§ 880-X-10I-.05. Steep Slopes: Limited Variances
Persons may be granted variances from the approximate original contour requirements of Rule 880-X-10I-.04(b) for steep slope surface coal mining and reclamation operations, if the following standards are met and a permit incorporating the variance is approved under Rule 880-X-8J-.07:
(a) The highwall shall be completely backfilled with spoil material, in a manner which results in a static factor of safety of at least 1.3 using standard geotechnical analyses.
(b) The watershed control of the area within which the mining occurs shall be improved by reducing the peak flow from precipitation and reducing the total suspended solids or other pollutants in the surface water discharge during precipitation. The total volume of flow during every season of the year shall not vary in a way that adversely affects the ecology of any surface water or any existing or planned public or private use of surface or ground water.
(c) Land above the highwall may be disturbed only to the extent that the State Regulatory Authority deems appropriate and approves as necessary to facilitate compliance with the provisions of this Rule and if the State Regulatory Authority finds that the disturbance is necessary to --
1. Blend the solid highwall and the backfilled material;
2. Control surface runoff; or
3. Provide access to the area above the highwall.
(d) The landowner of the permit area has requested, in writing, as part of the permit application under Rule 880-X-8J-.07 that the variance be granted.
(e) The operations are conducted in full compliance with a permit issued in accordance with Rule 880-X-8J-.07.
(f) Only the amount of spoil as is necessary to achieve the postmining land use, ensure the stability of spoil retained on the bench, and meet all other requirements of the Act and these regulations shall be placed off the mine bench. All spoil not retained on the bench shall be placed in accordance with Rules 880-X-10C-.36 or 880-X-10D-.33 and Rules 880-X-10C-.52, 880-X-10C-.53 or 880-X-10D-.48 - 880-X-10D-.49.
Statutory Authority: Code of Ala. 1975, §§ 9-16-71, 72, 73, 74, 75, 80, 84, 85, 90.
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