Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
Department of Environmental Quality
Air Pollution Control Board
New and Modified Stationary Sources [9 VAC 5 ‑ 50]
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1/7/10  2:56 pm
Commenter: Gavin M. Bledsoe, Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy/DMLR

DMME response to petition of Southern Appalachia Mountain Stewards & Sierra Club


DMME Response submitted: January 8, 2010

Name of petitioner: Southern Appalachia Mountain Stewards and the Sierra Club

Date Petition Submitted : November 30, 2009

Agency Receiving Petition: State Air Pollution Control Board

Chapters affected:

(e.g., 4 VAC 20-490):

Chapter Name (e.g., Regulations Pertaining to Sharks):

9 VAC 5-40-90


9 VAC 5-50-90

Existing Stationary Sources - Standard for fugitive dust emissions

New and Modified Stationary Sources - Standard for fugitive dust emissions

Statutory Authority: 10.1-1307 and 10.1-1308


Nature of petitioner's request: The Southern Appalachia Mountain Stewards and the Sierra Club have petitioned the State Air Pollution Control Board to amend the fugitive dust emissions standards for existing and new and modified stationary sources.   


DMME Comments:


1.)    The petition was submitted to address fugitive dust concerns the petitioners attribute to coal haulage activities in the Roda community, near Appalachia, Virginia of Wise County. The Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy is the State agency that regulates land-disturbing, mining, and reclamation activities from coal mining operations under Chapter 19 of Title 45.1 of the Code of Virginia and the regulations promulgated thereunder (4 VAC 25-130-700 et seq.). In addition to the regulatory requirements under the Virginia Coal Surface Mining Reclamation Regulations, the DMME has published Guidance Memorandum No. 29-09 to address additional measures that may be employed to address fugitive dust problems in the coal producing communities. The DMME has worked with DEQ, the Virginia Department of Transportation, the Virginia State Police, permitted coal mine operators, and concerned citizens to address fugitive dust concerns. 


2.)    DMME and DEQ entered into a Memorandum of Agreement on December 9, 2009, to coordinate their efforts to facilitate efficient and effective administration of applicable State and Federal environmental laws, regulations, and policies for fugitive dust control on and immediately adjacent to active coal mining sites.


3.)    The proposed amendments to Sections 9 VAC 5-40-90 and 9 VAC 5-50-90 are duplicative of the regulatory requirements that already exist under the Virginia Coal Surface Mining Reclamation Regulations and the recommendations of DMME Guidance Memorandum No. 29-09.  DMME requires each permit applicant to address how it will comply with the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts[1] in the detailed permit application. The DMME may require additional corrective measures if a site situation requires such to protect the environment and the health and safety of the public.  The proposed amendments would impose, contrary to the petitioners claim, a substantial and significant financial burden upon the Commonwealth to conduct duplicative enforcement activities.


4.)    While the proposed amendments were crafted to specifically address fugitive dust concerns attributed to coal mining activities, they will in fact be applicable to any activity that may result in fugitive dust concerns across the Commonwealth – logging, gas/oil well/pipeline operations, quarry operations, other mining activities, road construction, development projects, farming operations, etc. The DMME also requires mineral mining and gas and oil permittees to meet statutory and regulatory requirements for environmental protection, including fugitive dust.  The proposed requirements would duplicate these similar to duplicating requirements on coal mines.


5.)    The standards that may be applied should reflect the actual site conditions and proximity of the public who may be affected.  This is effectively achieved through establishment of site-specific conditions under DMME permits.  








[1] 4VAC25-130-780.18(b)(9 and 10) & 4VAC25-130-784.13(b)(9 and 10). Reclamation plan; general requirements.

CommentID: 11196