30 CFR § 715.200 - Interpretative rules related to general performance standards.
The following interpretations of rules promulgated in part 715 of this chapter have been adopted by the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement.
(c) Interpretation of § 715.16(a)(4) - Topsoil Removal.
(1) Results of physical and chemical analyses of topsoil and selected overburden materials to demonstrate that the selected overburden materials or overburden materials/topsoil mixture is more suitable for restoring land capability and productivity than the available topsoil, provided the analyses, trials, or tests are certified by a qualified soil scientist or agronomist, may be obtained from any one or a combination of the following sources:
(i) U.S. Department of Agriculture Soil Conservation Service published data based on established soil series;
(ii) U.S. Department of Agriculture Soil Conservation Service Technical Guides;
(iii) State agricultural agency, university, Tennessee Valley Authority, Bureau of Land Management or U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service published data based on soil series properties and behavior; or
(iv) Results of physical and chemical analyses, field site trials, or greenhouse tests of the topsoil and overburden materials (soil series) from the permit area.
(2) If the operator demonstrates through soil survey or other data that the topsoil and unconsolidated material are insufficient and substitute materials will be used, only the substitute materials must be analyzed in accordance with 30 CFR 715.16(a)(4)(i).