Administrative Code

Virginia Administrative Code
8/19/2022

Part 816. Permanent Program Performance Standards—Surface Mining Activities

4VAC25-130-816.11. Signs and markers.

(a) Specifications. Signs and markers required under this Part shall—

(1) Be posted, maintained, and removed by the person who conducts the surface mining activities;

(2) Be of a uniform design throughout the operation that can be easily seen and read;

(3) Be made of durable material;

(4) For permit boundary markers on areas that are located on steep slopes above private dwellings or other occupied buildings, be made of or marked with fluorescent or reflective paint or material; and

(5) Conform to local ordinances and codes.

(b) Maintenance. Signs and markers shall be maintained during the conduct of all activities to which they pertain.

(c) Mine and permit identification signs.

(1) Identification signs shall be displayed at each point of access to the permit area from public roads.

(2) Signs shall show the name, business address, and telephone number of the permittee and the identification number of the current permit authorizing surface coal mining activities.

(3) Signs shall be retained and maintained until after the release of all bonds for the permit area.

(d) Perimeter markers. The perimeter of a permit area shall be clearly marked prior to the permit review conducted by the division's field enforcement personnel. The perimeter shall be clearly marked by flagging, stakes or signs. All markers shall be easily visible from adjacent markers. The approximate outer perimeter of the solid portion of any pre-existing bench shall be closely marked prior to permit review.

(e) Buffer zone markers. Buffer zones shall be marked along their boundaries, prior to permit review conducted by the division's field enforcement personnel. The boundaries shall be clearly marked by flagging, stakes or signs as required under 4VAC25-130-816.57. All markers of the buffer zone shall be easily visible from adjacent markers.

(f) Blasting signs. If blasting is conducted incident to surface mining activities, the person who conducts these activities shall:

(1) Conspicuously place signs reading "Blasting Area" along the edge of any blasting area that comes within 100 feet of any public road right of way, and at the point where any other road provides access to the blasting area; and

(2) At all entrances to the permit area from public roads or highways place conspicuous signs which state "Warning! Explosives In Use" which clearly list and describe the meaning of the audible blast warning and all clear signals that are in use, and which explain the marking of blasting areas and charged holes awaiting firing within the permit area.

(g) Topsoil markers. Where topsoil or other vegetation-supporting material is segregated and stockpiled as required under 4VAC25-130-816.22, the stockpiled material shall be clearly marked.

(h) Incremental bonding markers. When the permittee elects to increment the amount of performance bond during the term of the permit, he shall, if required by the division, identify the initial and successive incremental areas for bonding by clearly marking such areas (with markers different from the perimeter markers) prior to disturbing the incremental area(s).

Statutory Authority

§§ 45.1-161.3, 45.1-230 and 45.1-242 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR480-03-19 § 816.11, 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 22, Issue 24, eff. September 6, 2006.

4VAC25-130-816.13. Casing and sealing of drilled holes; general requirements.

Each exploration hole, other drill or borehole, well, or other exposed underground opening shall be cased, sealed, or otherwise managed, as approved by the division, to prevent acid or other toxic drainage from entering ground or surface waters, to minimize disturbance to the prevailing hydrologic balance, and to ensure the safety of people, livestock, fish, and wildlife, and machinery in the permit and adjacent areas. If these openings are uncovered or exposed by surface mining activities within the permit area, they shall be permanently closed, unless approved for water monitoring, or otherwise managed in a manner approved by the division. Use of a drilled hole or borehole or monitoring well as a water well must meet the provisions of 4VAC25-130-816.41. This section does not apply to holes solely drilled and used for blasting.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from VR480-03-19 § 816.13, 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.

4VAC25-130-816.14. Casing and sealing of drilled holes; temporary.

Each exploration hole, other drill or boreholes, wells and other exposed underground openings which have been identified in the approved permit application for use to return coal processing waste or water to underground workings, or to be used to monitor ground water conditions in either or both the saturated and unsaturated zone shall be temporarily sealed before use and protected during use by barricades, or fences, or other protective devices, approved by the division. These devices shall be periodically inspected and maintained in good operating condition by the permittee.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from VR480-03-19 § 816.14, 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.

4VAC25-130-816.15. Casing and sealing of drilled holes; permanent.

When no longer needed for monitoring or other use approved by the division upon a finding of no adverse environmental or health and safety effect, or unless approved for transfer as a water well under 4VAC25-130-816.41, each exploration hole, other drilled hole or borehole, well, and other exposed underground opening shall be capped, sealed, backfilled, or otherwise properly managed, as required by the division under 4VAC25-130-816.13 and consistent with 30 CFR 75.1711 and the standards for oil and gas wells of the Virginia Division of Gas and Oil, as appropriate. Permanent closure measures shall be designed to prevent access to the mine workings by people, livestock, fish and wildlife, and machinery, and to keep acid or other toxic drainage from entering ground or surface waters.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from VR480-03-19 § 816.15, 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.

4VAC25-130-816.22. Topsoil and subsoil.

(a) Removal.

(1)(i) All topsoil shall be removed as a separate layer from the area to be disturbed, and segregated.

(ii) Where the topsoil is of insufficient quantity or poor quality for sustaining vegetation, the materials approved by the division in accordance with Paragraph (b) of this section shall be removed as a separate layer from the area to be disturbed, and segregated.

(2) If topsoil is less than 6 inches thick, the permittee may remove the topsoil and the unconsolidated materials immediately below the topsoil and treat the mixture as topsoil.

(3) The division may choose not to require the removal of topsoil for minor disturbances which--

(i) Occur at the site of small structures, such as power poles, signs, or fence lines; or

(ii) Will not destroy the existing vegetation and will not cause erosion.

(4) Timing. All material to be removed under this section shall be removed after the vegetative cover that would interfere with its salvage is cleared from the area to be disturbed, but before any drilling, blasting, mining, or other surface disturbance takes place.

(b) Substitutes and supplements.

(1) Selected overburden materials may be substituted for, or used as a supplement to topsoil if the permittee demonstrates to the division, in accordance with 4VAC25-130-780.18, that the resulting soil medium is equal to, or more suitable for sustaining vegetation than, the existing topsoil, and the resulting soil medium is the best available in the permit area to support revegetation.

(2) Substituted or supplemental material shall be removed, segregated, and replaced in compliance with the requirements of this section for topsoil.

(3) Selected overburden materials may be substituted for or used as a supplement to topsoil, if the slope of the land containing the topsoil is greater than 60 percent (3v:5h) and the selected overburden materials satisfy the following criteria:

(i) The results of the analyses of the overburden required in 4VAC25-130-780.18 demonstrates the feasibility of using the overburden materials.

(ii) The substitute material has a pH greater than 5.0, has a net acidity of less than five tons per 1,000 tons of material or a net alkalinity, and is suitable for sustaining vegetation consistent with the standards for vegetation in 4VAC25-130-816.111 through 4VAC25-130-816.116, and the approved postmining land use.

(c) Storage.

(1) Materials removed under Paragraph (a) of this section shall be segregated and stockpiled when it is impractical to redistribute such materials promptly on regraded areas.

(2) Stockpiled materials shall--

(i) Be selectively placed on a stable site within the permit area;

(ii) Be protected from contaminants and unnecessary compaction that would interfere with revegetation;

(iii) Be protected from wind and water erosion through prompt establishment and maintenance of an effective, quick growing vegetative cover or through other measures approved by the division; and

(iv) Not be moved until required for redistribution unless approved by the division.

(3) When long-term surface disturbances will result from facilities such as support facilities and preparation plants and where stockpiling of materials removed under Paragraph (a)(1) of this section would be detrimental to the quality or quantity of those materials, the division may approve the temporary distribution of the soil materials so removed to an approved site within the permit area to enhance the current use of that site until the materials are needed for later reclamation, provided that--

(i) Such action will not permanently diminish the capability of the topsoil of the host site; and

(ii) The material will be retained in a condition more suitable for redistribution than if stockpiled.

(d) Redistribution.

(1) Topsoil materials and substitutes removed under Paragraph (a) and (b) of this section shall be redistributed in a manner that--

(i) Achieves an approximately uniform, stable thickness when consistent with the approved postmining land use, contours, and surface-water drainage systems. Soil thickness may also be varied to the extent such variations help meet the specific revegetation goals identified in the permit;

(ii) Prevents excess compaction of the materials; and

(iii) Protects the materials from wind and water erosion before and after seeding and planting.

(2) Before redistribution of the material removed under Paragraph (a) of this section, the regraded land shall be treated if necessary to reduce potential slippage of the redistributed material and to promote root penetration. If no harm will be caused to the redistributed material and reestablished vegetation, such treatment may be conducted after such material is replaced.

(3) The division may choose not to require the redistribution of topsoil or topsoil substitutes on the approved postmining embankments of permanent impoundments or of roads if it determines that--

(i) Placement of topsoil or topsoil substitutes on such embankments is inconsistent with the requirement to use the best technology currently available to prevent sedimentation; and

(ii) Such embankments will be otherwise stabilized.

(4) Nutrients and soil amendments shall be applied to the initially redistributed material when necessary to establish the vegetative cover. The types and amounts of nutrients and soil amendments shall be determined by soil tests performed by a qualified laboratory using standard methods which are approved by the division. If seeding is done without a site specific soil test--

(i) Fertilization rates of 300 pounds of 16-27-14 or 500 pounds of 10-20-10 or equivalents per acre shall be used.

(ii) Liming rates shall be in accordance with the following table:

Mine Spoil pH

Tons of Lime Needed per Acre to Increase pH to:

5.1 - 5.5

5.6 - 6.2

Test

Sandstone

Shale

Mixed

Sandstone

Shale

Mixed

4.0 - 4.5

2

3

2

3

5

4

4.6 - 5.0

1

3

2

2

4

3

5.1 - 5.5

0

2

1

1

3

2

5.6 - 6.0

0

1

0

0

2

1

(iii) Soil tests shall be performed promptly after topsoiling but before application of any supplementary nutrients and any additional lime and fertilizer applied as necessary.

(e) Subsoil segregation. The division may require that the B horizon, C horizon, or other underlying strata, or portions thereof, be removed and segregated, stockpiled, and redistributed as subsoil in accordance with the requirements of Paragraphs (c) and (d) of this section if it finds that such subsoil layers are necessary to comply with the revegetation requirements of 4VAC25-130-816.111, 4VAC25-130-816.113, 4VAC25-130-816.114 and 4VAC25-130-816.116.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from VR480-03-19 § 816.22, 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; Virginia Register Volume 25, Issue 12, eff. March 18, 2009.

4VAC25-130-816.41. Hydrologic-balance protection.

(a) General. All surface mining and reclamation activities shall be conducted to minimize disturbance of the hydrologic balance within the permit and adjacent areas, to prevent material damage to the hydrologic balance outside the permit area, to assure the protection or replacement of water rights, and to support approved postmining land uses in accordance with the terms and conditions of the approved permit and the performance standards of this Part. The division may require additional preventative, remedial, or monitoring measures to assure that material damage to the hydrologic balance outside the permit area is prevented. Mining and reclamation practices that minimize water pollution and changes in flow shall be used in preference to water treatment.

(b) Ground-water protection. In order to protect the hydrologic balance, surface mining activities shall be conducted according to the plan approved under 4VAC25-130-780.21(h) and the following:

(1) Ground-water quality shall be protected by handling earth materials and runoff in a manner that minimizes acidic, toxic, or other harmful infiltration to ground-water systems and by managing excavations and other disturbances to prevent or control the discharge of pollutants into the ground water.

(2) Ground-water quantity shall be protected by handling earth materials and runoff in a manner that will restore the approximate premining recharge capacity of the reclaimed area as a whole, excluding coal mine waste disposal areas and fills, so as to allow the movement of water to the ground water system.

(c) Ground-water monitoring.

(1) Ground-water monitoring shall be conducted according to the ground-water monitoring plan approved under 4VAC25-130-780.21(i). The division may require additional monitoring when necessary.

(2) Representative monitoring.

(i) Representative monitoring points shall be established within 100 feet downgradient from the initial disturbance within each representative area. This distance may be modified by the division if it is demonstrated in the permit application that the 100 feet distance is inappropriate for the monitoring point.

(ii) If degradation, contamination or diminution of water quality or quantity are evident through monitoring, then additional monitoring and/or remedial action may be required by the division.

(3) Source monitoring.

(i). Source monitoring shall be used near isolated acid-producing or toxic-producing material. Monitoring shall be by piezometers or other equipment suitable for monitoring in the unsaturated zone. Piezometers or alternate equipment shall be installed in backfilled material during or within 45 days after final grading of the area. Installation in fill or temporary storage areas shall be as soon as practicable. Monitoring points shall be of sufficient number and locations so that adverse impacts can be readily detected.

(ii) Representative monitoring may be required by the division in addition to source monitoring when the operation may adversely impact usable ground waters.

(4) Well drilling, construction and completion.

(i) When wells are used, they shall be drilled either to the first water-producing zone or, if no water is encountered, to a depth of 100 feet below each coal seam to be mined. The division may require deeper drilling if site conditions indicate the potential for adverse impacts to a known water-producing zone which is at greater depth.

(ii) Monitoring wells shall be drilled an additional 20 feet into the water-producing zone to aid in pumping.

(iii) Monitoring wells shall:

(A) Accommodate a four inch (4") submersible pump for sample extraction and measurement of field parameters. Other diameters may be approved by the division if sample extraction is allowed.

(B) Be constructed in a manner which isolates the water-producing zone to be monitored and prevents the mixing of ground waters.

(C) Be grouted from the surface to at least one foot into bedrock, with all leakage around the well casing prevented.

(D) Be capped, locked, and labeled with an identification number.

(E) Be properly developed and the final yield reported.

(F) Not be constructed or packed with materials which would adversely affect the monitoring results obtained.

(iv) Existing wells may be used for monitoring provided that:

(A) The well is located at a point where data representative of the permit or adjacent area will be obtained.

(B) The well penetrates the water-producing zone to be monitored.

(C) The well is constructed in a manner which effectively isolates the water-producing zone.

(D) The well meets the standards of Paragraph (c)(4) above.

(E) Filtering systems and water softeners are not present which may alter the quality of the water sample. Filters or softeners may be disconnected or bypassed during sampling.

(5) Ground-water monitoring data shall be submitted within 30 days after the end of the calendar quarter to the division. More frequent reporting may be prescribed by the division. Monitoring reports shall include analytical results from each sample taken during the reporting period. When the analysis of any ground-water sample indicates noncompliance with the permit conditions, then the permittee shall promptly notify the division and immediately take the actions provided for in 4VAC25-130-773.17(e) and 4VAC25-130-780.21(h).

(6) Ground-water monitoring shall proceed through mining and continue during reclamation until bond release. Consistent with the procedures of 4VAC25-130-774.13, the division may modify the monitoring requirements, including the parameters covered and the sampling frequency, if the permittee demonstrates, using the monitoring data obtained under this Paragraph, that--

(i) The operation has minimized disturbance to the hydrologic balance in the permit and adjacent areas and prevented material damage to the hydrologic balance outside the permit area; water quantity and quality are suitable to support approved postmining land uses; and the water rights of other users have been protected or replaced; or

(ii) Monitoring is no longer necessary to achieve the purposes set forth in the monitoring plan approved under 4VAC25-130-780.21(i).

(7) Equipment, structures, and other devices used in conjunction with monitoring the quality and quantity of ground water onsite and offsite shall be properly installed, maintained, and operated and shall be removed by the permittee when no longer required by the division.

(d) Surface-water protection. In order to protect the hydrologic balance, surface mining activities shall be conducted according to the plan approved under 4VAC25-130-780.21(h), and the following:

(1) Surface-water quality shall be protected by handling earth materials, ground-water discharges, and runoff in a manner that minimizes the formation of acidic or toxic drainage; prevents, to the extent possible using the best technology currently available, additional contribution of suspended solids to streamflow outside the permit area; and otherwise prevents water pollution. If drainage control, restabilization and revegetation of disturbed areas, diversion of runoff, mulching, or other reclamation and remedial practices are not adequate to meet the requirements of this section and 4VAC25-130-816.42, the permittee shall use and maintain the necessary water treatment facilities or water quality controls.

(2) Surface-water quality and flow rates shall be protected by handling earth materials and runoff in accordance with the steps outlined in the plan approved under 4VAC25-130-780.21(h).

(e) Surface-water monitoring.

(1) Surface water monitoring shall be conducted according to the surface-water monitoring plan approved under 4VAC25-130-780.21(j). The division may require additional monitoring when necessary.

(2) Surface-water monitoring data shall be submitted every three months to the division or more frequently as prescribed by the division. Monitoring reports shall include analytical results from each sample taken during the reporting period. When the analysis of any surface-water sample indicates noncompliance with the permit conditions, the permittee shall promptly notify the division and immediately take the actions provided for in 4VAC25-130-773.17(e) and 4VAC25-130-780.21(h). Reporting shall be in accordance with the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit requirements.

(3) Surface-water monitoring shall proceed through mining and continue during reclamation until bond release. Consistent with 4VAC25-130-774.13, the division may modify the monitoring requirements in accordance with the NPDES permit, including the parameters covered and sampling frequency, if the permittee demonstrates, using the monitoring data obtained under this Paragraph, that--

(i) The operation has minimized disturbance to the hydrologic balance in the permit and adjacent areas and prevented material damage to the hydrologic balance outside the permit area; water quantity and quality are suitable to support approved postmining land uses; and the water rights of other users have been protected or replaced; or

(ii) Monitoring is no longer necessary to achieve the purposes set forth in the monitoring plan approved under 4VAC25-130-780.21(j).

(4) Equipment, structures, and other devices used in conjunction with monitoring the quality and quantity of surface water onsite and offsite shall be properly installed, maintained, and operated and shall be removed by the permittee when no longer required by the division.

(f) Acid-and toxic-forming materials.

(1) Drainage from acid- and toxic-forming materials into surface water and ground water shall be avoided by--

(i) Identifying and burying and/or treating, when necessary, materials which may adversely affect water quality, or be detrimental to vegetation or to public health and safety if not buried and/or treated, and

(ii) Storing materials in a manner that will protect surface water and ground water by preventing erosion, the formation of polluted runoff, and the infiltration of polluted water. Storage shall be limited to the period until burial and/or treatment first become feasible, and so long as storage will not result in any risk of water pollution or other environmental damage.

(2) Storage, burial or treatment practices shall be consistent with other material handling and disposal provisions of this chapter.

(g) Transfer of wells. Before final release of bond, exploratory or monitoring wells shall be sealed in a safe and environmentally sound manner in accordance with 4VAC25-130-816.13 through 4VAC25-130-816.15. With the prior approval of the division, wells may be transferred to another party, or retained by the permittee for further use. At a minimum, the conditions of such transfer shall comply with State and local law and the permittee shall remain responsible for the proper management of the well until bond release in accordance with 4VAC25-130-816.13 through 4VAC25-130-816.15.

(h) Water rights and replacement. Any person who conducts surface mining activities shall replace the water supply of an owner of interest in real property who obtains all or part of his supply of water for domestic, agricultural, industrial, or other legitimate use from an underground or surface source, where the water supply has been adversely impacted by contamination, diminution, or interruption proximately resulting from the surface mining activities. Baseline hydrologic information required in 4VAC25-130-780.21 and 4VAC25-130-780.22 shall be used in the determination of the extent of the impact of mining upon ground water and surface water.

(i) Discharges into an underground mine.

(1) Discharges into an underground mine are prohibited, unless specifically approved by the division after a demonstration that the discharge will--

(i) Minimize disturbance to the hydrologic balance on the permit area, prevent material damage outside the permit area and otherwise eliminate public hazards resulting from surface mining activities;

(ii) Not result in a violation of applicable water quality standards or effluent limitations.

(iii) Be at a known rate and quality which shall meet the effluent limitations of 4VAC25-130-816.42 for pH and total suspended solids, except that the pH and total suspended solids limitations may be exceeded, if approved by the division; and

(iv) Meet the approval of the Mine Safety and Health Administration.

(2) Discharges shall be limited to the following:

(i) Water;

(ii) Coal processing waste;

(iii) Fly ash from a coal-fired facility;

(iv) Sludge from an acid-mine drainage treatment facility;

(v) Flue-gas desulfurization sludge;

(vi) Inert materials used for stabilizing underground mines; and

(vii) Underground mine development wastes.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from VR480-03-19 § 816.41, 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.

4VAC25-130-816.42. Hydrologic balance; water quality standards and effluent limitations.

Discharges of water from areas disturbed by surface mining activities shall be made in compliance with all applicable State and Federal water quality laws, standards and regulations and with the effluent limitations for coal mining promulgated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency set forth in 40 CFR 434.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from VR480-03-19 § 816.42, 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.

4VAC25-130-816.43. Diversions.

(a) General requirements.

(1) With the approval of the division, any flow from mined areas abandoned before May 3, 1978, and any flow from undisturbed areas or reclaimed areas, after meeting the criteria of 4VAC25-130-816.46 for siltation structure removal, may be diverted from disturbed areas by means of temporary or permanent diversions. All diversions shall be designed to minimize adverse impacts to the hydrologic balance within the permit and adjacent areas, to prevent material damage outside the permit area and to assure the safety of the public. Diversions shall not be used to divert water into underground mines without approval of the division under 4VAC25-130-816.41(i).

(2) The diversion and its appurtenant structures shall be designed, located, constructed, maintained, and used to--

(i) Be stable;

(ii) Provide protection against flooding and resultant damage to life and property;

(iii) Prevent, to the extent possible using the best technology currently available, additional contributions of suspended solids to streamflow outside the permit area; and

(iv) Comply with all applicable local, State and Federal laws and regulations.

(3) Temporary diversions shall be removed promptly when no longer needed to achieve the purpose for which they were authorized. The land disturbed by the removal process shall be restored in accordance with this Part. Before diversions are removed, downstream water-treatment facilities previously protected by the diversion shall be modified or removed, as necessary, to prevent overtopping or failure of the facilities. This requirement shall not relieve the permittee from maintaining water-treatment facilities as otherwise required. A permanent diversion or a stream channel reclaimed after the removal of a temporary diversion shall be designed and constructed so as to restore or approximate the premining characteristics of the original stream channel including the natural riparian vegetation to promote the recovery and the enhancement of the aquatic habitat.

(4) Diversions which convey water continuously or frequently shall be designed by a qualified registered professional engineer and constructed to ensure stability and compliance with the standards of this Part and any other criteria set by the division.

(5) Channel side slopes shall be no steeper than 1.5h:1v in soil.

(6) Adequate freeboard shall be provided to prevent overtopping. A minimum of 0.3 feet shall be included, with additional freeboard provided at curves, transitions, and other critical sections as required.

(7) When rock rip rap lining is used, consideration shall be given to rip rap size, bedding, and filter material. Rock used for rip rap shall be non-degradable, and non-acid forming such as natural sand and gravel,sandstone or limestone. No clay, shale, or coal shall be used.

(8) Sediment and other debris shall be removed and the diversion maintained to provide the design requirements throughout its operation.

(9) The division may specify other criteria for diversions to meet the requirements of this section.

(b) Diversion of perennial and intermittent streams.

(1) Diversion of perennial and intermittent streams within the permit area may be approved by the division after making the finding relating to stream buffer zones called for in 4VAC25-130-816.57 that the diversion will not adversely affect the water quantity and quality and related environmental resources of the stream.

(2) The design capacity of channels for temporary and permanent stream channel diversions shall be at least equal to the capacity of the unmodified stream channel immediately upstream and downstream from the diversion.

(3) The requirements of Paragraph (a)(2)(ii) of this section shall be met when the temporary and permanent diversions for perennial and intermittent streams are designed so that the combination of channel, bank and flood-plain configuration is adequate to pass safely the peak runoff of a 10-year, 6-hour precipitation event for a temporary diversion and a 100-year, 6-hour precipitation event for a permanent diversion.

(4) The design and construction of all stream channel diversions of perennial and intermittent streams shall be certified by a qualified registered professional engineer as meeting the standards of this Part and any other criteria set by the division.

(5) Channels which are constructed in backfilled material shall be formed during the backfilling and grading of the area. Unless the backfill material is of sufficiently low permeability, the channel shall be lined to prevent saturation of the backfill, loss of stream flow, or degradation of groundwater quality.

(6) Rock rip rap lining shall be placed in the channels of all diversions of perennial and intermittent streams to the normal flow depth, including adequate freeboard. Channels constructed in competent bedrock need not be rip rap lined.

(c) Diversion of miscellaneous flows.

(1) Miscellaneous flows, which consist of all flows except for perennial and intermittent streams, may be diverted away from disturbed areas if required or approved by the division. Miscellaneous flows shall include ground-water discharges and ephemeral streams.

(2) The design, location, construction, maintenance, and removal of diversions of miscellaneous flows shall meet all of the performance standards set forth in Paragraph (a) of this section.

(3) The requirements of Paragraph (a)(2)(ii) of this section shall be met when the temporary and permanent diversions for miscellaneous flows are designed to pass safely the peak runoff of a 2-year, 6-hour precipitation event for a temporary diversion and a 10-year, 6-hour precipitation event for a permanent diversion.

(d) Steep slope conveyances.

(1) A steep slope conveyance, including but not limited to a rock rip rap flume, concrete flume, or a pipe, shall be used to convey water down steep slopes to stable natural or constructed drainways. Steep slope conveyances shall be constructed at locations where concentrated flows may cause erosion.

(2) The capacity of the conveyance shall be equal to or greater than the capacity of the inlet ditch or drainage structure associated with it.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from VR480-03-19 § 816.43, 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 25, Issue 12, eff. March 18, 2009.

4VAC25-130-816.45. Hydrologic balance; sediment control measures.

(a) Appropriate sediment control measures shall be designed, constructed, and maintained using the best technology currently available to:

(1) Prevent, to the extent possible, additional contributions of sediment to streamflow or to runoff outside the permit area,

(2) Meet the more stringent of applicable State or Federal effluent limitations,

(3) Minimize erosion to the extent possible.

(b) Sediment control measures include practices carried out within and adjacent to the disturbed area. The sedimentation storage capacity of practices in and downstream from the disturbed area shall reflect the degree to which successful mining and reclamation techniques are applied to reduce erosion and control sediment. Sediment control measures consist of the utilization of proper mining and reclamation methods and sediment control practices, singly or in combination. Sediment control methods include but are not limited to-

(1) Disturbing the smallest practicable area at any one time during the mining operation through progressive backfilling, grading, and prompt revegetation as required in 4VAC25-130-816.111(b);

(2) Stabilizing the backfill material to promote a reduction in the rate and volume of runoff, in accordance with the requirements of 4VAC25-130-816.102;

(3) Retaining sediment within disturbed areas;

(4) Diverting runoff away from disturbed areas;

(5) Diverting runoff using protected channels or pipes through disturbed areas so as not to cause additional erosion;

(6) Using straw dikes, riprap, check dams, mulches, vegetative sediment filters, dugout ponds, and other measures that reduce overland flow velocity, reduce runoff volume, or trap sediment; and

(7) Treating with chemicals.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from VR480-03-19 § 816.45, 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.

4VAC25-130-816.46. Hydrologic balance; siltation structures.

(a) For the purposes of this section only, "disturbed area" shall not include those areas—

(1) In which the only surface mining activities include diversion ditches, siltation structures, or roads that are designed, constructed and maintained in accordance with this Part; and

(2) For which the upstream area is not otherwise disturbed by the operator.

(b) General requirements.

(1) Additional contributions of sediment to streamflow or runoff outside the permit area shall be prevented to the extent possible using the best technology currently available.

(2) All surface drainage from the disturbed area shall be passed through a siltation structure before leaving the permit area, except as provided in paragraph (b)(5) or (e) of this section.

(3) Siltation structures for an area shall be constructed before beginning any surface mining activities in that area and, upon construction, shall be certified by a qualified registered professional engineer to be constructed as designed and as approved in the reclamation plan.

(4) Any siltation structure which impounds water shall be designed, constructed and maintained in accordance with 4VAC25-130-816.49.

(5) Siltation structures shall be maintained until removal is authorized by the division and the disturbed area has been stabilized and revegetated. In no case shall the structure be removed sooner than two years after the last augmented seeding.

(6) When a siltation structure is removed, any embankment material and all accumulated sediment shall be placed in designated disposal areas, and the land on which the siltation structure was located shall be regraded and revegetated in accordance with the reclamation plan and 4VAC25-130-816.111 through 4VAC25-130-816.116. Sedimentation ponds approved by the division for retention as permanent impoundments may be exempted from this requirement.

(c) Sedimentation ponds.

(1) When used, sedimentation ponds shall—

(i) Be used individually or in series;

(ii) Be located as near as possible to the disturbed area and out of perennial streams unless such location is approved by the division; and

(iii) Be designed, constructed, and maintained to—

(A) Provide adequate sediment storage volume and provide adequate detention time to allow the effluent from the ponds to meet state and federal effluent limitations;

(B) Have a minimum volume of 0.125 acre-feet per acre of disturbed area draining to it, of which 0.075 acre-feet per acre disturbed shall be sediment storage volume and the remainder shall be detention storage volume;

(C) Treat the 10-year, 24-hour precipitation event ("design event") unless a lesser design event is approved by the division based on terrain, climate, other site-specific conditions and on a demonstration by the permittee that the effluent limitations of 4VAC25-130-816.42 will be met;

(D) Provide a nonclogging dewatering device adequate to maintain the detention time required under paragraphs (c)(1)(iii)(A) and (B) of this section;

(E) Minimize, to the extent possible, short circuiting;

(F) Provide periodic sediment removal sufficient to maintain adequate volume for the design event. The elevation corresponding to the sediment storage volume shall be determined and a bench mark set in the field from which this elevation can readily be established. Sediment shall be removed when its accumulation reaches the cleanout level or more frequently if the operation of the structure is impaired. Sediment removed shall be placed only in disposal areas identified and approved in the reclamation plan;

(G) Ensure against excessive settlement;

(H) Be free of sod, large roots, frozen soil, and acid or toxic-forming coal-processing waste; and

(I) Be compacted properly.

(2) Spillways. A sedimentation pond shall include either a combination of principal and emergency spillways or a single spillway configured as specified in 4VAC25-130-816.49(a)(9).

(d) Other treatment facilities.

(1) Other treatment facilities shall be designed to treat the 10-year, 24-hour precipitation event unless a lesser design event is approved by the division based on terrain, climate, other site-specific conditions and a demonstration by the permittee that the effluent limitations of 4VAC25-130-816.42 will be met.

(2) Other treatment facilities shall be designed in accordance with the applicable requirements of paragraph (c) of this section.

(e) Exemptions. Exemptions to the requirements of this section may be granted if—

(1) The disturbed drainage area within the total disturbed area is small; and

(2) The permittee demonstrates that siltation structures and alternate sediment control measures are not necessary for drainage from the disturbed area to meet the effluent limitations under 4VAC25-130-816.42 and the applicable state and federal water quality standards for the receiving waters.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from VR480-03-19 § 816.46, 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 15, Issue 6, eff. January 6, 1999.

4VAC25-130-816.47. Hydrologic balance; discharge structures.

Discharge from sedimentation ponds, permanent and temporary impoundments, coal processing waste dams and embankments, and diversions shall be controlled, by energy dissipators, riprap channels, and other devices, where necessary, to reduce erosion, to prevent deepening or enlargement of stream channels, and to minimize disturbance of the hydrologic balance. Discharge structures shall be designed according to standard engineering-design procedures.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from VR480-03-19 § 816.47, 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.

4VAC25-130-816.49. Impoundments.

(a) General requirements. The requirements of this subsection apply to both temporary and permanent impoundments.

(1) Impoundments meeting the Class B or C criteria for dams in the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Soil Conservation Service Technical Release No. 60 (210-VI-TR60, Oct. 1985), "Earth Dams and Reservoirs," shall comply with the "Minimum Emergency Spillway Hydrologic Criteria" table in TR-60 and the requirements of this section. The technical release is hereby incorporated by reference. Copies may be obtained from the National Technical Information Service (NTIS), 5285 Port Royal Road, Springfield, Virginia 22161, Order No. PB87-157509/AS. Copies can be inspected at the OSM Headquarters Office, Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, Administrative Record, Room 660, 800 North Capitol Street, Washington, D.C., or at the Office of the Federal Register, 800 North Capitol Street, NW, Suite 700, Washington, D.C.

(2) An impoundment meeting the size or other criteria of 30 CFR 77.216(a) shall comply with the requirements of 30 CFR 77.216 and this section.

(3) Design certification. The design of impoundments shall be certified by a qualified registered professional engineer as designed to meet the requirements of this Part using current, prudent engineering practices, and any other criteria established by the division. The qualified registered professional engineer shall be experienced in the design and construction of impoundments.

(4) Stability.

(i) An impoundment meeting the Class B or C criteria for dams in TR-60, or the size or other criteria of 30 CFR 77.216(a) shall have a minimum static safety factor of 1.5 for a normal pool with steady state seepage saturation conditions, and a seismic safety factor of at least 1.2.

(ii) Impoundments not included in paragraph (a)(4)(i) of this section, except for a coal mine waste impounding structure shall have a minimum static safety factor of 1.3 for a normal pool with steady state seepage saturation conditions. In lieu of engineering tests to establish compliance with the minimum static safety factor of 1.3, earth embankments whose top widths are no less than 10 feet and whose embankment slopes are 2h:1v or flatter may be used provided that the permittee documents that a minimum static safety factor of 1.3 can be met using the graphical solution methods outlined in the "Bureau of Mines Report of Investigations/1981, RI 8564, Factor of Safety Charts for Estimating the Stability of Saturated and Unsaturated Tailings Pond Embankments, United States Department of Interior."

(5) Freeboard. Impoundments shall have adequate freeboard to resist overtopping by waves and by sudden increases in storage volume. The minimum freeboard shall be one foot. Impoundments meeting the Class B or C criteria for dams in TR-60 shall comply with the freeboard hydrograph criteria in the "Minimum Emergency Spillway Hydrologic Criteria" table in TR-60.

(6) Foundation.

(i) Foundations and abutments for an impounding structure shall be stable during all phases of construction and operation and shall be designed based on adequate and accurate information on the foundation conditions. For an impoundment meeting the Class B or C criteria for dams in TR-60, or the size or other criteria of 30 CFR 77.216(a), foundation investigations, as well as any necessary laboratory testing of foundation material shall be performed to determine the design requirements for foundation stability.

(ii) All vegetative and organic materials shall be removed and foundations excavated and prepared to resist failure. Cutoff trenches shall be installed if necessary to ensure stability and minimize seepage. The pool area shall be cleared of all brush and trees unless the requirement is waived by the division.

(iii) The most impervious material available shall be used in the cutoff trench and center portion of the dam. If sandy or gravelly material is encountered, it shall be placed in the outer shell, preferably in the downstream portion of the dam.

(7) Slope protection. Slope protection shall be provided to protect against surface erosion at the site and protect against sudden drawdown.

(8) Vegetation. Faces of embankments and surrounding areas shall be vegetated, except that faces where water is impounded may be riprapped or otherwise stabilized in accordance with accepted design practices.

(9) Spillways. An impoundment shall include either a combination of principal and emergency spillways or a single spillway configured as specified in paragraph (a)(9)(i) of this section, designed and constructed to safely pass the applicable design precipitation event specified in paragraph (a)(9)(ii) of this section, except as set forth in paragraph (c)(2) of this section.

(i) (A) The division may approve a single open-channel spillway that is:

(1) Of nonerodible construction and designed to carry sustained flows; or

(2) Earth- or grass-lined and designed to carry short-term, infrequent flows at non-erosive velocities where sustained flows are not expected.

(B) Temporary ponds that do not meet the size or other criteria of 30 CFR 77.216(a) and located where failure would not be expected to cause loss of life or serious property damage, may use a single spillway of the pipe and riser design if the riser is no less than 15 inches in diameter, the barrel is no less than 12 inches in diameter, and a properly designed anti-vortex device and trash rack are securely installed on top of the riser.

(ii) Except as specified in paragraph (c)(2) of this section, the required design precipitation event for an impoundment meeting the spillway requirements of paragraph (a)(9) of this section is:

(A) For an impoundment meeting the SCS Class B or C criteria for dams in TR-60, the emergency spillway hydrograph criteria in the "Minimum Emergency Spillway Hydrologic Criteria" table in TR-60 or greater event as specified by the division.

(B) For an impoundment meeting or exceeding the size or other criteria of 30 CFR 77.216(a), a 100-year six-hour event, or greater event as specified by the division.

(C) For an impoundment included in paragraphs (a)(9(ii)(A) and (B) of this section, a 25-year six-hour event, or greater event as specified by the division.

(10) Inspections. A qualified registered professional engineer or other qualified professional specialist under the direction of a professional engineer, shall inspect each impoundment as provided in paragraph (a)(10)(i) of this section. The professional engineer or specialist shall be experienced in the construction of impoundments.

(i) Inspections shall be made regularly during construction, upon completion of construction, and at least yearly until removal of the structure or release of the performance bond.

(ii) The qualified registered professional engineer shall, within two weeks after each inspection required in paragraph (a)(10)(i) of this section, provide to the division a certified report that the impoundment has been constructed and/or maintained as designed and in accordance with the approved plan and this chapter. Construction certified in previous reports need not be recertified after each annual inspection. The report shall include discussion of any appearance of instability, structural weakness or other hazardous condition, depth and elevation of any impounded waters, existing storage capacity, any existing or required monitoring procedures and instrumentation, and any other aspects of the structure affecting stability.

(iii) A copy of the report shall be retained at or near the minesite.

(11) Examinations. Impoundments meeting the SCS Class B or C criteria for dams in TR-60, or the size or other criteria of 30 CFR 77.216 must be examined in accordance with 30 CFR 77.216-3. Impoundments not meeting the Class B or C criteria for dams in TR-60, or subject to 30 CFR 77.216 shall be examined at least quarterly. A qualified person designated by the operator shall examine impoundments for appearance of structural weakness and other hazardous conditions.

(12) Emergency procedures. If any examination or inspection discloses that a potential hazard exists, the permittee shall promptly inform the division of the finding and of the emergency procedures formulated for public protection and remedial action. If adequate procedures cannot be formulated or implemented, the division shall be notified immediately. Notification shall be by the fastest available means and followed in writing. The division shall then notify the appropriate agencies that other emergency procedures are required to protect the public.

(b) Permanent impoundments. A permanent impoundment of water may be created, if authorized by the division in the approved permit based upon the following demonstration:

(1) The size and configuration of such impoundment will be adequate for its intended purposes.

(2) The quality of impounded water will be suitable on a permanent basis for its intended use and, after reclamation, will meet applicable state and federal water quality standards, and discharges from the impoundment will meet applicable effluent limitations and will not degrade the quality of receiving water below applicable state and federal water quality standards.

(3) The water level will be sufficiently stable and be capable of supporting the intended use.

(4) Final grading will provide for adequate safety and access for proposed water users.

(5) The impoundment will not result in the diminution of the quality and quantity of water utilized by adjacent or surrounding landowners for agricultural, industrial, recreational, or domestic uses.

(6) The impoundment will be suitable for the approved postmining land use.

(c) Temporary impoundments.

(1) The division may authorize the construction of temporary impoundments as part of a surface coal mining operation.

(2) In lieu of meeting the requirements in paragraph (a)(9)(i) of this section, the division may approve an impoundment that relies primarily on storage to control the runoff from the design precipitation event when it is demonstrated by the operator and certified by a qualified registered professional engineer or qualified registered professional land surveyor in accordance with 4VAC25-130-780.25(a) that the impoundment will safely control the design precipitation event, the water from which shall be safely removed in accordance with current, prudent, engineering practices. Such an impoundment shall be located where failure would not be expected to cause loss of life or serious property damage, except where:

(i) Impoundments meeting the SCS Class B or C criteria for dams in TR-60 or the size or other criteria of 30 CFR 77.216(a), shall be designed to control the precipitation of the probable maximum precipitation of a six-hour event, or greater event as specified by the division; or

(ii) Impoundments not included in paragraph (c)(2)(i) of this section shall be designed to control the precipitation of a 100-year six-hour event, or greater event as 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 § 816.49, 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 12, Issue 2, eff. November 15, 1995; Volume 15, Issue 6, eff. January 6, 1999.

4VAC25-130-816.56. Postmining rehabilitation of sedimentation ponds, diversions, impoundments, and treatment facilities.

Before abandoning a permit area or seeking bond release, the permittee shall ensure that all temporary structures are removed and reclaimed, and that all permanent sedimentation ponds, diversions, impoundments, and treatment facilities meet the requirements of this chapter for permanent structures, have been maintained properly, and meet the requirements of the approved reclamation plan for permanent structures and impoundments. The permittee shall renovate such structures if necessary to meet the requirements of this chapter and to conform to the approved reclamation plan.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from VR480-03-19 § 816.56, 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.

4VAC25-130-816.57. Hydrologic balance; stream buffer zones.

(a) No land within 100 feet of a perennial stream or an intermittent stream shall be disturbed by surface mining activities, unless the division specifically authorizes surface mining activities closer to, or through, such a stream. The division may authorize such activities only upon finding that-

(1) Surface mining activities will not cause or contribute to the violation of applicable State or Federal water quality standards, and will not adversely affect the water quantity and quality or other environmental resources of the stream; and

(2) If there will be a temporary or permanent stream-channel diversion, it will comply with 4VAC25-130-816.43.

(b) The area not to be disturbed shall be designated as a buffer zone, and the permittee shall mark it as specified in 4VAC25-130-816.11.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from VR480-03-19 § 816.57, 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.

4VAC25-130-816.59. Coal recovery.

Surface mining activities shall be conducted so as to maximize the utilization and conservation of the coal, while utilizing the best appropriate technology currently available to maintain environmental integrity, so that reaffecting the land in the future through surface coal mining operations is minimized.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from VR480-03-19 § 816.59, 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.

4VAC25-130-816.61. Use of explosives; general requirements.

(a) Compliance with other laws. Each permittee shall comply with all applicable State and Federal laws and regulations in the use of explosives.

(b) Blasting schedule. Blasts that use more than five pounds of explosive or blasting agent shall be conducted according to the schedule required under 4VAC25-130-816.64.

(c) Blasters.

(1) All blasting operations in the State shall be conducted under the direction of a certified blaster certified in accordance with Part 850.

(2) Certificates of blaster certification shall be carried by blasters or shall be on file at the permit area during blasting operations.

(3) A blaster and at least one other person shall be present at the firing of a blast.

(4) Persons responsible for blasting operations at a blasting site shall be familiar with the blasting plan and site-specific performance standards.

(d) Blast design.

(1) An anticipated blast design shall be submitted if blasting operations will be conducted within-

(i) 1,000 feet of any building used as a dwelling, public building, school, church, or community or institutional building outside the permit area; or

(ii) 500 feet of an active or abandoned underground mine.

(2) The blast design may be presented as part of a permit application or at a time, before the blast, proposed in the application and approved by the division.

(3) The blast design shall contain sketches of the drill patterns, delay periods, and decking and shall indicate the type and amount of explosives to be used, critical dimensions, and the location and general description of structures to be protected, as well as a discussion of design factors to be used, which protect the public and meet the applicable airblast, flyrock, and ground-vibration standards in 4VAC25-130-816.67.

(4) The blast design shall be prepared and signed by a certified blaster.

(5) The division may require changes to the design submitted.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from VR480-03-19 § 816.61, 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.

4VAC25-130-816.62. Use of explosives; preblasting survey.

(a) At least 30 days before initiation of blasting, the permittee shall notify, in writing, all residents or owners of dwellings or other structures located within 1/2 mile of the permit area how to request a preblasting survey.

(b) A resident or owner of a dwelling or structure within 1/2 mile of any part of the permit area may request a preblasting survey. This request shall be made, in writing, directly to the permittee or to the division, who shall promptly notify the permittee. The permittee shall promptly conduct a preblasting survey of the dwelling or structure and promptly prepare a written report of the survey. An updated survey of any additions, modifications, or renovations shall be performed by the permittee if requested by the resident or owner. The request for an updated survey shall be in writing and describe the additions, modifications, or renovations which are to be surveyed.

(c) The permittee shall determine the condition of the dwelling or structure and shall document any preblasting damage and other physical factors that could reasonably be affected by the blasting. Structures such as pipelines, cables, transmission lines, and cisterns, wells, and other water systems warrant special attention; however, the assessment of these structures may be limited to surface conditions and other readily available data.

(d) The written report of the survey shall be signed by the person who conducted the survey. Copies of the report shall be promptly provided to the division and to the person requesting the survey. If the person requesting the survey disagrees with the contents and/or recommendations contained therein, he may submit to both the permittee and the division a detailed description of the specific areas of disagreement.

(e) Any surveys requested more than 10 days before the planned initiation of blasting shall be completed by the permittee before the initiation of blasting. Any surveys requested after permit approval but less than 10 days before the planned initiation of blasting shall be completed by the permittee within 30 days of the request, except that reasonable time extensions may be approved 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 § 816.62, 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.

4VAC25-130-816.64. Use of explosives; blasting schedule.

(a) General requirements.

(1) The permittee shall conduct blasting operations at times approved by the division and announced in the blasting schedule. The division may limit the area covered, timing, and sequence of blasting as listed in the schedule, if such limitations are necessary and reasonable in order to protect the public health and safety or welfare.

(2) All blasting shall be conducted during daylight hours. The division may specify more restrictive time periods for blasting.

(3) Unscheduled blasts may be conducted only where public or permittee health and safety so require and for emergency blasting actions. When a permittee conducts an unscheduled blast, the permittee, using audible signals, shall notify residents within 1/2 mile of the blasting site and document the reason for the unscheduled blast in accordance with 4VAC25-130-816.68(p).

(4) Seismic monitoring shall be conducted when blasting operations on coal surface mining operations are conducted within 1,000 feet of a private dwelling or other occupied building.

(b) Blasting schedule publication and distribution.

(1) The permittee shall publish the blasting schedule in a newspaper of general circulation in the locality of the blasting site at least 10 days, but not more than 30 days, before beginning a blasting program.

(2) The permittee shall distribute copies of the schedule to local governments and public utilities and to each local residence within 1/2 mile of the proposed blasting site described in the schedule.

(3) The permittee shall republish and redistribute the schedule at least every 12 months and revise and republish the schedule at least 10 days, but not more than 30 days, before blasting whenever the area covered by the schedule changes or actual time periods for blasting significantly differ from the prior announcement.

(c) Blasting schedule contents. The blasting schedule shall contain, at a minimum-

(1) Name, address, and telephone number of the permittee;

(2) Identification of the specific areas in which blasting will take place;

(3) Dates and time periods when explosives are to be detonated;

(4) Methods to be used to control access to the blasting area; and

(5) Type and patterns of audible warning and all-clear signals to be used before and after blasting.

Statutory Authority

§§ 45.1-161.3, 45.1-230 and 45.1-242 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR480-03-19 § 816.64, 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 22, Issue 24, eff. September 6, 2006.

4VAC25-130-816.66. Use of explosives; blasting signs, warnings, and access control.

(a) Blasting signs. Blasting signs shall meet the specifications of 4VAC25-130-816.11.

(b) Warnings. Warning and all-clear signals of different character or pattern that are audible within a range of ½ mile from the point of the blast shall be given. Each person within the permit area and each person who resides or regularly works within ½ mile of the permit area shall be notified of the meaning of the signals in the blasting schedule.

(c) Access control. Access within the blasting area shall be controlled to prevent presence of livestock or unauthorized persons during blasting and until an authorized representative of the permittee has reasonably determined that-

(1) No unusual hazards, such as imminent slides or undetonated charges, exist; and

(2) Access to and travel within the blasting area can be safely resumed.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from VR480-03-19 § 816.66, 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.

4VAC25-130-816.67. Use of explosives; control of adverse effects.

(a) General requirements. Blasting shall be conducted to prevent injury to persons, damage to public or private property outside the permit area, adverse impacts on any underground mine, and change in the course, channel, or availability of surface or ground water outside the permit area.

(b) Airblast.

(1) Limits.

(i) Airblast shall not exceed the maximum limits listed below at the location of any dwelling, public building, school, church, or community or institutional building outside the permit area, except as provided in Paragraph (e) of this section.

Lower frequency limit of measuring system, in Hz (±3 dB)

Maximum level, in dB

0.1 Hz or lower - flat response1

134 peak

2 Hz or lower - flat response

133 peak

6 Hz or lower - flat response

129 peak

C-weighted-slow response1

105 peak dBC

1Only when approved by the division

(ii) If necessary to prevent damage, the division shall specify lower maximum allowable airblast levels than those of Paragraph (b)(1)(i) of this section for use in the vicinity of a specific blasting operation.

(2) Monitoring.

(i) The permittee shall conduct periodic monitoring to ensure compliance with the airblast standards. The division may require airblast measurement of any or all blasts and may specify the locations at which such measurements are taken.

(ii) The measuring systems shall have an upper-end flat-frequency response of at least 200 Hz.

(c) Flyrock. Flyrock travelling in the air or along the ground shall not be cast from the blasting site-

(1) More than one-half the distance to the nearest dwelling or other occupied structure;

(2) Beyond the area of control required under 4VAC25-130-816.66(c); or

(3) Beyond the permit boundary.

(d) Ground vibration.

(1) General. In all blasting operations, except as otherwise authorized in Paragraph (e) of this section, the maximum ground vibration shall not exceed the values approved in the blasting plan required under 4VAC25-130-780.13. The maximum ground vibration for protected structures listed in Paragraph (d)(2)(i) of this section shall be established in accordance with either the maximum peak-particle-velocity limits of Paragraph (d)(2), the scaled distance equation of Paragraph (d)(3), the blasting-level chart of Paragraph (d)(4), or by the division under Paragraph (d)(5) of this section. All structures in the vicinity of the blasting area, not listed in Paragraph (d)(2)(i) of this section, such as water towers, pipelines and other utilities, tunnels, dams, impoundments, and underground mines, shall be protected from damage by establishment of a maximum allowable limit on the ground vibration, submitted by the permittee in the blasting plan and approved by the division.

(2) Maximum peak particle velocity.

(i) The maximum ground vibration shall not exceed the following limits at the location of any dwelling, public building, school, church, or community or institutional building outside the permit area:

Distance (D), from the blasting site, in feet

Maximum allowable peak particle velocity (Vmax) for ground vibration, in inches/second1

Scaled distance factor to be applied without seismic monitoring2 (Ds)

0 to 300

1.25

50

301 to 5,000

1.00

55

5,001 and beyond

0.75

65

1Ground vibration shall be measured as the particle velocity. Particle velocity shall be recorded in three mutually perpendicular directions. The maximum allowable peak particle velocity shall apply to each of the three measurements.

2Applicable to the scaled-distance equation of Paragraph (d)(3)(i) of this section

(ii) A seismographic record shall be provided for each blast.

(3) Scale-distance equation.

(i) The permittee may use the scaled distance equation, W=(D/Ds)², to determine the allowable charge weight of explosives to be detonated in any 8-millisecond period, without seismic monitoring; where W=the maximum weight of explosives, in pounds; D=the distance, in feet, from the blasting site to the nearest protected structure; and Ds=the scaled-distance factor, which may initially be approved by the division using the values for scaled-distance factor listed in Paragraph (d)(2)(i) of this section.

(ii) The development of a modified scaled-distance factor may be authorized by the division on receipt of a written request by the permittee, supported by seismographic records of blasting at the minesite. The modified scaled-distance factor shall be determined such that the particle velocity of the predicted ground vibration will not exceed the prescribed maximum allowable peak particle velocity of Paragraph (d)(2)(i) of this section, at a 95-percent confidence level.

(4) Blasting-level chart.

(i) The permittee may use the ground-vibration limits in Figure 1 to determine the maximum allowable ground vibration.

(ii) If the Figure 1 limits are used, a seismographic record including both particle velocity and vibration-frequency levels shall be provided for each blast. The method for the analysis of the predominant frequency contained in the blasting records shall be approved by the division before application of this alternative blasting criterion.

(5) The maximum allowable ground vibration shall be reduced by the division below the limits otherwise provided by this section, if determined necessary to provide damage protection.

(6) The division may require the permittee to conduct seismic monitoring of any or all blasts or may specify the location at which the measurements are taken and the degree of detail necessary in the measurement.

(e) The maximum airblast and ground-vibration standards of Paragraphs (b) and (d) of this section shall not apply at the following locations:

(1) At structures owned by the permittee and not leased to another person.

(2) At structures owned by the permittee and leased to another person, if a written waiver by the lessee is submitted to the division before blasting.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from VR480-03-19 § 816.67, 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.

4VAC25-130-816.68. Use of explosives; records of blasting operations.

The permittee shall retain a record of all blasts for at least three years. Upon request, copies of these records shall be made available to the division and to the public for inspection. Such records shall contain the following data:

(a) Name of the permittee conducting the blast.

(b) Location, date, and time of the blast.

(c) Name, signature, and certification number of the blaster conducting the blast.

(d) Identification, direction, and distance, in feet, from the nearest blast hole to the nearest dwelling, public building, school, church, community or institutional building outside the permit area, except those described in 4VAC25-130-816.67(e).

(e) Weather conditions, including those which may cause possible adverse blasting effects.

(f) Type of material blasted.

(g) Sketches of the blast pattern including number of holes, burden, spacing, decks, and delay pattern.

(h) Diameter and depth of holes.

(i) Types of explosives used.

(j) Total weight of explosives used per hole.

(k) The maximum weight of explosives detonated in an 8-millisecond period.

(l) Initiation system.

(m) Type and length of stemming.

(n) Mats or other protections used.

(o) Seismographic and airblast records, if required, which shall include-

(1) Type of instrument, sensitivity, and calibration signal or certification of annual calibration;

(2) Exact location of instrument and the date, time, and distance from the blast;

(3) Name of the person and firm taking the reading;

(4) Name of the person and firm analyzing the seismographic record; and

(5) The vibration and/or airblast level recorded.

(p) Reasons and conditions for each unscheduled blast.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from VR480-03-19 § 816.68, 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.

4VAC25-130-816.71. Disposal of excess spoil; general requirements.

(a) General. Excess spoil shall be placed in designated disposal areas within the permit area, in a controlled manner to-

(1) Minimize the adverse effects of leachate and surface water runoff from the fill on surface and ground waters;

(2) Ensure mass stability and prevent mass movement during and after construction; and

(3) Ensure that the final fill is suitable for reclamation and revegetation compatible with the natural surroundings and the approved postmining land use.

(b) Design certification.

(1) The fill and appurtenant structures shall be designed using current, prudent engineering practices and any criteria established by the division as necessary to achieve the standards of this Part. A qualified registered professional engineer experienced in the design of earth and rock fills shall certify the design of the fill and appurtenant structures.

(2) The fill shall be designed to attain a minimum long-term static safety factor of 1.5. The foundation and abutments of the fill must be stable under all conditions of construction.

(c) Location. The disposal area shall be located on the most moderately sloping and naturally stable areas available, as approved by the division, and shall be placed, where possible, upon or above a natural terrace, bench, or berm, if such placement provides additional stability and prevents mass movement.

(d) Foundation.

(1) Sufficient foundation investigations, as well as any necessary laboratory testing of foundation material, shall be performed in order to determine the design requirements for foundation stability. The analyses of foundation conditions shall take into consideration the effect of underground mine workings, if any, upon the stability of the fill and appurtenant structures.

(2) Where the slope in the disposal area is in excess of 2.8h:1v (36 percent), or such lesser slope as may be designated by the division based on local conditions, keyway cuts (excavations to stable bedrock) or rock toe buttresses shall be constructed to ensure stability of the fill. Where the toe of the spoil rests on a downslope, stability analyses shall be performed in accordance with 4VAC25-130-780.35(c) to determine the size of rock toe buttresses and keyway cuts.

(e) Placement of excess spoil.

(1) All vegetative and organic materials shall be removed from the disposal area prior to placement of the excess spoil. Topsoil shall be removed, segregated and stored or redistributed in accordance with 4VAC25-130-816.22. If approved by the division, organic material may be used as mulch or may be included in the topsoil to control erosion, promote growth of vegetation or increase the moisture retention of the soil.

(2) Excess spoil shall be transported and placed in a controlled manner in horizontal lifts not exceeding four feet in thickness; concurrently compacted as necessary to ensure mass stability and to prevent mass movement during and after construction; graded so that surface and subsurface drainage is compatible with the natural surroundings; and covered with topsoil or substitute material in accordance with 4VAC25-130-816.22. The division may approve a design which incorporates placement of excess spoil in horizontal lifts greater than four feet in thickness when it is demonstrated by the permittee and certified by a qualified registered professional engineer that the design will ensure the stability of the fill and will meet all other applicable requirements.

(3) The final configuration of the fill shall be suitable for the approved postmining land use. Terraces may be constructed on the outslope of the fill if required for stability, control of erosion, to conserve soil moisture, or to facilitate the approved postmining land use. The grade of the outslope between terrace benches shall not be steeper than 2h:1v (50 percent). Terraces, if constructed, shall be no less than 20 feet in width and the vertical distance between terraces shall not exceed 50 feet. Terraces on the fill shall be graded with a minimum 3.0% grade toward the fill and a minimum 1.0% slope toward the drainage control system.

(4) No permanent impoundments are allowed on the completed fill. Small depressions may be allowed by the division if they are needed to retain moisture, minimize erosion, create and enhance wildlife habitat, or assist revegetation; and if they are not incompatible with the stability of the fill.

(5) Excess spoil that is acid- or toxic-forming or combustible shall be adequately covered with nonacid, nontoxic and noncombustible material, or treated, to control the impact on surface and ground water in accordance with 4VAC25-130-816.41, to prevent sustained combustion, and to minimize adverse effects on plant growth and the approved postmining land use.

(f) Drainage control.

(1) If the disposal area contains springs, natural or manmade water courses, or wet weather seeps, the fill design shall include diversions and underdrains as necessary to control erosion, prevent water infiltration into the fill, and ensure stability.

(2) Diversions shall comply with the requirements of 4VAC25-130-816.43.

(3) Underdrains shall consist of durable rock or pipe, be designed and constructed using current, prudent engineering practices and any criteria established by the division as necessary to achieve the standards of this Part. The underdrain system shall be designed to carry the anticipated seepage of water due to rainfall away from the excess spoil fill and from seeps and springs in the foundation of the disposal area and shall be protected from piping and contamination by an adequate filter. Rock underdrains shall be constructed of durable, nonacid-, nontoxic-forming rock (e.g., natural sand and gravel, sandstone, limestone, or other durable rock) that does not slake in water or degrade to soil material, and which is free of coal, clay or other nondurable material. Perforated pipe underdrains shall be corrosion resistant and shall have characteristics consistent with the long-term life of the fill.

(g) Surface area stabilization. Slope protection shall be provided to minimize surface erosion at the site. All disturbed areas, including diversion channels that are not riprapped or otherwise protected, shall be revegetated upon completion of construction.

(h) Inspections. A qualified registered professional engineer, or other qualified professional specialist under the direction of the professional engineer, shall periodically inspect the fill during construction. The professional engineer and specialist shall be experienced in the construction of earth and rock fills.

(1) Such inspections shall be made at least quarterly throughout construction and during critical construction periods. Critical construction periods shall include at a minimum: (i) Foundation preparation, including the removal of all organic material and topsoil; (ii) placement of under drains and protective filter systems; (iii) installation of final surface drainage systems; and (iv) the final graded and revegetated fill. Regular inspections by the engineer or specialist shall also be conducted during placement and compaction of fill materials.

(2) The qualified registered professional engineer shall provide a certified report to the division within two weeks after each inspection that the fill has been constructed and maintained as designed and in accordance with the approved plan and this chapter. The report shall include appearances of instability, structural weakness, and other hazardous conditions.

(3)(i) The certified report on the drainage system and protective filters shall include color photographs taken during and after construction, but before underdrains are covered with excess spoil. If the underdrain system is constructed in phases, each phase shall be certified separately.

(ii) Where excess durable rock spoil is placed in single or multiple lifts such that the underdrain system is constructed simultaneously with excess spoil placement by the natural segregation of dumped materials, in accordance with 4VAC25-130-816.73, color photographs shall be taken of the underdrain as the underdrain system is being formed.

(iii) The photographs accompanying each certified report shall be taken in adequate size and number with enough terrain or other physical features of the site shown to provide a relative scale to the photographs and to specifically and clearly identify the site.

(4) A copy of each inspection report shall be retained at or near the mine site.

(i) Coal mine waste. Coal mine waste may be disposed of in excess spoil fills if approved by the division and, if such waste is-

(1) Placed in accordance with 4VAC25-130-816.83;

(2) Nontoxic and nonacid forming; and

(3) Of the proper characteristics to be consistent with the design stability of the fill.

(j) Underground disposal. Excess spoil may be disposed of in underground mine workings, but only in accordance with a plan approved by the division and MSHA under 4VAC25-130-784.25.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from VR480-03-19 § 816.71, 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.

4VAC25-130-816.72. Disposal of excess spoil; valley fills/head-of-hollow fills.

Valley fills and head-of-hollow fills shall meet the requirements of 4VAC25-130-816.71 and the additional requirements of this section.

(a) Drainage control.

(1) The top surface of the completed fill shall be graded such that the final slope after settlement will be toward properly designed drainage channels. Uncontrolled surface drainage may not be directed over the outslope of the fill. The maximum slope of the top of the fill shall be 20h:1v (5.0%).

(2) Runoff from areas above the fill and runoff from the surface of the fill shall be diverted into stabilized diversion channels designed to meet the requirements of 4VAC25-130-816.43 and, in addition, to safely pass the runoff from a 100-year, 6-hour precipitation event. The appropriate surface drainage system shall be installed prior to placement of excess spoil in the fill area. Temporary diversions may be approved by the division for use during fill construction provided that erosion is minimized and no threat to the public or the environment results.

(3)(i) A subdrainage system, constructed in accordance with 4VAC25-130-816.71(f)(3), shall be installed along the natural drainage system, extending from the toe to the head of the fill. The division may approve a lesser distance provided the standards of 4VAC25-130-816.71(f)(3) are met. A system of lateral underdrains shall connect this core to each area of potential drainage or seepage in the disposal area.

(ii) A filter system to ensure the proper long-term functioning of the subdrainage system shall be designed and constructed using current, prudent engineering practices.

(iii) The minimum size of the main underdrain shall be:

Total Amount of Fill Material

Predominant Type of Fill

Minimum Size of Drain, in Feet

Width

Height

Less than 1,000,000 Cubic Yards

Sandstone

10

4

Do:

Shale

16

8

More than 1,000,000 Cubic Yards

Sandstone

16

8

Do:

Shale

16

16

(iv) No more than 10 percent of the rock used in the underdrains may be less than 12 inches in size and no single rock may be larger than 25 percent of the width of the drain.

(v) Alternatives to the minimum sizes may be approved by the division provided the alternative is shown to convey, using accepted engineering analyses, the maximum anticipated discharge, including an appropriate factor of safety.

(b) Rock-core chimney drains. A rock-core chimney drain may be used in a head-of-hollow fill, instead of the underdrain and surface diversion system normally required, as long as the fill is not located in an area containing intermittent or perennial streams. A rock-core chimney drain may be used in a valley fill if the fill does not exceed 250,000 cubic yards of material and upstream drainage is diverted around the fill. The alternative rock-core chimney drain system shall be incorporated into the design and construction of the fill as follows:

(1) The fill shall have, along the vertical projection of the main buried stream channel or rill, a vertical core of durable rock at least 16 feet thick which shall extend from the toe of the fill to the head of the fill, and from the base of the fill to the surface of the fill. A system of lateral rock underdrains shall connect this rock core to each area of potential drainage or seepage in the disposal area. The underdrain system and rock core shall be designed to carry the anticipated seepage of water due to rainfall away from the excess spoil fill and from seeps and springs in the foundation of the disposal area. Rocks used in the rock core and underdrains shall meet the requirements of 4VAC25-130-816.71(f).

(2) A filter system to ensure the proper long-term functioning of the rock core shall be designed and constructed using current, prudent engineering practices.

(3) Grading may drain surface water away from the outslope of the fill and toward the rock core. In no case, however, may intermittent or perennial streams be diverted into the rock core. The maximum slope of the top of the fill shall be 33h:1v (3.0%). A drainage pocket may be maintained at the head of the fill during and after construction, to intercept surface runoff and discharge the runoff through or over the rock drain, if stability of the fill is not impaired. In no case shall this pocket or sump have a potential capacity for impounding more than 10,000 cubic feet of water. Terraces on the fill shall be graded with a minimum 3.0% grade toward the fill and a minimum 1.0% slope toward the rock core.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from VR480-03-19 § 816.72, 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.

4VAC25-130-816.73. Disposal of excess spoil; durable rock fills.

The division may approve the alternative method of disposal of excess durable rock spoil by gravity placement in single or multiple lifts, provided the following conditions are met:

(a) Except as provided in this section, the requirements of 4VAC25-130-816.71 are met.

(b) The excess spoil consists of at least 80 percent, by volume, durable nonacid-and nontoxic-forming rock (e.g., sandstone or limestone) that does not slake in water and will not degrade to soil material. Where used, noncemented clay shale, clay spoil, soil or other nondurable excess spoil materials shall be mixed with excess durable rock spoil in a controlled manner such that no more than 20 percent of the fill volume, as determined by tests performed by a registered engineer and approved by the division, is not durable rock.

(c) A qualified registered professional engineer certifies that the design will ensure the stability of the fill and meet all other applicable requirements.

(d) The fill is designed to attain a minimum long-term static safety factor of 1.5, and an earthquake safety factor of 1.1.

(e) The underdrain system may be constructed simultaneously with excess spoil placement by the natural segregation of dumped materials, provided the resulting underdrain system is capable of carrying anticipated seepage of water due to rainfall away from the excess spoil fill and from seeps and springs in the foundation of the disposal area and the other requirements for drainage control are met.

(f) Surface water runoff from areas adjacent to and above the fill is not allowed to flow onto the fill and is diverted into stabilized diversion channels designed to meet the requirements of 4VAC25-130-816.43 and to safely pass the runoff from a 100-year, 6-hour precipitation event. The appropriate surface drainage system shall be installed prior to placement of excess spoil in the fill area. Temporary diversions may be approved by the division for use during fill construction, provided that erosion is minimized and no threat to the public or the environment results.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from VR480-03-19 § 816.73, 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.

4VAC25-130-816.74. Disposal of excess spoil; preexisting benches.

(a) The division may approve the disposal of excess spoil through placement on preexisting benches if the affected portion of the preexisting bench is permitted and the standards set forth in 4VAC25-130-816.102(c), (e) through (h) and (j), and the requirements of this section are met.

(b) All vegetation and organic materials shall be removed from the affected portion of the preexisting bench prior to placement of the excess spoil. Any available topsoil on the bench shall be removed, stored, and distributed in accordance with 4VAC25-130-816.22. Substitute or supplemental materials may be used in accordance with 4VAC25-130-816.22(b).

(c) The fill shall be designed and constructed using current, prudent engineering practices. The design will be certified by a registered professional engineer. The spoil shall be placed on the solid portion of the bench in a controlled manner and concurrently compacted as necessary to attain a long term static safety factor of 1.3 for all portions of the fill. Any spoil deposited on any fill portion of the bench will be treated as excess spoil fill under 4VAC25-130-816.71.

(d) The preexisting bench shall be backfilled and graded to—

(1) Achieve the most moderate slope possible which does not exceed the angle of repose;

(2) Eliminate the highwall to the maximum extent technically practical;

(3) Minimize erosion and water pollution both on and off the site; and

(4) If the disposal area contains springs, natural, or manmade water courses, or wet weather seeps, the fill design shall include diversions and underdrains as necessary to control erosion, prevent water infiltration into the fill, and ensure stability.

(e) All disturbed areas, including diversion channels that are not riprapped or otherwise protected, shall be revegetated upon completion of construction.

(f) Permanent impoundments may not be constructed on preexisting benches backfilled with excess spoil under this regulation.

(g) Final configuration of the backfill must be compatible with the natural drainage patterns and the surrounding area, and support the approved postmining land use.

(h) Disposal of excess spoil from an upper actively mined bench to a lower preexisting bench by means of gravity transport may be approved by the division provided that—

(1) The gravity transport courses are determined on a site specific basis by the permittee as part of the permit application and approved by the division to minimize hazards to health and safety and to ensure that damage will be minimized between the benches, outside the set course, and downslope of the lower bench should excess spoil accidentally move;

(2) All gravity transported excess spoil, including that excess spoil immediately below the gravity transport courses and any preexisting spoil that is disturbed, is rehandled and placed in horizontal lifts in a controlled manner, concurrently compacted as necessary to ensure mass stability and to prevent mass movement, and graded to allow surface and subsurface drainage to be compatible with the natural surroundings and to ensure a minimum long-term static safety factor of 1.3. Excess spoil on the bench prior to the current mining operation that is not disturbed need not be rehandled except where necessary to ensure stability of the fill;

(3) A safety berm is constructed on the solid portion of the lower bench prior to gravity transport of the excess spoil. Where there is insufficient material on the lower bench to construct a safety berm, only that amount of excess spoil necessary for the construction of the berm may be gravity transported to the lower bench prior to construction of the berm;

(4) Excess spoil shall not be allowed on the downslope below the upper bench except on designed gravity transport courses properly prepared according to 4VAC25-130-816.22. Upon completion of the fill, no excess spoil shall be allowed to remain on the designated gravity transport course between the two benches and each transport course shall be reclaimed in accordance with the requirements of this Part.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from VR480-03-19 § 816.74, 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 15, Issue 6, eff. January 6, 1999.

4VAC25-130-816.75. Disposal of excess spoil; zoned concept.

The disposal of spoil under the zoned concept shall meet the requirements of 4VAC25-130-816.71 and the additional requirements of this section.

(a) The fill and appurtenant structures shall be designed using current, prudent engineering practices, and certified by a qualified registered professional engineer experienced in the design of earth and rockfill embankments.

(b) The fill shall be designed to attain a long-term minimum safety factor of 1.5 under static loading conditions and 1.1 under earthquake loading conditions.

(c) All vegetative and organic materials and topsoil in the structural and nonstructural zones shall be removed from the disposal area prior to placement of excess spoil. Topsoil shall be removed, segregated and stored or redistributed in accordance with 4VAC25-130-816.22. If approved by the division, organic material may be used as mulch or may be included in the topsoil to control erosion, promote growth of vegetation, or increase the moisture retention of the soil.

(d) Excess spoil shall be transported and placed in a specified controlled manner as follows:

(1) Structural zone. In the structural zone, spoil shall be placed in horizontal lifts and compacted to densities and strengths required to ensure mass stability and prevent mass movement. The lift thickness and gradational requirements of the spoil shall be consistent with the design parameters. The extent of this zone shall be based on accepted engineering analyses.

(2) Nonstructural zone. In the nonstructural zone, the spoil shall be placed in a controlled manner to avoid contamination of the internal drainage system and to ensure mass stability and prevent mass movement, to provide for the safety of persons on or near the fill, and to provide mass stability and prevent mass movement during construction. The extent of this zone shall be determined by accepted engineering analyses.

The temporary outside slope of the nonstructural zone shall not exceed the angle of repose and the height of the nonstructural zone shall be limited to a height determined not to pose an actual or probable hazard to property, public health and safety, or the environment in the event of failure during construction.

(3) The structural zone and the nonstructural zone shall be constructed as concurrently as practicable and the distance between the structural zone and the nonstructural zone shall be minimized to assure proper stability and control of the temporary fill slope.

(e) In addition to the inspection requirements of 4VAC25-130-816.71(h), regular inspections by the engineer or specialist shall be conducted during placement and compaction of fill materials in both the structural and non-structural zones.

(f) The design of the fill shall include an internal drainage system which will ensure continued free drainage of anticipated seepage from precipitation and from springs or wet weather seeps.

(1) Anticipated discharge from springs and seeps and due to precipitation shall be based on records and/or field investigations to determine seasonal variation. The design of the internal drainage system shall be based on the maximum anticipated discharge.

(2) Underdrains constructed of granular material shall consist of durable, nonacid-, nontoxic-forming material such as natural sand and gravel, sandstone, or other durable rock that does not slake in water or degrade to soil material, and which is free of coal, clay, shale, or other nondurable material.

(3) A filter system shall be included to insure proper functioning of the underdrain system. This filter shall be designed and constructed using current geotechnical engineering methods.

(4) In constructing the underdrains, no more than 10 percent of the rock shall be less than 12 inches in size and no single rock may be larger than 25 percent of the width of the drain.

(5) The drain size shall be designed to safely route the anticipated seepage flows. Minimum drain sizes shall be six feet wide and two feet high.

(6) Prior to placing the underdrain materials, all vegetation and topsoil shall be removed.

(7) The internal drainage system shall be designed to assure that the phreatic surface within the structural zone is controlled.

(8) The internal drainage system shall be designed to prevent channeling of surface runoff through the underdrains.

(g) Surface water runoff from the area above the fill shall be diverted away from the fill and into stabilized diversion channels designed to pass safely the runoff from a 100-year, 6-hour precipitation event or larger event specified by the division. Runoff from the fill surface shall be diverted to stabilized channels which will safely pass the runoff from a 100-year, 6-hour precipitation event. Diversion design shall comply with the requirements of 4VAC25-130-816.43. Temporary diversions may be approved by the division for use during fill construction, provided that erosion is minimized and no threat to the public or the environment results.

(h) The top surface of the fill and any terrace constructed shall be graded such that the final slope after settlement shall be toward properly designed drainage channels. The maximum slope of the top of the fill shall be 20h:1v (5 percent). The vertical distance between terraces shall not exceed 50 feet.

(i) Drainage shall not be directed over the outslope of the fill unless it is in a channel properly designed to minimize infiltration into the fill and to safely pass the runoff from a 100-year, 6-hour precipitation event or larger event specified by the division.

(j) The outslope of the completed fill shall not exceed an overall slope of 1v:2h. The division may require a flatter slope.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from VR480-03-19 § 816.75, 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.

4VAC25-130-816.76. Disposal of excess spoil; incidental reclamation.

(a) The division, where environmental benefits will occur, may approve placement of spoil not needed to restore the approximate original contour of the land and reclaim land within the permit area in a manner consistent with the Act and this chapter on:

(1) Another area under a permit issued pursuant to the Act, or

(2) On abandoned mine lands under a contract for reclamation according to the AML Guidelines and approved by the Division of Mined Land Repurposing.

Statutory Authority

§ 45.2-103 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR480-03-19 § 816.99, 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 38, Issue 13, eff. March 31, 2022.

4VAC25-130-816.79. Protection of underground mining.

No surface mining activities shall be conducted closer than 500 feet to any point of either an active or abandoned underground mine, except to the extent that-

(a) The activities result in improved resource recovery, abatement of water pollution, or elimination of hazards to the health and safety of the public; and

(b)(1) The nature, timing, and sequence of the activities proposed to be conducted closer than 500 feet to an abandoned underground mine are approved by the division; and

(2) The nature, timing, and sequence of the activities proposed to be conducted closer than 500 feet to an active underground mine are jointly approved by the division, the Mine Safety and Health Administration, and the Virginia division of Mines.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from VR480-03-19 § 816.79, 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.

4VAC25-130-816.81. Coal mine waste; general requirements.

(a) General. All coal mine waste disposed of in an area other than the mine workings or excavations shall be placed in new or existing disposal areas within a permit area, which are approved by the division for this purpose. Coal mine waste shall be hauled or conveyed and placed for final placement in a controlled manner to—

(1) Minimize adverse effects of leachate and surface-water runoff on surface and ground water quality and quantity;

(2) Ensure mass stability and prevent mass movement during and after construction;

(3) Ensure that the final disposal facility is suitable for reclamation and revegetation compatible with the natural surroundings and the approved postmining land use;

(4) Not create a public hazard; and

(5) Prevent combustion.

(b) Waste from other areas. Coal mine waste material from activities located outside a permit area may be disposed of in the permit area only if approved by the division. Approval shall be based upon a showing that such disposal will be in accordance with the standards of this section.

(c) Design certification.

(1) The disposal facility shall be designed using current prudent engineering practices and any criteria established by the division as necessary to achieve the standards of this Part. A qualified registered professional engineer, experienced in the design of similar earth and waste structures, shall certify the design of the disposal facility.

(2) The disposal facility shall be designed to attain a minimum long-term static safety factor of 1.5. The foundation and abutments must be stable under all conditions of construction.

(d) Foundation. Sufficient foundation investigations, as well as any necessary laboratory testing of foundation material, shall be performed in order to determine the design requirements for foundation stability. The analyses of the foundation conditions shall take into consideration the effect of underground mine workings, if any, upon the stability of the disposal facility.

(e) Emergency procedures. If any examination or inspection discloses that a potential hazard exists, the division shall be informed promptly of the finding and of the emergency procedures formulated for public protection and remedial action. If adequate procedures cannot be formulated or implemented, the division shall be notified immediately. Notification shall be by the fastest available means and followed in writing. The division shall then notify the appropriate agencies that other emergency procedures are required to protect the public.

(f) Underground disposal. Coal mine waste may be disposed of in underground mine workings, but only in accordance with a plan approved by the division and MSHA under 4VAC25-130-784.25.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from VR480-03-19 § 816.81, 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 15, Issue 6, eff. January 6, 1999.

4VAC25-130-816.83. Coal mine waste; refuse piles.

Refuse piles shall meet the requirements of 4VAC25-130-816.81, the additional requirements of this section, and the requirements of 30 CFR 77.214 and 77.215.

(a) Drainage control.

(1) If the disposal area contains springs, natural or manmade water courses, or wet weather seeps, the design shall include diversions and underdrains as necessary to control erosion, prevent water infiltration into the disposal facility and ensure stability.

(2) Uncontrolled surface drainage may not be diverted over the outslope of the refuse pile. Runoff from the areas above the refuse pile and runoff from the surface of the refuse pile shall be diverted into stabilized diversion channels designed to meet the requirements of 4VAC25-130-816.43 to safely pass the runoff from a 100-year, 6-hour precipitation event. Runoff diverted from undisturbed areas need not be commingled with runoff from the surface of the refuse pile. The appropriate surface drainage system shall be installed prior to placement of coal mine waste in the disposal area.

(3) Underdrains shall comply with the requirements of 4VAC25-130-816.71(f)(3).

(b) Surface area stabilization. Slope protection shall be provided to minimize surface erosion at the site. All disturbed areas, including diversion channels that are not riprapped or otherwise protected, shall be revegetated upon completion of construction.

(c) Placement.

(1) All vegetative and organic materials shall be removed from the disposal area prior to placement of coal mine waste. Topsoil shall be removed, segregated, and stored or redistributed in accordance with 4VAC25-130-816.22. If approved by the division, organic material may be used as mulch, or may be included in the topsoil to control erosion, promote growth of vegetation or increase the moisture retention of the soil.

(2) The final configuration of the refuse pile shall be suitable for the approved postmining land use. Terraces may be constructed on the outslope of the refuse pile if required for stability, control of erosion, conservation of soil moisture, or facilitation of the approved postmining land use. The grade of the outslope between terrace benches shall not be steeper than 2h:1v (50 percent). Terraces, if constructed, shall be no less than 20 feet in width and the vertical distance between terraces shall not exceed 50 feet. Terraces on the fill shall be graded with a minimum 3.0% grade toward the fill and a minimum 1.0% slope toward the drainage control system.

(3) No permanent impoundments shall be allowed on the completed refuse pile. Small depressions may be allowed by the division if they are needed to retain moisture, minimize erosion, create and enhance wildlife habitat, or assist revegetation, and if they are not incompatible with stability of the refuse pile.

(4) Following final grading of the refuse pile, the coal mine waste shall be covered with a minimum of four feet of the best available, nontoxic and noncombustible material, in a manner that does not impede drainage from the underdrains. The division may allow less than four feet of cover material based on physical and chemical analyses which show that the requirements of 4VAC25-130-816.111 through 4VAC25-130-816.116 will be met.

(d) Inspections. A qualified registered professional engineer, or other qualified professional specialist under the direction of the professional engineer, shall inspect the refuse pile during construction. The professional engineer and specialist shall be experienced in the construction of similar earth and waste structures.

(1) Such inspections shall be made at least quarterly throughout construction and during critical construction periods. Critical construction periods shall include at a minimum: (i) foundation preparation including the removal of all organic material and topsoil; (ii) placement of underdrains and protective filter systems; (iii) installation of final surface drainage systems; and (iv) the final graded and revegetated facility. Regular inspections by the engineer or specialist shall also be conducted during placement and compaction of coal mine waste materials. More frequent inspections shall be conducted if a danger of harm exists to the public health and safety or the environment. Inspections shall continue until the refuse pile has been finally graded and revegetated or until a later time as required by the division.

(2) The qualified registered professional engineer shall provide a certified report to the division within two weeks after each inspection that the refuse pile has been constructed and maintained as designed and in accordance with the approved plan and this chapter. The report shall include appearances of instability, structural weakness, and other hazardous conditions.

(3) The certified report on the drainage system and protective filters shall include color photographs taken during and after construction, but before underdrains are covered with coal mine waste. If the underdrain system is constructed in phases, each phase shall be certified separately. The photographs accompanying each certified report shall be taken in adequate size and number with enough terrain or other physical features of the site shown to provide a relative scale to the photographs and to specifically and clearly identify the site.

(4) A copy of each inspection report shall be retained at or near the minesite.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from VR480-03-19 § 816.83, 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.

4VAC25-130-816.84. Coal mine waste; impounding structures.

New and existing impounding structures constructed of coal mine waste or intended to impound coal mine waste shall meet the requirements of 4VAC25-130-816.81 and the additional requirements of this section.

(a) Coal mine waste shall not be used for construction of impounding structures unless it has been demonstrated to the division that the stability of such a structure conforms to the requirements of this Part and the use of coal mine waste will not have a detrimental effect on downstream water quality or the environment due to acid seepage through the impounding structure. The stability of the structure and the potential impact of acid mine seepage through the impounding structure shall be discussed in detail in the design plan submitted to the division in accordance with 4VAC25-130-780.25.

(b)(1) Each impounding structure constructed of coal mine waste or intended to impound coal mine waste shall be designed, constructed and maintained in accordance with 4VAC25-130-816.49(a) and (c). Such structures may not be retained permanently as part of the approved postmining land use.

(2) Each impounding structure constructed of coal mine waste or intended to impound coal mine waste that meets the criteria of 30 CFR 77.216(a) shall have sufficient spillway capacity to safely pass, adequate storage capacity to safely contain, or a combination of storage capacity and spillway capacity to safely control, the probable maximum precipitation of a 6-hour precipitation event, or greater event as specified by the division.

(c) Spillways and outlet works shall be designed to provide adequate protection against erosion and corrosion. Inlets shall be protected against blockage.

(d) Drainage control. Runoff from areas above the disposal facility or runoff from the surface of the facility that may cause instability or erosion of the impounding structure shall be diverted into stabilized diversion channels designed to meet the requirements of 4VAC25-130-816.43 and designed to safely pass the runoff from a 100-year, 6-hour design precipitation event.

(e) Impounding structures constructed of or impounding coal mine waste shall be designed so that at least 90 percent of the water stored during the design precipitation event can be removed within a 10-day period.

(f) For an impounding structure constructed of or impounding coal mine waste, at least 90 percent of the water stored during the design precipitation event shall be removed within the 10-day period following the design precipitation event.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from VR480-03-19 § 816.84, 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.

4VAC25-130-816.87. Coal mine waste; burning and burned waste utilization.

(a) Coal mine waste fires shall be extinguished by the person who conducts the surface mining activities, in accordance with a plan approved by the division and the Mine Safety and Health Administration. The plan shall contain, at a minimum, provisions to ensure that only those persons authorized by the permittee, and who have an understanding of the procedures to be used, shall be involved in the extinguishing operations.

(b) No burning or burned coal mine waste shall be removed from a permitted disposal area without a removal plan approved by the division. Consideration shall be given to potential hazards to persons working or living in the vicinity of the structure.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from VR480-03-19 § 816.87, 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.

4VAC25-130-816.89. Disposal of noncoal mine wastes.

(a) Noncoal mine wastes including, but not limited to grease, lubricants, paints, flammable liquids, garbage, abandoned mining machinery, lumber and other combustible materials generated during mining activities shall be placed and stored in a controlled manner in a designated portion of the permit area. Placement and storage shall ensure that leachate and surface runoff do not degrade surface or ground water, that fires are prevented, and that the area remains stable and suitable for reclamation and revegetation compatible with the natural surroundings.

(b) Final disposal of noncoal mine wastes shall be in a designated disposal site in the permit area or a state-approved solid waste disposal area. Disposal sites in the permit area shall be designed and constructed to ensure that leachate and drainage from the noncoal mine waste area does not degrade surface or underground water. Wastes shall be routinely compacted and covered to prevent combustion and wind-borne waste. When the disposal is completed, a minimum of two feet of soil cover shall be placed over the site, slopes stabilized, and revegetation accomplished in accordance with 4VAC25-130-816.111 through 4VAC25-130-816.116. Operation of the disposal site shall be conducted in accordance with all local, state and federal requirements.

(c) At no time shall any noncoal mine waste be deposited in a refuse pile or impounding structure, nor shall a noncoal mine waste disposal site be located within eight feet of any coal outcrop or coal storage area.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from VR480-03-19 § 816.89, 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 15, Issue 6, eff. January 6, 1999.

4VAC25-130-816.95. Stabilization of surface areas.

(a) All exposed surface areas shall be protected and stabilized to effectively control erosion and air pollution attendant to erosion.

(b) Rills and gullies which form in areas that have been regraded and topsoiled and which either (1) disrupt the approved postmining land use or the reestablishment of the vegetative cover, or (2) cause or contribute to a violation of water quality standards for receiving streams shall be filled, regraded, or otherwise stabilized; topsoil shall be replaced; and the areas shall be reseeded or replanted.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from VR480-03-19 § 816.95, 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.

4VAC25-130-816.97. Protection of fish, wildlife, and related environmental values.

(a) The permittee shall, to the extent possible using the best technology currently available, minimize disturbances and adverse impacts on fish, wildlife, and related environmental values and shall achieve enhancement of such resources where practicable.

(b) Endangered and threatened species. No surface mining activity shall be conducted which is likely to jeopardize the continued existence of endangered or threatened species listed by the United States Secretary of the Interior or which is likely to result in the destruction or adverse modification of designated critical habitats of such species in violation of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (16 USC § 1531 et seq.). The operator shall promptly report to the division any State or Federally listed endangered or threatened species within the permit area of which the operator becomes aware. Upon notification, the division shall consult with appropriate State and Federal fish and wildlife agencies and, after consultation, shall identify whether, and under what conditions, the operator may proceed.

(c) Bald and golden eagles. No surface mining activity shall be conducted in a manner which would result in the unlawful taking of a bald or golden eagle, its nest, or any of its eggs. The permittee shall promptly report to the division any golden or bald eagle nest within the permit area of which the permittee becomes aware. Upon notification, the division shall consult with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and also, where appropriate, the State fish and wildlife agency and, after consultation, shall identify whether, and under what conditions, the permittee may proceed.

(d) Nothing in this chapter shall authorize the taking of an endangered or threatened species or a bald or golden eagle, its nest, or any of its eggs in violation of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended, 16 USC § 1531 et seq., or the Bald Eagle Protection Act, as amended, 16 USC § 668 et seq.

(e) Each permittee shall, to the extent possible using the best technology currently available--

(1) Ensure that electric powerlines and other transmission facilities used for, or incidental to, surface mining activities on the permit area are designed and constructed to minimize electrocution hazards to raptors, except where the division determines that such requirements are unnecessary;

(2) Locate and operate haul and access roads so as to avoid or minimize impacts on important fish and wildlife species or other species protected by State or Federal law;

(3) Design fences, overland conveyors, and other potential barriers to permit passage for large mammals, except where the division determines that such requirements are unnecessary; and

(4) Fence, cover, or use other appropriate methods to exclude wildlife from ponds which contain hazardous concentrations of toxic-forming materials.

(f) Wetlands and habitats of unusually high value for fish and wildlife. The permittee shall avoid disturbances to, enhance where practicable, restore, or replace, wetlands, and riparian vegetation along rivers and streams and bordering ponds and lakes. Surface mining activities shall avoid disturbances to, enhance where practicable, or restore, habitats of unusually high value for fish and wildlife.

(g) Where fish and wildlife habitat is to be a postmining land use, the plant species to be used on reclaimed areas shall be selected on the basis of the following criteria:

(1) Their proven nutritional value for fish or wildlife.

(2) Their use as cover for fish or wildlife.

(3) Their ability to support and enhance fish or wildlife habitat after the release of performance bonds. The selected plants shall be grouped and distributed in a manner which optimizes edge effect, cover, and other benefits to fish and wildlife.

(h) Where cropland is to be the postmining land use, and where appropriate for wildlife- and crop-management practices, the permittee shall intersperse the fields with trees, hedges, or fence rows throughout the harvested area to break up large blocks of monoculture and to diversify habitat types for birds and other animals.

(i) Where residential, public service, or industrial uses are to be the postmining land use, and where consistent with the approved postmining land use, the permittee shall intersperse reclaimed lands with greenbelts utilizing species of grass, shrubs, and trees useful as food and cover for wildlife.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from VR480-03-19 § 816.97, 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.

4VAC25-130-816.99. Slides and other damage.

(a) An undisturbed natural barrier shall be provided beginning at the elevation of the lowest coal seam to be mined and extended from the outslope for such distance as may be determined by the division as is needed to assure stability. The barrier shall be retained in place to prevent slides and erosion.

(b) At any time a slide occurs which may have a potential adverse affect on public property, health, safety, or the environment, the person who conducts the surface mining activities shall notify the division by the fastest available means and comply with any remedial measures required 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 § 816.99, 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.

4VAC25-130-816.100. Contemporaneous reclamation.

(a) General. Reclamation efforts, including but not limited to backfilling, grading, topsoil replacement, and revegetation, on all land that is disturbed by surface mining activities shall occur as contemporaneously as practicable with mining operations, except when such mining operations are conducted in accordance with a variance for concurrent surface and underground mining activities issued under 4VAC25-130-785.18.

(b) Timing of backfilling and grading.

(1) Contour mining. Rough backfilling and grading shall follow coal removal by not more than 60 days or 1,500 linear feet. The division may grant additional time for rough backfilling and grading if the permittee can demonstrate, through a detailed written analysis under 4VAC25-130-780.18(b)(3), that additional time is necessary.

(2) Open pit mining with thin overburden. Rough backfilling and grading shall occur in accordance with the time schedule approved by the division, on the basis of the materials submitted under 4VAC25-130-780.18(b)(3), which shall specifically establish in stated increments the period between removal of coal and completion of backfilling and grading.

(3) Area strip mining. Rough backfilling and grading shall be completed within 180 days following coal removal and shall not be more than four spoil ridges behind the pit being worked, the spoil from the active pit being considered the first ridge. The division may grant additional time for rough backfilling and grading if the permittee can demonstrate, through a detailed written analysis under 4VAC25-130-780.18(b)(3), that additional time is necessary.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from VR480-03-19 § 816.100, 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.

4VAC25-130-816.102. Backfilling and grading; general requirements.

(a) Disturbed areas shall be backfilled and graded to:

(1) Achieve the approximate original contour, except as provided in subsection (k) of this section;

(2) Eliminate all highwalls, spoil piles, and depressions, except as provided in subsection (h) (small depressions) and in subsection (k)(3)(iii)(previously mined highwalls) of this section;

(3) Achieve a postmining slope that does not exceed either the angle of repose or such lesser slope as is necessary to achieve a minimum long-term static safety factor of 1.3 and to prevent slides;

(4) Minimize erosion and water pollution both on and off the site; and

(5) Support the approved postmining land use.

(b) Spoil, except excess spoil disposed of in accordance with 4VAC25-130-816.71 through 4VAC25-130-816.75, shall be returned to the mined-out area.

(c) Spoil and waste materials shall be compacted where advisable to ensure stability or to prevent leaching of toxic materials.

(d) Spoil may be placed on the area outside the mined-out area in nonsteep slope areas to restore the approximate original contour by blending the spoil into the surrounding terrain if the following requirements are met:

(1) All vegetative and organic material shall be removed from the area.

(2) The topsoil on the area shall be removed, segregated, stored, and redistributed in accordance with 4VAC25-130-816.22.

(3) The spoil shall be backfilled and graded on the area in accordance with the requirements of this section.

(e) Disposal of coal processing waste and underground development waste in the mined-out area shall be in accordance with 4VAC25-130-816.81 and 4VAC25-130-816.83 as provided in subdivisions (1) and (2) of this subsection, except that a long-term static safety factor of 1.3 shall be achieved.

(1) Disposal of coal processing waste and underground development waste in the mined-out area to backfill disturbed areas shall be in accordance with 4VAC25-130-816.81.

(2) Disposal of coal processing waste and underground development waste in the mined-out area as a refuse pile and not to backfill disturbed areas shall be in accordance with 4VAC25-130-816.81 and 4VAC25-130-816.83. The division may approve a variance to 4VAC25-130-816.83 (a) (2) if the applicant demonstrates that the area above the refuse pile is small and that appropriate measures will be taken to direct or convey runoff across the surface area of the pile in a controlled manner.

(f) Exposed coal seams, acid- and toxic-forming materials, and combustible materials exposed, used, or produced during mining shall be covered with a minimum of 4 feet of nontoxic and noncombustible material, or treated, to control the impact on surface and ground water in accordance with 4VAC25-130-816.41, to prevent sustained combustion, and to minimize adverse effects on plant growth and the approved postmining land use. Acid- and toxic-forming materials shall not be buried or stored in proximity to any drainage course.

(g) Cut-and-fill terraces may be allowed by the division where:

(1) Needed to conserve soil moisture, ensure stability, and control erosion on final-graded slopes, if the terraces are compatible with the approved postmining land use; or

(2) Specialized grading, foundation conditions, or roads are required for the approved postmining land use, in which case the final grading may include a terrace of adequate width to ensure the safety, stability, and erosion control necessary to implement the postmining land-use plan.

(h) Small depressions may be constructed if they are needed to retain moisture, minimize erosion, create and enhance wildlife habitat, or assist revegetation.

(i) Permanent impoundments may be approved if they meet the requirements of 4VAC25-130-816.49 and 4VAC25-130-816.56 and if they are suitable for the approved postmining land use.

(j) Preparation of final-graded surfaces shall be conducted in a manner that minimizes erosion and provides a surface for replacement of topsoil that will minimize slippage.

(k) The postmining slope may vary from the approximate original contour when:

(1) The standards for thin overburden in 4VAC25-130-816.104 are met;

(2) The standards for thick overburden in 4VAC25-130-816.105 are met; or

(3) Approval is obtained from the division for:

(i) Mountaintop removal operations in accordance with 4VAC25-130-785.14;

(ii) A variance from approximate original contour requirements in accordance with 4VAC25-130-785.16; or

(iii) Incomplete elimination of highwalls in previously mined areas in accordance with 4VAC25-130-816.106(e).

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from VR480-03-19 § 816.102, 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 11, Issue 26, eff. October 18, 1995.

4VAC25-130-816.104. Backfilling and grading; thin overburden.

(a) Thin overburden exists when spoil and other waste materials available from the entire permit area is insufficient to restore the disturbed area to its approximate original contour. Insufficient spoil and other waste materials occur where the overburden thickness times the swell factor, plus the thickness of other available waste materials, is less than the combined thickness of the overburden and coal bed prior to removing the coal, so that after backfilling and grading the surface configuration of the reclaimed area would not:

(1) Closely resemble the surface configuration of the land prior to mining; or

(2) Blend into and complement the drainage pattern of the surrounding terrain.

(b) Where thin overburden occurs within the permit area, the permittee at a minimum shall:

(1) Use all spoil and other waste materials available from the entire permit area to attain the lowest practicable grade, but not more than the angle of repose; and

(2) Meet the requirements of 4VAC25-130-816.102(a)(2) through (j).

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from VR480-03-19 § 816.104, 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 15, Issue 6, eff. January 6, 1999.

4VAC25-130-816.105. Backfilling and grading; thick overburden.

(a) Thick overburden exists when spoil and other waste materials available from the entire permit area is more than sufficient to restore the disturbed area to its approximate original contour. More than sufficient spoil and other waste materials occur where the overburden thickness times the swell factor, plus the thickness of other available waste materials, is more than the combined thickness of the overburden and coal bed prior to removing the coal, so that after backfill and grading the surface configuration of the reclaimed area would not:

(1) Closely resemble the surface configuration of the land prior to mining; or

(2) Blend into and complement the drainage pattern of the surrounding terrain.

(b) Where thick overburden occurs within the permit area, the permittee at a minimum shall:

(1) Restore the approximate original contour and then use the remaining spoil and other waste materials to attain the lowest practicable grade, but not more than the angle of repose;

(2) Meet the requirements of 4VAC25-130-816.102(a)(2) through (j); and

(3) Dispose of any excess spoil in accordance with 4VAC25-130-816.71 through 4VAC25-130-816.75.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from VR480-03-19 § 816.105, 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 15, Issue 6, eff. January 6, 1999; Volume 23, Issue 13, eff. April 4, 2007.

4VAC25-130-816.106. Backfilling and grading; previously mined areas.

(a) Remining operations on previously mined areas that contain a pre-existing highwall shall comply with the requirements of 4VAC25-130-816.102 through 4VAC25-130-816.107, except as provided in this section.

(b) The requirements of 4VAC25-130-816.102(a)(1) and (a)(2) requiring the elimination of highwalls shall not apply to remining operations where the volume of all reasonably available spoil is demonstrated in writing to the division to be insufficient to completely backfill the reaffected or enlarged highwall. The highwall shall be eliminated to the maximum extent technically practical in accordance with the following criteria:

(1) All spoil generated by the remining operation and any other reasonably available spoil shall be used to backfill the area. Reasonably available spoil in the immediate vicinity of the remining operation shall be included within the permit area.

(2) The backfill shall be graded to a slope which is compatible with the approved postmining land use and which provides adequate drainage and long-term stability.

(3) Any highwall remnant shall be stable and not pose a hazard to the public health and safety or to the environment. The permittee shall demonstrate, to the satisfaction of the division, that the highwall remnant is stable.

(4) Spoil placed on the outslope during previous mining operations shall not be disturbed if such disturbances will cause instability of the remaining spoil or otherwise increase the hazard to the public health and safety or to the environment.

(5) Access roads shall be provided from the bench to the top of the highwall approximately every 2,500 feet. Access roads shall be constructed to allow access by 4-wheel drive vehicles.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from VR480-03-19 § 816.106, 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.

4VAC25-130-816.107. Backfilling and grading; steep slopes.

(a) Surface mining activities on steep slopes shall be conducted so as to meet the requirements of 4VAC25-130-816.102 through 4VAC25-130-816.106, and the requirements of this section except where mining is conducted on flatter gently rolling terrain with an occasional steep slope through which the mining proceeds and leaves a plain or predominantly flat area or where operations are conducted in accordance with Part 824.

(b) The following materials shall not be placed or allowed to remain on the downslope:

(1) Spoil.

(2) Waste materials of any type.

(3) Debris, including that from clearing and grubbing.

(4) Abandoned or disabled equipment.

(c) Land above the highwall shall not be disturbed unless the division finds that this disturbance will facilitate compliance with the environmental protection standards of this Subchapter and the disturbance is limited to that necessary to facilitate compliance.

(d) Woody materials shall not be buried in the backfilled area unless the division determines that the proposed method for placing woody material within the backfill will not deteriorate the stable condition of the backfilled area.

(e) The permittee must demonstrate to the division, using standard geotechnical analysis, that the minimum static factor of safety for the stability of all portions of the reclaimed land is at least 1.3. A lower or higher factor of safety may be specified by the division upon a finding that the backfilled area will not present any actual or probable hazard to public property, health, safety, and the environment. The factor of safety specified shall be based on accepted geotechnical engineering analyses. A lower factor of safety shall be approved only upon a demonstration that:

(i) The degree of uncertainty in the calculation has been reduced through the use of thorough geotechnical testing and analyses. Sufficient investigation and laboratory testing shall be conducted to determine the design requirements for stability of the backfilled area. The testing and analyses shall include at a minimum consideration of the properties of the spoil to be backfilled, foundation conditions, and surface and groundwater flows.

(ii) The backfilled area will not present any actual or probable hazard to public health and safety or the environment.

(iii) A system of underdrains is utilized to assure that the phreatic surface within the backfilled area is controlled. The underdrains shall be constructed of non-degradable, non-acid or toxic-forming material such as natural sand and gravel, sandstone, or other durable rock that will not slake in water and which is essentially free of coal, clay, or shale. The internal drainage system must ensure continued free drainage of anticipated seepage from precipitation and from springs or wet weather seeps. The drain size shall be designed to safely route the anticipated seepage flows over the long term life of the backfilled area.

(iv) The design shall be certified by a qualified registered professional engineer experienced in the construction of earth and rockfill embankments as being in conformance with accepted professional standards.

(v) The backfilled area shall be inspected by a qualified registered professional engineer or other qualified professional specialist experienced in the construction of earth and rock-fill embankments during critical construction periods. The registered engineer shall provide to the division a certified report within two weeks after each inspection that the backfilled area has been constructed as specified in the design approved by the division.

(f) Drainage channels or roads which are approved under 4VAC25-130-816.133 for the postmining land use and which are to be located in the uppermost portion of the backfilled area shall be approved by the division only upon a finding that the highwall shall be completely covered. The division may approve incorporating the drainage channel or road as an integral part of the backfilled area with the requirements to blend or shave the highwall into the natural terrain, if the standards of this section are satisfied.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from VR480-03-19 § 816.107, 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.

4VAC25-130-816.111. Revegetation; general requirements.

(a) The permittee shall establish on regraded areas and on all other disturbed areas except water areas and surface areas of roads that are approved as part of the postmining land use, a vegetative cover that is in accordance with the approved permit and reclamation plan and that is-

(1) Diverse, effective, and permanent;

(2) Comprised of species native to the area, or of introduced species where desirable and necessary to achieve the approved postmining land use and approved by the division;

(3) At least equal in extent of cover to the natural vegetation of the area; and

(4) Capable of stabilizing the soil surface from erosion.

(b) The reestablished plant species shall-

(1) Be compatible with the approved postmining land use;

(2) Have the same seasonal characteristics of growth as the original vegetation;

(3) Be capable of self- regeneration and plant succession;

(4) Be compatible with the plant and animal species of the area; and

(5) Meet the requirements of applicable State and Federal seed, poisonous and noxious plant, and introduced species laws or regulations.

(c) The division may grant exception to the requirements of Paragraphs (b)(2) and (b)(3) of this section when the species are necessary to achieve a quick-growing, temporary, stabilizing cover, and measures to establish permanent vegetation are included in the approved permit and reclamation plan.

(d) When the division approves a cropland postmining land use, the division may grant exception to the requirements of Paragraphs (a)(1), (a)(3), (b)(2), and (b)(3) of this section. The requirements of Part 823 apply to areas identified as prime farmland.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from VR480-03-19 § 816.111, 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.

4VAC25-130-816.113. Revegetation; timing.

Disturbed areas shall be planted during the first normal period for favorable planting conditions after replacement of the plant-growth medium. The normal period for favorable planting is that planting time generally accepted locally for the type of plant materials selected. When necessary to effectively control erosion, disturbed areas shall be planted, as contemporaneously as practicable with the completion of backfilling and grading, with a temporary cover of small grains, grasses, or legumes until a permanent cover is established.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from VR480-03-19 § 816.113, 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.

4VAC25-130-816.114. Revegetation; mulching and other soil stabilizing practices.

Suitable mulch or other soil stabilizing practices shall be used on all areas that have been been regraded and covered by topsoil or topsoil substitutes. The division may waive this requirement if seasonal, soil, or slope factors result in a condition where mulch or other soil stabilizing practices are not necessary to control erosion and to promptly establish an effective vegetative cover.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from VR480-03-19 § 816.114, 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.

4VAC25-130-816.116. Revegetation; standards for success.

(a) Success of revegetation shall be judged on the effectiveness of the vegetation for the approved postmining land use, the extent of cover compared to the cover occurring in natural vegetation of the area, and the general requirements of 4VAC25-130-816.111.

(1) Statistically valid sampling techniques shall be used for measuring success.

(2) Ground cover, production, or stocking shall be considered equal to the approved success standard when they are not less than 90% of the success standard. The sampling techniques for measuring success shall use a 90% statistical confidence interval (i.e., one-sided test with a 0.10 alpha error). Sampling techniques for measuring woody plant stocking, ground cover, and production shall be in accordance with techniques approved by the division.

(b) Standards for success shall be applied in accordance with the approved postmining land use and, at a minimum, the following conditions:

(1) For areas developed for use as grazing land or pasture land, the ground cover and production of living plants on the revegetated area shall be at least equal to that of a reference area or if approved by the division, a vegetative ground cover of 90% for areas planted only in herbaceous species and productivity at least equal to the productivity of the premining soils may be achieved. Premining productivity shall be based upon data of the U.S. Natural Resources Conservation Service and measured in such units as weight of material produced per acre or animal units supported.

(2) For areas developed for use as cropland, crop production on the revegetated area shall be at least equal to that of a reference area or if approved by the division, crop yields shall be at least equal to the yields for reference crops from unmined lands. Reference crop yields shall be determined from the current yield records of representative local farms in the surrounding area or from the average county yields recognized by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

(3) For areas to be developed for fish and wildlife habitat, undeveloped land, recreation, shelter belts, or forestry, the stocking of woody plants must be at least equal to the rates specified in the approved reclamation plan. To minimize competition with woody plants, herbaceous ground cover should be limited to that necessary to control erosion and support the postmining land use. Seed mixtures and seeding rates will be specified in the approved reclamation plan. Such parameters are described as follows:

(i) Minimum stocking and planting arrangements shall be specified by the division on the basis of local and regional conditions and after consultation with and approval by the state agencies responsible for the administration of forestry and wildlife programs. Consultation and approval may occur on either a program wide or a permit specific basis.

(ii) Trees and shrubs that will be used in determining the success of stocking and the adequacy of the plant arrangement shall have utility for the approved postmining land use. Trees and shrubs counted in determining such success shall be healthy and have been in place for not less than two growing seasons. At the time of bond release, at least 80% of the trees and shrubs used to determine such success shall have been in place for at least three years. Root crown or sprouts over one foot in height shall count as one toward meeting the stocking requirements. Where multiple stems occur, only the tallest stem will be counted.

(iii) Vegetative ground cover shall not be less than that required to control erosion and achieve the approved postmining land use.

(iv) Where commercial forest land is the approved postmining land use:

(A) The area shall have a minimum stocking of 400 trees per acre.

(B) All countable trees shall be commercial species and shall be well distributed over each acre stocked.

(C) Additionally, the area shall have an average of at least 40 wildlife food-producing shrubs per acre. The shrubs shall be suitably located for wildlife enhancement, and may be distributed or clustered.

(v) Where woody plants are used for wildlife management, recreation, shelter belts, or forest uses other than commercial forest land:

(A) The stocking of trees, shrubs, half-shrubs and the ground cover established on the revegetated area shall approximate the stocking and ground cover on the surrounding unmined area and shall utilize local and regional recommendations regarding species composition, spacing and planting arrangement;

(B) Areas planted only in herbaceous species shall sustain a vegetative ground cover of 90%;

(C) Areas planted with a mixture of herbaceous and woody species shall sustain a herbaceous vegetative ground cover in accordance with guidance provided by the division and the approved forestry reclamation plan and establish an average of 400 woody plants per acre. At least 40 of the woody plants for each acre shall be wildlife food-producing shrubs located suitably for wildlife enhancement, which may be distributed or clustered on the area.

(4) For areas to be developed for industrial, commercial, or residential use less than two years after regrading is completed, the vegetative ground cover shall not be less than that required to control erosion.

(5) For areas previously disturbed by mining that were not reclaimed to the requirements of this subchapter and that are remined or otherwise redisturbed by surface coal mining operations, as a minimum, the vegetative ground cover shall be not less than the ground cover existing before redisturbance, and shall be adequate to control erosion.

(c) (1) The period of extended responsibility for successful revegetation shall begin after the last year of augmented seeding, fertilizing, irrigation, or other work, excluding husbandry practices that are approved by the division in accordance with subdivision (c)(3) of this section.

(2) The period of responsibility shall continue for a period of not less than:

(i) Five full years except as provided in subdivision (c)(2)(ii) of this section. The vegetation parameters identified in subsection (b) of this section for grazing land or pastureland and cropland shall equal or exceed the approved success standard during the growing seasons of any two years of the responsibility period, except the first year. Areas approved for the other uses identified in subsection (b) of this section shall equal or exceed the applicable success standard during the growing season of the last year of the responsibility period.

(ii) Two full years for lands eligible for remining. To the extent that the success standards are established by subdivision (b)(5) of this section, the lands shall equal or exceed the standards during the growing season of the last year of the responsibility period.

(3) The division may approve selective husbandry practices, excluding augmented seeding, fertilization, or irrigation, without extending the period of responsibility for revegetation success and bond liability, if such practices can be expected to continue as part of the postmining land use or if discontinuance of the practices after the liability period expires will not reduce the probability of permanent revegetation success. Approved practices shall be normal conservation practices within the region for unmined lands having land uses similar to the approved postmining land use of the disturbed area, including such practices as disease, pest, and vermin control; and any pruning, reseeding and/or transplanting specifically necessitated by such actions.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from VR480-03-19 § 816.116, 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 12, Issue 2, eff. November 15, 1995; Volume 14, Issue 5, eff. December 24, 1997; Volume 23, Issue 16, eff. May 16, 2007; Volume 25, Issue 12, eff. March 18, 2009.

4VAC25-130-816.131. Cessation of operations; temporary.

(a) The permittee shall effectively secure surface facilities in areas in which there are no current operations, but in which operations are to be resumed under an approved permit. Temporary abandonment shall not relieve a permittee of his obligation to comply with any provisions of the approved permit.

(b) Before temporary cessation of mining and reclamation operations for a period of 30 days or more, or as soon as it is known that a temporary cessation will extend beyond 30 days, the permittee shall submit to the division a notice of intention to cease or abandon mining and reclamation operations. This notice shall include a statement of the exact number of acres which will have been affected in the permit area, prior to such temporary cessation, the extent and kind of reclamation of those areas which will have been accomplished, identification of the backfilling, regrading, revegetation, environmental monitoring, and water treatment activities that will continue during the temporary cessation, and the anticipated time period for which the temporary cessation of mining and reclamation operations will be in effect.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from VR480-03-19 § 816.131, 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.

4VAC25-130-816.132. Cessation of operations; permanent.

(a) Persons who cease surface mining activities permanently shall close or backfill or otherwise permanently reclaim all affected areas, in accordance with this chapter and the permit approved by the division.

(b) All underground openings, equipment, structures, or other facilities not required for monitoring, unless approved by the division as suitable for the postmining land use or environmental monitoring, shall be removed and the affected land reclaimed.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from VR480-03-19 § 816.132, 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.

4VAC25-130-816.133. Postmining land use.

(a) General. All disturbed areas shall be restored in a timely manner to conditions that are capable of supporting-

(1) The uses they were capable of supporting before any mining; or

(2) Higher or better uses.

(b) Determining premining uses of land. The premining uses of land to which the postmining land use is compared shall be those uses which the land previously supported, if the land has not been previously mined and has been properly managed. The postmining land use for land that has been previously mined and not reclaimed shall be judged on the basis of the land use that existed prior to any mining; provided that, if the land cannot be reclaimed to the land use that existed prior to any mining because of the previously mined condition, the postmining land use shall be judged on the basis of the highest and best use that can be achieved which is compatible with surrounding areas and does not require the disturbance of areas previously unaffected by mining.

(c) Criteria for alternative postmining land uses. Higher or better uses may be approved by the division as alternative postmining land uses after consultation with the landowner or the land management agency having jurisdiction over the lands, if the proposed uses meet the following criteria:

(1) There is a reasonable likelihood for achievement of the use.

(2) The use does not present any actual or probable hazard to public health or safety, or threat of water diminution or pollution.

(3) The use will not-

(i) Be impractical or unreasonable;

(ii) Be inconsistent with applicable land use policies or plans;

(iii) Involve unreasonable delay in implementation; or

(iv) Cause or contribute to violation of Federal, State, or local law.

(d) Approximate original contour: Criteria for variance. Surface coal mining operations that meet the requirements of this Paragraph may be conducted under a variance from the requirement to restore disturbed areas to their approximate original contour, if the following requirements are satisfied:

(1) The division grants the variance under a permit issued in accordance with 4VAC25-130-785.16.

(2) The alternative postmining land use requirements of Paragraph (c) of this section are met.

(3) All applicable requirements of the Act and this chapter, other than the requirement to restore disturbed areas to their approximate original contour, are met.

(4) After consultation with the appropriate land use planning agencies, if any, the potential use is shown to constitute an equal or better economic or public use.

(5) The proposed use is designed and certified by a qualified registered professional engineer in conformance with professional standards established to assure the stability, drainage, and configuration necessary for the intended use of the site.

(6) After approval, where required, of the appropriate State environmental agencies, the watershed of the permit and adjacent areas is shown to be improved.

(7) The highwall is completely backfilled with spoil material, in a manner which results in a static factor of safety of at least 1.3, using standard geotechnical analysis.

(8) Only the amount of spoil as is necessary to achieve the postmining land use, ensure the stability of spoil retained on the bench, and meet all other requirements of the Act and this chapter is placed off the mine bench. All spoil not retained on the bench shall be placed in accordance with 4VAC25-130-816.71 through 4VAC25-130-816.75.

(9) The surface landowner of the permit area has knowingly requested, in writing, that a variance be granted, so as to render the land, after reclamation, suitable for an industrial, commercial, residential, or public use (including recreational facilities).

(10) Federal, State, and local government agencies with an interest in the proposed land use have an adequate period in which to review and comment on the proposed use.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from VR480-03-19 § 816.133, 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.

4VAC25-130-816.150. Roads; general.

(a) Road classification system.

(1) Each road, as defined in 4VAC25-130-700.5, shall be classified as either a primary road or an ancillary road.

(2) A primary road is any road which is--

(i) Used for transporting coal or spoil;

(ii) Frequently used for access or other purposes for a period in excess of six months; or

(iii) To be retained for an approved postmining land use.

(3) An ancillary road is any road not classified as a primary road.

(b) Performance standards. Each road shall be located, designed, constructed, reconstructed, used, maintained and reclaimed so as to:

(1) Control or prevent erosion, siltation, and the air pollution attendant to erosion, including road dust as well as dust occurring on other exposed surfaces, by measures such as vegetating, watering, using chemical or other dust suppressants, or otherwise stabilizing all exposed surfaces in accordance with current, prudent engineering practices;

(2) Control or prevent damage to fish, wildlife or their habitat and related environmental values;

(3) Control or prevent additional contributions of suspended solids to stream flow or runoff outside the permit area;

(4) Neither cause nor contribute to, directly or indirectly, the violation of State or Federal water quality standards applicable to receiving waters;

(5) Refrain from significantly altering the normal flow of water in streambeds or drainage channels;

(6) Prevent or control damage to public or private property including the prevention or mitigation of adverse effects on lands within the boundaries of units of The National Park System, The National Wildlife Refuge System, The National System of Trails, The National Wilderness Preservation System, The Wild and Scenic Rivers System, including designated study rivers, and national recreation areas designated by Act of Congress; and

(7) Use non-acid and non-toxic-forming substances in road surfacing.

(c) Design and construction limits and establishment of design criteria. To ensure environmental protection appropriate for their planned duration and use, including consideration of the type and size of equipment used, the design and construction or reconstruction of roads shall incorporate appropriate limits for grade, width, surface materials, surface drainage control, culvert placement, and culvert size, in accordance with current, prudent engineering practices, and any necessary design criteria established by the division.

(d) Location.

(1) No part of any road shall be located in the channel of an intermittent or perennial stream unless specifically approved by the division in accordance with the applicable portions of 4VAC25-130-816.41 through 4VAC25-130-816.43 and 4VAC25-130-816.57.

(2) Roads shall be located to minimize downstream sedimentation and flooding.

(e) Maintenance.

(1) A road shall be maintained to meet the performance standards of this Part and any additional criteria specified by the division.

(2) A road damaged by a catastrophic event, such as a flood or earthquake, shall be repaired as soon as practical after the damage has occurred.

(f) Reclamation.

(1) A road not to be retained under an approved post-mining land use shall be reclaimed in accordance with the approved reclamation plan as soon as practicable after it is no longer needed for mining and reclamation operations. This reclamation shall include:

(i) Closing the road to traffic;

(ii) Removing all bridges and culverts unless approved as part of the postmining land use;

(iii) Removing or otherwise disposing of road-surfacing materials that are incompatible with the postmining land use and revegetation requirements;

(iv) Reshaping cut and fill slopes as necessary to be compatible with the post-mining land use and to complement the drainage pattern of the surrounding terrain;

(v) Protecting the natural drainage patterns by installing dikes or cross drains as necessary to control surface runoff and erosion. A water bar shall be placed at the head of all pitched grades regardless of other spacing. Water bars shall cross the road at approximately a 30 degree angle. Water bars of the ditch and earth berm type shall be installed according to the following provisions:

Percent of Road Grade

Spacing of Water Bars in Feet

0 - 2

250

3 - 5

135

6 - 10

80

11 - 15

60

15 + 20

40

(vi) Scarifying or ripping the roadbed; replacing topsoil or substitute material, and revegetating disturbed surfaces in accordance with 4VAC25-130-816.22 and 4VAC25-130-816.111 through 4VAC25-130-816.116.

(2) Roads which are to be retained as part of an approved post-mining land use shall be constructed or reconstructed to be compatible with that use. Construction or reconstruction shall include:

(i) Restoring an existing road to a condition equal to or better than its pre-mining condition; and

(ii) Meeting the requirements of 4VAC25-130-816.151 as appropriate.

(g) The division may approve alternative specifications if they are demonstrated to result in performance equal to or better than that resulting from roads complying with 4VAC25-130-816.150 and 4VAC25-130-816.151.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from VR480-03-19 § 816.150, 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.

4VAC25-130-816.151. Primary roads.

Primary roads shall meet the requirements of 4VAC25-130-816.150 and the additional requirements of this section.

(a) Certification and construction.

(1) The construction or reconstruction of primary roads shall be certified in a report to the division by a qualified registered professional engineer. The report shall indicate that the primary road has been constructed or reconstructed as designed and in accordance with the approved plan.

(2) The centerline of a proposed road shall be flagged prior to field inspection.

(3) All road grades shall be subject to a tolerance of plus or minus 2.0% grade.

(4) Grading. The grade of a road shall not exceed 10% unless a steeper grade is justified by site conditions and topography.

(i) The grade shall be controlled to minimize erosion and sedimentation.

(ii) The road surface shall be sloped toward the ditch line at the minimum rate of ½ inch per foot of width or crowned at the minimum rate of ½ inch per foot of width as measured from the centerline of the road.

(5) Cuts. Cut slopes shall not be steeper than 1v:1.5h in unconsolidated materials, 1v:1h in shale, or 1v:0.25h in sandstone. Steeper slopes may be specifically authorized by the division based on the geotechnical analysis.

(6) Revegetation. All disturbed areas shall be seeded and mulched immediately after construction. If construction occurs during the non-seeding period of November 1 through February 15, the permittee may use alternate methods upon approval by the division for control of erosion. Adequate vegetation to control erosion shall be maintained.

(7) Excess or unsuitable material from excavations shall be disposed of in accordance with 4VAC25-130-816.71. Acid- and toxic-forming material shall be disposed of in accordance with 4VAC25-130-816.41, 4VAC25-130-816.81, and 4VAC25-130-816.102.

(8) Temporary erosion-control measures shall be implemented during construction to minimize sedimentation and erosion until permanent control measures can be established.

(b) Safety factor. The following specifications shall be utilized for embankment construction. The division may specifically authorize alternate specifications if the geotechnical analysis demonstrates that a minimum safety factor of 1.3 can be maintained.

(1) All organic material and topsoil shall be removed from the embankment foundation and no organic material, topsoil, or other unsuitable material shall be placed beneath or in any embankment.

(2) Where an embankment is to be placed on side slopes less than 36%, the following conditions shall be required:

(i) The embankment shall be constructed in uniform, compacted layers not exceeding 4 feet in thickness.

(ii) The embankment slopes shall not be steeper than 1v:1.5h.

(3) Where an embankment is to be placed on side slopes exceeding 36% the following additional conditions shall be required:

(i) A keyway cut shall be constructed at the toe of the fill to ensure stability; the keyway cut shall be at least 10 feet in width and shall be sloped inward.

(ii) The embankment shall be constructed in uniform compacted layers not exceeding two feet in thickness.

(4) Acid-producing materials may be used in the embankments of only those roads constructed or reconstructed on coal mine waste disposal facilities, if it is demonstrated that no additional acid will leave the confines of the facility. In no case shall acid-producing refuse material be used outside the confines of the coal mine waste disposal facility. Restoration of the road shall be in accordance with the requirements of 4VAC25-130-816.102 through 4VAC25-130-816.116.

(c) Location.

(1) To minimize erosion, a primary road shall be located, insofar as practical, on the most stable available surface.

(2) Fords of perennial or intermittent streams by primary roads are prohibited unless they are specifically approved by the division as temporary routes during periods of road construction.

(d) Drainage control. In accordance with the approved plan.

(1) Each primary road shall be constructed or reconstructed, and maintained to have adequate drainage control, using structures such as, but not limited to, bridges, ditches, cross drains, and ditch relief drains. The drainage control system shall be designed to safely pass the peak runoff from a 10-year, six-hour precipitation event, or greater event as specified by the division.

(2) Drainage pipes and culverts shall be installed as designed, and maintained in a free and operating condition and to prevent or control erosion at inlets and outlets.

(i) Sufficient culverts shall be installed to limit erosion in ditchlines. Additional culverts may be required by the division if excessive erosion or sedimentation is anticipated or observed.

(ii) Culverts shall cross the road at not less than a 30° angle downgrade, except if risers are used. Culverts placed in intermittent or perennial streams shall be straight and coincide with normal flow.

(iii) Culverts shall be placed on a minimum 4.0% grade.

(iv) Culverts shall be at least 12 inches in diameter.

(3) Drainage ditches shall be designed to prevent uncontrolled drainage over the road surface and embankment. Trash racks and debris basins shall be installed in the drainage ditches where debris from the drainage area may impair the functions of the drainage and sediment control structures. A ditch shall be provided on both sides of a through-cut and on the inside shoulder of a cut and fill section. Water shall be intercepted before reaching a switch back or large fill and drained safely away. Water from a fill or switchback shall be released below the fill through conduits or in rip rapped channels and shall not be discharged onto the fill. Ditches shall have a minimum constructed depth of one foot, measured from the lowest point in the road surface adjacent to the ditch.

(4) Culverts shall be installed and maintained to sustain the vertical soil pressure, the passive resistance of the foundation, and the weight of vehicles using the road.

(5) Natural stream channels shall not be altered or relocated without the prior approval of the division in accordance with the applicable portions of 4VAC25-130-816.41 through 4VAC25-130-816.43 and 4VAC25-130-816.57.

(6) Except as provided in subdivision (c)(2) of this section, structures for perennial or intermittent stream channel crossings shall be made using bridges, culverts, low-water crossings, or other structures designed, constructed, and maintained using current, prudent engineering practice. The drainage structure itself can be at least equal to or greater than the stream channel capacity immediately upstream and downstream of the crossing. Low-water crossings shall be designed, constructed, and maintained to prevent erosion of the structure or streambed and additional contributions of suspended solids to streamflow.

(7) (i) Sediment control shall be provided as part of the road drainage system unless runoff is diverted to other approved drainage/sediment control structures.

(ii) Sediment control structures along a road shall be designed to provide 0.025 acre-feet of sediment storage capacity for each acre of disturbed area draining to the structure if the structure is the final discharge point for effluent from the permit area. Other capacities may be required by the division.

(e) Surfacing. Primary roads shall be surfaced with rock, crushed stone, gravel, asphalt, or other material approved by the division as being sufficiently durable for the anticipated volume of traffic and the weight and speed of vehicles using the road.

(f) Maintenance. Routine maintenance for primary roads shall include repairs to the road surface, blading, filling potholes and adding replacement gravel or asphalt. Sediment control structures shall be cleaned regularly and when sediment accumulation may impair their functioning. Maintenance shall also include revegetation, brush removal, and minor reconstruction of road segments as necessary.

(g) Coal haulage. Any roads used for transporting coal shall have construction or reconstruction completed prior to the hauling of coal.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from VR480-03-19 § 816.151, 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 12, Issue 2, eff. November 15, 1995.

4VAC25-130-816.152. Existing roads.

Where existing roads that are to be used meet the performance standards of 4VAC25-130-816.150 and 4VAC25-130-816.151 or it can be demonstrated that reconstruction to meet the design standards of 4VAC25-130-816.150 and 4VAC25-130-816.151 would result in greater environmental harm, the division may waive the design requirements of those sections; however, such roads are to be constructed and maintained to control or prevent erosion. Review will place emphasis on stabilization and the water control system.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from VR480-03-19 § 816.152, 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 12, Issue 2, eff. November 15, 1995.

4VAC25-130-816.180. Utility installations.

All surface coal mining operations shall be conducted in a manner which minimizes damage, destruction, or disruption of services provided by oil, gas, and water wells; oil, gas, and coal-slurry pipelines; railroads; electric and telephone lines; and water and sewage lines which pass over, under, or through the permit area, unless otherwise approved by the owner of those facilities and the division.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from VR480-03-19 § 816.180, 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.

4VAC25-130-816.181. Support facilities.

(a) Support facilities shall be operated in accordance with a permit issued for the mine or coal preparation operation to which it is incident or from which its operation results.

(b) In addition to the other provisions of this Part, support facilities shall be located, maintained, and used in a manner that-

(1) Prevents or controls erosion and siltation, water pollution, and damage to public or private property; and

(2) To the extent possible using the best technology currently available-

(i) Minimizes damage to fish, wildlife, and related environmental values; and

(ii) Minimizes additional contributions of suspended solids to streamflow or runoff outside the permit area. Any such contributions shall not be in excess of limitations of State or Federal law.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from VR480-03-19 § 816.181, 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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