Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 45.1. Mines and Mining
Chapter 18.1. Mineral Mining Refuse Piles, Water and Silt Retaining Dams
7/25/2021

Chapter 18.1. Mineral Mining Refuse Piles, Water and Silt Retaining Dams.

§ 45.1-225.1. (Repealed effective October 1, 2021) Dams and refuse piles to be constructed, approved, etc., by qualified engineer; designs and other data to be submitted to the Director.

A. On and after July 1, 1974, new water or silt retaining dams, or a mine refuse pile, or the modification of existing mine water or silt or mine refuse retaining dams shall be designed and constructed by, or under the direction of, a qualified engineer, if such retaining dam:

1. Is designed to impound water or silt to a height of five feet or more above the lowest natural ground level within the impounded area; and

2. Has a storage volume of fifty acre-feet or more; or

3. Is designed to impound water or silt to a height of twenty feet or more, regardless of storage volume.

B. Water and silt retaining dam or mine refuse piles, designs, construction specifications, and other related data, including final abandonment plans, shall be approved and certified by the qualified engineer specified in subsection A of this section, and by the licensed operator or his agent.

C. The designs, construction specifications, and other related data approved and certified in accordance with subsection B of this section shall be submitted for approval to the Director. If the submittal is approved by the Director, he shall notify the licensed operator in writing. If he disapproves, he shall notify the licensed operator with his written objections thereto and his required amendments. But in no event shall the Director fail to approve or disapprove the submittal within thirty days following the receipt thereof.

1997, c. 390; 1998, c. 695.

§ 45.1-225.2. (Repealed effective October 1, 2021) Examination of dams and refuse piles; potentially hazardous conditions; plans to be submitted by licensed operators.

A. All water and silt retaining dams or mine refuse piles shall be examined daily for visible structural weakness, volume overload and other hazards by a qualified person designated by the licensed operator. When rising water and silt reaches eighty percent by volume of the safe design capacity of the dam, such examination shall be made more often as required by the Director or his designated agent. Frequent examinations must be made during periods of rainfall that could create flooding conditions.

B. When a potentially hazardous condition exists, the operator shall initiate procedures to:

1. Remove all persons from the area which may reasonably be expected to be affected by the potentially hazardous condition;

2. Eliminate the potentially hazardous condition; and

3. Notify the Director.

C. Records of the inspections required by subsection A of this section shall be kept and certified by the licensed operator or his agent. Such records shall be kept on the surface at the office or designated station of the mine.

D. The licensed operator of each mineral mine on which a water and silt retaining dam is located shall adopt a plan for carrying out the requirements of subsections A and B of this section. The plan shall be submitted for approval to the Director on or before October 31, 1974. The plan shall include:

1. A schedule and procedures for inspection of the retaining dam by a qualified person;

2. Procedures for evaluating potentially hazardous conditions;

3. Procedures for removing all persons from the area which may reasonably be expected to be affected by the potentially hazardous conditions;

4. Procedures for eliminating the potentially hazardous conditions;

5. Procedures for notifying the Director; and

6. Any additional information which may be required by the Director.

E. Before making any changes or modifications in the plan approved in accordance with subsection D of this section, the licensed operator shall obtain approval of such changes or modifications from the Director.

1997, c. 390; 1998, c. 695.

§ 45.1-225.3. (Repealed effective October 1, 2021) Definitions.

For the purpose of this chapter, the term

"Impound water" means to impound water for use in carrying out any part of the process necessary in the production or preparation of minerals.

"Refuse" means waste material resulting from a mineral mining operation.

"Silt" means fine particles resulting from a mineral mining operation, suspended in or deposited by water.

"Water" means water used in mining operations.

1997, c. 390.