ALABAMA SURFACE MINING COMMISSION

ADMINISTRATIVE CODE

CHAPTER 880-X-8J SURFACE COAL MINING AND RECLAMATION OPERATIONS PERMITS AND COAL EXPLORATION REQUIREMENTS FOR PERMITS FOR SPECIAL CATEGORIES OF MINING

TABLE OF CONTENTS

880-X-8J-.01 Scope

880-X-8J-.02 Objective

880-X-8J-.03 Reclamation Of Abandoned Lands Within New Permits

880-X-8J-.04 Experimental Practices Mining

880-X-8J-.05 Mountaintop Removal Mining

880-X-8J-.06 Steep Slope Mining

880-X-8J-.07 Permits Incorporating Variances From Approximate Original Contour Restoration Requirements For Steep Slope Mining

880-X-8J-.08 Soils And Prime Farmlands

880-x-8J-.09 Variances For Delay In Contemporaneous Reclamation Requirement In Combined Surface And Underground Mining Operations

880-X-8J-.10 Augering

880-X-8J-.11 Coal Processing Plants Or Support Facilities Not Located Within The Permit Area Of A Specified Mine

880-X-8J-.12 In Situ Processing Activities

880-X-8J-.13 Lands Eligible For Remining

880-X-8J-.01 Scope. This Rule establishes the requirements for permits for certain categories of surface coal mining and reclamation operations.

Author:

Statutory Authority: Code of Ala. 1975, 9-16-71, 73, 74, 75, 80, 81, 82, 83, 84, 85, 86, 88, 90, 91, 92.

History:

880-X-8J-.02 Objective. The objective of this Rule is to ensure that permits are issued for certain categories of surface coal mining and reclamation operations only after the State Regulatory Authority receives information that shows that these operations will be conducted according to the applicable requirements of the Act and these regulations.

Author:

Statutory Authority: Code of Ala. 1975, 9-16-71, 73, 74, 75, 80, 81, 82, 83, 84, 85, 86, 88, 90, 91, 92.

History:

880-X-8J-.03 Reclamation Of Abandoned Lands Within New Permits.

(1) This Rule is intended to encourage the reclamation of previously abandoned surface mined areas within the new permit area by allowing the use of abandoned mined areas as off-site spoil placement.

(2) Once application has been made pursuant to this Rule the State Regulatory Authority may issue a special permit for off-site placement of spoil in abandoned mined areas upon its determination that such operation will result in the reclamation of said areas in accordance with reclamation standards established by these regulations.

(3) A completed permit for purposes of this Rule shall be the incorporation of the abandoned mined areas into the overall permit application being submitted.

(4) In addition to other required information, a permit application requesting off-site spoil placement in abandoned mine areas shall --

(a) Identify on the permit map the exact location and area of the abandoned lands relative to the proposed permit area;

(b) Describe the existing conditions of the abandoned lands; and

(c) Describe the proposed reclamation plan for the abandoned lands.

(5) Abandoned land acreage included in a permit shall not be considered in establishing a bond for the permit.

Author:

Statutory Authority: Code of Ala. 1975, 9-16-71, 73, 74, 75, 80, 81, 82, 83, 84, 85, 86, 88, 90, 91, 92.

History:

880-X-8J-.04 Experimental Practices Mining.

(1) Paragraphs (2) - (11) of this Rule apply to any person who conducts or intends to conduct surface coal mining and reclamation operations under a permit authorizing the use of alternative mining practices on an experimental basis if the practices require a variance from the environmental protection performance standards of Chapter 880-X-10.

(2) The purpose of this Rule is to provide requirements for the permitting of surface coal mining and reclamation operations that encourage advances in mining and reclamation practices or allow postmining land use for industrial, commercial, residential or public use (including recreational facilities) on an experimental basis.

(3) Experimental practice, as used in the Rule, means the use of alternative surface coal mining and reclamation operation practices for experimental or research purposes. Experimental practices need not comply with specific environmental protection performance standards of Chapter 880-X-10 if approved pursuant to this Rule.

(4) No person shall engage in or maintain any experimental practice, unless that practice is first approved in a permit by the State Regulatory Authority, and the Director of OSM.

(5) Any person who desires to conduct an experimental practice shall submit a permit application for approval by the State Regulatory Authority, and the Director of OSM. The permit application shall contain appropriate descriptions, maps, plans and data which show:

(a) The nature of the experimental practice, including a description of the performance standards for which variances are requested, the duration of the experimental practice and any special monitoring which will be conducted:

(b) How the use of the experimental practice:

1. Encourages advances in mining and reclamation technology, or

2. Allows a post-mining land use for industrial, commercial, residential or public use (including recreational facilities), on an experimental basis.

(c) That the mining and reclamation operations proposed for using an experimental practice are not larger or more numerous than necessary to determine the effectiveness and economic feasibility of the experimental practice;

(d) That the experimental practice --

1. Is potentially more or at least as environmentally protective, during and after the proposed mining and reclamation operations, as those required under Chapter 880-X-l0 of these regulations; and

2. Will not reduce the protection afforded public health and safety below that provided by the requirements of Chapter 880-X-10 of these regulations.

(e) That the applicant will conduct monitoring with respect to the experimental practice during and after the operations involved. The monitoring program shall ensure the collection, analysis, and reporting of reliable data that are sufficient to enable the Regulatory Authority and the Director of OSM to:

1. Evaluate the effectiveness of experimental practice, and

2. Identify, as soon as possible potential risks to the environment and public health and safety from the use of the experimental practice during and after mining.

(6) Each application shall set forth the environmental protection performance standards of Chapter 880-X-10 which will be implemented, in the event the objective of the experimental practice is a failure.

(7) All experimental practices for which variances are sought shall be specifically identified through newspaper advertisements by the applicant as required under Rule 880-X-8K-.05.

(8) No permit authorizing an experimental practice shall be issued until the Regulatory Authority first finds in writing and the Director of OSM then concurs that:

(a) The experimental practice meets all of the requirements of Paragraphs (5)(b) through (5)(e) of this Rule;

(b) The experimental practice is based on a clearly defined set of objectives which can reasonably be expected to be achieved; and

(c) The permit contains conditions which specifically --

1. Limit the experimental practice authorized by the State Regulatory Authority;

2. Impose enforceable alternative environmental protection requirements; and

3. Require the person to conduct periodic monitoring recording and reporting program set forth in the application with such additional requirements as the State Regulatory Authority and the Director of OSM may require to ensure the protection of the public health and safety and the environment.

(9) Each permit which authorizes the use of an experimental practice shall be reviewed in its entirety by the Regulatory Authority at a frequency set forth in the approved permit, but no less frequently than every two and one-half years. After review, the State Regulatory Authority shall require by order, supported by written findings, any reasonable revision or modification of the permit provisions necessary to ensure that the operations involved are conducted to protect fully the environmental and public health and safety. Any person who is or may be adversely affected by the order shall be provided with an opportunity for a hearing as established in the Act.

(10) Revisions or modifications to an experimental practice shall be processed in accordance with the requirements of Rule 880-X-8M-.06, except that, revisions which propose significant alterations in the experimental practice shall also require concurrence of the Director of OSM.

(11) Experimental practices granting variances from the special environmental protection performance standards of Chapter 880-X-10 shall be approved only after consultation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Soil Conservation Service.

Author: Randall C. Johnson

Statutory Authority: Code of Ala. 1975, 9-16-71, 73, 74, 75, 80, 81, 82, 83, 84, 85, 86, 90, 91, 92.

History: May 20, 1982; Amended: November 14, 1989; effective March 7, 1991.

880-X-8J-.05 Mountaintop Removal Mining.

(1) This Rule applies to any person who conducts or intends to conduct surface mining activities by mountaintop removal mining.

(2) Mountaintop removal mining means surface mining activities, where the mining operation removes an entire coal seam or seams running through the upper fraction of a mountain, ridge, or hill, except as provided for in Rule 880-X-10H-.03(l)(f), by removing substantially all of the overburden off the bench and creating a level plateau or a gently rolling contour, with no highwalls remaining, and capable of supporting postmining land uses in accordance with the requirements of this Rule.

(3) A permit for mountaintop removal mining may be issued, without regard to the requirements of Rules 880-X-10C-.52 - 880-X-10C-.56 to restore the lands disturbed by such mining to their approximate original contour, if the State Regulatory Authority first finds, in writing, on the basis of a complete application, that the following requirements are met:

(a) The proposed postmining land use of the lands to be affected will be an industrial, commercial, agricultural, forestry, residential, or public facility (including recreational facilities) use and, if --

1. After consultation with the appropriate land use planning agencies, the proposed land use is deemed by the State Regulatory Authority to constitute an equal or better economic or public use of the affected land compared with the pre-mining use;

2. The applicant demonstrates compliance with the requirements for acceptable alternative postmining land uses of Rule 880-X-10C-.66;

3. The proposed use would be compatible with adjacent land uses and existing State and local land use plans and programs; and

4. The State Regulatory Authority has provided, in writing, an opportunity of not more than 60 days to review and comment on such proposed use to the governing body of general purpose government in whose jurisdiction the land is located and any State or Federal agency which the State Regulatory Authority, in its discretion, determines to have an interest in the proposed use.

(b) The applicant has demonstrated that, in place of restoration of the land to be affected to the approximate original contour under Rules 880-X-10C-.52 - 880-X-10C-.56, the operation will be conducted in compliance with the requirements of Rule 880-X-10H.

(c) The requirements of Rule 880-X-10H, are made a specific condition of the permit.

(d) All other requirements of the Act, this Rule and these regulations are met by the proposed operations.

(e) The permit is clearly identified as being for mountaintop removal mining.

(4)(a) Any permits incorporating a variance issued under this Rule shall be reviewed by the State Regulatory Authority to evaluate the progress and development of mining activities to establish that the operator is proceeding in accordance with the terms of the variance.

1. Within the sixth month preceding the third year from the date of its issuance;

2. Before each permit renewal; and

3. Not later than the middle of each permit term.

(b) Any review required under Paragraph (4)(a) of this Rule need not be held if the permittee has demonstrated and the State Regulatory Authority finds, in writing, within three months before the scheduled review, that all operations under the permit are proceeding and shall continue to be conducted in accordance with the terms of the permit and requirements of the Act, this Rule, and these regulations.

(c) The terms and conditions of a permit for mountaintop removal mining may be modified at any time by the State Regulatory Authority, if it determines that more stringent measures are necessary to insure that the operation involved is conducted in compliance with the requirements of the Act and these regulations.

Author:

Statutory Authority: Code of Ala. 1975, 9-16-71, 73, 74, 75, 80, 81, 82, 83, 84, 85, 86, 88, 90, 91, 92.

History:

880-X-8J-.06 Steep Slope Mining.

(1) This Rule applies to any person who conducts or intends to conduct steep slope surface coal mining and reclamation operations, except --

(a) Where an operator proposes to conduct surface coal mining and reclamation operations on flat or gently rolling terrain, leaving a plain or predominantly flat area, but on which an occasional steep slope is encountered as the mining operation proceeds;

(b) Where a person obtains a permit under the provisions of Rule 880-X-8J-.05; or

(c) To the extent that a person obtains a permit incorporating a variance under Rule 880-X-8J-.07.

(2) Any application for a permit for surface coal mining and reclamation operations covered by this Rule shall contain sufficient information to establish that the operations will be conducted in accordance with the requirements of Rule 880-X-10I-.04.

(3) No permit shall be issued for any operations covered by this Rule, unless the State Regulatory Authority finds, in writing, that in addition to meeting all other requirements of this Chapter, the operation will be conducted in accordance with the requirements of Rule 880-X-10I-.04.

Author:

Statutory Authority: Code of Ala. 1975, 9-16-71, 73, 74, 75, 80, 81, 82, 83, 84, 85, 86, 88, 90, 91, 92.

History:

880-X-8J-.07 Permits Incorporating Variances From Approximate Original Contour Restoration Requirements For Steep Slope Mining.

(1) This Rule applies to non-mountaintop removal, steep slope surface coal mining and reclamation operations where the operation is not to be reclaimed to achieve the approximate original contour required by Rules 880-X-10C-.52 - 880-X-10C-.56 or 880-X-10D-.48 - 880-X-10D-.50 and 880-X-10I-.04(b).

(2) The objective of this Rule is to allow for a variance from approximate original contour restoration requirements on steep slopes for surface coal mining and reclamation operations to --

(a) Improve watershed control of lands within the permit area and on adjacent lands; and

(b) Make land within the permit area, after reclamation, suitable for an industrial, commercial, residential, agricultural, forestry or public use, including recreational facilities.

(3) A permit for surface mining activities incorporating a variance from the requirements for restoration of the affected lands to their approximate original contour, may be issued, only if the State Regulatory Authority finds, in writing, on the basis of a complete application, that all of the following requirements are met:

(a) The applicant has demonstrated that the purpose of the variance is to make the lands to be affected within the permit area suitable for an industrial, commercial, agricultural, forestry, residential, or public use postmining land use.

(b) The proposed use, after consultation with the appropriate land-use planning agencies, constitutes an equal or better economic or public use.

(c) The applicant has demonstrated compliance with the requirements for acceptable alternative postmining land uses of Rule 880-X-10C-.66 or 880-X-10D-.64.

(d) The applicant has demonstrated that the watershed of lands within the proposed permit area and adjacent areas will be improved by the operations. The watershed will only be deemed improved if --

1. There will be a reduction in the amount of total suspended solids or other pollutants discharged to ground or surface waters from the permit areas as compared to such discharges prior to mining, so as to improve public or private uses or the ecology of such waters; or, there will be reduced floor hazards within the watershed containing the permit area by reduction of the peak flow discharges from precipitation events; and

2. The total volume of flows from the proposed permit area, during every season of the year, will not vary in a way that adversely affects the ecology of any surface water or any existing or planned use of surface or ground water.

(e) The applicant has demonstrated that the owner of the surface of the lands within the permit area has knowingly requested, in writing, as part of the application, that a variance be granted. The request shall be made separately from any surface owner consent given for the operations under Rule 880-X-8D-.07 or 880-X-8G-.07 and shall show an understanding that the variance could not be granted without the surface owner's request.

(f) The applicant has demonstrated that the proposed operations will be conducted in compliance with the requirements of Rule 880-X-10I-.05.

(g) All other requirements of the Act and these regulations shall be met by the proposed operations.

(4) If a variance is granted under this Rule --

(a) The requirements of Rule 880-X-10I-.05 shall be made a specific condition of the permit.

(b) The permit shall be specifically marked as containing a variance from approximate original contour.

(5) Any permits incorporating a variance issued under this Rule shall be reviewed by the State Regulatory Authority to evaluate the progress and development of the mining activities, to establish that the operator is proceeding in accordance with the terms of the variance --

(a) Within the sixth month preceding the third year from the date of its issuance;

(b) Before each permit renewal; and

(c) Not later than the middle of each permit term.

(6) If the permittee demonstrates to the State Regulatory Authority at any of the times specified in Paragraph (5) of this Rule that the operations involved have been and continue to be conducted in compliance with the terms and conditions of the permit, the requirements of the Act and these regulations, the review required at that time need not be held.

(7) The terms and conditions of a permit incorporating a variance under this Rule may be modified at any time by the State Regulatory Authority, if it determines that more stringent measures are necessary to insure that the operations involved are conducted in compliance with the requirements of the Act and these regulations.

Author:

Statutory Authority: Code of Ala. 1975, 9-16-71, 73, 74, 75, 80, 81, 82, 83, 84, 85, 86, 88, 90, 91, 92.

History:

880-X-8J-.08 Soils And Prime Farmlands.

(1) Scope. This rule applies to any person who conducts or intends to conduct surface coal mining and reclamation operations on prime farmlands historically used for cropland. Nothing in this rule shall apply to:

(a) Lands on which surface coal mining and reclamation operations are conducted pursuant to any permit issued prior to August 3, 1977; or

(b) Lands on which any surface coal mining and reclamation operations are conducted pursuant to any renewal or revision of a permit issued prior to August 3, 1977; or

(c) Lands included in any existing surface coal mining operations for which a permit was issued for all or any part thereof prior to August 3, 1977, provided that;

1. Such lands are part of a single continuous surface coal mining operation begun under a permit issued before August 3, 1977;

2. The permittee had a legal right to mine the lands prior to August 3, 1977, through ownership, contract, or lease but not including an option to buy, lease, or contract; and

3. The lands contained part of a continuous recoverable coal seam that was mined in a single continuous mining pit (or multiple pits if the lands are proven to be part of a single continuous surface coal mining operation) begun under a permit issued prior to August 3, 1977.

(d) For purposes of this section;

1. "Renewal" of a permit shall mean a decision by the State Regulatory Authority to extend the time by which the permittee may complete mining within the boundaries of the original permit;

2. "Revision" of the permit shall mean a decision by the State Regulatory Authority to allow changes in the method of mining operation within the original permit area, or the decision of the State Regulatory Authority to allow incidental boundary changes to the original permit, or an amendment to a permit issued under the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1975.

(2) Application contents for prime farmland. If the land within the proposed permit area is identified as prime farmland under Rule 880-X-8E-.10 or 880-X-8H-.10, the applicant shall submit a plan for the mining and restoration of the land. Each plan shall contain, at a minimum --

(a) A soil survey of the permit area according to the standards of the National Cooperative Soil Survey and in accordance with the procedures set forth in the U.S. Department of Agriculture Handbooks 436, "Soil Taxonomy" (U. S. Soil Conservation Service 1975) as amended on March 22, 1982, and October 5, 1985, and 18, "Soil Survey Manual" (U.S. Soil Conservation Service 1951), as amended on December 18, 1979, May 9, 1980, September 11, 1980, June 9, 1981, June 29, 1981, November 16, 1982. The U.S. Soil Conservation Service establishes the standards for the National Cooperative Soil Survey and maintains the National Soils Handbook which gives current acceptable procedures for conducting soil surveys. This National Soils Handbook is available for review at area and State SCS offices. U.S. Department of Agriculture Handbooks 436 and 18 are incorporated by reference as they exist on the date of adoption of this Rule. Notices of the changes made to these publications will be made periodically by the State Regulatory Authority.

1. The soil survey shall include a description of soil mapping units and a representative soil profile as determined by the U.S. Soil Conservation Service, including, but not limited to, soil-horizon depth, pH, and the range of soil densities for each prime farmland soil unit within the permit area. Other representative soil-profile descriptions from the locality prepared according to the standards of the National Cooperative Soil Survey may be used if their use is approved by the State Conservationist, U.S. Soil Conservation Service. The State Regulatory Authority may request the operator to provide information on other physical and chemical soil properties as needed to make a determination that the operator has the technological capability to restore the prime farmland within the permit area to soil reconstruction standards of Subchapter 10(G).

(b) A plan for soil reconstruction, replacement, and stabilization for the purpose of establishing the technological capability of the mine operator to comply with the requirements of Subchapter 880-X-10G.

(c) Scientific data, such as agricultural school studies, for areas with comparable soils, climate, and management that demonstrate that the proposed method of reclamation, including the use of soil mixtures or substitutes, if any, will achieve within a reasonable time, levels of yield equivalent to, or higher than, those of non-mined prime farmland in the surrounding area.

(d) The productivity prior to mining, including the average yield of food, fiber, forage, or wood products obtained under a high level of management.

(3) The State Regulatory Authority shall consult with the State Conservationist in determining the nature and extent of any required on-site preapplication investigation. Before any permit is issued for areas that include prime farmland, the State Regulatory Authority shall provide a copy of the soil reconstruction plan submitted in the application to the State Conservationist for review and comment. The State Regulatory Authority shall consider any suggested revisions made by the State Conservationist.

(4) Issuance of permit. A permit for the mining and reclamation of prime farmland may be granted by the Regulatory Authority, if it first finds, in writing, upon the basis of a complete application, that --

(a) The approved proposed postmining land use of these prime farmlands will be suitable for determining if soil productivity is equivalent to surrounding non-mined lands of the same soil type;

(b) The permit incorporates as specific conditions the contents of the plan submitted under paragraph (2) of this Rule, after consideration of any revisions to that plan suggested by the Secretary of Agriculture under paragraph (3) of this Rule;

(c) The applicant has the technological capability to restore the prime farmland, within a reasonable time, to equivalent levels of yield as non-mined prime farmland in the surrounding area under equivalent levels of management; and

(d) The proposed operations will be conducted in compliance with the requirements of Rule 880-X-10G and other environmental protection performance and reclamation standards for mining and reclamation of prime farmland of the regulatory program.

(e) The aggregate total prime farmland acreage shall not be decreased from that which existed prior to mining. Water bodies, if any, to be constructed during mining and reclamation operations must be located within the post-reclamation non-prime farmland portions of the permit area. The creation of any such water bodies must be approved by the Alabama Surface Mining Commission and the consent of all affected property owners within the permit area must be obtained.

Author: Randall C. Johnson

Statutory Authority: Code of Ala. 1975, 9-16-71, 73, 74, 75, 80, 81, 82, 83, 84, 85, 86, 88, 90, 91, 92.

History: May 20, 1982; Amended: November 14, 1989; effective: March 7, 1991; Amended: September 18, 1990; effective: August 2, 1991.

880-X-8J-.09 Variances For Delay In Contemporaneous Reclamation Requirements In Combined Surface And Underground Mining Operations.

(1) Scope. This Rule applies to any person who conducts or intends to conduct combined surface mining activities and underground mining activities, where contemporaneous reclamation as required by Rule 880-X-10C-.51 is not practicable and a delay is requested to allow underground mining activities to be conducted before the reclamation operation for the surface mining activities can be completed.

(2) Objective. This Rule is to allow for delay in reclamation of surface mining activities, if that delay will allow underground mining activities to be conducted to ensure both maximum practical recovery of coal resources and to avoid multiple future disturbances of surface lands or waters.

(3) Application contents for variances. Any person who desires to obtain a variance under this Rule shall file complete applications for both the surface mining activities and underground mining activities which are to be combined. The mining and reclamation operation plans for these permits shall contain appropriate narratives, maps and plans, which --

(a) Show why the proposed underground mining activities are necessary or desirable to assure maximum practical recovery of coal;

(b) Show how multiple future disturbances of surface lands or waters will be avoided;

(c) Identify the specific surface areas for which a variance is sought and the particular Rules of the Act and the regulations from which a variance is being sought;

(d) Show how the activities will comply with Rule 880-X-10E and other applicable requirements of these regulations;

(e) Show why the variance sought is necessary for the implementation of the proposed underground mining activities;

(f) Provide an assessment of the adverse environmental consequences and damages, if any, that will result if the reclamation of surface mining activities is delayed; and

(g) Show how off-site storage of spoil shall be conducted to comply with the requirements of the Act, and Rule 880-X-10C-.36.

(4) Issuance of permit. A permit incorporating a variance under this Rule may be issued upon the basis of a complete application filed in accordance with this Rule, that --

(a) The applicant has presented, as part of the permit application, specific, feasible plans for the proposed underground mining activities;

(b) The proposed underground mining activities are necessary or desirable to assure maximum practical recovery of the mineral resource and will avoid multiple future disturbances of surface land or waters;

(c) The applicant has satisfactorily demonstrated that the applications for the surface mining activities and underground mining activities conform to the requirements of these regulations and that all other permits necessary for the underground mining activities have been issued by the appropriate authority;

(d) The surface area of surface mining activities proposed for the variance have been shown by the applicant to be necessary for implementing the proposed underground mining activities;

(e) No substantial adverse environmental damage, either on-site or off-site, will result from the delay in completion of reclamation otherwise required by the Act and Rule 880-X-10C of these regulations;

(f) The operations will, insofar as a variance is authorized, be conducted in compliance with the requirements of Rule 880-X-10E;

(g) Provisions for off-site storage of spoil will comply with the requirements of Rule 880-X-10C-.36 and Section 22 of the Act.

(h) Liability under the performance bond required to be filed by the applicant, pursuant to Chapter 880-X-9 of these regulations shall be for the duration of the underground mining activities and until all requirements of Chapter 880-X-9 have been complied with; and

(i) The permit for the surface mining activities contains specific conditions --

1. Delineating the particular surface areas for which a variance is authorized;

2. Identifying the particular requirements of Rule 880-X-10E of these regulations which are to be complied with in lieu of the otherwise applicable provisions of Rule 880-X-10C; and

3. Providing a detailed schedule for compliance with the particular requirements of Rule 880-X-10E of these regulations identified under Paragraph (4)(i)2. of this Rule.

(5) Review of permits containing variances. Variances granted under permits issued under this Rule shall be reviewed no later than three years from the dates of issuance of the permit and any permit renewals.

Author:

Statutory Authority Code of Ala. 1975, 9-16-71, 73, 74, 75, 80, 81, 82, 83, 84, 85, 86, 88, 90, 91, 92.

History:

880-X-8J-.10 Augering.

(1) This Rule applies to any person who conducts or intends to conduct surface coal mining and reclamation operations utilizing augering operations.

(2) Any application for a permit for operations covered by this Rule shall contain, in the mining and reclamation plan, a description of the augering methods and the measures to be used to comply with Rule 880-X-10F.

(3) No permit shall be issued for any operations covered by this Rule unless the operation will be conducted in compliance with Rule 880-X-10F and all applicable requirements of this Chapter.

Author:

Statutory Authority: Code of Ala. 1975, 9-16-71, 73, 74, 75, 80, 81, 82, 83, 84, 85, 86, 88, 90, 91, 92.

History:

880-X-8J-.11 Coal Processing Plants And Their Support Facilities Not Located Within The Permit Area Of A Specified Mine.

(1) This Rule applies to any person who operates or intends to operate a processing plant and associated support facilities not located within a permit area of a specific mine. Any person who operates such a processing plant shall have obtained a permit in accordance with the requirements of this Rule.

(2) Any application for a permit for operations covered by this Rule shall contain in the mining and reclamation plan, specific plans, including descriptions, maps and cross-sections of the construction, operation, maintenance and removal of the processing plants and associated support facilities. The plan shall demonstrate that those operations will be conducted in compliance with Rule 880-X-10J.

(3) No permit shall be issued for any operation covered by this Rule, unless the State Regulatory Authority finds, in writing, that in addition to meeting all other applicable requirements of this Chapter, the operations will be conducted in compliance with the requirements of Rule 880-X-10J.

(4) Not later than sixty (60) days after the effective date of Rules 880-X-2A-.06 Definitions of Coal Processing, Coal Processing Plant, and Surface Coal Mining operations as Amended under Rulemaking 86-1, persons operating coal processing plants not previously subject to this Rule shall apply for a permit or cease operations and reclaim the disturbed areas in accordance with Chapter 880-X-3.

(a) Except as prohibited by Chapter 880-X-7 such operations may continue after the effective date of these amended rules provided that:

1. The operator files a timely application for a permit as required by this paragraph; provided, however, that if the Regulatory Authority determines the application to be incomplete, the applicant shall have sixty (60) days from the notification of incompleteness to correct the deficiencies and have it determined to be complete;

2. The ASMC has not yet issued or denied the permit; and

3. The operation complies with the performance standards of Chapter 880-X-3.

(b) Upon issuance of a permit by the ASMC under this Rule, such processing plants shall comply with the performance standards of Chapter 880-X-10J.

Author:

Statutory Authority: Code of Ala. 1975, 9-16-71, 73, 74, 75, 80, 81, 82, 83, 84, 85, 86, 88, 90, 91, 92.

History:

880-X-8J-.12 In Situ Processing Activities.

(1) This Rule applies to any person who conducts or intends to conduct surface coal mining and reclamation operations utilizing in situ processing activities.

(2) Any application for a permit for operations covered by this Rule shall be made according to all requirements of this Chapter applicable to underground mining activities. In addition, the mining and reclamation operations plan for operations involving in situ processing activities shall contain information establishing how those operations will be conducted in compliance with the requirements of Rule 880-X-10K, including --

(a) Delineation of proposed holes and wells and production zone for approval of the State Regulatory Authority;

(b) Specifications of drill holes and casings proposed to be used;

(c) A plan for treatment, confinement or disposal of all acid-forming, toxic-forming or radioactive gases, solids, or liquids constituting a fire, health, safety or environmental hazard caused by the mining and recovery process; and

(d) Plans for monitoring surface and ground water quantity and quality.

(3) No permit shall be issued for operations covered by this Rule, unless the State Regulatory Authority finds, in writing, upon the basis of a complete application made in accordance with Paragraph (2) of this Rule, that the operation will be conducted in compliance with all requirements of this Chapter relating to underground mining activities, and Rules 880-X-10D and 880-X-10K.

Author:

Statutory Authority: Code of Ala. 1975, 9-16-71, 73, 74, 75, 80, 81, 82, 83, 84, 85, 86, 88, 90, 91, 92.

History:

880-X-8J-.13 Lands Eligible For Remining.

(1) This section contains permitting requirements to implement 880-X-8K-.10(2)(d). Any person who submits a permit application to conduct a surface coal mining operation on lands eligible for remining must comply with this section.

(2) Any application for a permit under this section shall be made according to all requirements of this subchapter applicable to surface coal mining and reclamation operations. In addition, the application shall--

(a) To the extent not otherwise addressed in the permit application, identify potential environmental and safety problems related to prior mining activity at the site and that could be reasonably anticipated to occur. This identification shall be based on a due diligence investigation which shall include visual observations at the site, a record review of past mining at the site, and environmental sampling tailored to current site conditions.

(b) With regard to potential environmental and safety problems referred to in paragraph (2)(a) of this section, describe the mitigative measures that will be taken to ensure that the applicable reclamation requirements of the regulatory program can be met.

(c) The requirements of this section shall not apply after September 30, 2004.

Author: Randall C. Johnson

Statutory Authority: Code of Ala. 1975, 9-16-71, 73, 74, 75, 80, 81, 82, 83, 84, 85, 86, 88, 90, 91, 92.

History: New Rule: Filed July 27, 1998; effective August 31, 1998; operative January 3, 1999.

Ed. Note: On December 4, 1998, the Office of Surface Mining approved this rulemaking adopted by the commission on July 16, 1998. The effective date of this rule will be January 3, 1999.