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