Code of Virginia

Creating a Report: Check the sections you'd like to appear in the report, then use the "Create Report" button at the bottom of the page to generate your report. Once the report is generated you'll then have the option to download it as a pdf, print or email the report.

Code of Virginia
Title 45.2. Mines, Minerals, and Energy
Chapter 10. Virginia Coal Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1979
8/11/2022

§ 45.2-1020. Enforcement of chapter generally.

A. If the Director determines that any condition or practice or any violation by a permittee of any requirement of this chapter, regulation adopted hereunder, or permit condition (i) creates an imminent danger to the health or safety of the public or (ii) is causing or can reasonably be expected to cause significant, imminent environmental harm to land, air, or water resources, the Director shall immediately order a cessation of the coal surface mining and reclamation operation or the portion thereof relevant to the condition, practice, or violation. Such cessation order shall remain in effect until the Director determines that the condition, practice, or violation has been abated or until such order is modified, vacated, or terminated by the Director. Whenever the Director finds that the ordered cessation of coal surface mining and reclamation operations, or any portion thereof, is not expected to completely abate the imminent danger to health or safety of the public or the significant imminent environmental harm to land, air, or water resources, the Director shall, in addition to ordering the cessation of the operation, impose affirmative obligations on the operator and require such operator to take whatever steps the Director determines necessary to abate the imminent danger or the significant environmental harm.

B. If the Director determines that a permittee is in violation of any requirement of this chapter, any regulation adopted hereunder, or any permit condition, but such violation does not create an imminent danger to the health or safety of the public or cannot reasonably be expected to cause significant, imminent environmental harm to land, air, or water resources, the Director shall issue a notice of violation to the permittee or his agent setting a reasonable period of not more than 90 days for the abatement of the violation and shall provide an opportunity for public hearing.

C. Upon expiration of the period of time originally set pursuant to subsection B or subsequently extended for good cause shown upon the written finding of the Director, if the Director finds that a violation has not been abated, he shall immediately order a cessation of coal surface mining and reclamation operations or the portion thereof relevant to the violation. Such cessation order shall remain in effect until the Director determines that the violation has been abated or until such order is modified, vacated, or terminated by the Director pursuant to subsection E. The Director shall include in the cessation order the necessary measures to abate the violation in the most expeditious manner possible.

D. Whenever the Director determines that a pattern of violations of the requirements of this chapter, any regulation adopted hereunder, or any permit condition exists or has existed, and if the Director also finds that such violations are (i) caused by the unwarranted failure of the permittee to comply with any such requirements or (ii) willfully caused by the permittee, the Director shall promptly issue an order to the permittee to show cause as to why the permit should not be suspended or revoked and shall provide opportunity for a formal public hearing. If a hearing is requested, the Director shall inform all interested parties of the time and place of the hearing. Upon the permittee's failure to show cause as to why the permit should not be suspended or revoked, the Director shall promptly suspend or revoke the permit.

E. Each notice or order issued pursuant to this section shall set forth with reasonable specificity the nature of the violation and the remedial action required, the period of time established for abatement, and a reasonable description of the portion of the coal surface mining and reclamation operation to which the notice or order applies. Each notice or order shall be given promptly to the permittee or his agent by the Director and shall be in writing and signed by the Director. Any notice or order issued pursuant to this section may be modified, vacated, or terminated by the Director. Any notice or order issued pursuant to this section that requires cessation of mining by the operator shall expire within 30 days of actual notice to the operator unless an informal public hearing is held at the site or close enough to the site to allow viewings thereof during the course of the public hearing. Such informal public hearing may be waived by the operator.

F. The Director may institute a civil action for injunctive or other relief in any court of competent jurisdiction whenever any permittee or his agent, or any other person:

1. Violates or fails or refuses to comply with any order or decision issued by the Director;

2. Interferes with, hinders, or delays the Director in carrying out the provisions of this chapter or the regulations adopted hereunder;

3. Refuses to admit the Director to a mine;

4. Refuses to permit inspection of a mine;

5. Refuses to furnish any information or report requested by the Director pursuant to the provisions of this chapter or the regulations adopted hereunder;

6. Refuses to permit access to, and copying of, such records as the Director determines necessary in carrying out the provisions of this chapter or the regulations adopted hereunder; or

7. Conducts any coal surface mining or coal exploration operation without first obtaining a permit, after a permit has lapsed, or after suspension or revocation of a permit.

1979, c. 290, § 45.1-245; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 387.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of this section may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.