Code of Virginia

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

§ 45.2-1025. Administrative review of notice or order issued under § 45.2-1020.

A. A permittee who is issued a notice or order pursuant to § 45.2-1020, or any person having an interest that is or could be adversely affected by such notice or order or by any modification, vacation, or termination of such notice or order, may apply to the Director for the review of such notice or order within 30 days of the receipt thereof or within 30 days of its modification, vacation, or termination. Upon receipt of such application, the Director shall cause such investigation to be made as he deems appropriate. Such investigation shall, at the request of the applicant or the person having an interest that is or could be adversely affected, include a public formal hearing to enable the applicant or such person to present information relating to the issuance and continuance of such notice or order or the modification, vacation, or termination thereof. The filing of an application for review under this subsection shall not operate as a stay of any order or notice.

B. Upon receiving the report of such investigation, the Director shall make findings of fact and shall issue a written decision, incorporating therein an order vacating, affirming, modifying, or terminating the notice or order complained of. Such order shall incorporate the Director's findings of fact. If the application for review concerns an order for cessation of coal surface mining and reclamation operations issued pursuant to the provisions of subsection A or C of § 45.2-1020, the Director shall issue the written decision within 30 days of the receipt of the application for review unless temporary relief has been granted by the Director pursuant to subsection C or by a court pursuant to § 45.2-1027.

C. Pending completion of the hearing required by this section, the applicant may file with the Director a written request that the Director grant temporary relief from any notice or order issued under § 45.2-1020, together with a detailed statement giving reasons for granting such relief. The Director shall issue an order granting or denying such relief expeditiously. If the applicant requests relief from an order for cessation of coal surface mining and reclamation operations issued pursuant to subsection A or C of § 45.2-1020, the order on such a request shall be issued within five days of its receipt. The Director may grant such relief, under such conditions as the Director prescribes, if:

1. A hearing has been held in the locality of the permit area on the request for temporary relief in which all parties were given an opportunity to be heard;

2. The applicant shows that there is substantial likelihood that the decision of the Director will be favorable to the applicant; and

3. Such relief will not adversely affect the health or safety of the public or cause significant imminent environmental harm to land, air, or water resources.

D. Following the issuance of an order to show cause as to why a permit should not be suspended or revoked pursuant to § 45.2-1020, the Director shall hold a public formal hearing, unless waived by the permittee, after giving written notice of the time, place, and date thereof. Within 60 days following the formal hearing, the Director shall issue and furnish to the permittee and every other party to the hearing a written decision concerning suspension or revocation of the permit and reasons therefor. If the Director revokes the permit, the permittee shall immediately cease coal surface mining operations on the permit area and shall complete reclamation within a period specified by the Director, or the Director shall declare as forfeited the performance bonds for the operation.

E. The Director may adopt regulations providing for the award of costs and expenses, including attorney fees, to any party to any administrative proceedings under this chapter, incurred by such person in connection with his participation in such proceedings, and may assess such costs and expenses against any other party as the Director deems proper. For the purpose of this subsection, "party" includes the Commonwealth or any of its agents, officers, or employees.

1979, c. 290, § 45.1-249; 1983, c. 93; 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.