As used throughout this chapter, the following terms have the specified meanings except where otherwise indicated.
"Abatement plan" means an individual technique or combination of techniques, the implementation of which is designed to result in reduction of the baseline pollution load. Abatement techniques include but are not limited to: addition of alkaline material, special plans for managing toxic and acid forming material, regrading, revegetation, and daylighting.
"Acid drainage" means water with a pH of less than 6.0 and in which total acidity exceeds total alkalinity, discharged from an active, inactive, or abandoned surface coal mining and reclamation operation or from an area affected by surface coal mining and reclamation operations.
"Acid-forming materials" means earth materials that contain sulfide minerals or other materials which, if exposed to air, water, or weathering processes, form acid that may create acid drainage or leachate.
"Act" means the Virginia Coal Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1979 as amended (Chapter 19 (§ 45.1-226 et seq.) of Title 45.1 of the Code of Virginia).
"Actual improvement" means the reduction of the baseline pollution load resulting from the implementation of the approved abatement plan: except that a reduction of the baseline pollution load achieved by water treatment may not be considered as actual improvement.
"Adjacent area" means the area outside the permit area where a resource or resources, determined according to the context in which adjacent area is used, are or reasonably could be expected to be adversely impacted by proposed mining operations, including probable impacts from underground workings.
"Administratively complete application" means an application for permit approval, or approval for coal exploration where required, which the division determines to contain information addressing each application requirement of the regulatory program and to contain all information necessary to initiate processing and public review.
"Adverse physical impact" means, with respect to a highwall created or impacted by remining, conditions such as sloughing of material, subsidence, instability, or increased erosion of highwalls, which occur or can reasonably be expected to occur as a result of remining and which pose threats to property, public health, safety, or the environment.
"Affected area" means any land or water surface area which is used to facilitate, or is physically altered by, surface coal mining and reclamation operations. The affected area includes the disturbed area; any area upon which surface coal mining and reclamation operations are conducted; any adjacent lands, the use of which is incidental to surface coal mining and reclamation operations; all areas covered by new or existing roads used to gain access to, or for hauling coal to or from, surface coal mining and reclamation operations, except as provided in this definition; any area covered by surface excavations, workings, impoundments, dams, ventilation shafts, entryways, refuse banks, dumps, stockpiles, overburden piles, spoil banks, culm banks, tailings, holes or depressions, repair areas, storage areas, shipping areas; any areas upon which are sited structures, facilities, or other property or material on the surface resulting from, or incident to, surface coal mining and reclamation operations; and the area located above underground workings. The affected area shall include every road used for purposes of access to, or for hauling coal to or from, surface coal mining and reclamation operations, unless the road is a public road.
"Agricultural use" means the use of any tract of land for the production of animal or vegetable life. The uses include, but are not limited to, the pasturing, grazing, and watering of livestock, and the cropping, cultivation, and harvesting of plants.
"Anthracite" means coal classified as anthracite in ASTM Standard D 388-77. Coal classifications are published by the American Society of Testing and Materials under the title, "Standard Specification for Classification of Coals by Rank," ASTM D 388-77, on pages 220 through 224. Table 1 which classifies the coals by rank is presented on page 223. This publication is hereby incorporated by reference.
"Applicant" means any person seeking a permit, permit revision, renewal, and transfer, assignment, or sale of permit rights from the division to conduct surface coal mining and reclamation operations or, where required, seeking approval for coal exploration.
"Applicant violator system" or "AVS" means an automated information system of applicant, permittee, operator, violation, and related data the federal Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSM) maintains and the division utilizes in the permit review process.
"Application" means the documents and other information filed with the division under this chapter for the issuance of permits; revisions; renewals; and transfer, assignment, or sale of permit rights for surface coal mining and reclamation operations or, where required, for coal exploration.
"Approximate original contour" means that surface configuration achieved by backfilling and grading of the mined areas so that the reclaimed area, including any terracing or access roads, closely resembles the general surface configuration of the land prior to mining and blends into and complements the drainage pattern of the surrounding terrain, with all highwalls, spoil piles and coal refuse piles eliminated. Permanent water impoundments may be permitted where the division has determined that they comply with 4VAC25-130-816.49, 4VAC25-130-816.56, and 4VAC25-130-816.133 or 4VAC25-130-817.49, 4VAC25-130-817.56, and 4VAC25-130-817.133.
"Aquifer" means a zone, stratum, or group of strata that can store and transmit water in sufficient quantities for a specific use.
"Auger mining" means a method of mining coal at a cliff or highwall by drilling or cutting holes into an exposed coal seam from the highwall and transporting the coal along the auger bit to the surface.
"Authorized officer" means any person authorized to take official action on behalf of a federal agency that has administrative jurisdiction over federal lands.
"Baseline pollution load" means the characterization of the pollution material being discharged from or on the pollution abatement area, described in terms of mass discharge for each parameter, including seasonal variations and variations in response to precipitation events. The division will establish in each authorization the specific parameters it deems relevant for the baseline pollution load.
"Best professional judgment" means the highest quality technical opinion forming the basis for the terms and conditions of the treatment level required after consideration of all reasonably available and pertinent data. The treatment levels shall be established by the division under §§ 301 and 402 of the federal Water Pollution Control Act (33 USC §§ 1311 and 1342).
"Best technology" means measures and practices which are designed to abate or ameliorate to the maximum extent possible pollutional discharges from or on the pollution abatement area. These measures include engineering, geochemical or other applicable practices.
"Best technology currently available" means equipment, devices, systems, methods, or techniques which will:
(a) Prevent, to the extent possible, additional contributions of suspended solids to stream flow or runoff outside the permit area, but in no event result in contribution of suspended solids in excess of requirements set by the applicable state or federal laws;
(b) Minimize, to the extent possible, disturbances and adverse impacts on fish, wildlife, and related environmental values, and achieve enhancement of those resources where practicable. The term includes equipment, devices, systems, terms, methods, or techniques which are currently available anywhere as determined by the division even if they are not in routine use. The term includes, but is not limited to, construction practices, siting requirements, vegetative selection and planting requirements, animal stocking requirements, scheduling of activities and design of sedimentation ponds in accordance with Parts 816 and 817 of this chapter. Within the constraints of the permanent program, the division shall have the discretion to determine the best technology currently available on a case-by-case basis, as authorized by the Act and this chapter.
"Cemetery" means any area of land where human bodies are interred.
"Certification" when used in regards to construction certifications by qualified registered professional engineers, is not considered to be a warranty or guarantee.
"Coal" means combustible carbonaceous rock, classified as anthracite, bituminous, subbituminous, or lignite by ASTM Standard D 388-77, referred to and incorporated by reference in the definition of "anthracite."
"Coal exploration" means the field gathering of:
(a) Surface or subsurface geologic, physical, or chemical data by mapping, trenching, drilling, geophysical, or other techniques necessary to determine the quality and quantity of overburden and coal of an area; or
(b) The gathering of environmental data to establish the conditions of an area before beginning surface coal mining and reclamation operations under the requirements of this chapter.
"Coal lease" means a federal coal lease or license issued by the Bureau of Land Management pursuant to the Mineral Leasing Act and the federal Acquired Lands Leasing Act of 1947 (30 USC § 351 et seq.).
"Coal mine waste" means coal processing waste and underground development waste.
"Coal mining operation" means, for the purposes of Part 705 of this chapterFinancial Interests of State Employeesthe business of developing, producing, preparing or loading bituminous coal, subbituminous coal, anthracite, or lignite, or of reclaiming the areas upon which such activities occur.
"Coal preparation" or "coal processing" means chemical or physical processing and the cleaning, concentrating, or other processing or preparation of coal.
"Coal preparation plant" means a facility where coal is subjected to chemical or physical processing or the cleaning, concentrating, or other processing or preparation. It includes facilities associated with coal preparation activities, including but not limited to the following: loading facilities; storage and stockpile facilities; sheds, shops, and other buildings; water-treatment and water storage facilities; settling basins and impoundments; and coal processing and other waste disposal areas.
"Coal processing waste" means earth materials which are separated and wasted from the product coal during cleaning, concentrating, or other processing or preparation of coal.
"Cognovit note" means an extraordinary note which authorizes an attorney to confess judgement against the person or persons signing it. It is written authority of a debtor and a direction by him for entry of a judgement against him if the obligation set forth in the note is not paid when due. Such judgement may be taken by any person holding the note, which cuts off every defense which makers of the note may otherwise have and it likewise cuts off all rights of appeal from any judgement taken on it. The note shall, at a minimum:
(a) Contain the date of execution.
(b) Be payable to the "Treasurer of Virginia."
(c) Be due and payable in the event of bond forfeiture of the permit.
(d) Be payable in a sum certain of money.
(e) Be signed by the makers.
"Collateral bond" means an indemnity agreement in a sum certain executed by the permittee and deposited with the division supported by one or more of the following:
(a) The deposit of cash in one or more federally insured accounts, payable only to the division upon demand;
(b) Negotiable bonds of the United States, the Commonwealth of Virginia, or a political subdivision thereof, endorsed to the order of, and placed in the possession of the division; the bond will only be acceptable if the issue is rated "A" or better by Moody's Investor Service, Inc., or Standard and Poor's, Inc.;
(c) Certificates of deposit issued by Virginia banks payable only to the division and placed in its possession. No security in default as to principal or interest shall be acceptable as collateral; or
(d) An irrevocable letter of credit of any bank organized or authorized to transact business in the United States, payable only to the department at sight prepared in accordance with the Uniform Customs and Practices for Documentary Credits (1993 revision) International Chamber of Commerce (Publication No. 500).
"Combustible material" means organic material that is capable of burning, either by fire or through oxidation, accompanied by the evolution of heat and a significant temperature rise.
"Community or institutional building" means any structure, other than a public building or an occupied dwelling, which is used primarily for meetings, gatherings or functions of local civic organizations or other community groups; functions as an educational, cultural, historic, religious, scientific, correctional, mental health or physical health care facility; or is used for public services, including, but not limited to, water supply, power generation or sewage treatment.
"Compaction" means increasing the density of a material by reducing the voids between the particles and is generally accomplished by controlled placement and mechanical effort such as from repeated application of wheel, track, or roller loads from heavy equipment.
"Complete and accurate application" means an application for permit approval or approval for coal exploration where required which the division determines to contain all information required under the Act and this chapter.
"Contamination" means, in reference to ground water or surface water supplies receiving ground water, any impairment of water quality which makes the water unsuitable for a specific use.
"Control" or "controller" when used in 4VAC25-130-773, 4VAC25-130-774, or 4VAC25-130-778 means:
(a) A permittee of a surface coal mining operation;
(b) An operator of a surface coal mining operation; or
(c) Any person who has the ability to determine the manner in which a surface coal mining operation is conducted.
"Cooperative agreement" means a cooperative agreement entered into in accordance with § 523(c) of the federal Act and 30 CFR Part 745.
"Cumulative impact area" means the area, including the permit area, within which impacts resulting from the proposed operation may interact with the impacts of all anticipated mining on surface and ground water systems. Anticipated mining shall include, at a minimum, the entire projected lives through bond release of:
(a) The proposed operation;
(b) All existing operations;
(c) Any operation for which a permit application has been submitted to the division; and
(d) All operations required to meet diligent development requirements for leased federal coal for which there is actual mine development information available.
"Department" means the Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy (DMME) of Virginia.
"Diminution" means, in reference to ground or surface water supplies receiving ground water, any impairment of water quantity which makes the water unsuitable for a specific use.
"Direct financial interest" means ownership or part ownership by an employee of lands, stocks, bonds, debentures, warrants, partnership shares, or other holdings and also means any other arrangement where the employee may benefit from his or her holding in or salary from coal mining operations. Direct financial interests include employment, pensions, creditor, real property and other financial relationships.
"Director" means the Director of the Department of Mines, Minerals, and Energy or his representative.
"Disturbed area" means an area where vegetation, topsoil, or overburden is removed or upon which topsoil, spoil, coal processing waste, underground development waste, or noncoal waste is placed by surface coal mining operations. Those areas are classified as disturbed until reclamation is complete and the performance bond or other assurance of performance required by Subchapter VJ is released.
"Diversion" means a channel, embankment, or other manmade structure constructed to divert water from one area to another.
"Division" means the Division of Mined Land Reclamation of the Department of Mines, Minerals, and Energy.
"Downslope" means the land surface between the projected outcrop of the lowest coal bed being mined along each highwall and a valley floor.
"Drinking, domestic or residential water supply" means water received from a well or spring and any appurtenant delivery system that provides water for direct human consumption or household use. Wells and springs that serve only agricultural, commercial or industrial enterprises are not included, except to the extent the water supply is for direct human consumption or human sanitation or domestic use.
"Embankment" means an artificial deposit of material that is raised above the natural surface of the land and used to contain, divert, or store water, support roads or railways, or for other similar purposes.
"Employee" means (a) any person employed by the department or other state or local government agency who performs any function or duty under the Act, and (b) consultants who perform any function or duty under the Act, if they perform decision-making functions for the department under the authority of the Act or regulations promulgated under the Act.
"Ephemeral stream" means a stream
flows only in direct response to precipitation in the immediate watershed or in
response to the melting of a cover of snow and ice, and which that
has a channel bottom that is always above the local water table.
"Escrow account" means an account in a federally insured financial institution.
"Excess spoil" means spoil material disposed of in a location other than the mined-out area; provided that spoil material used to achieve the approximate original contour or to blend the mined-out area with the surrounding terrain in accordance with 4VAC25-130-816.102(d) and 4VAC25-130-817.102(d) in nonsteep slope areas shall not be considered excess spoil.
"Existing structure" means a structure or facility used in connection with or to facilitate surface coal mining and reclamation operations for which construction begins prior to the approval of the state program or a federal land program, whichever occurs first.
"Extraction of coal as an incidental part" means, for the purposes of Part 707 of this chapter, the extraction of coal which is necessary to enable the construction to be accomplished. For purposes of Part 707, only that coal extracted from within the right-of-way, in the case of a road, railroad, utility line or other such construction, or within the boundaries of the area directly affected by other types of government-financed construction, may be considered incidental to that construction. Extraction of coal outside the right-of-way or boundary of the area directly affected by the construction shall be subject to the requirements of the Act and this chapter.
"Federal Act" means the federal Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977, as amended (Pub. L. 95-87).
"Federal land management agency" means a federal agency having administrative jurisdiction over the surface of federal lands that are subject to this chapter.
"Federal lands" means any land, including mineral interests, owned by the United States, without regard to how the United States acquired ownership of the lands or which agency manages the lands. It does not include Indian lands.
"Federal lands program" means a program established by the secretary pursuant to § 523 of the federal Act to regulate surface coal mining and reclamation operations on federal lands.
"Federal lease bond" means the bond or equivalent security required by 43 CFR Part 3400 to assure compliance with the terms and conditions of a federal coal lease.
"Federal lessee protection bond" means a bond payable to the United States or the state, whichever is applicable, for use and benefit of a permittee or lessee of the surface lands to secure payment of any damages to crops or tangible improvements on federal lands, pursuant to § 715 of the federal Act.
"Federal program" means a program established by the secretary pursuant to § 504 of the federal Act to regulate coal exploration and surface coal mining and reclamation operations on nonfederal and non-Indian lands within the state in accordance with the federal Act and 30 CFR Chapter VII.
"First water producing zone" means the first water zone encountered which can be monitored in a manner which indicates the effects of a surface mining operation on usable ground water.
"Fragile lands" means areas containing natural, ecologic, scientific or aesthetic resources that could be significantly damaged by surface coal mining operations. Examples of fragile lands include valuable habitats for fish or wildlife, critical habitats for endangered or threatened species of animals or plants, uncommon geologic formations, paleontological sites, National Natural Landmarks, areas where mining may result in flooding, environmental corridors containing a concentration of ecologic and aesthetic features and areas of recreational value due to high environmental quality.
"Fugitive dust" means that particulate matter which becomes airborne due to the forces of wind or surface coal mining and reclamation operations or both. During surface coal mining and reclamation operations it may include emissions from haul roads; wind erosion of exposed surfaces, storage piles, and spoil piles; reclamation operations; and other activities in which material is either removed, stored, transported, or redistributed. Fugitive dust does not include particulate matter emitted from a duct or stack.
"Fund," as used in Subchapter VR, means the Abandoned Mine Reclamation Fund established pursuant to § 45.1-261 of the Act.
"General area" means, with respect to hydrology, the topographic and ground water basin surrounding a permit area and adjacent areas to include one or more watersheds containing perennial streams or ground water zones which possess useable and/or managed zones or flows, to allow an assessment of the probable cumulative impacts on the hydrologic regime.
"Government-financed construction" means construction funded 50% or more by funds appropriated from a government financing agency's budget or obtained from general revenue bonds. Funding at less than 50% may qualify if the construction is undertaken as an approved reclamation project under Title IV of the federal Act. Construction funded through government financing agency guarantees, insurance, loans, funds obtained through industrial revenue bonds or their equivalent, or in-kind payments does not qualify as government-financed construction.
"Government financing agency" means any federal, state, regional, county, city or town unit of government, or a department, bureau, agency or office of a governmental unit or any combination of two or more governmental units or agencies, which, directly or through another unit of government, finances construction.
"Gravity discharge" means, with respect to underground coal mining activities, mine drainage that flows freely in an open channel downgradient. Mine drainage that occurs as a result of flooding a mine to the level of the discharge is not gravity discharge.
"Ground cover" means the area of ground covered by the combined aerial parts of vegetation and the litter that is produced naturally onsite, expressed as a percentage of the total area of ground.
"Ground water" means subterranean water which exists within a totally saturated zone, stratum or group of strata.
"Growing season" means the period of year when climatic conditions are favorable for plant growth, common to a place or area. The period between April 15 and October 15 is the normal growing season.
"Half-shrub" means a perennial plant with a woody base whose annually produced stems die back each year.
"Head-of-hollow fill" means a fill structure consisting of any material, except organic material, placed in the uppermost reaches of a hollow where side slopes of the existing hollow, measured at the steepest point, are greater than 20 degrees or the average slope of the profile of the hollow from the toe of the fill to the top of the fill is greater than 10 degrees. In head-of-hollow fills, the top surface of the fill, when completed, is at approximately the same elevation as the adjacent ridge line, and no significant area of natural drainage occurs above the fill, draining into the fill area.
"Higher or better uses" means postmining land uses that have a higher value or benefit, either economic or noneconomic, to the landowner or the community than the premining land uses.
"Highwall" means the face of exposed overburden and coal in an open cut of a surface coal mining activity or for entry to underground mining activities.
"Highwall remnant" means that portion of highwall that remains after backfilling and grading of a remining permit area.
"Historically used for cropland" means (1) lands that have been used for cropland for any five years or more out of the 10 years immediately preceding the acquisition, including purchase, lease, or option, of the land for the purpose of conducting or allowing through resale, lease, or option the conduct of surface coal mining and reclamation operations; (2) lands that the division determines, on the basis of additional cropland history of the surrounding lands and the lands under consideration, that the permit area is clearly cropland but falls outside the specific five-years-in-10 criterion, in which case the regulations for prime farmland may be applied to include more years of cropland history only to increase the prime farmland acreage to be preserved; or (3) lands that would likely have been used as cropland for any five out of the last 10 years, immediately preceding such acquisition but for the same fact of ownership or control of the land unrelated to the productivity of the land.
"Historic lands" means areas containing historic, cultural, or scientific resources. Examples of historic lands include archaeological sites, properties listed on or eligible for listing on the State or National Register of Historic Places, National Historic Landmarks, properties having religious or cultural significance to native Americans or religious groups, and properties for which historic designation is pending.
"Hydrologic balance" means the relationship between the quality and quantity of water inflow to, water outflow from, and water storage in a hydrologic unit such as a drainage basin, aquifer, soil zone, lake, or reservoir. It encompasses the dynamic relationships among precipitation, runoff, evaporation, and changes in ground and surface water storage.
"Hydrologic regime" means the entire state of water movement in a given area. It is a function of the climate and includes the phenomena by which water first occurs as atmospheric water vapor, passes into a liquid or solid form, falls as precipitation, moves along or into the ground surface, and returns to the atmosphere as vapor by means of evaporation and transportation.
"Imminent danger to the health and safety of the public" means the existence of any condition or practice, or any violation of a permit or other requirements of the Act in a surface coal mining and reclamation operation, which could reasonably be expected to cause substantial physical harm to persons outside the permit area before the condition, practice, or violation can be abated. A reasonable expectation of death or serious injury before abatement exists if a rational person, subjected to the same condition or practice giving rise to the peril, would avoid exposure to the danger during the time necessary for abatement.
"Impounding structure" means a dam, embankment or other structure used to impound water, slurry, or other liquid or semi-liquid material.
"Impoundments" mean all water, sediment, slurry or other liquid or semi-liquid holding structures and depressions, either naturally formed or artificially built.
"Indemnity agreement" means an agreement between two persons in which one person agrees to pay the other person for a loss or damage. The persons involved can be individual people, or groups of people, or legal organizations, such as partnerships, corporations or government agencies, or any combination of these.
"Indirect financial interest" means the same financial relationships as for direct ownership, but where the employee reaps the benefits of such interests, including interests held by the employee's spouse, minor child and other relatives, including in-laws, residing in the employee's home. The employee will not be deemed to have an indirect financial interest if there is no relationship between the employee's functions or duties and the coal mining operation in which the spouse, minor children or other resident relatives hold a financial interest.
"In situ processes" means activities conducted on the surface or underground in connection with in-place distillation, retorting, leaching, or other chemical or physical processing of coal. The term includes, but is not limited to, in situ gasification, in situ leaching, slurry mining, solution mining, borehole mining, and fluid recovery mining.
"Intermittent stream" means:
(a) A stream or section of a stream that drains a watershed of at least one square mile, or
(b) A stream or section of a stream that is below the local water table for at least some part of the year, and obtains its flow from both surface runoff and ground water discharge.
"Irreparable damage to the environment" means any damage to the environment, in violation of the Act, or this chapter, that cannot be corrected by the permittee.
"Knowing" or "knowingly" means that a person who authorized, ordered, or carried out an act or omission knew or had reason to know that the act or omission would result in either a violation or failure to abate or correct a violation.
"Land use" means specific uses or management-related activities, rather than the vegetation or cover of the land. Land uses may be identified in combination when joint or seasonal use occur and may include land used for support facilities that are an integral part of the use. Changes of land use from one of the following categories to another shall be considered as a change to an alternative land use which is subject to approval by the division.
(a) "Cropland." Land used for production of crops which can be grown for harvest alone or in a rotation with grasses and legumes, that include row crops, small grain crops, hay crops, nursery crops, orchard crops, and other similar crops.
(b) "Pastureland" or land occasionally cut for hay. Land used primarily for the long-term production of adapted, domesticated forage plants to be grazed by livestock or occasionally cut and cured for livestock feed.
(c) "Grazingland." Lands used for grasslands and forest lands where the indigenous vegetation is actively managed for grazing, browsing, or occasional hay production.
(d) "Forestry." Land used or managed for long-term production of wood, wood fiber, or wood derived products.
(e) "Residential." Land used for single and/or multiple family housing, mobile home parks, or other residential lodgings.
(f) "Industrial/Commercial." Land used for:
(1) Extraction or transformation of materials for fabrication of products, wholesaling of products, or long-term storage of products. This includes all heavy and light manufacturing facilities.
(2) Retail or trade of goods or services, including hotels, motels, stores, restaurants, and other commercial establishments.
(g) "Recreation." Land used for public or private leisure-time activities, including developed recreation facilities such as parks, camps, amusement areas, as well as undeveloped areas for recreation such as hiking and canoeing.
(h) "Fish and wildlife habitat." Land dedicated wholly or partially to the production, protection, or management of species of fish or wildlife.
(i) "Developed water resources." Land used for storing water for beneficial uses, such as stockponds, irrigation, fire protection, flood control, and water supply.
(j) "Undeveloped land or no current use or land management." Land that is undeveloped or, if previously developed, land that has been allowed to return naturally to an undeveloped state or has been allowed to return to forest through natural succession.
"Lands eligible for remining" means those lands that would otherwise be eligible for expenditures under § 404 or under § 402(g)(4) of the federal Act.
"Leachate" means water percolating from a surface coal mining operation which contains dissolved and suspended matter.
"Leased federal coal" means coal leased by the United States pursuant to 43 CFR Part 3400, except mineral interests in coal on Indian lands.
"Lease terms, conditions and stipulations" means all of the standard provisions of a federal coal lease, including provisions relating to lease duration, fees, rentals, royalties, lease bond, production and recordkeeping requirements, and lessee rights of assignment, extension, renewal, termination and expiration, and site-specific requirements included in federal coal leases in addition to other terms and conditions which relate to protection of the environment and of human, natural and mineral resources.
"Material damage" in the context of 4VAC25-130-784.20 and 4VAC25-130-817.121 means:
(a) Any functional impairment of surface lands, features, structures, or facilities;
(b) Any physical change that has a significant adverse impact on the affected land's capability to support any current or reasonably foreseeable uses or causes significant loss in production or income; or
(c) Any significant change in the condition, appearance, or utility of any structure or facility from its presubsidence condition.
"Mineral Leasing Act" or "MLA" means the Mineral Leasing Act of 1920, as amended, 30 USC § 181 et seq.
"Mining plan" means the plan, for mining leased federal coal, required by the Mineral Leasing Act.
"Mining supervisor" means the Area Mining Supervisor, Conservation Division, U.S. Geological Survey, or District Mining Supervisor or other subordinate acting under their direction.
"Moist bulk density" means the weight of soil (oven dry) per unit volume. Volume is measured when the soil is at field moisture capacity (1/3 bar moisture tension). Weight is determined after drying the soil at 105°C.
"MSHA" means the United States Mine Safety and Health Administration.
"Mulch" means vegetation residues or other suitable materials that aid in soil stabilization and soil moisture conservation, and provide micro-climatic conditions suitable for germination and growth.
"Natural hazard lands" means geographic areas in which natural conditions exist which pose or as a result of surface coal mining operations, may pose a threat to the health, safety or welfare of people, property or the environment, including areas subject to landslides, cave-ins, severe wind or soil erosion, frequent flooding, and areas of unstable geology.
"Net worth" means total assets less total liabilities. Total liabilities include, but are not limited to, funds pledged or otherwise obligated to the Commonwealth of Virginia, or to any other person at any time during the permit term. Total liabilities also include, but are not limited to, contingent liabilities that might materially affect the Commonwealth's ability to collect the amount of bond required in the event of bond forfeiture.
"Noncommercial building" means any building other than an occupied residential dwelling that at the time subsidence occurs is used on a regular or temporary basis as a public building or community or institutional building as those terms are defined in this section. Any building used only for commercial agricultural, industrial, retail or other commercial enterprises is excluded.
"Noxious plants" means living plants which are declared to be noxious weeds or noxious plants pursuant to the Virginia Noxious Weed Law, Chapter 17.2 (§ 3.1-296.11 et seq.) of Title 3.1 of the Code of Virginia.
"Occupied dwelling" means any building that is currently being used on a regular or temporary basis for human habitation.
"Occupied residential dwelling and structures related thereto" means, for purposes of 4VAC25-130-784.20 and 4VAC25-130-817.121, any building or other structures that, at the time the subsidence occurs, is used either temporarily, occasionally, seasonally or permanently for human habitation. This term also includes any building, structure, or facility installed on, above or below, or a combination thereof, the land surface if that building structure or facility is adjunct to or used in connection with an occupied residential dwelling. Examples of such structures include, but are not limited to, garages; storage sheds and barns; greenhouses and related buildings; utilities and cables; fences and other enclosures; retaining walls; paved or improved patios, walks and driveways; septic sewage treatment facilities; and lot drainage and lawn and garden irrigation systems. Any structure used only for commercial agriculture, industrial, retail or other commercial purposes is excluded.
"Office" or "OSM" means the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement established under Title II of the federal Act.
"Operator" means any person engaged in coal mining who removes or intends to remove more than 250 tons of coal from the earth or from coal refuse piles by mining within 12 consecutive calendar months in any one location.
"Other treatment facilities" means any facilities for chemical treatments, such as flocculation or neutralization, or mechanical structures, such as clarifiers or precipitators, that have a point source discharge and that are utilized:
(a) To prevent additional contribution of dissolved or suspended solids to streamflow or runoff outside the permit area; or
(b) To comply with all applicable state and federal water quality laws and regulations.
"Outslope" means the face of the spoil or embankment sloping downward from the highest elevation to the toe.
"Overburden" means material of any nature, consolidated or unconsolidated, that overlies a coal deposit, excluding topsoil.
"Owned or controlled" and "owns or
controls" mean any one or a combination of the relationships specified in
paragraphs (a) and (b) of this definition: (a) (i) Being a permittee of a surface coal mining
operation; (ii) based on instrument of ownership or voting securities, owning
of record in excess of 50% of an entity; or (iii) having any other relationship
which gives one person authority directly or indirectly to determine the manner
in which an applicant, an operator, or other entity conducts surface coal
mining operations. (b) The following relationships are presumed to constitute
ownership or control unless a person can demonstrate that the person subject to
the presumption does not in fact have the authority directly or indirectly to
determine the manner in which the relevant surface coal mining operation is
conducted: (1) Being an officer or director of an entity; (2) Being the operator of a surface coal mining operation; (3) Having the ability to commit the financial or real
property assets or working resources of an entity; (4) Being a general partner in a partnership; (5) Based on the instruments of ownership or the voting
securities of a corporate entity, owning of record 10 through 50% of the
entity; or (6) Owning or controlling coal to be mined by another
person under a lease, sublease or other contract and having the right to
receive such coal after mining or having authority to determine the manner in
which that person or another person conducts a surface coal mining operation.
"Own," "owner," or "ownership" as used in 4VAC25-130-773, 4VAC25-140-774, or 4VAC25-140-778 (except when used in the context of ownership of real property) means being a sole proprietor or owning of record in excess of 50% of the voting securities or other instruments of ownership of an entity.
"Perennial stream" means a stream or part of a stream that flows continuously during all of the calendar year as a result of ground-water discharge or surface runoff. The term does not include "intermittent stream" or "ephemeral stream."
"Performance bond" means a surety bond, collateral bond, or a combination thereof, by which a permittee assures faithful performance of all the requirements of the Act, this chapter, and the requirements of the permit and reclamation plan.
"Performing any function or duty under this Act" means decision or action, which if performed or not performed by an employee, affects the programs under the Act.
"Permanent diversion" means a diversion which is approved by the division and, if required, by other state and federal agencies for retention as part of the postmining land use.
"Permanent impoundment" means an impoundment which is approved by the division and, if required, by other state and federal agencies for retention as part of the postmining land use.
"Permit" means a permit to conduct surface coal mining and reclamation operations issued by the division pursuant to the Act and this chapter or by the secretary pursuant to a federal program. For the purposes of the federal lands program, permit means a permit issued by the division under a cooperative agreement or by the OSM where there is no cooperative agreement.
"Permit application package" means a proposal to conduct surface coal mining and reclamation operations on federal lands, including an application for a permit, permit revision or permit renewal, all the information required by the federal Act, 30 CFR Subchapter D, the Act and this chapter, any applicable cooperative agreement and all other applicable laws and regulations including, with respect to leased federal coal, the Mineral Leasing Act and its implementing regulations.
"Permit area" means the area of land indicated on the approved map submitted by the permittee with his application, required to be covered by the permittee's performance bond under Subchapter VJ and which shall include the area of land upon which the permittee proposes to conduct surface coal mining and reclamation operations under the permit. The permit area shall include all disturbed areas except that areas adequately bonded under another permit issued pursuant to this chapter may be excluded from the permit area.
"Permittee" means a person holding or required by the Act or this chapter to hold a permit to conduct coal exploration (more than 250 tons) or surface coal mining and reclamation operations issued (a) by the division, (b) by the director of the OSM pursuant to a federal lands program, or (c) by the OSM and the division, where a cooperative agreement pursuant to § 45.1-230 B of the Act has been executed.
"Person" means an individual, Indian tribe when conducting surface coal mining and reclamation operations on non-Indian lands, partnership, association, society, joint venture, joint stock company, firm, company, corporation, cooperative or other business organization and any agent, unit, or instrumentality of federal, state or local government including any publicly owned utility or publicly owned corporation of federal, state or local government.
"Person having an interest which is or may be adversely affected" or "person with a valid legal interest" shall include any person:
(a) Who uses any resources of economic, recreational, aesthetic, or environmental value that is, or may be, in fact adversely affected by coal exploration or surface coal mining and reclamation operations or any related action of the division; or
(b) Whose property is, or may be, in fact adversely affected by coal exploration or surface coal mining and reclamation operations or any related action of the division.
The term "adversely affected" is further defined as meaning perceptibly harmed. "Aesthetics" means the consideration of that which is widely regarded to be a visibly beautiful element of a community or area.
"Piezometer" means a vertical pipe that is established in material, which is closed at the bottom, perforated from the upper limits of the material to the lower limits of the material, and which permits static water level measurements and water sampling.
"Pollution abatement area" means the part of the permit area which is causing or contributing to the baseline pollution load, which shall include adjacent and nearby areas that must be affected to bring about significant improvement of the baseline pollution load, and which may include the immediate location of the discharges.
"Pool Bond fund" means the Coal Surface Mining Reclamation Fund established pursuant to § 45.1-270.1 of the Act.
"Precipitation event" means a quantity of water resulting from drizzle, rain, snow, sleet, or hail in a limited period of time. It may be expressed in terms of recurrence interval. "Precipitation event" also includes that quantity of water coming from snow cover as snow melt in a limited period of time.
"Previously mined area" means land affected by surface coal mining operations prior to August 3, 1977, that has not been reclaimed to the standards of this chapter.
"Prime farmland" means those lands which are defined by the Secretary of Agriculture in 7 CFR Part 657 (Federal Register Vol. 4, No. 21) and which have historically been used for cropland.
"Principal shareholder" means any person who is the record or beneficial owner of 10% or more of any class of voting stock in a corporation.
"Professional geologist" means a person who is certified pursuant to Chapter 14 (§ 54.1-1400 et seq.) of Title 54.1 of the Code of Virginia.
"Prohibited financial interest" means any direct or indirect financial interest in any coal mining operation.
"Property to be mined" means both the surface property and mineral property within the permit area and the area covered by underground workings.
"Public building" means any structure that is owned or leased, and principally used, by a governmental agency for public business or meetings.
"Public office" means a facility under the direction and control of a governmental entity which is open to public access on a regular basis during reasonable business hours.
"Public park" means an area or portion of an area dedicated or designated by any federal, state, or local agency primarily for public recreational use, whether or not such use is limited to certain times or days, including any land leased, reserved, or held open to the public because of that use.
"Public road" means a road
(a) which (i)
that has been designated as a public road pursuant to the laws of the
jurisdiction in which it is located; (b) which (ii) that is
maintained with public funds, and is constructed, in a manner similar to other
public roads of the same classification within the jurisdiction; and (c)
(iii) for which there is substantial (more than incidental) public use.
"Publicly owned park" means a public park that is owned by a federal, state or local governmental entity.
"Qualified laboratory" means a designated public agency, private firm, institution, or analytical laboratory which can prepare the required determination of probable hydrologic consequences or statement of results of test borings or core samplings or other services as specified at 4VAC25-130-795.9 under the Small Operator Assistance Program (4VAC25-130-795.1 et seq.) and which meets the standards of 4VAC25-130-795.10.
"Reasonably available spoil" means spoil and suitable coal mine waste material generated by the remining operation or other spoil or suitable coal mine waste material located in the permit area that is accessible and available for use and that when rehandled will not cause a hazard to public safety or significant damage to the environment.
"Recharge capacity" means the ability of the soils and underlying materials to allow precipitation and runoff to infiltrate and reach the zone of saturation.
"Reclamation" means those actions taken to restore mined land as required by this chapter to a postmining land use approved by the division.
"Recurrence interval" means the interval of time in which a precipitation event is expected to occur once, on the average. For example, the 10-year, 24-hour precipitation event would be that 24-hour precipitation event expected to occur on the average once in 10 years.
"Reference area" means a land unit maintained under appropriate management for the purpose of measuring vegetation ground cover, productivity and plant species diversity that are produced naturally or by crop production methods approved by the division. Reference areas must be representative of geology, soil, slope, and vegetation in the permit area.
"Refuse pile" means a surface deposit of coal mine waste that does not impound water, slurry, or other liquid or semi-liquid material.
"Regulatory program" means the Virginia Coal Surface Mining Control and Reclamation program (Chapter 19 (§ 45.1-226 et seq.) of Title 45.1 of the Code of Virginia) and rules and regulations approved by the secretary.
"Remining" means conducting surface coal mining and reclamation operations which affect previously mined areas.
"Renewable resource lands" means areas which contribute significantly to the long-range productivity of water supply or of food or fiber products, such lands to include aquifers and aquifer recharge areas.
"Replacement of water supply" means, with respect to protected water supplies contaminated, diminished or interrupted by coal mining operations, provision of water supply on both a temporary and permanent basis equivalent to premining quantity and quality. Replacement includes provision of an equivalent water delivery system and payment of operation and maintenance costs in excess of customary and reasonable delivery costs for premining water supplies.
(a) Upon agreement by the permittee and the water supply owner, the obligation to pay such operation and maintenance costs may be satisfied by a one-time payment in an amount which covers the present worth of the increased annual operation and maintenance costs for a period agreed to by the permittee and the water supply owner.
(b) If the affected water supply was not needed for the land use in existence at the time of loss, contamination, or diminution, and if the supply is not needed to achieve the postmining land use, replacement requirements may be satisfied by demonstrating that a suitable alternative water source is available and could feasibly be developed. If the latter approach is selected, written concurrence must be obtained from the water supply owner.
"Road" means a surface right-of-way for purposes of travel by land vehicles used in coal exploration or surface coal mining and reclamation operations. A road consists of the entire area within the right-of-way, including the roadbed, shoulders, parking and side areas, approaches, structures, ditches and surface. The term includes access and haul roads constructed, used, reconstructed, improved, or maintained for use in coal exploration or surface coal mining and reclamation operations, including use by coal hauling vehicles to and from transfer, processing, or storage areas. The term does not include ramps and routes of travel within the immediate mining area or within spoil or coal mine waste disposal areas.
"Safety factor" means the ratio of the available shear strength to the developed shear stress, or the ratio of the sum of the resisting forces to the sum of the loading or driving forces, as determined by accepted engineering practices.
"Secretary" means the Secretary of the Interior or the secretary's representative.
"Sedimentation pond" means an impoundment used to remove solids or other pollutants from water in order to meet water quality standards or effluent limitations before the water leaves the permit area.
"Self-bond," as provided by Part 801 of this chapter, means:
(a) For an underground mining operation, a cognovit note in a sum certain payable on demand to the Treasurer of Virginia, executed by the applicant and by each individual and business organization capable of influencing or controlling the investment or financial practices of the applicant by virtue of this authority as an officer or ownership of all or a significant part of the applicant, and supported by a certification that the applicant participating in the Pool Bond Fund has a net worth, total assets minus total liabilities equivalent to $1 million. Such certification shall be by an independent certified public accountant in the form of an unqualified opinion.
(b) For a surface mining operation or associated facility, an indemnity agreement in a sum certain payable on demand to the Treasurer of Virginia, executed by the applicant and by each individual and business organization capable of influencing or controlling the investment or financial practices of the applicant by virtue of this authority as an officer or ownership of all or a significant part of the applicant.
"Significant forest cover" means an existing plant community consisting predominantly of trees and other woody vegetation.
"Significant, imminent environmental harm to land, air, or water resources" means:
(a) An environmental harm is an adverse impact on land, air, or water resources which resources include, but are not limited to, plants and animal life.
(b) An environmental harm is imminent, if a condition, practice, or violation exists which:
(1) Is causing such harm; or
(2) May reasonably be expected to cause such harm at any time before the end of the reasonable abatement time that would be set under § 45.1-245 B of the Act.
(c) An environmental harm is significant if that harm is appreciable and not immediately reparable.
"Significant recreational, timber, economic, or other values incompatible with surface coal mining operations" means those values to be evaluated for their significance which could be damaged by, and are not capable of existing together with, surface coal mining operations because of the undesirable effects mining would have on those values, either on the area included in the permit application or on other affected areas. Those values to be evaluated for their importance include:
(a) Recreation, including hiking, boating, camping, skiing or other related outdoor activities;
(b) Timber management and silviculture;
(c) Agriculture, aquaculture or production of other natural, processed or manufactured products which enter commerce;
(d) Scenic, historic, archaeologic, aesthetic, fish, wildlife, plants or cultural interests.
"Siltation structure" means a sedimentation pond, a series of sedimentation ponds, or other treatment facility.
"Slope" means average inclination of a surface, measured from its horizontal, generally expressed as the ratio of a unit of vertical distance to a given number of units of horizontal distance (e.g., 1v:5h). It may also be expressed as a percentage or in degrees.
"Soil horizons" means contrasting layers of soil parallel or nearly parallel to the land surface. Soil horizons are differentiated on the basis of field characteristics and laboratory data. The four master soil horizons are:
(a) "A horizon." The uppermost mineral layer, often called the surface soil. It is the part of the soil in which organic matter is most abundant, and leaching of soluble or suspended particles is typically the greatest;
(b) "E horizon." The layer commonly near the surface below an A horizon and above a B horizon. An E horizon is most commonly differentiated from an overlying A horizon by lighter color and generally has measurably less organic matter than the A horizon. An E horizon is most commonly differentiated from an underlying B horizon in the same sequum by color of higher value or lower chroma, by coarser texture, or by a combination of these properties;
(c) "B horizon." The layer that typically is immediately beneath the E horizon and often called the subsoil. This middle layer commonly contains more clay, iron, or aluminum than the A, E, or C horizons; and
(d) "C horizon." The deepest layer of the soil profile. It consists of loose material or weathered rock that is relatively unaffected by biologic activity.
"Soil survey" means a field and other investigation, resulting in a map showing the geographic distribution of different kinds of soils and an accompanying report that describes, classifies, and interprets such soils for use. Soil surveys must meet the standards of the National Cooperative Soil Survey as incorporated by reference in 4VAC25-130-785.17(c)(1).
"Spoil" means overburden that has been removed during surface coal mining operations.
"Stabilize" means to control movement of soil, spoil piles, or areas of disturbed earth by modifying the geometry of the mass, or by otherwise modifying physical or chemical properties, such as by providing a protective surface coating.
"Steep slope" means any slope of more than 20 degrees or such lesser slope as may be designated by the division after consideration of soil, climate, and other characteristics of a region or the state.
"Substantial legal and financial commitments in a surface coal mining operation" means significant investments, prior to January 4, 1977, have been made on the basis of a long-term coal contract in power plants, railroads, coal-handling, preparation, extraction or storage facilities and other capital-intensive activities. An example would be an existing mine, not actually producing coal, but in a substantial stage of development prior to production. Costs of acquiring the coal in place or the right to mine it without an existing mine, as described in the above example, alone are not sufficient to constitute substantial legal and financial commitments.
"Substantially disturb" means, for purposes of coal exploration, to significantly impact land or water resources by blasting; by removal of vegetation, topsoil, or overburden; by construction of roads or other access routes; by placement of excavated earth or waste material on the natural land surface or by other such activities; or to remove more than 250 tons of coal.
"Successor in interest" means any person who succeeds to rights granted under a permit, by transfer, assignment, or sale of those rights.
"Surface coal mining and reclamation operations" means surface coal mining operations and all activities necessary or incidental to the reclamation of such operations. This term includes the term "surface coal mining operations."
"Surface coal mining operations" means:
(a) Activities conducted on the surface of lands in connection with a surface coal mine or, subject to the requirements of § 45.1-243 of the Act, surface operations and surface impacts incident to an underground coal mine, the products of which enter commerce or the operations of which directly or indirectly affect interstate commerce. Such activities include excavation for the purpose of obtaining coal, including such common methods as contour, strip, auger, mountaintop removal, box cut, open pit, and area mining; the use of explosives and blasting; in situ distillation or retorting; leaching or other chemical or physical processing; and the cleaning, concentrating, or other processing or preparation of coal. Such activities also include the loading of coal for interstate commerce at or near the mine site. Provided, these activities do not include the extraction of coal incidental to the extraction of other minerals, where coal does not exceed 16-2/3% of the tonnage of minerals removed for purposes of commercial use or sale, or coal exploration subject to § 45.1-233 of the Act; and, provided further, that excavation for the purpose of obtaining coal includes extraction of coal from coal refuse piles; and
(b) The areas upon which the activities described in paragraph (a) of this definition occur or where such activities disturb the natural land surface. These areas shall also include any adjacent land the use of which is incidental to any such activities, all lands affected by the construction of new roads or the improvement or use of existing roads to gain access to the site of those activities and for haulage and excavation, workings, impoundments, dams, ventilation shafts, entryways, refuse banks, dumps, stockpiles, overburden piles, spoil banks, culm banks, tailings, holes or depressions, repair areas, storage areas, processing areas, shipping areas, and other areas upon which are sited structures, facilities, or other property or material on the surface, resulting from or incident to those activities.
"Surface coal mining operations which exist on the date of enactment" means all surface coal mining operations which were being conducted on August 3, 1977.
"Surface mining activities" means those surface coal mining and reclamation operations incident to the extraction of coal from the earth by removing the materials over a coal seam, before recovering the coal, by auger coal mining, or by recovery of coal from a deposit that is not in its original geologic location.
"Surface operations and impacts incident to an underground coal mine" means all activities involved in or related to underground coal mining which are either conducted on the surface of the land, produce changes in the land surface or disturb the surface, air or water resources of the area, including all activities listed in § 45.1-229 L of the Act.
"Surety bond" means an indemnity agreement in a sum certain payable to the Commonwealth of Virginia, DirectorDivision of Mined Land Reclamation, executed by the permittee as principal and which is supported by the performance guarantee of a corporation licensed to do business as a surety in Virginia.
"Suspended solids" or nonfilterable residue, expressed as milligrams per liter, means organic or inorganic materials carried or held in suspension in water which are retained by a standard glass fiber filter in the procedure outlined by the Environmental Protection Agency's regulations for waste water and analyses (40 CFR Part 136).
"Temporary diversion" means a diversion of a stream or overland flow which is used during coal exploration or surface coal mining and reclamation operations and not approved by the division to remain after reclamation as part of the approved postmining land use.
"Temporary impoundment" means an impoundment used during surface coal mining and reclamation operations, but not approved by the division to remain as part of the approved postmining land use.
"Ton" means 2000 pounds avoirdupois (.90718 metric ton).
"Topsoil" means the A and E soil horizon layers of the four master soil horizons.
"Toxic-forming materials" means earth materials, or wastes which, if acted upon by air, water, weathering or microbiological processes, are likely to produce chemical or physical conditions in soils or water that are detrimental to biota or uses of water.
"Toxic mine drainage" means water that is discharged from active or abandoned mines or other areas affected by coal exploration or surface coal mining and reclamation operations, which contains a substance that through chemical action or physical effects is likely to kill, injure, or impair plant and animal life commonly present in the area that might be exposed to it.
"Transfer, assignment, or sale of permit rights"
means a change
in ownership or other effective control over the right to
conduct surface coal mining operations under a permit issued by the division
of a permittee.
"Unanticipated event or condition," as used in 4VAC25-130-773.15, means an event or condition related to prior mining activity which arises from a surface coal mining and reclamation operation on lands eligible for remining that was not contemplated by the applicable permit.
"Underground development waste" means waste-rock mixtures of coal, shale, claystone, siltstone, sandstone, limestone, or related materials that are excavated, moved, and disposed of from underground workings in connection with underground mining activities.
"Underground mining activities" means a combination of:
(a) Surface operations incident to underground extraction of coal or in situ processing, such as construction, use, maintenance, and reclamation of roads, aboveground repair areas, storage areas, processing areas, shipping areas, areas upon which are sited support facilities including hoist and ventilating ducts, areas utilized for the disposal and storage of wastes, and areas on which materials incident to underground mining operations are placed; and
(b) Underground operations such as underground construction, operations, and reclamation of shafts, adits, underground support facilities, in situ processing, and underground mining, hauling, storage, and blasting.
"Unwarranted failure to comply" means the failure of a permittee to prevent the occurrence of any violation of his permit or any requirement of the Act or this chapter due to indifference, lack of diligence, or lack of reasonable care, or failure to abate any violation of such permit, the Act, or this chapter due to indifference, lack of diligence, or lack of reasonable care.
"Usable ground water" or "ground water in
use" means all ground water
which that is reasonably able to
"Valid existing rights" means a set of circumstances under which a person may, subject to division approval, conduct surface coal mining operations on lands where § 45.1-252 D of the Act and 4VAC25-130-761.11 would otherwise prohibit such operations. The possession of valid existing rights only confers an exception from the prohibitions of § 45.1-252 D and 4VAC25-130-761.11. A person seeking to exercise valid existing rights must comply with all pertinent requirements of the Act and the regulations promulgated thereunder and would need to demonstrate:
for haulroads, that a person possesses a valid
existing right for an area protected under § 45.1-252 D of the Act on August 3,
1977, if the application of any of the prohibitions contained in that section
to the property interest that existed on that date would effect a taking of the
person's property which would entitle the person to compensation under the
Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution as
provided in subdivision (c) of this definition, the legally binding conveyance,
lease, deed, contract, or other document that vests the person or predecessor
in interest with the right to conduct the type of surface coal mining
operations intended. The right must exist at the time the land came under the
protection of 4VAC25-130-761.11;
(b) Compliance with one of the following:
(1) That all permits and other authorizations required to conduct surface coal mining operations had been obtained or a good faith attempt to obtain all necessary permits and authorizations had been made before the land came under the protection of § 45.1-252 D or 4VAC25-130-761.11.
(2) That the land needed for and immediately adjacent to a surface coal mining operation for which all permits and other authorizations required to conduct surface coal mining operations had been obtained or a good faith attempt made to obtain such permits and authorizations occurred before the land came under the protection of § 45.1-252 D or 4VAC25-130-761.11. The person must demonstrate that prohibiting the expansion of the operation onto that land would unfairly impact the viability of the operation as originally planned before the land came under the protection of § 45.1-252 D or 4VAC25-130-761.11. Except for operations in existence before August 3, 1977, or for which a good faith effort to obtain all necessary permits had been made before August 3, 1977, this standard does not apply to lands already under the protection of § 45.1-252 D or 4VAC25-130-761.11 when the division approved the permit for the original operation or when the good faith effort to obtain all necessary permits for the original operation was made. In evaluating whether a person meets this standard, the division may consider:
(i) The extent to which coal supply contracts or other legal and business commitments that occurred before the land came under the protection of § 45.1-252 D or 4VAC25-130-761.11 depend upon the use of the land for surface coal mining operations.
(ii) The extent to which plans used to obtain financing for the operation before the land came under the protection of § 45.1-252 D or 4VAC25-130-761.11 relied upon use of that land for surface coal mining operations.
(iii) The extent to which investments in the operation made before the land came under the protection of § 45.1-252 D or 4VAC25-130-761.11 relied upon the use of that land for surface coal mining operations.
(iv) Whether the land lies within the area identified on the life-of-mine map under 4VAC25-130-779.24 (c) that was submitted before the land came under the protection of § 45.1-252 D or 4VAC25-130-761.11;
(b) (c) For haulroads, a person who claims
valid existing rights to use or construct a road across the surface of lands
protected by § 45.1-252 D or 4VAC25-130-761.11 must demonstrate that one
or more of the following circumstances exist. The road:
A recorded right of way, recorded easement or a permit
for a coal haul road recorded as of August 3, 1977; or Existed when the
land upon which it is located came under the protection of § 45.1-252 D or
4VAC25-130-761.11 and the person has the legal right to use the road for
surface coal mining operations;
Any other road in existence as of August 3, 1977; Was
under a properly recorded right of way or easement for a road in that location
at the time the land came under the protection of § 45.1-252 D or
4VAC25-130-761.11 and under the document creating the right of way or easement,
and under subsequent conveyances, the person has a legal right to use or
construct a road across the right of way or easement for surface coal mining
(3) Was used or contained in a valid permit that existed when the land came under the protection of § 45.1-252 D or 4VAC25-130-761.11; and
(c) A person possesses valid existing rights if the person
proposing to conduct surface coal mining operations can demonstrate that the
coal is both needed for, and immediately adjacent to, an ongoing surface coal
mining operation which existed on August 3, 1977. A determination that coal is
"needed for" will be based upon a finding that the extension of
mining is essential to make the surface coal mining operation as a whole
economically viable; (d) Where an area comes under the protection of § 45.1-252 D
of the Act after August 3, 1977, valid existing rights shall be found if: (1) On the date the protection comes into existence, a
validly authorized surface coal mining operation exists on that area; or (2) The prohibition caused by § 45.1-252 D of the Act, if
applied to the property interest that exists on the date the protection comes
into existence, would effect a taking of the person's property which would
entitle the person to just compensation under the Fifth and Fourteenth
Amendments to the United States Constitution. (e) Interpretation (d) That an interpretation of
the terms of the document relied upon to establish the valid existing
rights to which the standard of paragraphs (a) and (d) of this definition
applies shall be based either upon applicable Virginia statutory or case
law concerning interpretation of documents conveying mineral rights or, where
no applicable state law exists, upon the usage and custom at the time and place
it came into existence.
"Valley fill" means a fill structure consisting of any material, other than organic material, that is placed in a valley where side slopes of the existing valley, measured at the steepest point, are greater than 20 degrees, or where the average slope of the profile of the valley from the toe of the fill to the top of the fill is greater than 10 degrees.
"Violation," when used in the context of the permit application information or permit eligibility requirements of §§ 45.1-235 and 45.1-238 C of the Act and related regulations, means:
(a) A failure to comply with an applicable provision of a federal or state law or regulation pertaining to air or water environmental protection as evidenced by a written notification from a governmental entity to the responsible person; or
(b) A noncompliance for which the division has provided one or more of the following types of notice or OSM or a state regulatory authority has provided equivalent notice under corresponding provisions of a federal or state regulatory program:
(1) A notice of violation under 4VAC25-130-843.12;
(2) A cessation order under 4VAC25-130-843.11;
(3) A final order, bill, or demand letter pertaining to a delinquent civil penalty assessed under 4VAC25-130-845 or 4VAC25-130-846;
(4) A bill or demand letter pertaining to delinquent reclamation fees owed under 30 CFR Part 870; or
(5) A notice of bond forfeiture under 4VAC25-130-800.50 when:
(i) One or more violations upon which the forfeiture was based have not been abated or corrected; or
(ii) The amount forfeited and collected is insufficient for full reclamation under 4VAC25-130-800.50 or 4VAC-25-130-801.19, the division orders reimbursement for additional reclamation costs and the person has not complied with the reimbursement order.
"Violation, failure, or refusal," for purposes of 4VAC25-130-846, means:
(a) A failure to comply with a condition of an issued permit or the regulations implementing those sections; or
(b) A failure or refusal to comply with any order issued under 4VAC25-130-843 or any order incorporated in a final decision issued by the director, except an order incorporated in a decision issued under § 45.1-246 of the Act.
"Violation notice" means any written notification from a governmental entity of a violation of law or regulation, whether by letter, memorandum, legal or administrative pleading, or other written communication.
"Water table" means the upper surface of a zone of saturation, where the body of ground water is not confined by an overlying impermeable zone.
violation" means an act or omission
which violates the Act, this chapter, or any permit condition required by the
Act, or this chapter, committed by a person who intends the result which
actually occurs. or willfully" means that a person who authorized,
ordered, or carried out an act or omission that resulted in either a violation
or the failure to abate or correct a violation acted:
(a) Intentionally, voluntarily, or consciously; and
(b) With intentional disregard or plain indifference to legal requirements.
4VAC25-130-761.11. Areas where mining is prohibited or limited.
Subject to valid existing rights, no surface coal mining operations shall be conducted after August 3, 1977, unless those operations existed on the date of enactment:
(a) On any lands within the boundaries of the National Park System, the National Wildlife Refuge System, the National System of Trails, the National Wilderness Preservation System, the Wild and Scenic Rivers Systems including, for study rivers designated under section 5(a) of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act (16 USC § 1276(a)), a corridor extending at least one-quarter mile from each bank for the length of the segment being studied, and National Recreation Areas designated by Act of Congress;
(b) On any Federal lands within the boundaries of any national forest; provided, however, that surface coal mining operations may be permitted on such lands, if the Secretary finds that there are no significant recreational, timber, economic, or other values which may be incompatible with surface coal mining operations; and surface operations and impacts are incident to an underground coal mine.
(c) On any lands where mining will adversely affect any publicly owned park or any place included in the National Register of Historic Places, unless approved jointly by the division and the Federal, State, or local agency with jurisdiction over the park or place;
(d) Within 100 feet, measured horizontally, of the outside right-of-way line of any public road, except--
(1) Where mine access roads or haulage roads join such right-of-way line; or
(2) Where the division or the appropriate public road authority, pursuant to being designated as the responsible agency by the Director, allows the public road to be relocated, closed, or the area affected to be within 100 feet of such road, after--
(i) Public notice and opportunity for a public hearing in accordance with 4VAC25-130-761.12(d); and
(ii) Making a written finding that the interests of the affected public and landowners will be protected;
(e) Within 300 feet, measured horizontally, of any occupied dwelling, except when--
(1) The owner of the dwelling has provided a written waiver consenting to surface coal mining operations closer than 300 feet; or
(2) The part of the mining operation which is within 300 feet of the dwelling is a haul road or access road which connects with an existing public road on the side of the public road opposite the dwelling;
(f) Within 300 feet measured horizontally of any public building, school, church, community or institutional building or public park; or
(g) Within 100 feet measured horizontally of a cemetery
;. (h) There will be no surface coal mining, permitting,
licensing or exploration of Federal Lands in the National Park System, National
Wildlife Refuge System, National System of Trails, National Wilderness
Preservation System, Wild and Scenic Rivers System, or National Recreation
Areas, unless called for by Acts of Congress.
4VAC25-130-761.13. Exception for existing operations.
The prohibitions and limitations of 4VAC25-130-761.11 do not apply to surface coal mining operations for which a valid permit issued under Subchapter VG of this chapter exists when the land comes under the protection of 4VAC25-130-761.11. This exception applies only to lands within the permit area as it exists when the land comes under the protection of 4VAC25-130-761.11.
4VAC25-130-761.16. Submission and processing of requests for valid existing rights determinations.
A. Basic framework for valid existing rights determinations. 30 CFR 761.16(a) identifies the agency responsible for making a valid existing rights determination and the definition that it must use based upon which subsection of 30 CFR 761.11 or 4VAC25-130-761.11 applies and whether the request includes federal lands.
B. A request for a valid existing rights determination must be submitted to the division if a person intends to conduct surface coal mining operations on the basis of valid existing rights under 4VAC25-130-761.11 or wishes to confirm the right to do so. The request may be submitted before the person prepares and submits an application for a permit or boundary revision for the land.
1. The person must provide a property rights demonstration under the definition of valid existing rights if the request relies upon the good faith/all permits or the needed for and adjacent standard set forth in 4VAC25-130.700.5. For the land subject to the request, the demonstration must include:
a. A legal description of the land;
b. Complete documentation of the character and extent of the person's current interests in the surface and mineral estates of the land;
c. A complete chain of title for the surface and mineral estates of the land;
d. A description of the nature and effect of each titles instrument that forms the basis of the request, including any provision pertaining to the type or method of mining or mining-related surface disturbances and facilities;
e. A description of the type and extent of surface coal mining operations that the person claims the right to conduct, including the method of mining, any mining-related surface activities and facilities, and an explanation of how those operations would be consistent with Virginia property law;
f. Complete documentation of the nature and ownership, as of the date that the land came under the protection of § 45.1-252 or 4VAC25-130-761.11, of all property rights for the surface and mineral estates;
g. Names and addresses of the current owners of the surface and mineral estates of the land;
h. If the coal interests have been severed from other property interests, documentation that the person has notified and provided reasonable opportunity for the owners of other property interests in the land to comment on the validity of the person's property rights claims; and
i. Any comments that the person receives in response to the notification provider under subdivision 1 h of this subsection.
2. If the request relies upon the good faith/all permits standard in subdivision (b)(1) of the valid existing rights definition in 4VAC25-130-700.5, the person must also submit the following information about permits, licenses, and authorizations for surface coal mining operations on the land subject to the request that the person or predecessor in interest obtained, submitted, or made:
a. Approval and issuance dates and identification numbers for any permits, licenses, and authorizations obtained before the land came under the protection of § 45.1-252 or 4VAC25-130-761.11.
b. Application dates and identification numbers for any permits, licenses, and authorizations submitted before the land came under the protection of § 45.1-252 or 4VAC25-130-761.11.
c. An explanation of any other good faith effort made to obtain the necessary permits, licenses, and authorizations as of the date that the land came under the protection of § 45.1-252 or 4VAC25-130-761.11
3. If the request relies upon the needed for and adjacent standard in subdivision (b)(2) of the valid existing rights definition in 4VAC25-130-700.5, the person must explain how and why the land is needed for and immediately adjacent to the operation upon which the request is based, including a demonstration that prohibiting expansion of the operation onto that land would unfairly impact the viability of the operation as originally planned before the land came under the protection of § 45.1-252 or 4VAC25-130-761.11
4. If the request relies upon one of the standards for roads in subdivision (c) of the valid existing rights definition in 4VAC25-130-700.5, the person must submit satisfactory documentation that:
a. The road existed when the land upon which it is located came under the protection of § 45.1-252 or 4VAC25-130-761.11 and the person has a legal right to use the road for surface coal mining operations;
b. A properly recorded right of way or easement for a road in that location existed when the land came under the protection of § 45.1-252 or 4VAC25-130-761.11 and under the document creating the right of way or easement and under any subsequent conveyances, the person has a legal right to use or construct a road across that right of way or easement to conduct surface coal mining operations; or
c. A valid permit for use or construction of a road in that location for surface coal mining operations existed when the land came under the protection of § 45.1-252 or 4VAC25-130-761.11.
C. Initial review of request.
1. The division must conduct an initial review to determine whether the request includes all applicable components of the submission requirements of subsection B of this section. The review pertains only to the completeness of the request, not the legal or technical adequacy of the materials submitted.
2. If the request does not include all applicable components of the submission requirements of subsection B of this section, the division must notify the person and establish a reasonable time for submission of the missing information. Should the person not provide the information requested by the division under this subdivision within the time specified or as subsequently extended, the division must issue a determination under subdivision E 4 of this section that the person has not demonstrated valid existing rights.
3. When the request includes all applicable components of the submission requirements of subsection B of this section, the division must implement the notice and comment requirements of subsection D of this section.
D 1. When the division determines that the request satisfies the completeness requirements of subsection C of this section, it shall publish a notice in a newspaper of general circulation in the county in which the land is located inviting public comment on the merits of the request. OSM will publish a similar notice in the Federal Register if the request involves federal lands within an area listed in 4VAC25-130-761.11 (a) or (b). The public notice must include:
a. The location of the land to which the request pertains.
b. A description of the type of surface coal mining operations planned.
c. A reference to and brief description of the applicable standard or standards under the definition of valid existing rights in 4VAC25-130-700.5.
(1) If the request relies upon the good faith/all permits or the needed for and adjacent standard set forth in the valid existing rights definition in 4VAC25-130-700.5, the notice must include a description of the property rights that the person claims and the basis for the claim.
(2) If the request relies upon the road standard set forth in subdivision (c) (1) of the valid existing rights definition in 4VAC25-130-700.5, the notice must include a description of the basis for the claim that the road existed when the land came under the protection of § 45.1-252 D or 4VAC25-130-761.11. In addition, the notice must include a description of the basis for the claim that the person has a legal right to use that road for surface coal mining operations.
(3) If the request relies upon the standard in subdivision (c) (2) of the valid existing rights definition in 4VAC25-130-700.5, the notice must include a description of the basis for the claim that a properly recorded right of way or easement for a road in that location existed when the land came under the protection of § 45.1-252 or 4VAC25-130-761.11. In addition, the notice must include a description of the basis for the claim that, under the document creating the right of way or easement, and under any subsequent conveyances, the person has a legal right to use or construct a road across the right of way or easement to conduct surface coal mining operations.
d. If the request relies upon one or more of the standards in subdivisions (b) and (c) (1) and (c) (2) of the valid existing rights definition in 4VAC25-130-700.5, a statement that the division will not make a decision on the merits of the request if, by the close of the comment period under the notice or the notice required by subdivision 3 of this subsection, a person with a legal interest in the land initiates appropriate legal action in the proper venue to resolve any differences concerning the validity or interpretation of the deed, lease, easement, or other documents that form the basis of the valid existing rights claim.
e. A description of the procedures the division will follow in processing the request.
f. The closing date of the public comment period, which shall be a minimum of 30 days after the notice's publication date.
g. A statement that interested persons may request, in writing, from the division a 30-day extension of the public comment period. The extension request shall set forth with reasonable specificity the reasons the commenter needs the additional time to submit comments.
h. Include the division office's address where a copy of the valid existing rights request is available for public inspection and where comments and requests for extension of the comment period should be sent.
2. The division must promptly provide a copy of the notice required under subdivision 1 of this subsection to:
a. All reasonably locatable owners of surface and mineral estates in the land included in the valid existing rights request.
b. The owner of the feature causing the land to come under the protection of 4VAC25-130-761.11, and when applicable, the agencies with primary jurisdiction over the feature with respect to the values causing the land to come under the protection of 4VAC25-130-761.11.
3. The notice required under subdivision 2 of this subsection must provide a 30-day comment period and specify that an additional 30 days may be granted for good cause shown at the discretion of the division or agency responsible for the valid existing rights determination.
E.1. The division or agency responsible for making the valid existing rights determination must review the materials submitted under subsection B of this section, comments received under subsection D of this section, and any other relevant, reasonably available information to determine whether the record is sufficiently complete and adequate to support a decision on the merits of the request. If not, the division must notify the person in writing explaining the inadequacy of the record and requesting submittal within a specified reasonable time of any additional information that the division deems necessary to remedy the inadequacy.
2. Once the record is complete and adequate, the division must make a determination as to whether valid existing rights have been demonstrated. The division's decision must explain how the person has or has not satisfied all applicable elements of the valid existing rights definition under 4VAC25-130-700.5, contain findings of fact and conclusions, and specify the reasons for the conclusions.
3. When the request relies upon one or more of the standards in subdivisions (b) and (c) (1) and (2) of the valid existing rights definition in 4VAC25-130-700.5, the division:
a. Must issue a determination that the person has not demonstrated valid existing rights if the property rights claim is the subject of pending litigation in a court or administrative body with the jurisdiction over the property rights in question. The division will make the determination without prejudice, meaning that the person may refile the request once the property rights dispute is finally adjudicated. This applies only to situations in which legal action has been initiated as of the closing date of the comment period under subdivisions D 1 and 3 of this section.
b. If the record indicates disagreement of the accuracy of the person's property rights claim, but the disagreement is not the subject of pending litigation in a court or administrative agency of competent jurisdiction, must evaluate the merits of the information in the record and determine whether the person has demonstrated that the requisite property rights exist under subdivision (a), (c) (1) or (c) (2) of the valid existing rights definition in 4VAC25-130-700.5, as appropriate. The division must then proceed with the decision process under subdivision 2 of this subsection.
4. The division must issue a determination that the person has not demonstrated valid existing rights if the person does not submit information that the division requests under subdivision C 2 of this section or subdivision 1 of this subsection within the time specified or as subsequently extended. The division will make the determination without prejudice, meaning the person may refile a revised request at any time.
5. After making a valid existing rights determination, the division shall:
a. Provide a copy of the determination with an explanation of appeal rights and procedures to the person seeking the determination, owner or owners of the land to which the determination applies, owner of the feature causing the land to come under the protection of 4VAC25-130-761.11, and, when applicable, the agency with primary jurisdiction over the feature with respect to the values that caused the land to come under the protection of 4VAC25-130-761.11.
b. Publish notice of the determination in a newspaper of general circulation in the county in which the land is located. The federal Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE) will publish the determination, together with an explanation of appeal rights and procedures in the Federal Register if the request includes federal lands within an area listed in 4VAC25-130-761.11 (a) or (b).
F. The division's valid existing rights determination shall be subject to administrative and judicial review under 4VAC25-130-775.11 and 4VAC25-130-775.13.
G. The division must make a copy of the valid existing rights determination request available to the public as provided by 4VAC25-130-773.13 (d) and the records associated with that request, and any subsequent determination under subsection E of this section, available to the public in accordance with 4VAC25-130-840.14.
4VAC25-130-772.12. Permit requirements for exploration removing more than 250 tons of coal, or occurring on lands designated as unsuitable for surface coal mining operations.
(a) Exploration permit. Any person who intends to conduct coal exploration outside a permit area during which more than 250 tons of coal will be removed or which will take place on lands designated as unsuitable for surface mining under Subchapter VF shall, before conducting the exploration, submit an application and obtain written approval from the division in an exploration permit. Such exploration shall be subject to the requirements prescribed under 4VAC25-130-772.13 and 4VAC25-130-772.14.
(b) Application Information. Each application for an exploration permit shall contain, at a minimum, the following information:
(1) The name, address, and telephone number of the applicant.
(2) The name, address, and telephone number of the applicant's representative who will be present at, and responsible for conducting the exploration activities.
(3) A narrative describing the proposed exploration area.
(4) A narrative description of the methods and equipment to be used to conduct the exploration and reclamation.
(5) An estimated timetable for conducting and completing each phase of the exploration and reclamation.
(6) The estimated amount of coal to be removed and a description of the methods to be used to determine the amount.
(7) A statement of why extraction of more than 250 tons of coal is necessary for exploration.
(8) A description of
(i) Cultural or historic resources listed in the National Register of Historic Places;
(ii) Cultural or historic resources known to be eligible for listing on the National Register for Historic Places; and
(iii) Known archeological resources located within the proposed exploration area.
(9) A description of any endangered or threatened species listed pursuant to the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 USC § 1531 et seq.) identified within the proposed exploration area.
(10) A description of the measures to be used to comply with the applicable requirements of Part 815.
(11) The name and address of the owner of record of the surface land and of the subsurface mineral estate of the area to be explored.
(12) A map or maps at a scale of 1:24,000 or larger, showing the areas of land to be disturbed by the proposed exploration and reclamation. The map shall specifically show existing roads, occupied dwellings, topographic and drainage features, bodies of surface water, and pipelines; proposed locations of trenches, roads, and other access routes and structures to be constructed; the location of proposed land excavations; the location of exploration holes or other drill holes or underground openings; the location of excavated earth or waste-material disposal areas; and the location of critical habitats of any endangered or threatened species listed pursuant to the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 USC § 1531 et seq.)
(13) If the surface is owned by a person other than the applicant, a description of the basis upon which the applicant claims the right to enter that land for the purpose of conducting exploration and reclamation.
(14) For any lands listed in 4VAC25-130-761.11, a demonstration that, to the extent technologically and economically feasible, the proposed exploration activities have been designed to minimize interference with the values for which those lands were designated as unsuitable for surface coal mining operations. The application must include documentation of consultation with the owner of the feature causing the land to come under the protection of 4VAC25-130-761.11 and, when applicable, with the agency with primary jurisdiction over the feature with respect to the values that caused the land to come under the protection of 4VAC25-130-761.11.
(c) Public notice and opportunity to comment. Public notice of the application and opportunity to comment shall be provided as follows:
(1) Upon submission of an administratively complete application to the division, the applicant shall place an advertisement in a newspaper of general circulation in the locality of the proposed exploration area. A copy of the newspaper advertisement and proof of publication shall be filed with the division no later than four weeks after the date of publication.
(2) The public notice shall state the name and address of the person seeking approval, the filing date of the application, that the application will be available for public inspection in the division's office in Big Stone Gap, the address of the division where written comments on the application may be submitted, the closing date of the comment period, and a description of the area of exploration.
(3) Any person having an interest which is or may be adversely affected shall have the right to file written comments on the application within 30 days after the date of publication of the newspaper notice.
(d) Decisions on applications for exploration.
(1) The division shall act upon an administratively complete application for a coal exploration permit and any written comments within a reasonable period of time. The approval of a coal exploration permit may be based only on a complete and accurate application.
(2) The division shall approve a complete and accurate application for a coal exploration permit filed in accordance with this Part if it finds, in writing, that the applicant has demonstrated that the exploration and reclamation described in the application will:
(i) Be conducted in accordance with this Part, Part 815 of this chapter, and the applicable provisions of the program;
(ii) Not jeopardize the continued existence of an endangered or threatened species listed pursuant to section 4 of the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 USC § 1533) or result in the destruction or adverse modification of critical habitat of those species; and
(iii) Not adversely affect any cultural or historic resources listed on the National Register of Historic Places, pursuant to the National Historic Preservation Act, as amended (16 USC § 470 et seq., 1976, Supp. V), unless the proposed exploration has been approved by both the division and the agency with jurisdiction over such matters.
(iv) With respect to exploration activities on any lands protected under 4VAC25-130-761.11, minimize interference, to the extent technologically and economically feasible, with the values for which those lands were designated as unsuitable for surface coal mining operations. Before making this finding, the division must provide reasonable opportunity to the owner of the feature causing the land to come under the protection of 4VAC25-130-761.11 and, when applicable, to the agency with primary jurisdiction over the feature with respect to the values that caused the land to come under the protection of 4VAC25-130-761.11, to comment on whether the finding is appropriate.
(3) Terms of approval issued by the division shall contain conditions necessary to ensure that the exploration and reclamation will be conducted in compliance with this Part, Part 815, and the Act.
(e) Notice and hearing.
(1) The division shall notify the applicant, the appropriate local governmental officials, and other commenters on the application, in writing, of its decision on the application. If the application is disapproved, the notice to the applicant shall include a statement of the reason for disapproval. Public notice of the decision on each application shall be posted by the division at the Court House in the county of the proposed exploration operations.
(2) Any person having an interest which is or may be adversely affected by a decision of the division pursuant to Paragraph (e)(1) of this section shall have the opportunity for administrative and judicial review as set forth in Part 775.
4VAC25-130-773.15. Review of permit applications.
(1) The division shall review the application for a permit,
revision, or renewal; written comments and objections submitted; information
from the AVS; and records of any informal conference or hearing held on the
application and issue a written decision, within a reasonable time, either
granting, requiring modification of, or denying the application. If an informal
conference is held under 4VAC25-130-773.13(c), the decision shall be made
within 60 days of the close of the conference
, unless a later time is
necessary to provide an opportunity for a hearing under subdivision (b)(2) of
(2) The applicant for a permit or revision of a permit shall have the burden of establishing that the application is in compliance with all the requirements of the regulatory program.
(3) The division shall review the information submitted under 4VAC25-130-778.13 and 4VAC25-130-778.14 regarding the applicant's or operator's permit histories, business structure, and ownership and control relationships.
(4) If the applicant or operator does not have any previous mining experience, the division may conduct additional reviews to determine if someone else with surface coal mining experience controls or will control the mining operation.
(b) Review of violations.
(1) Based on available information concerning federal and state
failure-to-abate cessation orders, unabated federal and state imminent harm
cessation orders, delinquent civil penalties issued pursuant to § 518 of the
federal Act and § 45.1-246 of the Code of Virginia, bond forfeitures where
violations upon which the forfeitures were based have not been corrected,
delinquent abandoned mine reclamation fees, and unabated violations of federal
and state laws, rules, and regulations pertaining to air or water environmental
protection incurred in connection with any surface coal mining operation, the
division shall not issue the permit if any surface coal mining and reclamation
operation directly owned or controlled by either the applicant or
any person who owns or controls the applicant operator is currently
in violation of the federal Act, this chapter, or any other law, rule or
regulation referred to in this subdivision; or if a surface coal mining and
reclamation operation indirectly owned or controlled by the applicant or
operator has an unabated or uncorrected violation and the applicant's or
operator's control was established or the violation was cited after November 2,
1988. In the absence of a failure-to-abate cessation order, the division
may presume that a notice of violation issued pursuant to 4VAC25-130-843.12 or
under a federal or state program has been or is being corrected to the
satisfaction of the agency with jurisdiction over the violation, except where
evidence to the contrary is set forth in the permit application or the AVS,
or where the notice of violation is issued for nonpayment of abandoned mine
reclamation fees or civil penalties. If a current violation exists, the
division shall require the applicant or person who owns or controls the
applicant operator, before the issuance of the permit, to either
(i) Submit to the division proof that the current violation has been or is in the process of being corrected to the satisfaction of the agency that has jurisdiction over the violation; or
(ii) Establish for the division that the applicant, or
person owned or controlled by either the applicant or any person who owns or
controls the applicant operator, has filed and is presently
pursuing, in good faith, a direct administrative or judicial appeal to contest
the validity of the current violation. If the initial judicial review authority
under 4VAC25-130-775.13 affirms the violation, then the applicant shall within
30 days of the judicial action submit the proof required under subdivision
(b)(1)(i) of this section.
(2) Any permit that is issued on the basis of proof submitted under subdivision (b)(1)(i) of this section that a violation is in the process of being corrected, or pending the outcome of an appeal described in subdivision (b)(1)(ii) of this section, shall be conditionally issued.
(3) If the division makes a finding that the applicant
anyone who owns or controls the applicant, or the operator specified in the
application, controls or has controlled surface coal mining and reclamation
operations with a demonstrated pattern of willful violations of the Act of such
nature and duration, and with resulting irreparable damage to the environment
as to indicate an intent not to comply with the Act, no permit shall be issued.
Before such a finding becomes final, the applicant or operator shall be
afforded an opportunity for an adjudicatory hearing on the determination as
provided for in 4VAC25-130-775.11.
(4) (i) Subsequent to October 24, 1992, the prohibitions of subsection (b) of this section regarding the issuance of a new permit shall not apply to any violation that:
(A) Occurs after that date;
(B) Is unabated; and
(C) Results from an unanticipated event or condition that
arises from a surface coal mining and reclamation operation on lands that are
eligible for remining under a permit
: 1. Issued before September 30, 2004,
or any renewals thereof; and 2. Held held by the person making
application for the new permit.
(ii) For permits issued under 4VAC25-130-785.25 an event or condition shall be presumed to be unanticipated for the purposes of this subdivision if it:
(A) Arose after permit issuance;
(B) Was related to prior mining; and
(C) Was not identified in the permit.
(c) Written findings for permit application approval. No permit application or application for a significant revision of a permit shall be approved unless the application affirmatively demonstrates and the division finds, in writing, on the basis of information set forth in the application or from information otherwise available that is documented in the approval, the following:
(1) The application is complete and accurate and the applicant has complied with all requirements of the Act and this chapter.
(2) The applicant has demonstrated that reclamation as required by the Act and this chapter can be accomplished under the reclamation plan contained in the permit application.
(3) The proposed permit area is:
(i) Not within an area under study or administrative proceedings under a petition, filed pursuant to Part 764 of this chapter and 30 CFR Part 769, to have an area designated as unsuitable for surface coal mining operations, unless the applicant demonstrates that before January 4, 1977, he has made substantial legal and financial commitments in relation to the operation covered by the permit application; or
(ii) Not within an area designated as unsuitable for mining pursuant to Parts 762 and 764 of this chapter, or subject to the prohibitions or limitations of 4VAC25-130-761.11 and 4VAC25-130-761.12.
(4) For mining operations where the private mineral property to be mined has been severed from the private surface property, the applicant has submitted to the division the documentation required under 4VAC25-130-778.15(b).
(5) The division has made an assessment of the probable cumulative impacts of all anticipated coal mining on the hydrologic balance in the cumulative impact area and has determined that the proposed operation has been designed to prevent material damage to the hydrologic balance outside the permit area.
(6) The applicant has demonstrated that any existing structure will comply with 4VAC25-130-701.11(d) and 4VAC25-130-773.16, and the applicable performance standards of the initial regulatory program or Subchapter VK.
(7) The applicant has paid all reclamation fees, civil penalty assessments, Pool Bond Fund fees, and anniversary fees, from previous and existing operations as required by this chapter.
(8) The applicant has satisfied the applicable requirements of Part 785 of this chapter.
(9) The applicant has, if applicable, satisfied the requirements for approval of a long-term, intensive agricultural postmining land use, in accordance with the requirements of 4VAC25-130-816.111(d) or 4VAC25-130-817.111(d).
(10) The operation would not affect the continued existence of endangered or threatened species or result in destruction or adverse modification of their critical habitats, as determined under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 USC § 1531 et seq.).
(11) The division has taken into account the effect of the proposed permitting action on properties listed on and eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places. This finding may be supported in part by inclusion of appropriate permit conditions or changes in the operation plan protecting historic resources, or a documented decision that the division has determined that no additional protection measures are necessary.
(12) For a proposed remining operation where the applicant intends to reclaim in accordance with the requirements of 4VAC25-130-816.106 or 4VAC25-130-817.106, the site of the operation is a previously mined area as defined in 4VAC25-130-700.5.
(13) The applicant or the permittee specified in the application, has not owned or controlled a surface mining and reclamation operation for which the permit has been revoked and/or the bond forfeited pursuant to the Code of Virginia or any federal law, rule or regulation, or any law, rule or regulation enacted pursuant to federal or state law pertaining to air or water environmental protection and surface coal mining activities in any other state unless reinstated. Applicable Virginia reinstatement requirements may be found in 4VAC25-130-800.52.
(14) For permits to be issued under 4VAC25-130-785.25 the permit application must contain:
(i) Lands eligible for remining;
(ii) An identification of the potential environmental and safety problems related to prior mining activity which could reasonably be anticipated to occur at the site; and
(iii) Mitigation plans to sufficiently address these potential environmental and safety problems so that reclamation as required by the applicable requirements of this chapter can be accomplished.
(d) Performance bond submittal. If the division decides to approve the application, it shall require that the applicant file the performance bond or provide other equivalent guarantee before the permit is issued, in accordance with the provisions of Subchapter VJ.
(e) Final compliance review. After an application is approved, but before the permit is issued, the division shall reconsider its decision to approve the application, based on the compliance review required by subdivision (b)(1) of this section in light of any new information submitted under 4VAC25-130-778.13 (j) or 4VAC25-130-778.14 (d).
4VAC25-130-773.20. Improvidently issued permits; general procedures.
(a) Permit review. If the division has reason to believe that
it improvidently issued a surface coal mining and reclamation permit, it shall review
the circumstances under which the permit was issued, using the criteria in
subdivision (b) of this section. Where the division finds that the
permit was improvidently issued, it shall comply with Paragraph subdivision
(c) of this section.
(b) Review criteria. The division shall find that a surface coal mining and reclamation permit was improvidently issued if:
(1) Under the violations review criteria of this chapter at the time the permit was issued:
(i) The division should not have issued the permit because of an unabated violation or a delinquent penalty or fee; or
(ii) The permit was issued on the presumption that a notice of violation was in the process of being corrected to the satisfaction of the agency with jurisdiction over the violation, but a cessation order subsequently was issued; and
(2) The violation, penalty or fee:
(i) Remains unabated or delinquent; and
(ii) Is not the subject of a good faith appeal, or of an abatement plan or payment schedule with which the permittee or other person responsible is complying to the satisfaction of the responsible agency; and
(3) Where the permittee was linked to the violation, penalty or fee through ownership or control, under the violations review criteria of this chapter at the time the permit was issued an ownership or control link between the permittee and the person responsible for the violation, penalty or fee still exists, or where the link was severed the permittee continues to be responsible for the violation, penalty or fee.
(c) Remedial measures. If the division, under
subdivision (b) of this section, finds that because of an unabated
violation or a delinquent penalty or fee a permit was improvidently issued, it
shall use one or more of the following remedial measures:
(1) Implement, with the cooperation of the permittee or other person responsible, and of the responsible agency, a plan for abatement of the violation or a schedule for payment of the penalty or fee;
(2) Impose on the permit a condition requiring that in a reasonable period of time the permittee or other person responsible abate the violation or pay the penalty or fee;
Suspend the permit until Serve the permittee with
a preliminary finding that shall be based on evidence sufficient to establish a
prima facie case that the permit was improvidently issued. The finding shall
inform the permittee that the permit may be suspended or rescinded under
4VAC25-130-773.21 if the violation is not abated or the penalty or
fee is not paid ; or. (4) Rescind the permit under 4VAC25-130-773.21.
4VAC25-130-773.21. Improvidently issued permits; rescission procedures.
If the division, under 4VAC25-130-773.20 (c)
elects to suspend or rescind an improvidently issued permit, it shall serve
on the permittee a notice of proposed suspension and rescission which includes
the reasons for the finding of the division under 4VAC25-130-773.20 (b) and
(a) Automatic suspension and rescission. After a specified period of time not to exceed 90 days the permit automatically will become suspended, and not to exceed 90 days thereafter rescinded, unless within those periods the permittee submits proof, and the division finds, that:
(1) The finding of the division under 4VAC25-130-773.20 (b) was erroneous;
(2) The permittee or other person responsible has abated the violation on which the finding was based, or paid the penalty or fee, to the satisfaction of the responsible agency;
(3) The violation, penalty or fee is the subject of a good faith appeal, or of an abatement plan or payment schedule with which the permittee or other person responsible is complying to the satisfaction of the responsible agency; or
(4) Since the finding was made, the permittee has severed any ownership or control link with the person responsible for, and does not continue to be responsible for, the violation, penalty or fee:
(b) Cessation of operations. After service of the notice of
permit suspension or rescission, the permittee shall cease all surface coal mining
and reclamation operations under the permit as set forth in the notice,
except for violation abatement and for reclamation and other environmental
protection measures as required by the division;
(c) A person may challenge an ownership or control listing or finding by submitting to the division a written explanation of the basis for the challenge, along with any evidence or explanatory materials that substantiates that the person did not or does not own or control the entire surface coal mining operation or relevant portion or aspect thereof. The person may request that any information submitted to the division under this section be held as confidential if it is not required to be made public under the Act. The division shall review the information and render a written decision regarding the person's ownership or control listing or link within 60 days from receipt of the challenge; and
(c) (d) Right to appeal. The permittee or
person aggrieved by the division's notice or decision may file an appeal for
administrative review of the notice or decision under subdivision (c) of
4VAC25-130-775.11 or under the Administrative Process Act (§ 2.2-4000 et
seq. of the Code of Virginia).
4VAC25-130-774.12. Post-permit issuance requirements.
A. For purposes of future permit eligibility determinations and enforcement actions, the division will utilize the AVS to retrieve and enter appropriate data regarding ownership, control, and violation information. The division shall enter into the AVS:
Within 30 days after
(1) Permit records
the permit is issued or subsequent changes made
(2) Unabated or uncorrected violations
the abatement or correction period for a violation expires
(3) Unpaid final civil penalties, charges, taxes, or fees
the required due payment date
(4) Changes in violation status
abatement, correction or termination of a violation or a final decision from an administrative or judicial review proceeding
B. In the event the permittee is issued enforcement action under 4VAC25-130-843.11 and fails to timely comply with the order's remedial measures, the division shall instruct the permittee to provide or update all the information required by 4VAC25-130-778.13. However, the permittee would not be required to submit this information if a court of competent jurisdiction has granted a stay of the cessation order and the stay remains in effect.
C. The permittee shall notify the division within 60 days of any addition, departure, or change in position of any person identified under 4VAC25-130-778.13. The permittee shall provide the date of such addition, departure, or change of such person.
D. Should the division discover that the permittee or a person listed in an ownership or control relationship with the permittee owns or controls an operation with an unabated or uncorrected violation, it will determine whether enforcement action is appropriate under 4VAC25-130-843 and 4VAC25-130-846 or other applicable provisions. The division may issue a preliminary finding of permit ineligibility under § 45.1-238 (c) of the Act if it finds that the person had control relationships and violations that would have made the person ineligible for a permit under 4VAC25-130-773.15. The finding shall be in accordance with 4VAC25-130-773.20 (c) (3).
E. If a determination of permit ineligibility is rendered by the division, the person would have 30 days from service of the written finding to submit any information that would tend to demonstrate the person's lack of ownership or control of the surface coal mining operation. The division would issue a final determination regarding the permit eligibility within 30 days of receiving any information from the person or from the expiration date that the person could submit the information under this subsection. A person aggrieved by the division's eligibility finding would have the right to request review under 4VAC25-130-775.
4VAC25-130-774.17. Transfer, assignment, or sale of permit rights.
(a) General. No transfer, assignment, or sale of rights granted by a permit shall be made without the prior written approval of the division. At its discretion, the division may allow a prospective successor in interest to engage in surface coal mining and reclamation operations under the permit during the pendency of an application for approval of a transfer, assignment, or sale of permit rights submitted under subdivision (b) of this section, provided that the prospective successor in interest can demonstrate to the satisfaction of the division that sufficient bond coverage will remain in place.
(b) Application requirements. An applicant for approval of the transfer, assignment, or sale of permit rights shall--
(1) Provide the division with an application for approval of the proposed transfer, assignment, or sale including--
(i) The name and address of the existing permittee and permit number;
(ii) A brief description of the proposed transaction requiring approval; and
(iii) The legal, financial, compliance, and related information required by Part 778 for the applicant for approval of the transfer, assignment, or sale of permit rights.
(2) Advertise the filing of the application in a newspaper of general circulation in the locality of the operations involved, indicating the name and address of the applicant, the permittee, the permit number or other identifier, the geographic location of the permit, and the address to which written comments may be sent;
(3) Obtain appropriate performance bond coverage in an amount sufficient to cover the proposed operations, as required under Subchapter VJ.
(c) Public participation. Any person having an interest which is or may be adversely affected by a decision on the transfer, assignment, or sale of permit rights, including an official of any Federal, State, or local government agency, may submit written comments on the application to the division within 30 days.
(d) Criteria for approval. The division may allow a permittee to transfer, assign, or sell permit rights to a successor, if it finds in writing that the successor--
(1) Is eligible to receive a permit in accordance with 4VAC25-130-773.15(b) and (c);
(2) Has submitted a performance bond or other guarantee, or obtained the bond coverage of the original permittee, as required by Subchapter VJ; and
(3) Meets any other requirements specified by the division.
(1) The division shall notify the permittee, the successor, commenters, and the OSM of its findings.
(2) Proof of the consumation shall be submitted to the division upon its approval of the transfer, assignment, or sale of permit rights, and prior to the issuance of the new permit.
(f) Continued operation under existing permit. The successor in interest shall assume the liability and reclamation responsibilities of the existing permit and shall conduct the surface coal mining and reclamation operations in full compliance with the Act, the regulatory program, and the terms and conditions of the existing permit, unless the applicant has obtained a new or revised permit as provided in this Subchapter.
4VAC25-130-778.13. Identification of interests.
An application shall contain the following information
except that the submission of a social security number is voluntary:
(a) A statement as to whether the applicant or the operator, if different from the applicant, is a corporation, partnership, single proprietorship, association, or other business entity.
(b) The name, address, telephone number and, as applicable,
security number and employer identification number of the:
(2) Applicant's resident agent; and
Person who will pay the abandoned mine land reclamation
fee Operator, if different from the applicant; and
(4) Each business entity in the applicant's and operator's organizational structure, up to and including the ultimate parent entity of the applicant and operator. For every such business entity, provide the required information for every president, chief executive officer, partner, member, and/or director or persons in similar positions, and every person who owns of record 10% or more of the entity.
each person who owns or controls the applicant under
the definition of "owned or controlled" and "owns or
controls" in 4VAC25-130-700.5, as applicable the applicant and
operator, if different from the applicant, information required by subsection
(d) of this section for every:
The person's name, address, social security number and
employer identification number Officer;
The person's ownership or control relationship to the
applicant, including percentage of ownership and location in organizational
The title of the person's position, date position was
assumed, and when submitted under 4VAC25-130-773.17(h), date of departure from
the position Member;
Each additional name and identifying number, including
employer identification number, Federal or State permit number, and MSHA number
with date of issuance, under which the person owns or controls, or previously
owned or controlled, a surface coal mining and reclamation operation in the
United States within the five years preceding the date of the application Director;
The application number or other identifier of, and the
regulatory authority for, any other pending surface coal mining operation
permit application filed by the person in any State in the United States. Person
performing a function similar to a director; and
(6) Person who owns, of record, 10% or more of the entity.
(d) For each person listed from subdivision (c) of this section:
(1) The person's name, address, and telephone number;
(2) The person's position title and relationship to the applicant or operator, including percentage of ownership and location in the organizational structure; and
(3) The date the person began functioning in that position.
(d) For any surface coal mining operation owned or
controlled by either the applicant or by any person who owns or controls the
applicant under the definition of "owned or controlled" and
"owns or controls" in 4VAC25-130-700.5, the operation's (e) A
list of all the names under which the applicant, operator, partners, or
principal shareholders, and the operator's partners or principal shareholders
operate or previously operated a surface coal mining operation in the United
States within a five-year period preceding the date of submission of the
application, including the name, (1) Name, address, identifying
numbers, including employer identification number, Federal or State permit
number and MSHA number, the date of issuance of the MSHA number, and the
regulatory authority ; and. (2) Ownership or control relationship to the applicant,
including percentage of ownership and location in organizational structure.
(f) For the applicant and operator, if different from the applicant, a list of any pending permit applications for surface coal mining operators filed in the United States, identifying each application by its application number, jurisdiction, or by other identifying information when necessary.
(g) For any surface coal mining operation the applicant or operator owned or controlled within a five-year period preceding the submission of the permit application, and for any surface coal mining operation the applicant or operator controlled on that date, the:
(1) Permittee's and operator's name, address, and tax identification numbers;
(2) Name of the regulatory authority with jurisdiction over the permit with the corresponding federal or state permit number and MSHA number; and
(3) The permittee's and operator's relationship to the operation, including the percentage of ownership and location in the organizational structure.
(e) (h) The name and address of each legal or
equitable owner of record of the surface and mineral property to be mined, each
holder of record of any leasehold interest in the property to be mined, and any
purchaser of record under a real estate contract for the property to be mined. (f) (i) The name and address of each owner of
record of all property (surface and subsurface) contiguous to any part of the
proposed permit area. (g) (j) The Mine Safety and Health Administration
(MSHA) numbers for all mine-associated structures that require MSHA approval. (h) (k) A statement of all lands, interest in
lands, options, or pending bids on interests held or made by the applicant for
lands contiguous to the area described in the permit application. If requested
by the applicant, any information required by this Paragraph which subdivision
that is not on public file pursuant to State state law shall
be held in confidence by the division, as provided under
4VAC25-130-773.13(d)(3)(ii). (i) (l) Each application shall contain a list of
all other licenses and permits needed by the applicant to conduct the proposed
surface mining activities. This list shall identify each license and permit by --:
(1) Type of permit or license;
(2) Name and address of issuing authority;
(3) Identification numbers of applications for those permits or licenses or, if issued, the identification numbers of the permits or licenses; and
(4) If a decision has been made, the date of approval or disapproval by each issuing authority.
(j) (m) After an applicant is notified that his
application is approved, but before the permit is issued, the applicant shall,
as applicable, update, correct or indicate that no change has occurred in the
information previously submitted under Paragraphs subdivisions
(a) through (d) of this section. (k) (n) The applicant shall submit the
information required by this section and by 4VAC25-130-778.14 in any prescribed
OSM format that is issued.
4VAC25-130-778.14. Violation information.
Each application shall contain the following information:
(a) A statement of whether the applicant or any subsidiary,
affiliate, or persons controlled by or under common control with the applicant
(1) Had a
Federal federal or State state
coal mining permit suspended or revoked in the 5 five years
preceding the date of submission of the application; or
(2) Forfeited a performance bond or similar security deposited in lieu of bond at any time.
(b) A brief explanation of the facts involved if any such
suspension, revocation, or forfeiture referred to in
(a)(1) and (2) of this section has occurred, including --:
(1) Identification number and date of issuance of the permit, and the date and amount of bond or similar security;
(2) Identification of the authority that suspended or revoked the permit or forfeited the bond and the stated reasons for the action;
(3) The current status of the permit, bond, or similar security involved;
(4) The date, location, and type of any administrative or judicial proceedings initiated concerning the suspension, revocation, or forfeiture; and
(5) The current status of the proceedings.
(c) For any violation of a provision of the
Act or this chapter, or of any law, rule or regulation of the United States, or
of any State state law, rule or regulation enacted pursuant to Federal
federal law, rule or regulation pertaining to air or water environmental
protection incurred in connection with any surface coal mining operation, a
list of all violation notices received by the applicant during the three year
period preceding the application date, and a list of all unabated cessation
orders and unabated air and water quality violation notices received prior to
the date of the application by any surface coal mining and reclamation
operation owned or controlled by either the applicant or by any person who
owns or controls the applicant the operator. For each violation
notice or cessation order reported, the lists shall include the following
information, as applicable:
(1) Any identifying numbers for the operation, including the
federal or State state permit number and MSHA number, the
dates of issuance of the violation notice and MSHA number, the name of the
person to whom the violation notice was issued, and the name of the issuing
regulatory authority, department or agency.
(2) A brief description of the violation alleged in the notice;
(3) The date, location, and type of any administrative or
judicial proceedings initiated concerning the violation, including, but not
limited to, proceedings initiated by any person identified in
(c) of this section to obtain administrative or judicial review of the
(4) The current status of the proceedings and of the violation notice; and
(5) The actions, if any, taken by any person identified in
subdivision (c) of this section to abate the violation.
(d) After an applicant is notified that his application is approved, but before the permit is issued, the applicant shall, as applicable, update, correct or indicate that no change has occurred in the information previously submitted under this section.
4VAC25-130-800.52. Bond forfeiture reinstatement procedures.
(a) Any person who owns or controls or has owned or controlled
any operation on which the bond has been forfeited or the permit revoked pursuant
to this chapter or pursuant to Chapters 15 [repealed], 17 (§ 45.1-198 et seq.)
or 23 [repealed] of Title 45.1 of the Code of Virginia and who has not
previously been reinstated by the
Board of Conservation and Economic
Development or the Director director may petition the Director
director for reinstatement. Reinstatement, if granted, shall be under
such terms and conditions as set forth by the Director director
or his designee. The Director director or his designee in
determining the terms and conditions shall consider the particular facts and
circumstances existing in each individual case. Reinstatement shall not be
available to applicants for reinstatement where the division finds that the
applicant controls or has controlled surface coal mining and reclamation
operations with a demonstrated pattern of willful violations of the Act of such
nature and duration and with such resulting irreparable damage to the
environment as to indicate an intent not to comply with the Act, in accordance
with 4VAC25-130-773.15(b)(3). As a minimum, the applicant for reinstatement
shall satisfy the following requirements:
(1) Abatement of any outstanding violations existing on each site on which the bond has been forfeited or the permit revoked;
(2) Payment of any outstanding civil penalties (both
state and Federal federal), Reclamation fund taxes, and
any outstanding fees, including Federal Abandoned Mine Land Reclamation taxes;
(3) Reclaim each site on which the bond was forfeited according to the applicable law, regulations and standards governing the site at the time of bond forfeiture;
(4) Payment to the
Director director of any money
expended by the Commonwealth in excess of the forfeited bond amount to
accomplish the reclamation of the sites; and
(5) Pay to the
Director director a civil
penalty reinstatement fee of $5,000 assessed by the Director director
on each site forfeited. These civil penalties fees shall be used
by the Director director to accomplish reclamation on other
forfeited or abandoned surface coal mining operations.
(b) Reinstatement by the
Director director shall
be a prerequisite to the filing by the person (applicant for reinstatement) of
any new permit application or renewal under this chapter or Chapters 15
[repealed], 17 (§ 45.1-198 et seq.), or 23 [repealed] of Title 45.1 of the Code
of Virginia, but shall not affect the person's need to comply with all other
requirements of said statutes, regulations or both promulgated thereunder.
4VAC25-130-840.14. Availability of records.
(a) The division shall make available to the OSM, upon request, copies of all documents relating to applications for and approvals of existing, new, or revised coal exploration approvals or surface coal mining and reclamation operation permits and all documents relating to inspection and enforcement actions.
(b) Copies of all records, reports, inspection materials, or information obtained by the division shall be made immediately and conveniently available to the public in the area of mining until at least five years after expiration of the period during which the subject operation is active or is covered by any portion of a reclamation bond, except-
(1) As otherwise provided by
State state law; and
(2) For information not required to be made available under
4VAC25-130-772.15 and 4VAC25-130-773.13(d) or
(d) of this section.
(c) The division shall ensure compliance with
subdivison (b) of this section by either:
(1) Making copies of all records, reports, inspection
materials, and other subject information available for public inspection at a
federal, State state, or local government office in the
county where the mining is occurring or proposed to occur; or,
(2) At the division's option in accordance with the Virginia
Freedom of Information Act (Chapter 21 (§ 2.1-340 et seq.) of Title 2.1 of the
Code of Virginia), providing copies of subject information promptly by mail at
the request of any resident of the area where the mining is occurring or is
proposed to occur, provided, that the division shall maintain for public
inspection, at a
Federal federal, State state, or
local government office in the county where the mining is occurring or proposed
to occur, a description of the information available for mailing and the
procedure for obtaining such information. A list of government offices where
information may be inspected can be obtained on request by contacting the
division's Big Stone Gap office.
(d) In order to protect preparation for hearings and enforcement proceedings, the OSM and the division may enter into agreements regarding procedures for the special handling of investigative and enforcement reports and other such materials.
Individual Civil Penalties
Definitions. (Repealed.) For purposes of this Part: "Knowingly" means that an individual knew or had
reason to know in authorizing, ordering or carrying out an act or omission on the
part of a corporate permittee that such act or omission constituted a
violation, failure or refusal. "Violation, failure or refusal" means: (1) A violation of a condition of the permit issued pursuant
to the Act and the regulations promulgated thereunder; or, (2) A failure or refusal to comply with any order issued
under § 45.1-245 of the Act, or any order incorporated in a decision issued by
the Director under the Act, except an order in corporated in a decision issued
under § 45.1-246(B) of the Act. "Willfully" means that an individual acted (1)
either intentionally, voluntarily or consciously, and (2) with intentional
disregard or plain indifference to legal requirements in authorizing, ordering
or carrying out a corporate permittee's action or omission that constituted a
violation, failure, or refusal.