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
9/25/2020

§ 45.1-258. Replacement of water supply.

A. The operator of any coal surface mining operation 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 such supply has been affected by contamination, diminution, or interruption proximately resulting from such coal surface mine operation.

B. Underground coal mining operations conducted after October 24, 1992, shall promptly replace any drinking, domestic, or residential water supply from a well or spring in existence prior to the application for a surface coal mining and reclamation permit which has been affected by contamination, diminution, or interruption resulting from underground coal mining operations. Until amendments to the regulations governing the permanent state regulatory program implementing the provisions of this subsection are effective, the Director shall issue guidelines in accordance with subsection A of § 45.1-230 regarding the replacement of any water supply pursuant to this subsection. Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to prohibit or interrupt underground coal mining operations.

C. Each operator of an underground coal mine shall record the daily progress of mining operations on a mine map or maps maintained at the mine site or in the company office. The map or maps shall, at a minimum, include information on the daily progress of mining operations conducted after October 24, 1992, and be maintained until the completion of the mining. The operator shall provide the map or maps to the Division upon completion of mining and upon request of the Director.

D. If the Director has ordered replacement under subsection B of this section and the operator subject to the order has failed to provide the map or maps in accordance with subsection C of this section, then the Director's order shall not be overturned absent clear and convincing evidence to the contrary. Upon conclusion of an investigation, if the Director does not order replacement under the provisions of subsection B of this section and reasonable access for a pre-mining survey was denied, the Director's determination shall not be overturned absent clear and convincing evidence to the contrary.

E. Each operator of an underground coal mine shall provide a certificate issued by an insurance company licensed to do business in the Commonwealth certifying that the operator has a public liability insurance policy in force for the underground coal mining operation which shall provide for protection in an amount adequate to replace any water supply as required by subsection B of this section. The policy shall be maintained in full force during the term of the permit, including any renewal thereof, and including the liability period necessary to complete all reclamation operations under this chapter. The provisions of this subsection shall expire on the date the amendments to the regulations governing the permanent state regulatory program implementing the provisions of subsection B of this section are approved for the Commonwealth by the Secretary of the Interior of the United States.

1979, c. 290; 1993, c. 582.

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.