ALABAMA SURFACE MINING COMMISSION

ADMINISTRATIVE CODE

CHAPTER 880-X-8N SURFACE COAL MINING AND RECLAMATION OPERATIONS PERMITS AND COAL EXPLORATION SMALL OPERATOR ASSISTANCE

TABLE OF CONTENTS

880-X-8N-.01 Scope

880-X-8N-.02 Objective

880-X-8N-.03 Authority

880-X-8N-.04 Responsibilities

880-X-8N-.05 Definitions

880-X-8N-.06 Program Services

880-X-8N-.07 Eligibility For Assistance

880-X-8N-.08 Filing For Assistance

880-X-8N-.09 Application Approval And Notice

880-X-8N-.10 Data Requirements

880-X-8N-.11 Qualified Laboratories

880-X-8N-.12 Assistance Funding

880-X-8N-.13 Applicant Liability

880-X-8N-.01 Scope. This Rule governs the procedures for providing assistance to qualified small mine operators who request assistance, for --

(a) The determination of the probable hydrologic consequences of mining and reclamation required by Rules 880-X-8E-.06 - 880-X-8H-.06, and

(b) The statement of physical and chemical analysis of test borings or core samples, required by Rules 880-X-8E-.06 - 880-X-8H-.06.

Author:

Statutory Authority: Code of Ala. 1975, 9-16-71, 73, 74, 75, 80, 81, 82, 83.

History:

880-X-8N-.02 Objective. The objective of this Rule is to meet the intent of Section 15 (c) of the Act by --

(a) Providing available financial and other necessary assistance to qualified small operators; and

(b) Assuring that the Regulatory Authority shall have sufficient information to make a reasonable assessment of the probable cumulative impacts of all anticipated mining upon the hydrology of the area and particularly upon water availability.

Author:

Statutory Authority: Code of Ala. 1975, 9-16-71, 73, 74, 75, 80, 81, 82, 83.

History:

880-X-8N-.03 Authority. The State Regulatory Authority shall provide financial and other assistance under Section 15 (c) of the Act to the extent funds are appropriated by Congress and granted by the Office of Surface Mining specifically for this program.

Author:

Statutory Authority: Code of Ala. 1975, 9-16-71, 73, 74, 75, 80, 81, 82, 83.

History:

880-X-8N-.04 Responsibilities.

(1) General. Once the Regulatory Authority initiates the Program, it shall --

(a) Review request for assistance and determine qualified operators;

(b) Develop and maintain a list of qualified laboratories; and select and pay laboratories for services rendered;

(c) Conduct periodic on-site evaluations of the Program activities with the appropriate small operator; and

(d) Participate with the Office of Surface Mining in data coordination activities with the U. S. Geological Survey, U. S. Environmental Protection Agency, and other appropriate agencies or institutions.

(2) The Regulatory Authority shall insure that applicable equal opportunity in employment provisions are included within any contract or other procurement documents.

Author:

Statutory Authority: Code of Ala. 1975, 9-16-71, 73, 74, 75, 80, 81, 82, 83.

History:

880-X-8N-.05 Definitions. (See Rule 880-X-2A-.06 Definitions)

Author:

Statutory Authority: Code of Ala. 1975, 9-16-71, 73, 74, 75, 80, 81, 82, 83.

History:

880-X-8N-.06 Program Services. To the extent possible with available funds, the Regulatory Authority shall for qualified small operators who request assistance --

(a) Select and pay a qualified laboratory to --

1. Determine for the operator the probable hydrologic consequences of the mining and reclamation operations both on and off the proposed permit area in accordance with Rule 880-X-8N-.10.

2. Prepare a statement of the results of test borings or core samplings in accordance with Rule 880-X-8N-.10.

(b) Collect and provide general hydrologic information on the basin or sub-basin areas within which the anticipated mining will occur. The information provided shall be limited to that required to relate the basin or sub-basin hydrology to the hydrology of the proposed permit area.

Author:

Statutory Authority: Code of Ala. 1975, 9-16-71, 73, 74, 75, 80, 81, 82, 83.

History:

880-X-8N-.07 Eligibility For Assistance. An applicant is eligible for assistance if he:

(a) Possesses a valid license pursuant to Chapter 880-X-6.

(b) Applies for a permit pursuant to the Act; and

(c) Establishes that his or her probable total attributed annual production from all locations on which the operator is issued the surface coal mining and reclamation permit will not exceed 300,000 tons. Production from the following operations shall be attributed to the permittee:

1. The pro rata share, based on percentage of ownership of the applicant, of coal produced by operations in which the applicant owns more than a 10 percent interest.

2. The pro rata share, based upon percentage of ownership of applicant, of coal produced in other operations by persons who own more than 10 percent of the applicant's operation;

3. All coal produced by operations owned by persons who directly or indirectly control the applicant by reason of direction of the management;

4. All coal produced by operations owned by members of the applicant's family and the applicant's relatives, unless it is established that there is no direct or indirect business relationship between or among them.

(d) Is not restricted in any manner from receiving a permit under the permanent regulatory program; and

(e) Does not organize or reorganize his or her company solely for the purpose of obtaining assistance under the SOAP.

Author:

Statutory Authority: Code of Ala. 1975, 9-16-71, 73, 74, 75, 80, 81, 82, 83.

History: Filed May 20, 1982. Amended: 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.

880-X-8N-.08 Filing For Assistance. Each application for assistance shall contain the following:

(a) A permit application for the proposed mine which meets all applicable requirements of Chapter 880-X-8 with the exception of the requirements of Rule 880-X-8E-.06 and 880-X-8H-.06.

(b) A schedule of the estimated total production of coal from the proposed permit area and all other locations from which production is attributed to the applicant under 880-X-8N-.07. The schedule shall include for each location:

1. The name under which coal is or will be mined;

2. The permit number and mining enforcement and safety administration identification number;

3. The actual coal production for the year preceding the application for assistance and that portion of the production attributed to the applicant; and

4. The estimated coal production for each year of the proposed permit and that portion attributed to the applicant.

(c) Documents which expressly grant legal right of entry for State Regulatory Authority and laboratory personnel to inspect the lands to be mined and adjacent lands which may be affected to collect environmental data or install necessary instruments.

(d) A certified statement executed by an officer of the applicant, with legal authority to do so, accepting the terms of liability of Rule 880-X-8N-.13.

Author:

Statutory Authority: Code of Ala. 1975, 9-16-71, 73, 74, 75, 80, 81, 82, 83.

History:

880-X-8N-.09 Application Approval And Notice.

(1) The State Regulatory Authority shall base its determination of eligibility of the applicant in the following:

(a) The projected total actual and attributed tonnage of the applicant for each year of the proposed permit; and

(b) Based on information readily available, issuance of the proposed permit is not precluded; and

(c) Consideration of the applicant's past performance in services rendered under the Program for which the applicant was qualified. Factors to be considered shall include:

1. The term over which services were conducted under the Program and the status of completion at the time of termination of services.

2. The amount of funds expended at the time of termination of services.

3. The reason and justification for termination of services.

4. A determination of good faith based upon efforts by the operator at all times during the term of services under the Program.

5. Cooperation of the applicant with Regulatory Authority and contracted laboratory personnel in providing services required of the applicant under the Program.

6. Compliance with permitting and mining requirements of this Part for services completed under the Program.

(2) If the State Regulatory Authority finds the applicant eligible, it shall:

(a) Determine the minimum data requirements necessary to meet the provisions of 880-X-8N-.10.

(b) Select the services of one or more qualified laboratories to perform the required work. A copy of the contract or other appropriate work order and the final approved report shall be provided to the applicant.

(3) The State Regulatory Authority shall inform the applicant in writing if assistance is denied and shall state the reasons for denial.

(4) The granting of assistance under this part shall not be a factor in decisions by the Regulatory Authority on the permit application.

Author:

Statutory Authority: Code of Ala. 1975, 9-16-71, 73, 74, 75, 80, 81, 82, 83.

History:

880-X-8N-.10 Data Requirements.

(1) To the extent possible with available funds, the Program Administrator shall select and pay a qualified laboratory to make the determination and statement and provide other services referenced in paragraph (2) of this section for eligible operators who request assistance.

(2) The Program Administrator shall determine the data needed for each applicant or group of applicants. Data collected and the results provided to the Regulatory Authority shall be sufficient to satisfy the requirements for:

(a) The determination of the probable hydrologic consequences of the surface mining and reclamation operation in the proposed permit area and adjacent areas, including the engineering analyses and designs necessary for the determination in accordance with 880-X-8E-.06(1)(f), 880-X-8H-.06(1)(e) and any other applicable provisions of these regulations;

(b) The drilling and statement of the results of test borings or core samplings for the proposed permit area in accordance with 880-X-8E-.06(2)(b) and 880-X-8H-.06(2)(b) and any other applicable provisions of these regulations;

(c) The development of cross-section maps and plans for the information required by 880-X-8F-.08(e), (l), (m) and (o) and 880-X-8F-.20, or 880-X-8I-.07(e), (l), (m) and (o) and 880-X-8I-.20;

(d) The collection of archaeological and historic information and related plans required by 880-X-8E-.05 and 880-X-8H-.05 and 880-X-8F-.14 and 880-X-8I-.14 and any other archaeological and historic information required by the Regulatory Authority;

(e) Pre-blast surveys required by 880-X-10C-.31; and

(f) The collection of site-specific resources information, the production of protection and enhancement plans for fish and wildlife habitats required by 880-X-8E-.11 and 880-X-8F-.18, and information and plans for any other environmental values required by the Regulatory Authority under the act.

(3) Data collection and analysis may proceed concurrently with the development of mining and reclamation plans by the operator.

(4) Data collected under this program shall be made publicly available in accordance with 880-X-8K-.05(4). The Regulatory Authority shall develop procedures for interstate

coordination and exchange of data.

Author: Randall C. Johnson

Statutory Authority: Code of Ala. 1975, 9-16-71, 73, 74, 75, 80, 81, 82, 83.

History: Filed May 20, 1982. Repealed and 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.

880-X-8N-.11 Qualified Laboratories.

(1) General.

(a) As used in this Rule qualified laboratory means designated public agency, private consulting firm, institution, or analytical laboratory which can provide the required determination or statement under this Program.

(b) The State Regulatory Authority shall establish procedures to qualify laboratories.

(c) Persons who desire to be included in the list of qualified laboratories established by the State Regulatory Authority shall apply to the State Regulatory Authority and provide such information as is necessary to establish the qualifications required by Paragraph (2) of this Rule.

(2) Basic Qualifications.

(a) To qualify for designation, the laboratory shall demonstrate that it --

1. Is staffed with experienced, professional personnel in the fields of hydrology, mining engineering, aquatic biology, geology or chemistry applicable to work to be performed.

2. Is capable of collecting necessary field data and samples.

3. Has adequate space for material preparation, necessary cleaning and sterilization equipment, stationary equipment, storage, and space to accommodate periods of peak work loads.

4. Meets the requirements of the Occupational Safety and Health Act or the equivalent State safety and health program.

5. Has the financial capability and business organization necessary to perform the work required.

6. Has the analytical, monitoring, and measuring equipment capable of meeting the applicable standards and methods contained in --

(i) Standard Methods For The Examination Of Water And Waste Water, 14th Edition, 1975. This publication is available from the American Public Health Association, 1015 18th Street, NW, Washington, D. C. 20036.

(ii) Methods For Chemical Analysis Of Water And Waste, 1974. This publication is available from the Office of Technology Transfer, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Industrial Environmental Research Laboratory, Cincinnati, Ohio 45268. These standards are hereby incorporated by reference.

7. Has the capability of making hydrologic field measurements and analytical laboratory determinations by acceptable hydrologic engineering or analytical methods, or by those appropriate methods or guidelines for data acquisition recommended by the State Regulatory Authority or other Federal or State agencies.

(b) The qualified laboratory shall be capable of performing either the determination or statement under Rule 880-X-8N-.10(2)(a) or (2)(b). Subcontractors may be used to provide the services required provided their use is defined in the application for designation and approved by the State Regulatory Authority.

Author:

Statutory Authority: Code of Ala. 1975, 9-16-71, 73, 74, 75, 80, 81, 82, 83.

History:

880-X-8N-.12 Assistance Funding.

(1) Use of funds. Funds authorized for this Program shall not be used to cover State administrative costs or the costs of test boring or core sampling.

(2) Allocation of funds. The Regulatory Authority shall to the extent practicable establish a formula for allocating funds among eligible small operators if available funds are less than those required to provide the services pursuant to this Rule. This formula shall include such factors as the applicant's --

(a) Anticipated date of filing a permit application.

(b) Anticipated date for commencing mining; and

(c) Performance history.

Author:

Statutory Authority: Code of Ala. 1975, 9-16-71, 73, 74, 75, 80, 81, 82, 83.

History:

880-X-8N-.13 Applicant Liability.

(1) The applicant shall reimburse the Regulatory Authority for the cost of the services rendered pursuant to the Rule if the applicant:

(a) Submits false information;

(b) Has his license revoked or surface coal mining permit suspended;

(c) Fails to submit a permit application within 1 year from the date of receipt of the approved laboratory report;

(d) Fails to mine after obtaining a permit; or

(e) If the Program Administrator finds that the applicant's actual and attributed annual production of coal exceeds 300,000 tons during the 12 months immediately following the date on which the operator is issued the surface coal mining and reclamation permit; or

(f) The permit is sold, transferred, or assigned to another person and the transferee's total actual and attributed tonnage exceeds the 300,000 annual production limit during the twelve months immediately following the date on which the permit was originally issued. Under this paragraph, the applicant and its successor, are jointly and severally obligated to reimburse the Regulatory Authority.

(2) The Program Administrator may waive the reimbursement obligation if it finds that the applicant at all times acted in good faith.

Author: Randall C. Johnson

Statutory Authority: Code of Ala. 1975, 9-16-71, 73, 74, 75, 80, 81, 82, 83.

History: Filed May 20, 1982. Amended: 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.