Administrative Code

Virginia Administrative Code
5/25/2022

Part II. Permit Standards

Article 1
Permits

4VAC25-31-80. Contiguous area.

Contiguous areas mined by a single operator shall be covered under one permit; however, the director may, at his discretion, combine noncontiguous areas into a single permit where such areas are close to each other and are part of the same operation.

Statutory Authority

§§ 45.1-161.3 and 45.1-180.3 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 19, Issue 24, eff. September 11, 2003.

4VAC25-31-90. Operator conference with inspector.

Prior to approval of a permit application, all maps and plans shall be reviewed at the proposed mining site with the inspector.

Statutory Authority

§§ 45.1-161.3 and 45.1-180.3 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 19, Issue 24, eff. September 11, 2003.

4VAC25-31-100. Mineral mining permits.

Permits shall be renewed annually, in a manner acceptable to the director, to continue to remain in effect. Paper filings shall be considered acceptable.

Statutory Authority

§§ 45.1-161.3 and 45.1-180.3 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 19, Issue 24, eff. September 11, 2003; amended, Virginia Register Volume 30, Issue 6, eff. December 19, 2013.

4VAC25-31-110. Permit application.

Application for a mineral mining permit shall be made in a form prescribed by the director and shall be certified by the applicant or his authorized representative. Copies of the application shall be submitted to the division in a manner acceptable to the director. Paper filings shall be considered acceptable.

Statutory Authority

§§ 45.1-161.3 and 45.1-180.3 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 19, Issue 24, eff. September 11, 2003; amended, Virginia Register Volume 30, Issue 6, eff. December 19, 2013.

4VAC25-31-120. Permit fee and bond.

A. Permit fees for the initial permit application and permit renewal shall be submitted upon receipt of a billing notice from the director and before the permit is issued or renewed. Fees shall be paid in accordance with § 45.2-1205 of the Code of Virginia.

B. Permit fees for the transfer of a mine permit shall be submitted upon receipt of a billing notice from the director and before the transferred permit is issued. Fees shall be paid in accordance with § 45.2-1211 of the Code of Virginia.

C. All fees shall be in the form of cash, check, money order, or other form of payment acceptable to the director.

D. A bond is required as set forth in Part III of this regulation. Bonding shall be provided once the permit application is deemed complete.

Statutory Authority

§ 45.2-103 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 19, Issue 24, eff. September 11, 2003; amended, Virginia Register Volume 35, Issue 21, eff. July 25, 2019; Volume 38, Issue 13, eff. March 31, 2022.

4VAC25-31-130. Mineral mining plans.

Mineral mining plans shall be attached to the application and consist of the following:

1. The operation plan shall include a description of the proposed method of mining and processing; the location of top soil storage areas; overburden, refuse, and waste disposal areas; stockpiles, equipment storage, and maintenance areas; cut and fill slopes; and roadways. The operation plan shall address plans for the storage and disposal of scrap metal, scrap tires, used lubricants, coolants, and other equipment service products, batteries, process chemicals, trash, debris, and other hazardous materials. The operation plan shall also include all related design and construction data. The method of operation shall provide for the conducting of reclamation simultaneously where practicable with the mining operation. For the impoundments that meet the criteria of § 45.2-1301 A of the Code of Virginia, plans shall be provided as required under 4VAC-25-31-180 and 4VAC25-31-500.

2. The drainage plan shall consist of a description of the drainage system to be constructed before, during, and after mining; a map or overlay showing the natural drainage system; and all sediment and drainage control structures to be installed along with all related design and construction data.

3. The reclamation plan shall include a statement of the planned land use to which the disturbed land will be returned through reclamation, the proposed actions to assure suitable reclamation, and a time schedule for reclamation. The method of grading; removal of metal, lumber, and debris, including processing equipment; buildings; and other equipment relative to the mining operation and revegetation of the disturbed area shall be specified. Reclamation plans for underground mines shall include plans for closing or securing all entrances to underground workings.

4. Adequate maps, plans and cross sections, and construction specifications shall be submitted to demonstrate compliance with the performance standards of Part IV (4VAC25-31-330 et seq.) of this chapter and Chapter 12 ( § 45.2-1200 et seq.) of Title 45.2 of the Code of Virginia. Designs, unless otherwise specified, shall be prepared by a qualified person, using accepted engineering design standards and specifications.

5. A copy of the Virginia Department of Transportation land use permit for roads that connect to public roads.

6. If mining below the water table is to take place, the following conditions apply:

a. The application shall contain an assessment of the potential for impact on the overall hydrologic balance from the proposed operations to be conducted within the permitted area for review and approval.

b. A plan for the minimization of adverse effects on water quality or quantity shall be prepared based on the assessment in subdivision 6 a of this section and included in the application.

c. Permanent lakes or ponds created by mining shall be equal to or greater than four feet deep or otherwise constructed in a manner acceptable to the director.

Statutory Authority

§ 45.2-103 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 19, Issue 24, eff. September 11, 2003; amended, Virginia Register Volume 30, Issue 6, eff. December 19, 2013; Volume 35, Issue 21, eff. July 25, 2019; Volume 38, Issue 13, eff. March 31, 2022.

4VAC25-31-140. Marking of permit boundaries.

A. The permit boundary of the mine shall be clearly marked with identifiable markings when mine related land disturbing activities are within 100 feet of the permit boundary.

B. This section is not applicable to lands disturbed prior to September 11, 2003.

C. Maintenance of permit boundary markers is not required after completion of construction, completion of final disturbances, or completion of final reclamation unless the area is being redisturbed by mining.

D. Separate boundary markings are not required if clear, readily identifiable features, such as streams, permanent roads, or permanent power lines coincide with the permit boundary.

Statutory Authority

§§ 45.1-161.3 and 45.1-180.3 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 19, Issue 24, eff. September 11, 2003; amended, Virginia Register Volume 30, Issue 6, eff. December 19, 2013.

4VAC25-31-150. Maps.

A. Maps shall be supplied as described in §§ 45.2-1205 and 45.2-1206 of the Code of Virginia and in this chapter that show the total area to be permitted and the area to be affected in the next ensuing year (with acreage calculated).

B. Preparation of maps.

1. All application, renewal, and completion maps shall be prepared and certified under the direction of a professional engineer, licensed land surveyor, licensed geologist, issued by a standard mapping service, or prepared in such a manner as to be acceptable to the director.

2. If maps are not prepared by the applicant, the certification of the maps shall read as follows: "I hereby certify that this map is correct and shows to the best of my knowledge and belief, all the information required by the mineral mining laws and regulations of the Department of Energy."

3. The applicant shall submit a general location map showing the location of the mine, such as a county highway map or equivalent, in the initial application.

4. Sensitive features within 500 feet of the permit boundary including state waters, cemeteries, oil and gas wells, underground mine workings, public utilities and utility lines, buildings, roads, schools, churches, and occupied dwellings shall be shown.

5. All properties, and their owners, within 1,000 feet of the permit boundary shall be identified in the initial application.

6. Wetlands that have been previously delineated shall be shown within the permit boundary.

7. Riparian buffers that have been previously delineated shall be shown within the permit boundary.

C. Map code and legend.

1. A color code as prescribed by the director shall be used in preparing the map.

2. Graphic symbols may be used to represent the different areas instead of a color-coded map.

3. The map shall include a legend that shows the graphic symbol or color code and the acreage for each of the different areas.

Statutory Authority

§ 45.2-103 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 19, Issue 24, eff. September 11, 2003; amended, Virginia Register Volume 30, Issue 6, eff. December 19, 2013; Errata 30:7 VA.R. 982 December 2, 2013; Volume 38, Issue 13, eff. March 31, 2022.

4VAC25-31-160. Legal right.

A. A statement of the source of the legal right of the applicant to enter and conduct operations on the land proposed to be covered by the permit as noted in § 45.2-1205 of the Code of Virginia shall be submitted to the division. In addition, the applicant shall submit proof of right of entry, which shall consist of a copy of the lease or deed, or names of parties to the lease or deed, date of execution, and recording information.

B. On the permit application, the applicant shall disclose any type of mining permit, revocations, security deposited in lieu of bond that has been revoked or forfeited, and bond forfeitures in Virginia or any other state with which he or any individual, corporation, trust, partnership, association, or other legal entity with which he has or has had control or common control.

Statutory Authority

§ 45.2-103 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 19, Issue 24, eff. September 11, 2003; amended, Virginia Register Volume 38, Issue 13, eff. March 31, 2022.

4VAC25-31-170. Permit application notifications.

A. The applicant shall notify the following parties of a new permit application via certified mail:

1. Property owners within 1,000 feet of the permit boundary.

2. The Chief Administrative Official of the local political subdivision where the prospective mining operation would take place.

3. All public utilities on or within 500 feet of permit boundary.

B. All notifications shall contain:

1. The name of the permit applicant issuing notice and the date of notification;

2. The permit applicant's address, phone number, and other contact information as available;

3. The name and address of the property owner, chief administrative official, or utility receiving the notification;

4. A statement as required by § 45.2-1210 of the Code of Virginia to property owners that requires land owners within 1,000 feet of the permit boundary to be notified that the operator is seeking a mining and reclamation permit from the Department of Energy. The statement shall also note that the mining permit must address department requirements for regrading, revegetation, and erosion controls of mineral mine sites;

5. The location of the proposed mine, the city or county in which it is located, the distance of the nearest town or other easily identified landmark, and the tax map identification number of the parcels to be permitted; and

6. A notice that informs property owners within 1,000 feet of the permit boundary that they have 10 days from receipt of the permit notification to specify written objections or request a hearing. This request shall be in writing and shall be sent to the division. The current address for the division shall be provided on the notification.

C. No permit will be issued until at least 15 days after receipt of the application by the division. If all persons required to receive notice have issued a statement of no objection, the permit may be issued in less than 15 days.

D. Copies of all permit notifications shall be submitted to the division at the time they are mailed to the parties identified in subsection A of this section.

E. Documentation of certified mail receipts of the notifications described in this section shall be included with the permit application.

Statutory Authority

§ 45.2-103 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 19, Issue 24, eff. September 11, 2003; amended, Virginia Register Volume 30, Issue 6, eff. December 19, 2013; Volume 35, Issue 21, eff. July 25, 2019; Volume 38, Issue 13, eff. March 31, 2022.

4VAC25-31-180. Impoundments.

The design data and construction plans and specifications for impoundments meeting the criteria set forth in Chapter 13 ( § 45.2-1300 et seq.) of Title 45.2 of the Code of Virginia shall be submitted to the director prior to initiation of construction activities. Such a plan shall be certified as prepared by, or under the supervision of, a registered professional engineer and shall include:

1. Design and construction specifications;

2. Examination and monitoring;

3. Emergency procedures; and

4. Closure and abandonment plans.

Statutory Authority

§ 45.2-103 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 19, Issue 24, eff. September 11, 2003; amended, Virginia Volume 38, Issue 13, eff. March 31, 2022.

4VAC25-31-190. Availability of permits.

Mineral mining permits, a copy of the permit application, and a copy of the approved mineral mining plan shall be kept on-site while mining is underway.

Statutory Authority

§§ 45.1-161.3 and 45.1-180.3 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 19, Issue 24, eff. September 11, 2003; amended, Virginia Register Volume 30, Issue 6, eff. December 19, 2013.

4VAC25-31-200. Exemption for restricted mining.

Any operator engaging in mining and disturbing less than a total of one acre of land and removing less than a total of 500 tons of minerals, is exempt from all mining permit fees, renewal fees and bonding requirements in this chapter. The mining operator shall submit an application for a permit, a sketch of the mining site, and an operations plan, which shall be adhered to in accordance with §§ 45.2-1205 and 45.2-1206 of the Code of Virginia.

Statutory Authority

§ 45.2-103 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 19, Issue 24, eff. September 11, 2003; amended, Virginia Register Volume 38, Issue 13, eff. March 31, 2022.

Article 2
Permit Renewal and Surety Adjustments

4VAC25-31-210. Annual renewal.

A. If a permitted mineral mine operator wishes to continue operations, the mineral mining permit shall be renewed each year within 10 days of the anniversary date. If the time requirements set forth herein are not met, the permit shall expire 10 days following the anniversary date.

B. A renewal fee in the amount of $16 per acre for previous acres disturbed plus estimated additional acres to be disturbed in the next 12 months shall accompany the permit renewal submitted to the director.

C. The permit renewal shall be submitted on a form prescribed by the director. The renewal shall be signed by the applicant or his legal representative. The permit renewal and maps must be received by the anniversary date and meet the requirements in 4VAC25-31-100 through 4VAC25-31-220.

D. If in a given year there are no changes to the map required in 4VAC25-31-150, the operator may submit a certification instead of the map for the year. The certification shall read as follows: "I, the undersigned, hereby certify that no changes have been made in the different areas or in other map features since the last annual permit renewal or modification."

E. If at renewal time, bond or other surety is less than the required coverage, the director will notify the operator in writing of the amount required. The operator shall submit the required bond according to the requirements in 4VAC25-31-220 through 4VAC25-31-270 before the area is disturbed.

Statutory Authority

§§ 45.1-161.3 and 45.1-180.3 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 19, Issue 24, eff. September 11, 2003.

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