30 CFR 780.35 - What information must I provide concerning the minimization and disposal of excess spoil?

§ 780.35 What information must I provide concerning the minimization and disposal of excess spoil?

(a)Applicability. This section applies to you, the permit applicant, if you propose to generate excess spoil as part of your operation.

(b)Demonstration of minimization of excess spoil.

(1) You must submit a demonstration, with supporting calculations and other documentation, that the operation has been designed to minimize, to the extent possible, the volume of excess spoil that the operation will generate.

(2) The demonstration under paragraph (b)(1) of this section must explain, in quantitative terms, how the maximum amount of overburden will be returned to the mined-out area after considering -

(i) Applicable regulations concerning backfilling, compaction, grading, and restoration of the approximate original contour.

(ii) Safety and stability needs and requirements.

(iii) The need for access and haul roads with their attendant drainage structures and safety berms during mining and reclamation. You may construct roads and their attendant drainage structures and safety berms on the perimeter of the backfilled area as necessary to conduct surface coal mining and reclamation operations, but, when the roads are no longer needed to support heavy equipment traffic, you must reduce the total width of roads and their attendant drainage structures and berms to be retained as part of the postmining land use to no more than 20 feet unless you demonstrate an essential need for a greater width for the postmining land use.

(iv) Needs and requirements associated with revegetation and the proposed postmining land use.

(v) Any other relevant regulatory requirements, including those pertaining to protection of water quality and fish, wildlife, and related environmental values.

(3) When necessary to avoid or minimize construction of excess spoil fills on undisturbed land, paragraph (b)(2)(i) of this section does not prohibit the placement of what would otherwise be excess spoil on the mined-out area to heights in excess of the premining elevation, provided that the final surface configuration is compatible with the surrounding terrain and generally resembles landforms found in the surrounding area.

(4) You may not create a permanent impoundment under § 816.49(b) of this chapter or place coal combustion residues or noncoal materials in the mine excavation if doing so would result in the creation of excess spoil.

(c)Preferential use of preexisting benches for excess spoil disposal. To the extent that your proposed operation will generate excess spoil, you must maximize the placement of excess spoil on preexisting benches in the vicinity of the proposed permit area in accordance with § 816.74 of this chapter rather than constructing excess spoil fills on previously undisturbed land.

(d)Fill capacity demonstration. You must submit a demonstration, with supporting calculations and other documentation, that the designed maximum cumulative volume of all proposed excess spoil fills within the permit area is no larger than the capacity needed to accommodate the anticipated cumulative volume of excess spoil that the operation will generate, as calculated under paragraph (b) of this section.

(e)Requirements related to perennial and intermittent streams. You must comply with the requirements of § 780.28 of this part concerning activities in or near perennial or intermittent streams if you propose to construct an excess spoil fill in or within 100 feet of a perennial or intermittent stream. The 100-foot distance must be measured horizontally on a line perpendicular to the stream, beginning at the ordinary high water mark.

(f)Location and profile.

(1) You must submit maps and cross-section drawings or models showing the location and profile of all proposed excess spoil fills.

(2) You must locate fills on the most moderately sloping and naturally stable areas available. The regulatory authority will determine which areas are available, based upon the requirements of the Act and this chapter.

(3) Whenever possible, you must place fills on or above a natural terrace, bench, or berm if that location would provide additional stability and prevent mass movement.

(g)Design plans. You must submit detailed design plans, including appropriate maps and cross-section drawings, for each proposed fill, prepared in accordance with the requirements of this section and §§ 816.71 through 816.74 of this chapter. You must design the fill and appurtenant structures using current prudent engineering practices and any additional design criteria established by the regulatory authority.

(h)Geotechnical investigation. You must submit the results of a geotechnical investigation, with supporting calculations and analyses, of the site of each proposed fill, with the exception of those sites at which excess spoil will be placed only on a preexisting bench under § 816.74 of this chapter. The information submitted must include -

(1) Sufficient foundation investigations, as well as any necessary laboratory testing of foundation material, to determine the design requirements for foundation stability for each site.

(2) A description of the character of the bedrock and any adverse geologic conditions in the area of the proposed fill.

(3) The geographic coordinates and a narrative description of all springs, seepage, mine discharges, and groundwater flow observed or anticipated during wet periods in the area of the proposed fill.

(4) An analysis of the potential effects of any underground mine workings within the proposed permit and adjacent areas, including the effects of any subsidence that may occur as a result of previous, existing, and future underground mining operations.

(5) A technical description of the rock materials to be used in the construction of fills underlain by a rock drainage blanket.

(6) Stability analyses that address static and seismic conditions. The analyses must include, but are not limited to, strength parameters, pore pressures and long-term seepage conditions. The analyses must be accompanied by a description of all engineering design assumptions and calculations and the alternatives considered in selecting the specific design specifications and methods.

(i)Operation and reclamation plans. You must submit plans for the construction, operation, maintenance, and reclamation of all excess spoil fills in accordance with the requirements of §§ 816.71 through 816.74 of this chapter.

(j)Additional requirements for bench cuts or rock-toe buttresses. If bench cuts or rock-toe buttresses are required under § 816.71(b)(2) of this chapter, you must provide the -

(1) Number, location, and depth of borings or test pits, which must be determined according to the size of the fill and subsurface conditions.

(2) Engineering specifications used to design the bench cuts or rock-toe buttresses. Those specifications must be based upon the stability analyses required under paragraph (h)(6) of this section.

(k)Design certification. A qualified registered professional engineer experienced in the design of earth and rock fills must certify that the design of each proposed fill and appurtenant structures meets the requirements of this section.

This is a list of United States Code sections, Statutes at Large, Public Laws, and Presidential Documents, which provide rulemaking authority for this CFR Part.

This list is taken from the Parallel Table of Authorities and Rules provided by GPO [Government Printing Office].

It is not guaranteed to be accurate or up-to-date, though we do refresh the database weekly. More limitations on accuracy are described at the GPO site.


United States Code
U.S. Code: Title 16 - CONSERVATION
U.S. Code: Title 30 - MINERAL LANDS AND MINING

Title 30 published on 2015-10-21

The following are ALL rules, proposed rules, and notices (chronologically) published in the Federal Register relating to 30 CFR Part 780 after this date.

  • 2016-12-20; vol. 81 # 244 - Tuesday, December 20, 2016
    1. 81 FR 93066 - Stream Protection Rule
      GPO FDSys XML | Text
      DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement
      Final rule.
      This rule is effective January 19, 2017.
      30 CFR Parts 700, 701, 773, 774, 777, 779, 780, 783, 784, 785, 800, 816, 817, 824, and 827