30 CFR 817.116 - What requirements apply to standards for determining revegetation success?
(a) The regulatory authority must select standards for revegetation success and statistically valid sampling techniques for measuring revegetation success. The standards and techniques must be made available to the public in written form.
(1) The plant community and vegetation information required under § 783.19 of this chapter.
(2) The soil type and productivity information required under § 783.21 of this chapter.
(4) The postmining land use approved under § 784.24 of this chapter, but only to the extent that the approved postmining land use will be implemented before final bond release under §§ 800.40 through 800.43 of this chapter. Otherwise, the site must be revegetated in a manner that will restore native plant communities and the revegetation success standards for the site must reflect that requirement.
(c) Except for the areas identified in § 817.111(a) of this part, standards for success must include -
(1) Species diversity.
(2) Areal distribution of species.
(5) Stocking, for areas revegetated with woody plants.
(d) The ground cover, production, or stocking of the revegetated area will be considered equal to the approved success standard for those parameters when the measured values are not less than 90 percent of the success standard, using a 90-percent statistical confidence interval (i.e., a one-sided test with a 0.10 alpha error).
(e) For all areas revegetated with woody plants, regardless of the postmining land use), the regulatory authority must specify minimum stocking and planting arrangements on the basis of local and regional conditions and after coordination with and approval by the state agencies responsible for the administration of forestry and wildlife programs. Coordination and approval may occur on either a program-wide basis or a permit-specific basis.
(1) Only those species of trees and shrubs approved in the permit as part of the revegetation plan under § 784.12(g) of this chapter or volunteer trees and shrubs of species that meet the requirements of § 817.111(c) of this part may be counted in determining whether stocking standards have been met.
(i) At the time of final bond release under §§ 800.40 through 800.43 of this chapter, at least 80 percent of the trees and shrubs used to determine success must have been in place for 60 percent of the applicable minimum period of responsibility under § 817.115 of this part.
(ii) Trees and shrubs counted in determining revegetation success must be healthy and have been in place for not less than two growing seasons. Any replanting must be done by means of transplants to allow for proper accounting of plant stocking.
(A) For purposes of paragraph (f)(2)(ii) of this section, volunteer trees and shrubs of species that meet the requirements of § 817.111(c) of this part may be deemed equivalent to planted specimens two years of age or older.
(B) Suckers on shrubby vegetation can be counted as volunteer plants when it is evident the shrub community is vigorous and expanding.
(iv) The requirements of paragraphs (f)(2)(i) and (ii) of this section will be deemed met when records of woody vegetation planted show that -
(A) No woody plants were planted during the last two growing seasons of the responsibility period; and,
(B) If any replanting of woody plants took place earlier during the responsibility period, the total number planted during the last 60 percent of that period is less than 20 percent of the total number of woody plants required to meet the stocking standard.
(3) Vegetative ground cover on areas planted with trees or shrubs must be of a nature that allows for natural establishment and succession of native plants, including trees and shrubs.
(g)Special provision for areas that are developed within the revegetation responsibility period. Portions of the permit area that are developed for industrial, commercial, or residential use within the revegetation responsibility period need not meet production or stocking standards. For those areas, the vegetative ground cover must not be less than that required to control erosion.
(h)Special provision for previously mined areas. Previously mined areas need only meet a vegetative ground cover standard, unless the regulatory authority specifies otherwise. At a minimum, the cover on the revegetated previously mined area must not be less than the ground cover existing before redisturbance and must be adequate to control erosion.
(i)Special provision for prime farmland. For prime farmland historically used for cropland, the revegetation success standard provisions of § 823.15 of this chapter apply in lieu of the requirements of paragraphs (b) through (h) of this section.
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