30 CFR 817.102 - How must I backfill surface excavations and grade and configure the land surface?

§ 817.102 How must I backfill surface excavations and grade and configure the land surface?

(a) You, the permittee or operator, must backfill all surface excavations and grade all disturbed areas in compliance with the plan approved in the permit in accordance with § 784.12(d) of this chapter to -

(1) Restore the approximate original contour as the final surface configuration, except in the following situations:

(i) Sites for which the regulatory authority has approved a variance under § 785.16 of this chapter.

(ii) Remining operations on previously mined areas, but only to the extent specified in § 817.106(b) of this part.

(iii) Excess spoil fills constructed in accordance with § 817.71 or § 817.74 of this part.

(iv) Refuse piles constructed in accordance with § 817.83 of this part.

(v) Permanent impoundments that meet the requirements of paragraph (a)(3)(ii) of this section and § 784.35(b)(4) of this chapter.

(vi) The placement, in accordance with § 784.35(b)(3) of this chapter, of what would otherwise be excess spoil on the mined-out area to heights in excess of the premining elevation when necessary to avoid or minimize construction of excess spoil fills on undisturbed land.

(vii) Regrading of settled and revegetated spoil storage sites at the conclusion of underground mining activities, provided the following conditions are met:

(A) The settled and revegetated storage sites are composed of spoil or non-acid-forming or non-toxic-forming underground development waste.

(B) The spoil or underground development waste is not located so as to be detrimental to the environment, the health and safety of the public, or the approved postmining land use.

(C) You demonstrate, through standard geotechnical analysis, that the spoil or underground development waste has a 1.3 static safety factor for material placed on a solid bench and a 1.5 static safety factor for material not placed on a solid bench.

(D) The surface of the spoil or underground development waste is revegetated in accordance with §§ 817.111 and 817.116 of this part.

(E) Surface runoff is controlled in accordance with § 784.29 of this chapter and §§ 817.43 and 817.45 of this part.

(F) The regulatory authority determines that disturbance of the existing spoil or underground development waste would increase environmental harm or adversely affect the health or safety of the public.

(G) The spoil is not needed to eliminate the highwall or to meet other regulatory program requirements.

(2) Minimize the creation of uniform slopes and cut-and-fill terraces. The regulatory authority may approve cut-and-fill terraces only if -

(i) They are compatible with the approved postmining land use and are needed to conserve soil moisture, ensure stability, or control erosion on final-graded slopes; or

(ii) Specialized grading, foundation conditions, or roads are required for the approved postmining land use, in which case the final grading may include a terrace of adequate width to ensure the safety, stability, and erosion control necessary to implement the postmining land use.

(3) Eliminate all highwalls, spoil piles, impoundments, and depressions, except in the following situations:

(i) You may construct or retain small depressions if -

(A) They are needed to retain moisture, minimize erosion, create or enhance wildlife habitat, or assist revegetation;

(B) They are consistent with the hydrologic reclamation plan approved in the permit in accordance with § 784.22 of this chapter; and

(C) You demonstrate that they will not result in elevated levels of parameters of concern in discharges from the backfilled and graded area.

(ii) The regulatory authority may approve the retention of permanent impoundments if -

(A) They meet the requirements of §§ 817.49 and 817.55 of this part;

(B) They are suitable for the approved postmining land use; and

(C) You demonstrate compliance with the future maintenance provisions of § 800.42(c)(5) of this chapter.

(D) You have obtained all necessary approvals and authorizations under section 404 of the Clean Water Act, 33 U.S.C. 1344, when the impoundment is located in waters subject to the jurisdiction of the Clean Water Act, 33 U.S.C. 1251et seq.

(iii) You may retain highwalls on previously mined areas to the extent provided in § 817.106(b) of this part.

(iv) You may retain modified highwall segments to the extent necessary to replace similar natural landforms removed by the mining operation. The regulatory program must establish the conditions under which these highwall segments may be retained and the modifications that must be made to the highwall to ensure that -

(A) The retained segment resembles similar landforms that existed before any mining and restores the ecological niches that those landforms provided. Nothing in this paragraph authorizes the retention of modified highwall segments in excess of the number, length, and height needed to replace similar landforms that existed before any mining.

(B) The retained segment is stable. Features that result in the creation of talus slopes for wildlife habitat are acceptable if they meet the requirements of paragraph (a)(3)(iv)(A) of this section.

(C) The retained segment does not create an increased safety hazard compared to the features that existed before any mining.

(D) The exposure of water-bearing strata, if any, in the retained segment does not adversely impact the hydrologic balance.

(v) You may retain settled and revegetated spoil storage sites under the conditions specified in paragraph (a)(1)(vii) of this section.

(4) Achieve a postmining slope that does not exceed either the angle of repose or such lesser slope as is necessary to achieve a minimum long-term static safety factor of 1.3 and to prevent slides.

(5) Minimize erosion and water pollution, both on and off the site.

(6) Support the approved postmining land use.

(b) You must return all spoil to the surface excavations from which the spoil was removed. This requirement does not apply to -

(1) Excess spoil disposed of in accordance with § 817.71 or § 817.74 of this part.

(2) Spoil placed outside surface excavations in non-steep slope areas to restore the approximate original contour by blending the spoil into the surrounding terrain, provided that you comply with the following requirements:

(i) You must remove all vegetation and other organic matter from the area upon which you intend to place spoil for blending purposes. You may not burn these materials; you must store, redistribute, use, or bury them in the manner specified in § 817.22(f) of this part.

(ii) You must remove, segregate, store, and redistribute topsoil, in accordance with § 817.22 of this part, from the area upon which you intend to place spoil for blending purposes.

(3) Settled and revegetated spoil storage sites under the conditions specified in paragraph (a)(1)(vii) of this section.

(c) You must compact spoil and waste materials when necessary to ensure stability or to prevent the formation of acid or toxic mine drainage, but, to the extent possible, you must avoid compacting spoil, soil, and other materials placed in what will be the root zone of the species planted under the revegetation plan approved in the permit in accordance with § 784.12(g) of this chapter.

(d)

(1) You must cover all exposed coal seams with material that is noncombustible, nonacid-forming, and nontoxic-forming.

(2) You must handle and dispose of all other combustible materials exposed, used, or produced during mining in accordance with § 817.89 of this part in a manner that will prevent sustained combustion, as approved in the permit in accordance with § 784.12(j) of this chapter.

(3) You must handle all other acid-forming and toxic-forming materials -

(i) In compliance with the plan approved in the permit in accordance with § 784.12(n) of this chapter;

(ii) In compliance with § 817.38 of this part;

(iii) In compliance with the hydrologic reclamation plan approved in the permit in accordance with § 784.22(a) of this chapter; and

(iv) In a manner that will minimize adverse effects on plant growth and the approved postmining land use.

(e) You must dispose of any coal mine waste placed in the surface excavation in accordance with §§ 817.81 and 817.83 of this part, except that a long-term static safety factor of 1.3 will apply instead of the 1.5 factor specified in § 817.81(d)(2) of this part.

(f) You must prepare final-graded surfaces in a manner that minimizes erosion and provides a surface for replacement of soil materials that will minimize slippage.

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 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 817 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