(iii) The appropriate State environmental agencies approve the plan.

(4) The owner of the surface of the lands within the permit area has knowingly requested, in writing, as part of the application, that a variance be granted. The request shall be made separately from any surface owner consent given for the operations under 4VAC25-130-778.15 and shall show an understanding that the variance could not be granted without the surface owner's request.

(b) If a variance is granted under this section--

(1) The requirements of 4VAC25-130-816.133(d) or 4VAC25-130-817.133(d) shall be included as a specific condition of the permit; and

(2) The permit shall be specifically marked as containing a variance from approximate original contour.

(c) A permit incorporating a variance under this section shall be reviewed by the division at least every 30 months following the issuance of the permit to evaluate the progress and development of the surface coal mining and reclamation operations to establish that the permittee is proceeding in accordance with the terms of the variance.

(d) If the permittee demonstrates to the division that the operations have been, and continue to be, conducted in compliance with the terms and conditions of the permit, the requirements of the Act, this chapter, and the regulatory program, the review specified in Paragraph (c) of this section need not be held.

(e) The terms and conditions of a permit incorporating a variance under this section may be modified at any time by the division, if it determines that more stringent measures are necessary to ensure that the operations involved are conducted in compliance with the requirements of the Act, this chapter, and the regulatory program.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from VR480-03-19 § 785.16, 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.

4VAC25-130-785.17. Prime farmland.

(a) This section applies to any person who conducts or intends to conduct surface coal mining and reclamation operations on prime farmlands historically used for cropland. This section does not apply to:

(1) Lands on which surface coal mining and reclamation operations are conducted pursuant to any permit issued prior to August 3, 1977; or

(2) Lands on which surface coal mining and reclamation operations are conducted pursuant to any renewal or revision of a permit issued prior to August 3, 1977; or

(3) Lands included in any existing surface coal mining operations for which a permit was issued for all or any part thereof prior to August 3, 1977, provided that:

(i) Such lands are part of a single continuous surface coal mining operation begun under a permit issued before August 3, 1977; and

(ii) The permittee had a legal right to mine the lands prior to August 3, 1977, through ownership, contract, or lease but not including an option to buy, lease, or contract; and

(iii) The lands contain part of a continuous recoverable coal seam that was being mined in a single continuous mining pit (or multiple pits if the lands are proven to be part of a single continuous surface coal mining operation) begun under a permit issued prior to August 3, 1977.

(4) For purposes of this section:

(i) "Renewal" of a permit shall mean a decision by the division to extend the time by which the permittee may complete mining within the boundaries of the original permit, and "revision" of the permit shall mean a decision by the division to allow changes in the method of mining operations within the original permit area, or the decision of the division to allow incidental boundary changes to the original permit;

(ii) A pit shall be deemed to be a single continuous mining pit even if portions of the pit are crossed by a road, pipeline, railroad, or powerline or similar crossing;

(iii) A single continuous surface coal mining operation is presumed to consist only of a single continuous mining pit under a permit issued prior to August 3, 1977, but may include non-contiguous parcels if the permittee can prove by clear and convincing evidence that, prior to August 3, 1977, the noncontiguous parcels were part of a single permitted operation. For the purposes of this Paragraph, clear and convincing evidence includes, but is not limited to, contracts, leases, deeds or other properly executed legal documents (not including options) that specifically treat physically separate parcels as one surface coal mining operation.

(b) Application contents-reconnaissance inspection.

(1) All permit applications, whether or not prime farmland is present, shall include the results of a reconnaissance inspection of the proposed permit area to indicate whether prime farmland exists. The division in consultation with the U.S. Soil Conservation Service shall determine the nature and extent of the required reconnaissance inspection.

(2) If the reconnaissance inspection establishes that no land within the proposed permit area is prime farmland historically used for cropland, the applicant shall submit a statement that no prime farmland is present. The statement shall identify the basis upon which such a conclusion was reached.

(3) If the reconnaissance inspection indicates that land within the proposed permit area may be prime farmland historically used for cropland, the applicant shall determine if a soil survey exists for those lands and whether soil mapping units in the permit area have been designated as prime farmland. If no soil survey exists, the applicant shall have a soil survey made of the lands within the permit area which the reconnaissance inspection indicates could be prime farmland. Soil surveys of the detail used by the U.S. Natural Resources Conservation Service for operational conservation planning shall be used to identify and locate prime farmland soils.

(i) If the soil survey indicates that no prime farmland soils are present within the proposed permit area, Paragraph (b)(2) of this section shall apply.

(ii) If the soil survey indicates that prime farmland soils are present within the proposed permit area, Paragraph (c) of this section shall apply.

(c) Application contents-prime farmland. All permit applications for areas in which prime farmland has been identified within the proposed permit area shall include the following:

(1) A soil survey of the permit area according to the standards of the National Cooperative Soil Survey and in accordance with the procedures set forth in U.S. Department of Agriculture Handbooks 436 "Soil Taxonomy" (U.S. Soil Conservation Service, 1975) as amended on March 22, 1982 and October 5, 1982, and 18, "Soil Survey Manual" (U.S. Soil Conservation Service, 1951), as amended on December 18, 1979, May 7, 1980, May 9, 1980, September 11, 1980, June 9, 1981, June 29, 1981, November 16, 1982. The U.S. Natural Resources Conservation Service establishes the standards of the National Cooperative Soil Survey and maintains a National Soils Handbook which gives current acceptable procedures for conducting soil surveys. This National Soils Handbook is available for review at area and State NRCS offices.

(i) U.S. Department of Agriculture Handbooks 436 and 18 are incorporated by reference.

(ii) The soil survey shall include a description of soil mapping units and a representative soil profile as determined by the U.S. Natural Resources Conservation Service, including, but not limited to, soil-horizon depths, pH, and the range of soil densities for each prime farmland soil unit within the permit area. Other representative soil-profile descriptions from the locality, prepared according to the standards of the National Cooperative Soil Survey, may be used if their use is approved by the State Conservationist, U.S. Natural Resources Conservation Service. The division may request the applicant to provide information on other physical and chemical soil properties as needed to make a determination that the applicant has the technological capability to restore the prime farmland within the permit area to the soil-reconstruction standards of Part 823.

(2) A plan for soil reconstruction, replacement, and stabilization for the purpose of establishing the technological capability of the permittee to comply with the requirements of Part 823.

(3) Scientific data, such as agricultural-school studies, for areas with comparable soils, climate, and management that demonstrate that the proposed method of reclamation, including the use of soil mixtures or substitutes, if any, will achieve, within a reasonable time, levels of yield equivalent to, or higher than, those of nonmined prime farmland in the surrounding area.

(4) The productivity prior to mining, including the average yield of food, fiber, forage, or wood products obtained under a high level of management.

(d) Consultation with the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture.

(1) The U.S. Secretary of Agriculture has responsibilities with respect to prime farmland soils and has assigned the prime farmland responsibilities arising under the Federal Act to the Chief of the U.S. Natural Resources Conservation Service. The U.S. Natural Resources Conservation Service shall carry out consultation and review through the State Conservationist located in each State.

(2) The State Conservationist shall provide to the division a list of prime farmland soils, their location, physical and chemical characteristics, crop yields, and associated data necessary to support adequate prime farmland soil descriptions.

(3) The State Conservationist shall assist the division in describing the nature and extent of the reconnaissance inspection required in Paragraph (b)(1) of this section.

(4) Before any permit is issued for areas that include prime farmland, the division shall consult with the State Conservationist. The State Conservationist shall provide for the review of, and comment on, the proposed method of soil reconstruction in the plan submitted under Paragraph (c) of this section. If the State Conservationist considers those methods to be inadequate, he shall suggest revisions to the division which result in more complete and adequate reconstruction.

(e) Issuance of permit. A permit for the mining and reclamation of prime farmland may be granted by the division if it first finds, in writing, upon the basis of a complete application, that:

(1) The approved proposed postmining land use of these prime farmlands will be cropland;

(2) The permit incorporates as specific conditions the contents of the plan submitted under Paragraph (c) of this section, after consideration of any revisions to that plan suggested by the State Conservationist under Paragraph (d)(4) of this section.

(3) The applicant has the technological capability to restore the prime farmland, within a reasonable time, to equivalent or higher levels of yield as non-mined prime farmland in the surrounding area under equivalent levels of management; and

(4) The proposed operations will be conducted in compliance with the requirements of Part 823 and other environmental protection performance and reclamation standards for mining and reclamation of prime farmland of the regulatory program.

(5) The aggregate total prime farmland acreage shall not be decreased from that which existed prior to mining. Water bodies, if any, to be constructed during mining and reclamation operations must be located within the post-reclamation non-prime farmland portions of the permit area. The creation of any such water bodies must be approved by the division and the consent of all affected property owners within the permit area must be obtained.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from VR480-03-19 § 785.17, 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.

4VAC25-130-785.18. Variances for delay in contemporaneous reclamation requirement in combined surface and underground mining activities.

(a) Scope. This section shall apply to any person or persons conducting or intending to conduct combined surface and underground mining activities where a variance is requested from the contemporaneous reclamation requirements of 4VAC25-130-816.100.

(b) Application contents for variances. Any person desiring a variance under this section shall file with the division complete applications for both the surface mining activities and underground mining activities which are to be combined. The reclamation and operation plans for these permits shall contain appropriate narratives, maps, and plans, which-

(1) Show why the proposed underground mining activities are necessary or desirable to assure maximum practical recovery of the coal;

(2) Show how multiple future disturbances of surface lands or waters will be avoided;

(3) Identify the specific surface areas for which a variance is sought and the sections of the Act, this chapter, and the regulatory program from which a variance is being sought;

(4) Show how the activities will comply with 4VAC25-130-816.79 and other applicable requirements of the regulatory program;

(5) Show why the variance sought is necessary for the implementation of the proposed underground mining activities;

(6) Provide an assessment of the adverse environmental consequences and damages, if any, that will result if the reclamation of surface mining activities is delayed; and

(7) Show how offsite storage of spoil will be conducted to comply with the requirements of the Act, 4VAC25-130-816.71 through 4VAC25-130-816.75, and the regulatory program.

(c) Issuance of permit. A permit incorporating a variance under this section may be issued by the division if it first finds, in writing, upon the basis of a complete application filed in accordance with this section, that-

(1) The applicant has presented, as part of the permit application, specific, feasible plans for the proposed underground mining activities;

(2) The proposed underground mining activities are necessary or desirable to assure maximum practical recovery of the mineral resource and will avoid multiple future disturbances of surface land or waters;

(3) The applicant has satisfactorily demonstrated that the applications for the surface mining activities and underground mining activities conform to the requirements of the regulatory program and that all other permits necessary for the underground mining activities have been issued by the appropriate authority;

(4) The surface area of surface mining activities proposed for the variance has been shown by the applicant to be necessary for implementing the proposed underground mining activities;

(5) No substantial adverse environmental damage, either onsite or offsite, will result from the delay in completion of reclamation otherwise required by Section 515(b)(16) of the Federal Act, Part 816, and the regulatory program;

(6) The operations will, insofar as a variance is authorized, be conducted in compliance with the requirements of 4VAC25-130-816.79 and the regulatory program;

(7) Provisions for offsite storage of spoil will comply with the requirements of Section 515(b)(22) of the Federal Act, 4VAC25-130-816.71 through 4VAC25-130-816.75, and the regulatory program;

(8) Liability under the performance bond required to be filed by the applicant with the division pursuant to Subchapter VJ will be for the duration of the underground mining activities and until all requirements of Subchapter VJ have been complied with; and

(9) The permit for the surface mining activities contains specific conditions--

(i) Delineating the particular surface areas for which a variance is authorized;

(ii) Identifying the applicable provisions of Section 515(b) of the Federal Act, Part 816, and the regulatory program; and

(iii) Providing a detailed schedule for compliance with the provisions of this section.

(d) Review of permits containing variances. Variances granted by permits issued under this section shall be reviewed by the division no later than three years from the dates of issuance of the permit and any permit renewals.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from VR480-03-19 § 785.18, 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.

4VAC25-130-785.19. Remining areas with pollution discharges.

(a) Scope.

(1) This section specifies procedures and rules applicable to those who seek authorization to conduct surface coal mining activities on previously mined areas which have been previously affected by mining activities and where there exists continuing water pollution. Receipt of the authorization entitles a permittee to later request bond release for areas which continue to discharge pollutional material.

(2) All provisions of this Subchapter apply to authorizations to mine areas with preexisting pollutional discharges except as specifically modified by this section.

(b) Applicability. No authorization may be granted under this section unless the authorization is part of:

(i) A permit issued after the effective date of this section, or

(ii) A permit revision under 4VAC25-130-774.13, but only if the applicant affirmatively demonstrates to the satisfaction of the division that:

(i) The applicant has not caused or contributed to the pollutional discharges, and

(ii) The applicant has not disturbed the proposed pollution abatement area by surface mining activities.

(c) Application for authorization.

(1) An applicant who requests authorization under this section shall, in addition to the general permit application requirements of this Subchapter:

(i) Delineate on a map the proposed pollution abatement area, including the location of the preexisting discharges.

(ii) Provide a description of the hydrologic balance for the proposed pollution abatement area that includes:

(A) Results of a detailed water quality and quantity monitoring program, including seasonal variations, variations in response to precipitation events, and baseline pollution loads using this monitoring program.

(B) Monitoring for pH, alkalinity, acidity, total iron, total manganese, sulfates, total suspended solids, and other water quality parameters the division deems relevant.

(iii) Provide a description of the abatement plan that represents best technology and includes:

(A) Plans, cross-sections, and schematic drawings describing the abatement plan proposed to be implemented.

(B) A description and explanation of the range of abatement level that probably can be achieved, costs, and each step in the proposed abatement plan.

(2) An applicant seeking this authorization shall continue the water quality and quantity monitoring program required by Subsection (c)(1) after making the authorization request. The applicant shall submit the results of the continuing monitoring program to the division monthly until a decision on the authorization request is made.

(d) Approval or denial.

(1) No authorization may be granted under this section unless the applicant affirmatively demonstrates to the satisfaction of the division on the basis of information set forth in the application that:

(i) The proposed abatement plan represents best technology.

(ii) The surface mining operation on the proposed pollution abatement area will not cause additional surface water pollution or ground water degradation.

(iii) The requirements of 4VAC25-130-773.15 and 4VAC25-130-773.16 that are not inconsistent with this section have been met.

(iv) The remining operation will result in the potential for improved water quality from the remining operation.

(2) An authorization may be denied under this section if granting the authorization will, or is likely to, affect a legal responsibility or liability under this chapter, for the proposed pollution abatement area or other areas or discharges in the vicinity of the proposed pollution abatement area.

(3) No authorization may be granted under this section unless there are one or more preexisting discharges from or on the pollution abatement area.

(4) The authorization allowed under this section is for the pollution abatement area only and does not apply to other areas of the permit.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from VR480-03-19 § 785.19, 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.

4VAC25-130-785.20. Augering.

(a) This section applies to any person who conducts or intends to conduct surface coal mining and reclamation operations utilizing augering operations.

(b) Any application for a permit for operations covered by this section shall contain, in the mining and reclamation plan, a description of the augering methods to be used and the measures to be used to comply with Part 819.

(c) No permit shall be issued for any operations covered by this section unless the division finds, in writing, that in addition to meeting all other applicable requirements of this Subchapter, the operation will be conducted in compliance with Part 819.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from VR480-03-19 § 785.20, 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.

4VAC25-130-785.21. Coal preparation plants not located within the permit area of a mine.

(a) This section applies to any person who operates or intends to operate a coal preparation plant in connection with a coal mine but outside the permit area for a specific mine. Any person who operates such a preparation plant shall obtain a permit from the division in accordance with the requirements of this section.

(b) Any application for a permit for operations covered by this section shall contain an operation and reclamation plan which specifies plans, including descriptions, maps, and cross sections, of the construction, operation, maintenance, and removal of the preparation plant and support facilities operated incident thereto or resulting therefrom. The plan shall demonstrate that those operations will be conducted in compliance with Part 827.

(c) No permit shall be issued for any operation covered by this section, unless the division finds in writing that, in addition to meeting all other applicable requirements of this Subchapter, the operations will be conducted in compliance with the requirements of Part 827.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from VR480-03-19 § 785.21, 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.

4VAC25-130-785.22. In situ processing activities.

(a) This section applies to any person who conducts or intends to conduct surface coal mining and reclamation operations utilizing in situ processing activities.

(b) Any application for a permit for operations covered by this section shall be made according to all requirements of this Subchapter applicable to underground mining activities. In addition, the mining and reclamation operations plan for operations involving in situ processing activities shall contain information establishing how those operations will be conducted in compliance with the requirements of Part 828, including:

(1) Delineation of proposed holes and wells and production zone for approval of the division;

(2) Specifications of drill holes and casings proposed to be used;

(3) A plan for treatment, confinement, or disposal of all acid-forming, toxic-forming or radioactive gases, solids, or liquids constituting a fire, health, safety or environmental hazard caused by the mining and recovery process; and

(4) Plans for monitoring surface and ground water and air quality as required by the division.

(c) No permit shall be issued for operations covered by this section, unless the division first finds, in writing, upon the basis of a complete application made in accordance with Paragraph (b) of this section, that the operation will be conducted in compliance with all requirements of this Subchapter relating to underground mining activities, and Parts 817 and 828.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from VR480-03-19 § 785.22, 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.

4VAC25-130-785.25. Lands eligible for remining.

(a) This section contains permitting requirements to implement 4VAC25-130-773.15(b)(4). Any person who submits a permit application to conduct a surface coal mining operation on lands eligible for remining must comply with this section.

(b) Any application for a permit under this section shall be made according to all requirements of this subchapter applicable to surface coal mining and reclamation operations. In addition, the application shall:

(1) To the extent not otherwise addressed in the permit application, identify potential environmental and safety problems related to prior mining activity at the site and that could be reasonably anticipated to occur. This identification shall be based on a due diligence investigation which shall include visual observations at the site, a record review of past mining at the site, and environmental sampling tailored to current site conditions.

(2) With regard to potential environmental and safety problems referred in to subdivision (b)(1) of this section, describe the mitigative measures that will be taken to ensure that the applicable reclamation requirements of this chapter can be met.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 14, Issue 5, eff. December 24, 1997; Errata, 14:10 VA.R. 1751 February 2, 1998; amended, Virginia Register Volume 23, Issue 16, eff. May 16, 2007.

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