Section 880-X-10D-.08 - Topsoil: Removal (Alabama Administrative Code)

§ 880-X-10D-.08. Topsoil: Removal

(1) Timing. Topsoil shall be removed from areas to be affected by surface operations or major structures, after vegetative cover that would interfere with the use of the topsoil is cleared from portions of those areas that will be disturbed, but before any drilling for blasting, mining, or other surface disturbance that would result in compaction, erosion, or contamination.

(2) Materials to be removed. All topsoil shall be removed in a separate layer from the areas to be disturbed, unless use of substitute or supplemental materials is approved by the State Regulatory Authority. If use of substitute or supplemental materials is approved, all materials to be redistributed shall be removed.

(3) Material to be removed in thin topsoil situations. If the topsoil is less than six inches, a six-inch layer that includes the A horizon and the unconsolidated materials immediately below the A horizon or the A horizon and all unconsolidated material if the total available is less than six inches, shall be removed and the mixture segregated and redistributed as the surface soil layer, unless topsoil substitutes are approved by the State Regulatory Authority pursuant to Paragraph (5) of this Rule.

(4) Subsoil segregation. The B horizon and portions of the C horizon or other underlying layers demonstrated to have qualities for comparable root development shall be segregated and replaced as subsoil, if the State Regulatory Authority determines that either of these is necessary to ensure soil productivity consistent with the approved postmining land use.

(5) Topsoil substitutes and supplements.

(a) Selected overburden materials may be substituted for, or used as supplement to, topsoil, if the permittee can demonstrate that the resulting soil medium is equal to or more suitable for sustaining the vegetation than the existing topsoil and the substitute material is the best available in the permit area to support vegetation.

(b) Substituted or supplemented material shall be removed, segregated, and replaced in compliance with the requirements for topsoil under this Rule.

(6) The State Regulatory Authority may choose not to require the removal of topsoil for minor disturbances which --

(a) Occur at the site of small structures, such as power poles, signs, or fence lines; or

(b) Will not destroy the existing vegetation and will not cause erosion.

(7) The State Regulatory Authority may choose not to require the redistribution of topsoil or topsoil substitutes on the approved postmining embankments of permanent impoundments or of roads if it determines that --

(a) Placement of topsoil or topsoil substitutes on such embankments is inconsistent with the requirement to use the best technology currently available to prevent sedimentation, and

(b) Such embankments will be otherwise stabilized.

Author: Randall C. Johnson

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

Statutory Authority: Code of Ala. 1975, §§ 9-16-71, 72, 73, 74, 75, 76, 80, 81, 82, 83, 84, 89, 90, 91, 97.

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