Utah Administrative Code

The Utah Administrative Code is the body of all effective administrative rules as compiled and organized by the Division of Administrative Rules (see Subsection 63G-3-102(5); see also Sections 63G-3-701 and 702).

NOTE: For a list of rules that have been made effective since October 1, 2019, please see the codification segue page.

NOTE TO RULEFILING AGENCIES: Use the RTF version for submitting rule changes.


R645. Natural Resources; Oil, Gas and Mining; Coal.

Rule R645-300. Coal Mine Permitting: Administrative Procedures.

As in effect on October 1, 2019

Table of Contents

R645-300-100. Review, Public Participation, and Approval or Disapproval of Permit Applications and Permit Terms and Conditions.

The rules in R645-300-100 present the procedures to carry out the entitled activities.

110. Introduction.

111. Objectives. The objectives of R645-300-100 are to:

111.100. Provide for broad and effective public participation in the review of applications and the issuance or denial of permits;

111.200. Ensure prompt and effective review of each permit application by the Division; and

111.300. Provide the requirements for the terms and conditions of permits issued and the criteria for approval or denial of a permit.

112. Responsibilities.

112.100. The Division has the responsibility to approve or disapprove permits under the approved State Program.

112.200. The Division and persons applying for permits under the State Program will involve the public throughout the permit process of the State Program.

112.300. The Division will assure implementation of the requirements of R645-300 under the State Program.

112.400. All persons who engage in and carry out any coal mining and reclamation operations will first obtain a permit from the Division. The applicant will provide all information in an administratively complete application for review by the Division in accordance with R645-300 and the State Program.

112.500. Any permittee seeking to renew a permit for coal mining and reclamation operations solely for the purpose of reclamation and not for the further extraction, processing, or handling of the coal resource will follow the procedures set forth in R645-303-232.500.

113. Coordination with requirements under other laws. The Division will provide for the coordination of review and issuance of permits for coal mining and reclamation operations with applicable requirements of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.); the Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act, as amended (16 U.S.C. 661 et seq.); the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918, as amended (16 U.S.C. 703 et seq.); The National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, as amended (16 U.S.C. 470 et seq.); the Bald Eagle Protection Act, as amended 16 U.S.C. 668a); and where federal and Indian lands covered by that Act are involved, the Archeological and Historic Preservation Act of 1974 (16 U.S.C. 469 et seq.); and the Archaeological Resources Protection Act of 1979 (16 U.S.C. 470aa et seq.).

120. Public Participation in Permit Processing.

121. Filing and Public Notice.

121.100. Upon submission of an administratively complete application, an applicant for a permit, significant revision of a permit under R645-303-220 or renewal of a permit under R645-303-230 will place an advertisement in a local newspaper of general circulation in the locality of the proposed coal mining and reclamation operation at least once a week for four consecutive weeks. A copy of the advertisement as it will appear in the newspaper will be submitted to the Division. The advertisement will contain, at a minimum, the following:

121.110. The name and business address of the applicant;

121.120. A map or description which clearly shows or describes the precise location and boundaries of the proposed permit area and is sufficient to enable local residents to readily identify the proposed permit area. It may include towns, bodies of water, local landmarks, and any other information which would identify the location. If a map is used, it will indicate the north direction;

121.130. The location where a copy of the application is available for public inspection;

121.140. The name and address of the Division, where written comments, objections, or requests for informal conferences on the application may be submitted under R645-300-122 and R645-300-123;

121.150. If an applicant seeks a permit to mine within 100 feet of the outside right-of-way of a public road or to relocate or close a public road, except where public notice and hearing have previously been provided for this particular part of the road in accordance with R645-103-234; a concise statement describing the public road, the particular part to be relocated or closed, and the approximate timing and duration of the relocation or closing; and

121.160. If the application includes a request for an experimental practice under R645-302-210, a statement indicating that an experimental practice is requested and identifying the regulatory provisions for which a variance is requested.

121.200. The applicant will make an application for a permit, significant revision under R645-303-220, or renewal of a permit under R645-303-230 available for the public to inspect and copy by filing a full copy of the application with the recorder at the courthouse of the county where the coal mining and reclamation operation is proposed to occur, or an accessible public office approved by the Division. This copy of the application need not include confidential information exempt from disclosure under R645-300-124. The application required by R645-300-121 will be filed by the first date of newspaper advertisement of the application. The applicant will file any changes to the application with the public office at the same time the change is submitted to the Division.

121.300. Upon receipt of an administratively complete application for a permit, a significant revision to a permit under R645-303-220, or a renewal of a permit under R645-303-230, the Division will issue written notification indicating the applicant's intention to conduct coal mining and reclamation operations within the described tract of land, the application number or other identifier, the location where the copy of the application may be inspected, and the location where comments on the application may be submitted. The notification will be sent to:

121.310. Local governmental agencies with jurisdiction over or an interest in the area of the proposed coal mining and reclamation operation, including but not limited to planning agencies, sewage and water treatment authorities, water companies; and

121.320. All federal or state governmental agencies with authority to issue permits and licenses applicable to the proposed coal mining and reclamation operation and which are part of the permit coordinating process developed in accordance with the State Program, Section 503(a)(6) or Section 504(h) of P.L. 95-87, or 30 CFR 733.12; or those agencies with an interest in the proposed coal mining and reclamation operation, including the U.S. Department of Agriculture Soil Conservation Service district office, the local U.S. Army Corps of Engineers district engineer, the National Park Service, state and federal fish and wildlife agencies, and Utah State Historic Preservation Officer.

122. Comments and Objections on Permit Application.

122.100. Within 30 days of the last newspaper publication, written comments or objections to an application for a permit, significant revision to a permit under R645-303-220, or renewal of a permit under R645-303-230 may be submitted to the Division by public entities notified under R645-300-121.300 with respect to the effects of the proposed coal mining and reclamation operation on the environment within their areas of responsibility.

122.200. Written objections to an application for a permit, significant revision to a permit under R645-303-220, or renewal of a permit under R645-303-230 may be submitted to the Division by any person having an interest which is or may be adversely affected by the decision on the application, or by an officer or head of any federal, state, or local government agency or authority, within 30 days after the last publication of the newspaper notice required by R645-300-121.

122.300. The Division will upon receipt of such written comments or objections:

122.310. Transmit a copy of the comments or objections to the applicants; and

122.320. File a copy for public inspection at the Division.

123. Informal Conferences.

123.100. Any person having an interest which is or may be adversely affected by the decision on the application, or an office or a head of a federal, state, or local government agency, may request in writing that the Division hold an informal conference on the application for a permit, significant revision to a permit under R645-303-220, or renewal of a permit under R645-303-230. The request will:

123.110. Briefly summarize the issues to be raised by the requestor at the conference;

123.120. State whether the requestor desires to have the conference conducted in the locality of the proposed coal mining and reclamation operation; and

123.130. Be filed with the Division no later than 30 days after the last publication of the newspaper advertisement required under R645-300-121.

123.200. Except as provided in R645-300-123.300, if an informal conference is requested in accordance with R645-300-123.100, the Division will hold an informal conference within 30 days following the receipt of the request. The informal conference will be conducted as follows:

123.210. If requested under R645-300-123.120, it will be held in the locality of the proposed coal mining and reclamation operation.

123.220. The date, time, and location of the informal conference will be sent to the applicant and other parties to the conference and advertised by the Division in a newspaper of general circulation in the locality of the proposed coal mining and reclamation operation at least two weeks before the scheduled conference.

123.230. If requested in writing by a conference requestor at a reasonable time before the conference, the Division may arrange with the applicant to grant parties to the conference access to the proposed permit area and, to the extent that the applicant has the right to grant access to it, to the adjacent area prior to the established date of the conference for the purpose of gathering information relevant to the conference.

123.240. The requirements of the Procedural Rules of the Board of Oil, Gas and Mining (R641 Rules) will apply to the conduct of the informal conference. The conference will be conducted by a representative of the Division, who may accept oral or written statements and any other relevant information from any party to the conference. An electronic or stenographic record will be made of the conference, unless waived by all the parties. The record will be maintained and will be accessible to the parties of the conference until final release of the applicant's performance bond or other equivalent guarantee pursuant to R645-301-800.

123.300. If all parties requesting the informal conference withdrew their request before the conference is held, the informal conference may be canceled.

123.400. An informal conference held in accordance with R645-300-123 may be used by the Division as the public hearing required under R645-103-234 on proposed relocation or closing of public roads.

124. Public Availability of Permit Applications.

124.100. General Availability. Except as provided in R645-300-124.200 and R645-300-124.300, all applications for permits; permit changes; permit renewals; and transfers, assignments or sales of permit rights on file with the Division will be made available, at reasonable times, for public inspection and copying.

124.200. Limited Availability. Except as provided in R645-300-124.310, information pertaining to coal seams, test borings, core samplings, or soil samples in an application will be made available to any person with an interest which is or may be adversely affected. Information subject to R645-300-124 will be made available to the public when such information is required to be on public file pursuant to Utah law.

124.300. Confidentiality. The Division will provide procedures, including notice and opportunity to be heard for persons both seeking and opposing disclosure, to ensure confidentiality of qualified confidential information, which will be clearly identified by the applicant and submitted separately from the remainder of the application. Confidential information is limited to:

124.310. Information that pertains only to the analysis of the chemical and physical properties of the coal to be mined, except information on components of such coal which are potentially toxic in the environment.

124.320. Information required under section 40-10-10 of the Act that is authorized by that section to be held confidential and is not on public file pursuant to Utah law and that the applicant has requested in writing to be held confidential; and

124.330. Information on the nature and location of archeological resources on public land and Indian land as required under the Archeological Resources Protection Act of 1979 (P. L. 96-95, 93 Stat. 721, 16 U.S.C. 470).

130. Review of Permit Application.

131. General.

131.100. The Division will review the application for a permit, permit change, or permit renewal; written comments and objections submitted; and records of any informal conference or hearing held on the application and issue a written decision, within a reasonable time set by the Division, either granting, requiring modification of, or denying the application. If an informal conference is held under R645-300-123 the decision will be made within 60 days of the close of the conference, unless a later time is necessary to provide an opportunity for a hearing under R645-300-210.

131.110. Application review will not exceed the following time periods:

131.111. Permit change applications.

131.111.1. Significant revision - 120 days.

131.111.2. Amendments - 60 days.

131.112. Permit renewal - 120 days.

131.113. New underground mine applications - One year.

131.114. New surface mine applications - One year.

131.120. Time will be counted as cumulative days of Division review and will not include operator response time or time delays attributed to informal or formal conferences or Board hearings.

131.200. The applicant for a permit or permit change will have the burden of establishing that their application is in compliance with all the requirements of the State Program.

131.300. If, after review of the application for a permit, permit change, or permit renewal, additional information is required, the Division will issue a written finding providing justification as to why the additional information is necessary to satisfy the requirements of the R645 Rules and issue a written decision requiring the submission of the information.

132. Review of Compliance and Entry of Information into the AVS. Based upon an administratively complete application, the Division will undertake the reviews required by R645-300-132 before making a permit eligibility determination. The Division will enter into AVS the information included in the application required by R645-301-112 and the forfeitures, unabated or uncorrected violations, cessation orders or civil penalties listed as required by R645-301-113. The Division must update the AVS with the information required and provided under R645-301-112 and R645-301-113 upon verification of any additional information submitted or discovered during the permit application process.

132.100. The Division will review information provided in accordance with R645-301-112.340 through R645-301-112.420 and R645-301-113 on violations and permit history, state and federal failure-to-abate cessation orders, unabated federal and state imminent harm cessation orders, delinquent civil penalties issued under Section 518 of the Federal Act, SMCRA-derived laws of other states, and Section 40-10-20 of the Act, bond forfeitures where violations on which the forfeitures are based have not been corrected, delinquent abandoned mine reclamation fees, and unabated violations of the Act, derivative laws of other states and federal air and water protection laws, rules and regulations incurred at any coal mining and reclamation operations connected with the applicant, the operator, the operations the applicant owns or controls, and the operations the operator owns or controls.

132.100.1. In addition, the Division will review ownership information provided under R645-301-112 and any other information available to review the applicant's and applicant's operator's organizational structure and ownership or control relationships; and the Division will request a narrative report from the AVS.

132.100.2. The Division will determine if the applicant or operator have previous mining experience, and if none, the Division may conduct a review under R645-300-185.300 or authorize the AVS office to review to determine if someone else with mining experience controls the mining operation.

132.100.3. Based upon the violations, permit history, ownership reviews and the AVS report, the Division will then make a finding that neither the applicant, the operator, operations the applicant owns or controls or operations the operator owns or controls, are facing permanent permit ineligibility under R645-300-183 or currently in violation of any law, rule, or regulation referred to in R645-300-132. If such a finding cannot be made, the Division will require the applicant, before issuance of the permit, to either:

132.110. Submit to the Division proof that the current violation has been or is in the process of being corrected to the satisfaction of the agency that has jurisdiction over the violation; or

132.120. Establish for the Division that the applicant or operator, or any person owned by the applicant or operator, has filed and is presently pursuing, in good faith, a direct administrative or judicial appeal to contest the validity of the current violation. If the initial judicial review authority under R645-300-220 either denies a stay applied for in the appeal or affirms the violation, then the applicant will within 30 days submit the proof required under R645-300-132.110; or

132.121. The applicant or operator is pursuing a good faith challenge to all pertinent ownership or control listings or findings under R645-300-132.150 or an administrative or judicial appeal of all pertinent ownership or control listings or findings, unless there is an initial judicial decision affirming the listing or finding and that decision remains in force.

132.150. AVS ownership and control information may be challenged by the owner or controller of an entire coal mining and reclamation operation, or any portion or aspect thereof or by an applicant or permittee affected by an ownership or control listing or finding.

132.150.1. To challenge an ownership or control listing or finding, a person must submit a written explanation of the basis for the challenge, along with any evidence or explanatory materials in accordance with R645-300-132.150.7 to the regulatory authority, as identified in the following statement. If the challenge concerns a pending state or federal permit application, then the person must submit written explanation to the regulatory authority with the jurisdiction over the application. If the person is not currently seeking a permit, then the written explanation must be submitted to the regulatory authority with jurisdiction over the coal mining and reclamation operation.

132.150.2. The provisions of this subsection and of R645-300-132.150.7 through R645-300-132.150.9 apply only to challenges to ownership or control listings or findings. A person may not use these provisions to challenge liability or responsibility under any other provision of the Act or its implementing rules.

132.150.3. When the challenge concerns a violation under the jurisdiction of a different regulatory authority, the regulatory authority with jurisdiction over the permit application or permit must consult the regulatory authority with jurisdiction over the violation and the AVS Office to obtain additional information.

132.150.4. A regulatory authority responsible for deciding a challenge under R645-300-132.150.1 may request an investigation by the AVS Office.

132.150.5. At any time a person listed in AVS as an owner or controller of a coal mining and reclamation operation may request an informal explanation from the AVS Office as to the reason they are shown in AVS in an ownership or control capacity. The AVS Office will provide a response within 14 days, describing why the person is listed in AVS.

132.150.6. A challenge to the listing of ownership or control, or a finding of ownership or control made under R645-300-185.300 through R645-300-185.700 must prove by a preponderance of the evidence that the person does not own or control the entire operation or relevant portion or aspect thereof, or did not own or control the entire operation or relevant portion or aspect thereof during the relevant time period.

132.150.7. In meeting the burden of proof, the person must present reliable, credible, and substantial evidence and any explanatory materials to the regulatory authority, such as, but not limited to: notarized affidavits containing specific facts concerning the duties performed for an operation, the beginning and ending dates of ownership and control of the operation, and the nature and details of any transaction creating or severing the person's ownership or control of the operation; certified copies of corporate minutes, stock ledgers, contracts, purchase and sale agreements, leases, correspondence, or other relevant company records; certified copies of documents filed with or issued by any state, municipal, or federal governmental agency. The materials presented in connection with the challenge will become part of the permit file, an investigation file, or another public file. If requested, the Division will hold as confidential any information submitted under this paragraph which is not required to be made available to the public under R645-100-700 and R645-300-124.

132.150.8. The Division will review and investigate the evidence and explanatory materials submitted under R645-300-132.150.1 within 60 days of receipt, along with any other reasonably available information bearing on the challenge, and issue a written decision to the person presenting the challenge. The decision must state whether the person owns or controls the relevant coal mining and reclamation operation, or owned or controlled the operation, during the relevant time period.

132.150.9. The Division will provide the person with a copy of the decision by either certified mail, return receipt requested, or any means consistent with the rules governing service of a summons and complaint under R641. Service of the decision is complete upon delivery and is not incomplete if you refuse to accept delivery. The Division will post all decisions made under this subsection on AVS.

132.150.10. Any person who receives a written decision under R645-300-132.150.9, and who wishes to appeal that decision, must exhaust administrative remedies under the procedures at R645-300-210, before seeking judicial review.

132.150.11. Following the Division's decision or any decision by a reviewing administrative or judicial tribunal, the Division must review the information in AVS to determine if it is consistent with the decision. If it is not, the Division must promptly revise the information in AVS to reflect the decision.

132.200. Any permit that is issued on the basis of proof submitted under R645-300-132.110 or pending the outcome of an appeal described in R645-300-132.120 will be provisionally issued.

132.300. If the Division makes a finding that the applicant, or anyone who owns or controls the applicant, or the operator specified in the application, controls or has controlled coal mining and reclamation operations with a demonstrated pattern of willful violations of the Act of such nature and duration and with such resulting irreparable damage to the environment as to indicate an intent not to comply with the Act, the application will not be granted. Before such a finding becomes final, the applicant or operator will be afforded an opportunity for an adjudicatory hearing on the determination as provided for in R645-300-210.

132.400. Permit Eligibility Determination. Based on the reviews required under R645-301-132.100, the Division will determine whether the applicant is eligible for a permit under Subsection 40-10-11(3)(c) of the Act.

132.410. Except as provided in R645-300-132.500 and R645-300-132.200, the applicant is not eligible for a permit if the Division finds any coal mining and reclamation operation that:

132.410.1. The applicant directly owns or controls has an unabated or uncorrected violation; or

132.410.2. The applicant or the applicant's operator indirectly control has an unabated or uncorrected violation and the applicant's or the applicant's operator's control was established or the violation was cited after November 2, 1988.

132.420. The Division will not issue a permit if the applicant or the applicant's operator are permanently ineligible to receive a permit under R645-300-183.

132.430. After the Division approves a permit under R645-300-133, the Division will not issue the permit until the applicant complies with the information update and certification requirement of R645-301-112.900. After the applicant completes the requirements of R645-301-112.900, the Division will again request a compliance history report from AVS to determine if there are any unabated or uncorrected violations which affect the applicant's permit eligibility under R645-301-132.410 and R645-301-132.420. The Division will request this report no more than five business days before permit issuance under R645-300-150.

132.440. If the applicant is ineligible for a permit under R645-300-132.400, the Division will send the applicant written notification of the decision. The notice will explain why the applicant is ineligible and include notice of the applicant's appeal rights under R645-300-200.

132.500. Unanticipated events or conditions at remining sites.

132.510. The applicant is eligible for a permit under R645-300-132.400 if an unabated violation:

132.510.1. Occurred after October 24, 1992; and

132.510.2. Resulted from an unanticipated event or condition at a coal mining and reclamation operation on lands that are eligible for remining under a permit that was held by the person applying for the new permit.

132.520. For permits issued under R645-302-240, an event or condition is presumed to be unanticipated for the purpose of R645-300-132.500 if it:

132.520.1. Arose after permit issuance;

132.520.2. Was related to prior mining; and

132.520.3. Was not identified in the permit application.

133. Written Findings for Permit Application Approval. No permit application or application for a significant revision of a permit will be approved unless the application affirmatively demonstrates and the Division finds, in writing, on the basis of information set forth in the application or from information otherwise available that is documented in the approval, the following:

133.100. The application is complete and accurate and the applicant has complied with all the requirements of the Federal Act and the State Program;

133.200. The proposed permit area is:

133.210. Not within an area under study or administrative proceedings under a petition, filed pursuant to R645-103-400 or 30 CFR 769, to have an area designated as unsuitable for coal mining and reclamation operations, unless the applicant demonstrates that before January 4, 1977, substantial legal and financial commitments were made in relation to the operation covered by the permit application; or

133.220. Not within an area designated as unsuitable for coal mining and reclamation operations pursuant to R645-103-300 and R645-103-400 or 30 CFR 769 or within an area subject to the prohibitions of R645-103-224;

133.300. For coal mining and reclamation operations where the private mineral estate to be mined has been severed from the private surface estate, the applicant has submitted to the Division the documentation required under R645-301-114.200;

133.400. The Division has made an assessment of the probable cumulative impacts of all anticipated coal mining and reclamation operations on the hydrologic balance in the cumulative impact area and has determined that the proposed operation has been designed to prevent material damage to the hydrologic balance outside the permit area;

133.500. The operation would not affect the continued existence of endangered or threatened species or result in destruction or adverse modification of their critical habitats, as determined under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 1531 et.seq.);

133.600. The Division has taken into account the effect of the proposed permitting action on properties listed on and eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places. This finding may be supported in part by inclusion of appropriate permit conditions or changes in the operation plan protecting historic resources, or a documented decision that the Division has determined that no additional protection measures are necessary; and

133.700. The applicant has:

133.710. Demonstrated that reclamation as required by the Federal Act and the State Program can be accomplished under the reclamation plan contained in the permit application.

133.720. Demonstrated that any existing structure will comply with the applicable performance standards of R645-301 and R645-302.

133.730. Paid all reclamation fees from previous and existing coal mining and reclamation operations as required by 30 CFR Part 870.

133.740. Satisfied the applicable requirements of R645-302.

133.750. If applicable, satisfied the requirements for approval of a long-term, intensive agricultural postmining land use, in accordance with the requirements of R645-301-353.400.

133.800. For a proposed remining operation where the applicant intends to reclaim in accordance with the requirements of R645-301-553.500, the site of the operation is a previously mined area as defined in R645-100-200.

133.900. For permits to be issued for proposed remining operations as defined in R645-100-200 and reclaimed in accordance with R645-301-553, the permit application must contain the following information:

133.910. Lands eligible for remining;

133.920. An identification of the potential environmental and safety problems related to prior mining activity which could reasonably be anticipated to occur at the site; and

133.930. Mitigation plans to sufficiently address these potential environmental and safety problems so that reclamation as required by the applicable requirements of the State Program can be accomplished.

133.1000. The applicant is eligible to receive a permit, based on the reviews under R645-300-131 and R645-300-132.

134. Performance Bond Submittal. If the Division decides to approve the application, it will require that the applicant file the performance bond or provide other equivalent guarantee before the permit is issued, in accordance with the provisions of R645-301-800.

140. Permit Conditions. Each permit issued by the Division will be subject to the following conditions:

141. The permittee will conduct coal mining and reclamation operations only on those lands that are specifically designated as the permit area on the maps submitted with the application and authorized for the term of the permit and that are subject to the performance bond or other equivalent guarantee in effect pursuant to R645-301-800.

142. The permittee will conduct all coal mining and reclamation operations only as described in the approved application, except to the extent that the Division otherwise directs in the permit.

143. The permittee will comply with the terms and conditions of the permit, all applicable performance standards and requirements of the State Program.

144. Without advance notice, delay, or a search warrant, upon presentation of appropriate credentials, the permittee will allow the authorized representatives of the Division to:

144.100. Have the right of entry provided for in R645-400-110 and R645-400-220.

144.200. Be accompanied by private persons for the purpose of conducting an inspection in accordance with R645-400-100 and R645-400-200 when the inspection is in response to an alleged violation reported to the Division by the private person.

145. The permittee will take all possible steps to minimize any adverse impact to the environment or public health and safety resulting from noncompliance with any term or condition of the permit, including, but not limited to:

145.100. Any accelerated or additional monitoring necessary to determine the nature and extent of noncompliance and the results of the noncompliance;

145.200. Immediate implementation of measures necessary to comply; and

145.300. Warning, as soon as possible after learning of such noncompliance, any person whose health and safety is in imminent danger due to the noncompliance.

146. As applicable, the permittee will comply with R645-301 and R645-302 for compliance, modification, or abandonment of existing structures.

147. The operator will pay all reclamation fees required by 30 CFR Part 870 for coal produced under the permit, for sale, transfer or use.

148. Within 30 days after a cessation order is issued under R645-400-310, except where a stay of the cessation order is granted and remains in effect, the permittee will either submit the following information current to when the order was issued or inform the Division in writing that there has been no change since the immediately preceding submittal of such information:

148.100. Within 60 days of any addition, departure, or change in position of any person identified in R645-301-112.300, the applicant must provide the information required under R645-301-112.310 through R645-301-112.330 and the date of any departure.

148.200. If not previously submitted, the information required from a permit applicant by R645-301-112.300.

150. Permit Issuance and Right of Renewal.

151. Decision. If the application is approved, the permit will be issued upon submittal of a performance bond in accordance with R645-301-800. If the application is disapproved, specific reasons therefore will be set forth in the notification required by R645-300-152.

152. Notification. The Division will issue written notification of the decision to the following persons and entities:

152.100. The applicant, each person who files comments or objections to the permit application, and each party to an informal conference;

152.200. The local governmental officials in the local political subdivision in which the land to be affected is located within 10 days after the issuance of a permit, including a description of the location of the land; and

152.300. The Office.

153. Permit Term. Each permit will be issued for a fixed term of five years or less, unless the requirements of R645-301-116 are met.

154. Right of Renewal. Permit application approval will apply to those lands that are specifically designated as the permit area on the maps submitted with the application and for which the application is complete and accurate. Any valid permit issued in accordance with R645-300-151 will carry with it the right of successive renewal, within the approved boundaries of the existing permit, upon expiration of the term of the permit, in accordance with R645-303-230.

155. Initiation of Operations.

155.100. A permit will terminate if the permittee has not begun the coal mining and reclamation operation covered by the permit within three years of the issuance of the permit.

155.200. The Division may grant a reasonable extension of time for commencement of these operations, upon receipt of a written statement showing that such an extension of time is necessary, if:

155.210. Litigation precludes the commencement or threatens substantial economic loss to the permittee; or

155.220. There are conditions beyond the control and without the fault or negligence of the permittee.

155.300. With respect to coal to be mined for use in a synthetic fuel facility or specified major electric generating facility, the permittee will be deemed to have commenced coal mining and reclamation operations at the time that the construction of the synthetic fuel or generating facility is initiated.

155.400. Extensions of time granted by the Division under R645-300-155 will be specifically set forth in the permit, and notice of the extension will be made public by the Division.

160. Improvidently Issued Permits: Review Procedures.

161. Permit review. When the Division has reason to believe that it improvidently issued a coal mining and reclamation permit it will review the circumstances under which the permit was issued, and make a preliminary finding using the criteria in R645-300-162. Where the Division finds that the permit was improvidently issued, it shall comply with R645-300-163.

161.100. The Division will make a preliminary finding that a permit was improvidently issued if, under the permit eligibility criteria of R645-300-132, the permit should not have been issued because the permittee or operator owned or controlled a coal mining and reclamation operation with an unabated or uncorrected violation; and

161.110. The permittee or operator continues to own or control the operation with the unabated or uncorrected violation; and

161.120. The violation remains unabated or uncorrected; and

161.130. The violation would cause the permittee or operator to be ineligible under the permit eligibility criteria of R645-300-132.

161.200. The Division will serve the permittee with a written notice of the preliminary finding which are based on evidence sufficient to establish a prima facie case that the permit was improvidently issued.

161.300. Within 30 days of receiving the written notice of preliminary finding, the permittee may challenge the preliminary finding, under the provisions of R645-300-162 or R645-300-132.150, by providing the Division with evidence as to why the permit was not improvidently issued under the criteria in R645-300-162.

162. Review criteria. The Division will make a preliminary finding that a coal mining and reclamation permit was improvidently issued if:

162.100. Under the violations review criteria of the regulatory program at the time the permit was issued;

162.110. The Division should not have issued the permit because of an unabated violation or a delinquent penalty or fee; or

162.120. The permit was issued on the presumption that a notice of violation was in the process of being corrected to the satisfaction of the agency with jurisdiction over the violation, but a cessation order subsequently was issued; and

162.200. The violation, penalty or fee;

162.210. Remains unabated or delinquent; and

162.220. Is not the subject of a good faith appeal, or of an abatement plan or payment schedule with which the permittee or other person responsible is complying to the satisfaction of the responsible agency; and

162.300. The permittee or operator continues to own or control the operation with the unabated or uncorrected violation; the violation remains unabated; and the violation would cause the operator or permittee to be ineligible under the permit eligibility criteria of R645-300-132; or where the ownership or control link was severed the permittee continues to be responsible for the violation, penalty or fee.

162.310. In the absence of a request for judicial review, the disposition of a challenge and any subsequent administrative review referenced in R645-300-132.121 affirms the validity of the violation or the ownership or control listing or finding; or

162.320. The initial judicial review decision referenced in R645-300-132.150 affirms the validity of the violation or the ownership or control listing or finding.

163. Remedial Measures.

When the Division, under R645-300-162 finds that because of an unabated violation or a delinquent penalty or fee a permit was improvidently issued it will use one or more of the following remedial measures:

163.100. Implement, with the cooperation of the permittee or other person responsible, and of the responsible agency, a plan for abatement of the violation or a schedule for payment of the penalty or fee;

163.200. Impose on the permit a condition requiring that in a reasonable period of time the permittee or other person responsible abate the violation or pay the penalty or fee;

163.300. Suspend the permit until the violation is abated or the penalty or fee is paid; or

163.400. Rescind the permit under R645-300-164.

164. Improvidently Issued Permits: Rescission procedures. When the Division under R645-300-163 elects to rescind an improvidently issued permit or provisionally issued permit under R645-300-132.200, it will post the notice at the Division office closest to the permit area and serve on the permittee a written notice of proposed suspension and rescission which includes the reasons for the finding of the regulatory authority under R645-300-162 and states that:

164.100. Automatic suspension and rescissions. After a specified period of time not to exceed 90 days the permit automatically will become suspended, and not to exceed 90 days thereafter rescinded, unless within those periods the permittee obtains temporary relief under the appeal rights of R645-300-210 or if on appeal, the permittee submits proof, and the regulatory authority finds, that;

164.110. The finding of the Division under R645-300-162 was erroneous;

164.120. The permittee or other person responsible has abated the violation on which the finding was based, or paid the penalty or fee, to the satisfaction of the responsible agency;

164.130. The violation, penalty or fee is the subject of a good faith appeal, unless there is an initial judicial decision affirming the violation and that decision remains in force, or of an abatement plan or payment schedule with which the permittee or other person responsible is complying to the satisfaction of the responsible agency;

164.140. Since the finding was made, the permittee has severed any ownership or control link with the person responsible for, and does not continue to be responsible for, the violation, penalty or fee; or

164.150. The permittee is pursuing a good faith challenge or administrative or judicial appeal of the relevant ownership or control listing or finding under R645-300-132.150, unless there is an initial judicial decision affirming the listing or finding and that decision remains in force.

164.200. Cessation of operations. After permit suspension or rescission, the permittee shall cease all coal mining and reclamation operations under the permit, except for violation abatement and for reclamation and other environmental protection measures as required by the Division.

164.300. Right to appeal. The permittee may file an appeal for administrative review of the notice under R645-300-200.

170. Final Compliance Review.

After an application is approved, but before the permit is issued, the Division will reconsider its decision to approve the application based on the compliance review required by rule R645-300-132.100 and in light of any new information submitted under R645-301-112.900 and R645-301-113.400.

171. Certifying and Updating Existing Permit Application Information. If the applicant has previously applied for a permit and the required information is already in AVS, then the applicant may update the information as follows:

171.100. If all or part of the information already in AVS is accurate and complete, then the applicant may certify to the Division by swearing or affirming, under oath and in writing, that the relevant information in AVS is accurate, complete, and up to date.

171.200. If part of the information in AVS is missing or incorrect, then the applicant must submit to the Division the necessary information or corrections and swear or affirm, under oath and in writing, that the information the applicant submits is accurate and complete.

171.300. If the applicant can neither certify that the data in AVS is accurate and complete nor make needed corrections, then the applicant must include in the permit application the information required under R645-301-112.

172. The applicant must swear or affirm, under oath and in writing, that all information provided in an application is accurate and complete. The Division will follow the requirements of R645-300-132.430 and R645-301-113.400 prior to permit issuance.

173. The Division may establish a central file to house the applicant's identity information, rather than place duplicate information in each of the applicant's permit application files. The Division will make the information available to the public upon request.

180. Post Permit Issuance Requirements for the Division and Other Actions Based on Ownership, Control, and Violation Information.

181. Within thirty days, the Division must enter in the AVS the data as follows:

181.100. Permit records after the permit is issued or subsequent changes made;

181.200. Unabated or uncorrected violations after the abatement or correction period for a violation expires;

181.300. Changes to information initially required to be provided by an applicant under R645-301-112 after receiving notice of a change; and

181.400. Changes in violation status after abatement, correction, or termination of a violation, or a decision from an administrative or judicial tribunal.

182. Any time the Division discovers that any person owns or controls an operation with an unabated or uncorrected violation, the Division will determine whether enforcement action is appropriate under R645-400, R645-402 or R645-403 The Division must enter the results of each enforcement action, including administrative and judicial decisions, into AVS.

183. The Division must serve a preliminary finding of permanent permit ineligibility on an applicant or operator, based on the control relationships and violations that would make the applicant or operator ineligible for a permit under R645-300-132.400 and R645-301-113.300, if the following criteria are met:

183.100. The applicant or operator has controlled or currently is controlling a coal mining and reclamation operation with a demonstrated pattern of willful violations under R645-301-113.300; and

183.200. The violations are of such nature and duration with such resulting irreparable damage to the environment as to indicate your intent not to comply with the Act, its implementing rules, the State program, or the permit.

184. The permittee, applicant or operator may request a hearing on a preliminary finding of permanent permit ineligibility under R645-300-200.

185. Entry into the Applicant Violator System (AVS) Database.

185.100. If the applicant, permittee or operator does not request a hearing, and the time for seeking a hearing has expired, the Division will enter the permanent ineligibility finding into AVS.

185.200. If the applicant, permittee, or operator requests a hearing, the Division will enter a permanent ineligibility finding into the AVS, only if that finding is upheld on administrative appeal.

185.300. At any time, the Division may identify any person who owns or controls an entire operation or any relevant portion or aspect thereof. If the Division identifies such a person, the Division must issue a written preliminary finding to the person and the applicant or permittee describing the nature and extent of ownership or control. The Division's written preliminary finding must be based on evidence sufficient to establish a prima facie case of ownership or control.

185.400. After the Division issues a written preliminary finding under R645-300-185.300, the Division will allow the person subject to the preliminary finding 30 days in which to submit any information tending to demonstrate their lack of ownership or control.

185.500. If after reviewing any information provided under R645-300-185.400, the Division is persuaded that the person is not an owner or controller, the Division will serve a written notice to that effect.

185.600. If, after reviewing any information provided under R645-300-185.400, the Division still finds that a person is an owner or controller, or if the person does not submit any information within the 30-day period, the Division will issue a written finding and enter the finding into AVS.

185.700. A person identified under R645-300-185.600 may challenge the finding using the provisions of R645-300-132.150.1 through R645-300-132.150.7.

R645-300-200. Administrative and Judicial Review of Decisions on Permits.

The rules in R645-300-200 present the procedures for performing the entitled activities.

210. Administrative Review.

211. General. Within 30 days after an applicant or permittee is notified of the decision of the Division concerning a determination made under R645-106, an application for approval of exploration required under R645-200, a permit for coal mining and reclamation operations, a permit change, a permit renewal, or a transfer, assignment, or sale of permit rights, the applicant, permittee, or any person with an interest which is or may be adversely affected may request a hearing on the reasons for the decision, in accordance with R645-300-200.

212. Hearings.

212.100. The Board will start the administrative hearing within 30 days of such request. The hearing will be on the record and adjudicatory in nature. No person who presided at an informal conference under R645-300-123 will either preside at the hearing or participate in the decision following the hearing or administrative appeal.

212.200. The Board may, under such conditions as it prescribes, grant such temporary relief as it deems appropriate, pending final determination of the proceeding, if:

212.210. All parties to the proceeding have been notified and given an opportunity to be heard on a request for temporary relief;

212.220. The person requesting that relief shows that there is a substantial likelihood that he or she will prevail on the merits of the final determination of the proceeding;

212.230. The relief sought will not adversely affect the public health or safety, or cause significant, imminent environmental harm to land, air, or water resources; and

212.240. The relief sought is not the issuance of a permit where a permit has been denied, in whole or in part, by the Division except that continuation under an existing permit may be allowed where the operation has a valid permit issued under 40-10-11 of the Act.

212.300. The hearing will be conducted by the Board under the terms of the R641 Rules, including the requirement that there be no ex parte contact between the Board and representatives of parties appearing before the Board.

212.400. Within 30 days after the close of the record, the Board will issue and furnish the applicant and each person who participated in the hearing with the written findings of fact, conclusions of law, and order of the Board with respect to the appeal of the decision.

220. Judicial Review.

221. General. Any applicant or any person with an interest which is or may be adversely affected and who has participated in the administrative hearings as an objector may appeal as provided in R645-300-222 or R645-300-223 if:

221.100. The applicant or person is aggrieved by the decision of the Board in the administrative hearing conducted pursuant to R645-300-200; or

221.200. The Board during administrative review under R645-300-200 fails to act within applicable time limits specified in the State Program.

222. State Program. Action of the Division or Board will be subject to judicial review by a court of competent jurisdiction, as provided for in the State Program, but the availability of such review will not be construed to limit the operation of the rights established in 40-10-21 of the Act.

223. Federal Lands Program. The action of the Division or Board is subject to judicial review by the United States District Court for the district in which the coal exploration or coal mining and reclamation operation is or would be located, in the time and manner provided for in Section 526(a)(2) and (b) of the Federal Act. The availability of such review will not be considered to limit the operations of rights established in Section 520 of the Federal Act.

KEY

reclamation, coal mines

Date of Enactment or Last Substantive Amendment

May 23, 2012

Notice of Continuation

September 6, 2016

Authorizing, Implemented, or Interpreted Law

40-10-1 et seq.


Additional Information

Contact

For questions regarding the content or application of rules under Title R645, please contact the promulgating agency (Natural Resources; Oil, Gas and Mining; Coal). A list of agencies with links to their homepages is available at http://www.utah.gov/government/agencylist.html or from http://www.rules.utah.gov/contact/agencycontacts.htm.