Administrative Code

Virginia Administrative Code
1/25/2022

Part 795. Small Operator Assistance Program

4VAC25-130-795.1. Scope and purpose.

This Part comprises the Small Operator Assistance Program (SOAP) and establishes the procedures for providing assistance to eligible operators by the division. It is an elective means for the division to satisfy the requirements of § 45.1-235 C of the Act. The purpose of the program is to provide for eligible operators a determination of probable hydrologic consequences and a statement of results of test borings or core samplings which are required components of the permit application under Subchapter VG.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from VR480-03-19 § 795.1, 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; Virginia Register Volume 16, Issue 15, eff. May 10, 2000.

4VAC25-130-795.6. Eligibility for assistance.

(a) An applicant is eligible for assistance if the applicant—

(1) Intends to apply for a permit pursuant to the Act;

(2) Establishes that his probable total attributed annual production from all locations on which the operator is issued the surface coal mining permit will not exceed 300,000 tons. Production from the following operations shall be attributed to the applicant—

(i) The pro rata share, based upon percentage of ownership of applicant, of coal produced by operations in which the applicant owns more than a 10% interest;

(ii) The pro rata share, based upon percentage of ownership of applicant, of coal produced in other operations by persons who own more than 10% of the applicant's operation;

(iii) All coal produced by operations owned by persons who directly or indirectly control the applicant by reason of direction of the management;

(iv) All coal produced by operations owned by members of the applicant's family and the applicant's relatives, unless it is established that there is no direct or indirect business relationship between or among them;

(3) Is not restricted in any manner from receiving a permit under the Act; and

(4) Does not organize or reorganize his company solely for the purpose of obtaining assistance under the SOAP.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from VR480-03-19 § 795.6, 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; Virginia Register Volume 16, Issue 15, eff. May 10, 2000.

4VAC25-130-795.7. Filing for assistance.

Each application for assistance shall include the following information:

(a) A statement of applicant's intent to file a permit application.

(b) The names and addresses of—

(1) The permit applicant; and

(2) The operator if different from the applicant.

(c) A schedule of the estimated total production of coal from the proposed permit area and all other locations from which production is attributed to the applicant under 4VAC25-130-795.6. The schedule shall include for each location—

(1) The operator or company name under which coal is or will be mined;

(2) The DMLR permit number, division of Mines license number and Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) number, if issued;

(3) The actual coal production during the year preceding the year for which the applicant applies for assistance and production that may be attributed to the applicant under 4VAC25-130-795.6; and

(4) The estimated coal production and any production which may be attributed to the applicant for each year of the proposed permit.

(d) A description of—

(1) The proposed mining method;

(2) The anticipated starting and termination dates of mining operations;

(3) The number of acres of land to be affected by the proposed mining operation; and

(4) A general statement on the probable depth and thickness of the coal resource including a statement of reserves in the permit area, or in the case of underground mines the affected area, and the method by which they were calculated.

(e) A U.S. Geological Survey topographic map at a scale of 1:24,000 or larger or other topographic map of equivalent detail for the assistance area which clearly shows—

(1) The area of land to be affected and the natural drainage watershed above and below the affected area;

(2) The location of any existing or proposed test borings; and

(3) The location and extent of known workings of any underground mines.

(f) Copies of documents which show that—

(1) The applicant has a legal right to enter and commence mining within the proposed permit area; and

(2) A legal right of entry has been obtained for the division and laboratory personnel to inspect the lands to be mined and adjacent areas to collect environmental data or to install necessary instruments.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from VR480-03-19 § 795.7, 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; Virginia Register Volume 16, Issue 15, eff. May 10, 2000.

4VAC25-130-795.8. Application approval and notice.

(a) If the division finds the applicant eligible, the division shall inform the applicant in writing that the application is approved.

(b) If the division finds the applicant ineligible, the division shall inform the applicant in writing that the application is denied and shall state the reasons for denial.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from VR480-03-19 § 795.8, 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; Virginia Register Volume 16, Issue 15, eff. May 10, 2000.

4VAC25-130-795.9. Program services and data requirements.

(a) To the extent possible with available funds, the division shall select and pay a qualified laboratory to make the determination and statement and provide other services referenced in paragraph (b) of this section for eligible applicants who request assistance.

(b) The division shall determine the data needed for each applicant or group of applicants. Data collected and the results provided to the division shall be sufficient to satisfy the requirements for:

(1) The determination of the probable hydrologic consequences of the surface mining and reclamation operations in the proposed permit area and adjacent areas, including the engineering analysis and the designs necessary for the determination in accordance with 4VAC25-130-780.21(f), 4VAC25-130-784.14 (e) and any other applicable provisions of this chapter;

(2) The drilling and statement of the results of test borings or core samplings for the proposed permit area in accordance with 4VAC25-130-780.22(b) and 4VAC25-130-784.22(b) and any other applicable provisions of this chapter;

(3) The development of cross-section maps and plans required by 4VAC25-130-779.25 and 4VAC25-130-783.25;

(4) The collection of archeological and historic information and related plans required by 4VAC25-130.779.12 (b), 4VAC25-130-783.12 (b), 4VAC25-130-780.31, 4VAC25-130-784.17, and any other archeological and historic information required by the division;

(5) Pre-blast surveys required by 4VAC25-130-780.13; and

(6) The collection of site specific resources information, the production of protection and enhancement plans for fish and wildlife habitats required by 4VAC25-130-780.16 and 4VAC25-130-784.21, and information and plans for any other environmental values required by the division under the Act.

(c) Data collection and analysis may proceed concurrently with the development of mining and reclamation plans by the applicant.

(d) Data collected under this program shall be made publicly available in accordance with 4VAC25-130-773.13(d). The division shall develop procedures for interstate coordination and exchange of data.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from VR480-03-19 § 795.9, 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; Virginia Register Volume 16, Issue 15, eff. May 10, 2000.

4VAC25-130-795.10. Qualified laboratories.

(a) Basic qualifications. To be designated a qualified laboratory under the Virginia Small Operator Assistance Program, a firm shall demonstrate that it—

(1) Is staffed with experienced, professional or technical personnel in the fields applicable to the work to be performed;

(2) Has adequate space for material preparation and cleaning and sterilizing equipment and has stationary equipment, storage, and space to accommodate workloads during peak periods;

(3) Meets applicable federal or state safety and health requirements;

(4) Has analytical, monitoring and measuring equipment capable of meeting applicable standards;

(5) Has the capability of collecting necessary field samples and making hydrologic field measurements and analytical laboratory determinations by acceptable hydrologic, geologic, or analytical methods in accordance with the requirements of 4VAC25-130-780.21, 4VAC25-130-780.22, 4VAC25-130-784.14 and 4VAC25-130-784.22 and any other applicable provisions of this chapter (other appropriate methods or guidelines for data acquisition may be approved by the division); and

(6) Has the capability of performing services for either the determination or statement referenced in 4VAC25-130-795.9(b).

(b) Subcontractors. Subcontractors may be used to provide some of the required services provided their use is identified at the time a determination is made that a firm is qualified and they meet requirements specified by the division.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from VR480-03-19 § 795.10, 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; Virginia Register Volume 16, Issue 15, eff. May 10, 2000.

4VAC25-130-795.11. Assistance funding.

(a) Use of funds. Funds specifically authorized for this program shall be used to provide the services specified in 4VAC25-130-795.9 and shall not be used to cover administrative expenses.

(b) Allocation of funds. The division shall establish a formula for allocating funds to provide services for eligible small operators if available funds are less than those required to provide the services pursuant to this Part.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from VR480-03-19 § 795.11, 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; Virginia Register Volume 16, Issue 15, eff. May 10, 2000.

4VAC25-130-795.12. Applicant liability.

(a) The coal operator who has received assistance pursuant to 4VAC25-130-795.9 shall reimburse the division for the cost of the services rendered if:

(1) The applicant submits false information, fails to submit a permit application within one year from the date of receipt of the approved laboratory report, or fails to mine after obtaining a permit;

(2) The division finds that the operator's actual and attributed annual production of coal for all locations exceeds 300,000 tons during the 12 months immediately following the date on which the operator is issued the surface coal mining and reclamation permit; or

(3) The mining rights granted under the permit are sold, transferred, or assigned to another person and the transferee's total actual and attributed production exceeds the 300,000-ton annual production limit during the 12 months immediately following the date on which the permit was originally issued. Under this paragraph the applicant and its successor are jointly and severally obligated to reimburse the division.

(b) The division may waive the reimbursement obligation if it finds that the applicant at all times acted in good faith.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from VR480-03-19 § 795.12, 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; Virginia Register Volume 16, Issue 15, eff. May 10, 2000.

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