Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 45.1. Mines and Mining
Chapter 19. Virginia Coal Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1979

§ 45.1-244. (Repealed effective October 1, 2021) Inspections and monitoring.

A. For the purpose of administering and enforcing any permit issued under this chapter or of determining whether any person is in violation of any requirement of this chapter or any regulation promulgated hereunder:

1. The Director shall require any permittee to (i) establish and maintain appropriate records, (ii) make monthly reports to the Division, (iii) install, use and maintain any necessary monitoring equipment or methods, (iv) evaluate results in accordance with such methods, at such locations, intervals, and in such manner as the Director shall prescribe, and (v) provide such other information relative to coal surface mining and reclamation operations as the Director deems reasonable and necessary;

2. For those coal surface mining and reclamation operations which remove or disturb strata that serve as aquifers which significantly insure the hydrologic balance of water use either on or off the mining site, the Director shall specify those (i) monitoring sites to record the quantity and quality of surface drainage above and below the mine site as well as in the potential zone of influence, and to record level, amount, and samples of ground water and aquifers potentially affected by mining, and also directly below the deepest coal seam to be mined, and to record precipitation; and (ii) records of well logs and borehole data to be maintained. The monitoring data collection and analysis required by this section shall be conducted according to standards and procedures set forth in regulations promulgated by the Director in order to assure their reliability and validity; and

3. The authorized representatives of the Director, without advance notice and upon presentation of appropriate credentials, (i) shall have the right of entry to, upon, or through any coal surface mining and reclamation operation; and (ii) shall have the right to inspect any monitoring equipment, any method of exploration, any method of operation, or any records required by this chapter, and shall have the right to copy any such records.

No search warrant shall be required for any entry or inspection under this subsection, except with respect to entry into a building.

B. The inspections by the Director shall (i) occur on an irregular basis averaging not less than one partial inspection per month and one complete inspection per calendar quarter for the coal surface mining and reclamation operations covered by each permit; (ii) occur without prior notice to the permittee or his agents or employees except for necessary on-site meetings with the permittee; and (iii) include the filing of inspection reports adequate to enforce the requirements of and to carry out the terms and purposes of this chapter.

C. Each permittee shall conspicuously maintain at the entrance to the coal surface mining and reclamation operation a clearly visible sign setting forth such information as shall be prescribed by regulation.

D. Each inspector, upon detection of each violation of any requirement of this chapter or of the regulations promulgated hereunder, shall forthwith inform the operator in writing and shall report in writing any such violation to the Director.

E. Copies of any records, reports, inspection materials, or information obtained by the Director under this article shall be made immediately available to the public at central and sufficient locations in the area of mining so that they are conveniently available to residents in such areas; however, information which pertains only to the analysis of the chemical and physical properties of the coal, excepting information regarding mineral or elemental content which is potentially toxic in the environment, shall be kept confidential and not made a matter of public record.

1979, c. 290; 1984, cc. 323, 590.

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.