§ 880-X-10B-.06. Performance Standards For Coal Exploration
(a) Habitats of unique or unusually high value for fish, wildlife and other related environmental values and critical habitats of threatened or endangered species identified pursuant to the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) shall not be disturbed during coal exploration.
(b) All roads or other transportation facilities used for coal exploration shall comply with the applicable provisions of the ASMC Rules 880-X-10C-.67 through 10C-.72.
(c) If excavations, artificial flat areas, or embankments are created during exploration, these areas shall be returned to the approximate original contour promptly after such features are no longer needed for coal exploration.
(d) Topsoil shall be separately removed, stored, and redistributed on areas disturbed by coal exploration activities as necessary to assure successful revegetation or as required by the ASMC.
(e) Revegetation of areas disturbed by coal exploration shall be performed by the person who conducts the exploration, or his or her agent. If more than 250 tons of coal are removed from the exploration area, or if more than one-half acre is disturbed, all revegetation shall be in compliance with the plan approved by the State Regulatory Authority and carried out in a manner that encourages prompt vegetative cover and recovery of productivity levels compatible with approved post-exploration land use and in accordance with Rules 880-X-10C-.58 - 880-X-10C-.63.
(f) Diversions of overland flows and ephemeral, intermittent, or perennial streams shall be made in accordance with 880-X-10C-.14 or 880-X-10D-.14 of these Rules.
(g) Each exploration hole, borehole, well, or other exposed underground opening created during exploration must meet the requirements of Rules 880-X-10C-.04, 880-X-10C-.05 and 880-X-10C-.06.
(h) All facilities and equipment shall be removed from the exploration area promptly when they are no longer needed for exploration, except for those facilities and equipment that the State Regulatory Authority determines may remain to --
1. Provide additional environmental data;
2. Reduce or control the on and off site effects of the exploration activities; or
3. Facilitate future surface mining and reclamation operations by the person conducting the exploration, under an approved permit.
(i) Coal exploration shall be conducted in a manner which minimizes disturbance of the prevailing hydrologic balance, and shall include sediment control measures such as those listed in Rule 880-X-10C-.16 or sedimentation ponds which comply with Rule 880-X-10C-.17. The State Regulatory Authority may specify additional measures which shall be adopted by the person engaged in coal exploration.
(j) Toxic- or acid-forming materials shall be handled and disposed of in accordance with Rules 880-X-10C-.19 and 880-X-10C-.54. If specified by the State Regulatory Authority, additional measures shall be adopted by the person engaged in coal exploration.
Author: Randall C. Johnson(May 20, 1982; Amended: November 14, 1989; effective: March 7, 1991; Amended: September 18, 1990; effective: August 2, 1991.)
Statutory Authority: Code of Ala. 1975, § 9-16-87.
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