Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 45.2. Mines, Minerals, and Energy
Chapter 15. Requirements Applicable to Surface Mineral Mines
9/26/2021

Part C. Surface Mineral Mines..

Chapter 15. Requirements Applicable to Surface Mineral Mines.

§ 45.2-1500. (Effective October 1, 2021) Scope of chapter.

This chapter is applicable to the operation of any surface mineral mine in the Commonwealth and shall supplement the provisions of Chapter 11 (§ 45.2-1100 et seq.).

1994, c. 28, § 45.1-161.304; 1997, c. 390; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 387.

§ 45.2-1501. (Effective October 1, 2021) Regulations governing conditions and practices at surface mineral mines.

A. The Director shall adopt, in accordance with Article 2 (§ 2.2-4006 et seq.) of the Administrative Process Act, regulations necessary to ensure safe working conditions and practices at surface mineral mines in the Commonwealth. Nothing in this section shall restrict the Director from adopting regulations more stringent than regulations adopted pursuant to the federal mine safety law. Such regulations applicable to surface mineral mines shall establish requirements for the:

1. Protection of miners from general risks found at surface mineral mines;

2. Provision and use of personal protection equipment;

3. Control of unstable ground conditions;

4. Handling and storage of combustible materials, including requirements for emergency plans, firefighting and emergency rescue, fire prevention and safety features on mine equipment, and fire prevention and safety in mine structures and buildings;

5. Control of exposure to airborne toxic contaminants;

6. Safe storage, transportation, and use of explosives and blasting devices;

7. Safe design, operation, maintenance, and inspection of drilling equipment;

8. Construction, use, maintenance, and inspection of boilers, air compressors, and compressed gas systems;

9. Safe design, operation, maintenance, and inspection of mobile equipment;

10. Safe design, use, maintenance, and inspection of ladders, walkways, and travel ways;

11. Safe design, operation, maintenance, and inspection of electrical equipment and systems;

12. Safe design, use, maintenance, and inspection of guards on moving parts of equipment and machinery;

13. Safe storage, transportation, and handling of materials, including corrosive and hazardous substances;

14. Safe design, operation, maintenance, and inspection of hoisting equipment and cables;

15. Actions to be taken by certified and competent persons; and

16. Design, construction, maintenance, and inspection of refuse piles and water and silt retaining dams, including emergency response plans.

B. The Director shall not adopt any regulation relating to surface mineral mines that is inconsistent with any requirement established by the Act or that, if an operator were to take action to comply with the provisions of such regulation, would place the operator in violation of the federal mine safety law.

1994, c. 28, § 45.1-161.305; 1996, c. 774; 1998, c. 695; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 387.

§ 45.2-1502. (Effective October 1, 2021) Standards for regulations.

In adopting regulations pursuant to § 45.2-1501, the Director shall consider:

1. Standards utilized and generally recognized by the surface mineral mining industry;

2. Standards established by recognized professional mineral mining organizations and groups;

3. The federal mine safety law;

4. Research, demonstrations, experiments, and any other information available regarding the maintenance of a reasonable degree of safety protection, including the latest available scientific data in the field, the technical and economic feasibility of such standards, and the experience gained under the Act and other mine safety laws; and

5. Any other criteria necessary to ensure the safety and health of miners and other persons or property likely to be endangered by any surface mineral mine or related operation.

1994, c. 28, § 45.1-161.306; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 387.

§ 45.2-1503. (Effective October 1, 2021) Mining in proximity to gas and oil wells.

A. The Director shall adopt regulations requiring each licensed operator to notify, and in appropriate circumstances obtain the consent of, the Director prior to removing minerals in proximity to any gas or oil well already drilled or in the process of being drilled.

B. Any licensed operator who plans to remove any mineral, drive any passage or entry, or extend any workings in any mine within 500 feet of any gas or oil well already drilled or in the process of being drilled shall file with the Director a notice that mining is taking place or will take place, together with copies of the maps and plans required under § 45.2-1131 showing the mine workings and projected mine workings that are within 500 feet of the well. The licensed operator shall simultaneously mail copies of such notice, maps, and plans by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the well operator and the Gas and Oil Inspector appointed pursuant to § 45.2-1604. Each such notice shall contain a certification made by the sender that the sender has complied with such requirements.

C. After filing such notice, the licensed operator may proceed with mining operations in accordance with the maps and plans submitted; however, without the prior approval of the Director, the operator shall not remove any material, drive any entry, or extend any workings in any mine within 200 feet of any gas or oil well already drilled or in the process of being drilled. Each licensed operator who files such petition shall mail copies of the petition, maps, and plans by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the well operator and the Gas and Oil Inspector no later than the day of filing. The Gas and Oil Inspector and the well operator shall have standing to object to any petition filed under this section. Any such objection shall be filed within 10 days following the date such petition is filed.

1990, c. 92, § 45.1-92.1; 1994, c. 28, § 45.1-161.307; 1997, c. 390; 1998, c. 695; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 387.

§ 45.2-1504. (Effective October 1, 2021) Respiratory equipment.

The Director shall adopt regulations requiring any miner exposed for short periods to hazards from inhalation of gas, dust, or fumes to wear approved respiratory equipment.

Code 1950, § 45-86; 1954, c. 191; 1966, c. 594, § 45.1-99; 1994, c. 28, § 45.1-161.308; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 387.

§ 45.2-1505. (Effective October 1, 2021) Health regulations.

A. The Director may adopt regulations requiring that sources of dust at surface mineral mines be wetted down unless controlled by dry collection measures or other means approved by the Director.

B. The Director may adopt regulations providing that no miner at a surface mineral mine that is subject to inspection by the Department pursuant to § 45.2-1148 shall be exposed to noise levels that exceed the federal limit adopted by MSHA for non-coal miners. Such regulations shall provide that if such exposure exceeds the federal limit, the Director may require the operator to employ feasible engineering and administrative control measures.

1994, c. 928, § 45.1-161.309; 1997, c. 390; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 387.