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 R645-302. Coal Mine Permitting: Special Categories and Areas of Mining.

As in effect on October 1, 2019

Table of Contents

R645-302-100. General.

110. Introduction. The rules given under R645-302-200 through R645-302-300 establish the minimum requirements for approval to conduct coal mining and reclamation operations under designated special categories and areas of mining. All provisions of R645-301 apply to the designated special categories and areas of mining, unless otherwise specifically provided under R645-302.

120. Objective. The objective of R645-302 is to ensure that special categories and areas of mining are approved only after the Division receives information that shows the coal mining and reclamation operations will be conducted according to the applicable requirements of the Act, R645-301 and any other applicable portions of the State Program.

130. Applicability. Special categories and areas of mining that occur within an approved permit area will be evaluated and approved by the Division within the context of the attendant permit or permit application. Special categories and areas of mining that occur external to an approved permit area will require a discrete permit application for review by the Division. Special categories and areas of mining include all those types and areas of mining described in R645-302-200 through R645-302-320.

R645-302-200. Special Categories of Mining.

The rules in R645-302-200 present the requirements for information to be included in the permit application to conduct coal mining and reclamation operations for designated special categories of mining and present procedures to process said permit applications.

210. Experimental Practices Mining.

211. Experimental practices provide a variance from environmental protection performance standards of the Act, of R645-301, and the State Program for experimental or research purposes, or to allow an alternative postmining land use, and may be undertaken if they are approved by the Division and the Office and if they are incorporated in a permit or permit change issued in accordance with the requirements of R645-200, R645-300, R645-301, R645-302-100 through R645-302-280, R645-302-310, R645-302-320, or R645-303.

212. An application for an experimental practice will contain descriptions, maps, plans, and data which show:

212.100. The nature of the experimental practice, including a description of the performance standards for which variances are requested, the duration of the experimental practice, and any special monitoring which will be conducted;

212.200. How use of the experimental practice encourages advances in mining and reclamation technology or allows a postmining land use for industrial, commercial, residential, or public use (including recreation facilities) on an experimental basis;

212.300. That the experimental practice:

212.310. Is potentially more, or at least as, environmentally protective, during and after coal mining and reclamation operations, as would otherwise be required by standards promulgated under R645-301 and R645-302; and

212.320. Will not reduce the protection afforded public health and safety below that provided by the requirements of R645-301 and R645-302; and

212.400. That the applicant will conduct monitoring of the effects of the experimental practice. The monitoring program will ensure the collection, analysis, and reporting of reliable data that are sufficient to enable the Division and the Office to:

212.410. Evaluate the effectiveness of the experimental practice; and

212.420. Identify, at the earliest possible time, potential risk to the environment and public health and safety which may be caused by the experimental practice during and after coal mining and reclamation operations.

213. Applications for experimental practices will comply with the public notice requirements of R645-300-120.

214. No application for an experimental practice under R645-302-210 will be approved until the Division first finds in writing and the Office then concurs that:

214.100. The experimental practice encourages advances in coal mining and reclamation technology or allows a postmining land use for industrial, commercial, residential, or public use (including recreational facilities) on an experimental basis;

214.200. The experimental practice is potentially more, or at least as, environmentally protective, during and after coal mining and reclamation operations, as would otherwise be required by standards promulgated under R645-301 and R645-302;

214.300. The coal mining and reclamation operations approved for a particular land use or other purpose are not larger or more numerous than necessary to determine the effectiveness and economic feasibility of the experimental practice; and

214.400. The experimental practice does not reduce the protection afforded public health and safety below that provided by standards promulgated under R645-301 and R645-302.

215. Experimental practices granting variances from the special environmental protection performance standards of Sections 515 and 516 of the Federal Act applicable to prime farmlands will be approved only after consultation with the NRCS.

216. Each person undertaking an experimental practice will conduct the periodic monitoring, recording and reporting program set forth in the application, and will satisfy such additional requirements as the Division or the Office may impose to ensure protection of the public health and safety and the environment.

217. Each experimental practice will be reviewed by the Division at a frequency set forth in the approved permit, but no less frequently than every two and one-half years. After review, the Division may require such reasonable modifications of the experimental practice as are necessary to ensure that the activities fully protect the environment and the public health and safety. Copies of the decision of the Division will be sent to the permittee and will be subject to the provisions for administrative and judicial review of R645-300-200.

218. Revisions or amendments to an experimental practice will be processed in accordance with the requirements of R645-303-220 and approved by the Division. Any revisions which propose significant alterations in the experimental practice will, at a minimum, be subject to notice, hearing, and public participation requirements of R645-300-120 and concurrence by the Office. Revisions that do not propose significant alterations in the experimental practice will not require concurrence by the Office.

220. Mountaintop Removal Mining.

221. R645-302-220 applies to any person who conducts or intends to conduct SURFACE COAL MINING AND RECLAMATION ACTIVITIES by mountaintop removal mining.

222. Mountaintop removal mining means SURFACE COAL MINING AND RECLAMATION ACTIVITIES, where the mining operation removes an entire coal seam or seams running through the upper fraction of a mountain, ridge, or hill, except as provided for in R645-302-227.500, by removing substantially all of the overburden off the bench and creating a level plateau or a gently rolling contour, with no highwalls remaining, and capable of supporting postmining land uses in accordance with the requirements of R645-302-220.

223. The Division may issue approval to conduct mountaintop removal mining, without regard to the requirements of R645-301-537.200, R645-301-552 through R645-301-553.230, R645-301-553.260 through R645-301-553.900, and R645-302-234 to restore the lands disturbed by such mining to their approximate original contour, if it first finds, in writing, on the basis of a complete application, that the following requirements are met:

223.100. The proposed postmining land use of the lands to be affected will be an industrial, commercial, agricultural, residential, or public facility (including recreational facilities) use and, if:

223.110. After consultation with the appropriate land-use planning agencies, if any, the proposed land use is deemed by the Division to constitute an equal or better economic or public use of the affected land compared with the premining use;

223.120. The applicant demonstrates compliance with the requirements for acceptable alternative postmining land uses of R645-301-413.100 through R645-301-413.300;

223.130. The applicant has presented specific plans for the proposed postmining land use and appropriate assurances that such use will be:

223.131. Compatible with adjacent land uses;

223.132. Obtainable according to data regarding expected need and market;

223.133. Assured of investment in necessary public facilities;

223.134. Supported by commitments from public agencies where appropriate;

223.135. Practicable with respect to private financial capability for completion of the proposed use;

223.136. Planned pursuant to a schedule attached to the reclamation plan so as to integrate the mining operation and reclamation with the postmining land use; and

223.137. Designed by a registered engineer in conformance with professional standards established to assure the stability, drainage, and configuration necessary for the intended use of the site.

223.140. The proposed use would be consistent with adjacent land uses and existing Utah and local land use plans and programs; and

223.150. The Division has provided, in writing, an opportunity of not more than 60 days to review and comment on such proposed use to the governing body of general purpose government in whose jurisdiction the land is located and to any Utah or federal agency which the Division, in its discretion, determines to have an interest in the proposed use;

223.200. The applicant demonstrates that in place of restoration of the land to be affected to the approximate original contour under R645-301-537.200, R645-301-552 through R645-301-553.230, R645-301-553.260 through R645-301-553.900, and R645-302-234, the SURFACE COAL MINING AND RECLAMATION ACTIVITY will be conducted in compliance with the requirements of R645-302-227.

223.300. The requirements of R645-302-227 are made a specific condition of the permit;

223.400. All other requirements of the State Program are met by the proposed operations; and

223.500. The application to conduct SURFACE COAL MINING AND RECLAMATION ACTIVITIES clearly identifies mountaintop removal mining.

224. Any permits incorporating a variance issued under R645-302-220 will be reviewed by the Division to evaluate the progress and development of the SURFACE COAL MINING AND RECLAMATION ACTIVITIES to establish that the operator is proceeding in accordance with the terms of the variance:

224.100. Within the sixth month preceding the third year from the date of its issuance;

224.200. Before each permit renewal; and

224.300. Not later than the middle of each permit term.

225. Any review required under R645-302-224 need not be held if the permittee has demonstrated and the Division finds, in writing, within three months before the scheduled review, that all SURFACE COAL MINING AND RECLAMATION ACTIVITIES under the permit are proceeding and will continue to be conducted in accordance with the terms of the permit and requirements of the State Program.

226. The terms and conditions of a permit that includes mountaintop removal mining may be modified at any time by the Division, if it determines that more stringent measures are necessary to insure that the operation involved is conducted in compliance with the requirements of the State Program.

227. Performance Standards. Under the State Program, SURFACE COAL MINING AND RECLAMATION ACTIVITIES may be conducted under a variance from the requirement of R645-301 and R645-302 for restoring affected areas to their approximate original contour, if:

227.100. The Division grants the variance under a permit to conduct SURFACE COAL MINING AND RECLAMATION ACTIVITIES, in accordance with R645-302-220;

227.200. The activities involve the mining of an entire coal seam running through the upper fraction of a mountain, ridge, or hill, by removing all of that overburden and creating a level plateau or gently rolling contour with no highwalls remaining;

227.300. An industrial, commercial, agricultural, residential, or public facility (including recreational facilities) use is proposed and approved for the affected land;

227.400. The alternative land use requirements of R645-301-413.100 through R645-301-413.300 and all applicable requirements of R645-301 and R645-302 and the State Program, other than the requirement to restore affected areas to their approximate original contour, are met;

227.500. An outcrop barrier of sufficient width, consisting of the toe of the lowest coal seam, and its associated overburden, are retained to prevent slides and erosion, except that the Division may allow an exemption to the retention of the coal barrier requirement if the following conditions are satisfied:

227.510. The proposed mine site was mined prior to May 3, 1978, and the toe of the lowest seam has been removed; or

227.520. A coal barrier adjacent to a head-of-hollow fill may be removed after the elevation of a head-of-hollow fill attains the elevation of the coal barrier if the head-of-hollow fill provides the stability otherwise ensured by the retention of a coal barrier;

227.600. The final graded slopes on the mined area are less than 1v:5h, so as to create a level plateau or gently rolling configuration, and the outslopes of the plateau do not exceed 1v:2h except where engineering data substantiates, and the Division finds, in writing, and includes in the permit to conduct SURFACE COAL MINING AND RECLAMATION ACTIVITIES under R645-302-220 that a minimum static safety factor of 1.5 will be attained;

227.700. The resulting level or gently rolling contour is graded to drain inward from the outslope, except at specified points where it drains over the outslope in stable and protected channels. The drainage will not be through or over a valley or head-of-hollow fill and natural watercourses below the lowest coal seam mined will not be damaged;

227.800. All waste and acid-forming or toxic-forming materials, including the strata immediately below the coal seam, are covered with nontoxic spoil to prevent pollution and achieve the approved postmining land use; and

227.900. Spoil is placed on the mountaintop bench as necessary to achieve the postmining land use approved under R645-302-227.300 and R645-302-227.400. All excess spoil material not retained on the mountaintop will be placed in accordance with applicable requirements of R645-301-211, R645-301-212, R645-301-412.300, R645-301-512.210, R645-301-512.220, R645-301-514.100, R645-301-528.310, R645-301-535.100 through R645-301-535.130, R645-301-535.300 through R645-301-535.500, R645-301-536.300, R645-301-542.720, R645-301-553.240, R645-301-731.100 through R645-301-731.522, R645-301-731.800, R645-301-742.300, R645-301-745.100, R645-301-745.300, and R645-301-745.400.

230. Steep Slope Mining.

231. The rules in R645-302-230 apply to any person who conducts or intends to conduct steep slope coal mining and reclamation operations, except:

231.100. Where an operator proposes to conduct coal mining and reclamation operations on flat or gently rolling terrain, leaving a plain or predominantly flat area, but on which an occasional steep slope is encountered as the coal mining and reclamation operation proceeds;

231.200. Where a person obtains a permit under the provisions of R645-302-220; or

231.300. To the extent that a person obtains a permit incorporating a variance under R645-302-270.

232. Any application for a permit to conduct coal mining and reclamation operations covered by R645-302-230 will contain sufficient information to establish that the operations will be conducted in accordance with the requirements of R645-302-234.

233. No permit will be issued for any coal mining and reclamation operations covered by R645-302-230, unless the Division finds, in writing, that in addition to meeting all other requirements of R645-301 and R645-302, the operation will be conducted in accordance with the requirements of R645-302-234.

234. Backfilling and Grading.

234.100. Coal mining and reclamation operations on steep slopes will be conducted so as to meet the requirements of R645-301-537.200, R645-301-552 through R645-301-553.230, R645-301-553.260 through R645-301-553.900, except where mining is conducted on flat or gently rolling terrain with an occasional steep slope through which the mining proceeds and leaves a plain or predominantly flat area or where operations are conducted in accordance with R645-302-227.

234.200. The following materials will not be placed on the downslope except as provided for UNDERGROUND COAL MINING AND RECLAMATION ACTIVITIES under R645-301-553:

234.210. Spoil;

234.220. Waste materials of any type;

234.230. Debris, including that from clearing and grubbing; and

234.240. Abandoned or disabled equipment.

234.300. Land above the highwall will not be disturbed unless the Division finds that this disturbance will facilitate compliance with the environmental protection standards of R645-301 and R645-302 and the disturbance is limited to that necessary to facilitate compliance.

234.400. Woody materials will not be buried in the backfilled area unless the Division determines that the proposed method for placing woody material within the backfill will not deteriorate the stable condition of the backfilled area.

240. Auger Mining and Remining Operations.

241. The Rules given under R645-302-240 apply to any person who conducts or intends to conduct coal mining and reclamation operations utilizing augering operations.

241.100. To the extent not otherwise addressed in the permit application, the applicant will identify potential environmental and safety problems related to prior mining activity at the site and that could be reasonably anticipated to occur. This identification shall be based on a due diligence investigation which shall include visual observations at the site, a record review of past mining at the site, and environmental sampling tailored to current site conditions.

241.200. With regard to potential environmental and safety problems referred to in R645-302-241.100, describe the mitigative measures that will be taken to ensure that the applicable reclamation requirements of the regulatory program can be met.

242. Any application for a permit that includes operations covered by R645-302-240 will contain, in the mining and reclamation plan, a description of the augering or remining methods to be used and the measures to be used to comply with R645-302-244 and R645-302-245.

243. No permit will be issued for any operations covered by R645-302-240 unless the Division finds, in writing, that in addition to meeting all other applicable requirements of R645-200, R645-300, R645-301, R645-302-100 through R645-302-290, R645-302-310, R645-302-320, and R645-303, the operation will be conducted in compliance with R645-302-244 and R645-302-245.

244. The Division may prohibit auger mining, if necessary, to:

244.100. Maximize the utilization, recoverability, or conservation of the solid-fuel resource; or

244.200. Protect against adverse water-quality impacts.

245. Performance Standards.

245.100. Coal Recovery.

245.110. Auger mining will be conducted so as to maximize the utilization and conservation of the coal in accordance with R645-301-522.

245.120. Auger mining will be planned and conducted to maximize recoverability of mineral reserves remaining after coal mining and reclamation operations are completed.

245.130. Each person who conducts auger mining operations will leave areas of undisturbed coal, as approved by the Division, to provide access for future underground coal mining and reclamation activities to coal reserves remaining after augering is completed, unless it is established that the coal reserves have been depleted or are so limited in thickness or extent that it will not be practicable to recover the remaining coal. This determination will be made by the Division upon presentation of appropriate technical evidence by the operator.

245.200. Hydrologic Balance.

245.210. Auger mining and remining operations will be planned and conducted to minimize disturbances to the prevailing hydrologic balance in accordance with the requirements of R645-301-731.100 through R645-301-731.522, R645-301-731.800, and R645-301-751.

245.220. All auger holes, except as provided in R645-302-245.230, will be:

245.221. Sealed within 72 hours after completion with an impervious and noncombustible material, if the holes are discharging water containing acid- or toxic-forming material. If sealing is not possible within 72 hours, the discharge will be treated commencing within 72 hours after completion to meet applicable effluent limitations and water-quality standards until the holes are sealed; and

245.222. Sealed with an impervious noncombustible material, as contemporaneously as practicable with the augering operation, as approved by the Division, if the holes are not discharging water containing acid- or toxic-forming material.

245.230. Auger holes need not be sealed with an impervious material so as to prevent drainage if the Division determines that:

245.231. The resulting impoundment of water may create a hazard to the environment or public health and safety; and

245.232. The drainage from the auger holes will:

245.232.1. Not pose a threat of pollution to surface water; and

245.232.2. Comply with the requirements of R645-301-731.100 through R645-301-731.522, R645-301-731.800, and R645-301-751.

245.300. Subsidence Protection. Auger mining and remining operations will be conducted in accordance with the requirements of R645-301-525.210 and R645-301-525.230.

245.400. Backfilling and Grading.

245.410. General. Auger mining and remining operations will be conducted in accordance with the backfilling and grading requirements of R645-301-537.200 and R645-301-553.

245.420. Remining will comply with the requirements of R645-301-553.500 and R645-301-553.600. Where auger mining operations affect previously mined areas that were not reclaimed to the standards of the R645 Rules and the volume of all reasonably available spoil is demonstrated in writing to the Division to be insufficient to completely backfill the highwall, the highwall will be eliminated to the maximum extent technically practical in accordance with the following criteria:

245.421. The person who conducts the auger mining operation will demonstrate to the Division that the backfill, designed by a qualified registered professional engineer, has a minimum static safety factor for the stability of the backfill of at least 1.3;

245.422. All spoil generated by the auger mining operation and any associated SURFACE COAL MINING AND RECLAMATION ACTIVITIES, and any other reasonably available spoil will be used to backfill the area. Reasonably available spoil will include spoil generated by the mining operation and other spoil located in the permit area that is accessible and available for use and that when rehandled will not cause a hazard to the public safety or significant damage to the environment. For this purpose, the permit area will include spoil in the immediate vicinity of the auger mining operation;

245.423. The coal seam mined will be covered with a minimum of four feet of nonacid-, nontoxic-forming material and the backfill graded to a slope which is compatible with the approved postmining land use and which provides adequate drainage and long-term stability;

245.424. Any remnant of the highwall will be stable and not pose a hazard to the public health and safety or to the environment; and

245.425. Spoil placed on the outslope during previous mining operations will not be disturbed if such disturbances will cause instability of the remaining spoil or otherwise increase the hazard to the public health and safety or to the environment.

245.500. Protection of Underground Mining. Auger holes will not extend closer than 500 feet (measured horizontally) to any abandoned or active underground mine workings, except as approved in accordance with R645-301-513.700 and R645-301-523.200.

250. In Situ Processing Activities.

251. R645-302-250 applies to any person who conducts or intends to conduct coal mining and reclamation operations utilizing in situ processing activities.

252. Any application for a permit that includes operations covered by R645-302-250 will address all requirements of R645-200, R645-300, R645-301, R645-302-100 through R645-302-290, R645-302-310, R645-302-320, and R645-303 applicable to coal mining and reclamation operations. In addition, the mining and reclamation operations plan for operations involving in situ processing activities will contain information establishing how those operations will be conducted in compliance with the requirements of R645-302-254, including:

252.100. Delineation of proposed holes and wells and production zone for approval of the Division;

252.200. Specifications of drill holes and casings proposed to be used;

252.300. A plan for treatment, confinement or disposal of all acid-forming, toxic-forming or radioactive gases, solids, or liquids constituting a fire, health, safety or environmental hazard caused by the mining and recovery process; and

252.400. Plans for monitoring surface and ground water and air quality as required by the Division.

253. No permit will be issued for operations covered by R645-302-250, unless the Division first finds, in writing, upon the basis of a complete application made in accordance with R645-302-252, that the operation will be conducted in compliance with all requirements of R645-200, R645-300, R645-301, R645-302-100 through R645-302-290, R645-302-310, R645-302-320, and R645-303.

254. Performance Standards.

254.100. The person who conducts in situ processing activities will comply with R645-301 and R645-302-254.

254.200. In situ processing activities will be planned and conducted to minimize disturbance to the prevailing hydrologic balance by:

254.210. Avoiding discharge of fluids into holes or wells, other than as approved by the Division;

254.220. Injecting process recovery fluids only into geologic zones or intervals approved as production zones by the Division;

254.230. Avoiding annular injection between the wall of the drill hole and the casing; and

254.240. Preventing discharge of process fluid into surface waters.

254.300. Each person who conducts in situ processing activities will submit for approval as part of the application for permit under R645-302-250, and follow after approval, a plan that ensures that all acid-forming, toxic-forming, or radioactive gases, solids, or liquids constituting a fire, health, safety, or environmental hazard and caused by the mining and recovery process are promptly treated, confined, or disposed of, in a manner that prevents contamination of ground and surface waters, damage to fish, wildlife and related environmental values, and threats to the public health and safety.

254.400. Each person who conducts in situ processing activities will prevent flow of the process recovery fluid:

254.410. Horizontally beyond the affected area identified in the permit; and

254.420. Vertically into overlying or underlying aquifers.

254.500. Each person who conducts in situ processing activities will restore the quality of affected ground water in the permit area and adjacent area, including ground water above and below the production zone, to the approximate premining levels or better, to ensure that the potential for use of the ground water is not diminished.

254.600. Monitoring.

254.610. Each person who conducts in situ processing activities will monitor the quality and quantity of surface and ground water and the subsurface flow and storage characteristics, in a manner approved by the Division under R645-301-731.100 through R645-301-731.522 and R645-301-731.800, to measure changes in the quantity and quality of water in surface and ground water systems in the permit area and in adjacent areas.

254.620. Air and water quality monitoring will be conducted in accordance with monitoring programs approved by the Division as necessary according to appropriate federal and Utah air and water quality standards.

260. Coal Processing Plants Not Located Within the Permit Area of a Mine.

261. R645-302-260 applies to any person who operates or intends to operate a coal processing plant outside the permit area of any coal mining and reclamation operation, other than such plants which are located at the site of ultimate coal use. Any person who operates such a processing plant will obtain a permit from the Division in accordance with the requirements of R645-302-260.

262. Any application for a permit that includes operations covered by R645-302-260 will contain an operation and reclamation plan which specifies plans, including descriptions, maps, and cross sections, of the construction, operation, maintenance, and removal of the processing plant and support facilities operated incident thereto or resulting therefrom. The plan will demonstrate that those operations will be conducted in compliance with R645-302-264.

263. No permit will be issued for any operation covered by R645-302-260, unless the Division finds in writing that, in addition to meeting all other applicable requirements of R645-200, R645-300, R645-301, R645-302-100 through R645-302-290, R645-302-310, R645-302-320, and R645-303, the operations will be conducted in compliance with the requirements of R645-302-264.

264. Performance Standards. Construction, operation, maintenance, modification, reclamation, and removal activities at coal processing plants will comply with the requirements listed below.

264.100. Signs and markers for the coal processing plant, coal processing waste disposal area, and water-treatment facilities will comply with R645-301-521.200.

264.200. Surface drainage will be controlled according to the following:

264.210. Any stream channel diversion will comply with R645-301-742.300;

264.220. Drainage from any disturbed area related to the coal processing plant will comply with R645-301-356.300, R645-301-356.400, R645-301-513.300, R645-301-532, R645-301-742.100 through R645-301-742.240, R645-301-744, and R645-301-763.200 and all discharges from these areas will meet the requirements of R645-301-731.100 through R645-301-731.522, R645-301-731.800, and R645-301-751 and any other applicable Utah or federal law; and

264.230. Permanent impoundments associated with coal processing plants will meet the requirements of R645-301-512.240, R645-301-514.300, R645-301-515.200, R645-301-533.100 through R645-301-533.600, R645-301-542.400, R645-301-733.220 through R645-301-733.224, and R645-301-743. Dams constructed of or impounding coal processing waste will comply with R645-301-536.400 and R645-301-746.300.

264.300. Disposal of coal processing waste, noncoal mine waste, and excess spoil will comply with R645-301-210 through R645-301-212, R645-301-412.300, R645-301-512.210 through R645-301-512.230, R645-301-513.400, R645-301-513.800, R645-301-514.100, R645-301-514.200, R645-301-515.200, R645-301-528.310, R645-301-528.322 through R645-301-528.323, R645-301-528.320, R645-301-528.330, R645-301-535.100 through R645-301-535.130, R645-301-535.300 through R645-301-535.500, R645-301-536 through R645-301-536.200, R645-301-536.300 through R645-301-536.500, R645-301-536.900, R645-301-542.720 through R645-301-542.740, R645-301-553.240 through R645-301-553.250, R645-301-745.100, R645-301-745.300 through R645-301-745.400, R645-301-746.100 through R645-301-746.300, and R645-301-747.

264.400. Fish, wildlife, and related environmental values will be protected in accordance with R645-301-333, R645-301-342, and R645-301-358.

264.500. Support facilities related to the coal processing plant will comply with R645-301-526.220 and roads will comply with R645-301-358, R645-301-512.250, R645-301-527.100, R645-301-527.230, R645-301-534.100, R645-301-532.200, R645-301-534.300, R645-301-542.600, R645-301-742.410, R645-301-742.420, R645-301-752.200, and R645-301-762.

264.600. Cessation of operations will be in accordance with R645-301-515.300 and R645-301-541.100 through R645-301-541.300.

264.700. Erosion and air pollution attendant to erosion will be controlled in accordance with R645-301-244.100 and R645-301-244.300.

264.800. Adverse effects upon, or resulting from, nearby underground coal mining activities will be minimized by appropriate measures including, but not limited to, compliance with R645-301-513.700 and R645-301-523.200.

264.900. Reclamation will follow proper topsoil handling, backfilling and grading, revegetation, and postmining land use procedures in accordance with R645-301-232 through R645-301-233.100, R645-301-234, R645-301-242, R645-301-244.200, R645-301-352 through R645-301-357, R645-301-413, R645-301-512.260, R645-301-537.200, R645-301-553, and R645-302-271.

270. Variances from Approximate Original Contour Restoration Requirements.

271. The Division may issue approval or, if applicable, a permit for nonmountaintop removal mining in steep slope areas which includes a variance from the requirements of R645-301-537.200, R645-301-552 through R645-301-553.230, R645-301-553.260 through R645-301-553.420, R645-301-553.600 through R645-301-553.900, and R645-302-234 to restore the disturbed areas to their approximate original contour. The permit may contain such a variance only if the Division finds, in writing, that the applicant has demonstrated, on the basis of a complete application, that the following requirements are satisfied:

271.100. The alternative postmining land use requirements of R645-301-413.300 are met;

271.200. All applicable requirements of the State Program, other than the requirements to restore disturbed areas to their appropriate original contour are met;

271.300. After consultation with the appropriate land use agencies, if any, the potential use is shown to constitute an equal or better economic or public use;

271.400. Federal, Utah and local government agencies with an interest in the proposed land use have had an adequate period of time in which to review and comment on the proposed use;

271.500. After reclamation, the lands to be affected by the variance within the permit area will be suitable for an industrial, commercial, residential or public postmining land use (including recreational facilities);

271.600. The surface landowner of the lands within the permit area has knowingly requested, in writing, as part of the permit application, that a variance be granted so as to render the land, after reclamation, suitable for an industrial, commercial, residential or public use (including recreational facilities). The request will be made separately from any surface owner consent given for the operations under R645-301-114 and will show an understanding that the variance could not be granted without the owner's request;

271.700. The watershed of lands within the proposed permit and adjacent areas will be improved by the coal mining and reclamation operations when compared with the condition of the watershed before mining or with its condition if the approximate original contour were to be restored. The watershed will be deemed improved only if:

271.710. The amount of total suspended solids or other pollutants discharged to ground or surface water from the permit area will be reduced, so as to improve the public or private uses or the ecology of such water, or flood hazards within the watershed containing the permit area will be reduced by reduction of the peak flow discharge from precipitation events or thaws; and

271.720. The total volume of flow from the proposed permit area, during every season of the year, will not vary in a way that adversely affects the ecology of any surface water or any existing or planned use of surface or ground water;

271.800. Engineering. The proposed design plan for the variance will be prepared and certified as described under R645-301-512.260. The proposed design plan will also meet the following requirements:

271.810. Unless the highwall is determined to be retained under R645-301-553.650, the highwall will be completely backfilled with spoil material, in a manner which results in a static factor of safety at least 1.3, using standard geotechnical analysis; and

271.820. Only the amount of spoil as is necessary to achieve the postmining land use, ensure the stability of spoil retained on the bench, and meet all other requirements of the Act and R645 Rules will be placed on the mine bench. All spoil not retained on the bench will be placed in accordance with R645-301-211, R645-301-212, R645-301-412.300, R645-301-512.210, R645-301-512.220, R645-301-514.100, R645-301-528.310, R645-301-535.100 through R645-301-535.130, R645-301-535.300 through R645-301-535.500, R645-301-536.300, R645-301-542.720, R645-301-553.240, R645-301-745.100, R645-301-745.300, and R645-301-745.400; and

271.900. After Division approval, the watershed of the permit and adjacent areas is shown to be improved.

272. If a variance is granted under R645-302-270:

272.100. The requirements of R645-302-270 will be included as a specific condition of the permit; and

272.200. The permit will be specifically marked as containing a variance from approximate original contour.

273. A permit incorporating a variance under R645-302-270 will be reviewed by the Division at least every 30 months following the issuance of the permit to evaluate the progress and development of the coal mining and reclamation operations to establish that the operator is proceeding in accordance with the terms of the variance.

274. If the permittee demonstrates to the Division that the coal mining and reclamation operation has been, and continues to be, conducted in compliance with the terms and conditions of the permit, the requirements of the Act, the R645 Rules, and the State Program, the review specified in R645-302-273 need not be held.

275. The terms and conditions of a permit incorporating a variance under R645-302-270 may be modified at any time by the Division, if it determines that more stringent measures are necessary to ensure that the operations involved are conducted in compliance with the requirements of the State Program.

280. Variances for Delay in Contemporaneous Reclamation Requirement in Combined SURFACE and UNDERGROUND COAL MINING AND RECLAMATION ACTIVITIES.

281. Applicability. R645-302-280 applies to any person or persons conducting or intending to conduct combined SURFACE and UNDERGROUND COAL MINING AND RECLAMATION ACTIVITIES where a variance is requested from the contemporaneous reclamation requirements of R645-301-352.

282. Application Contents for Variances. Any person desiring a variance under R645-302-280 will file with the Division complete applications for both the SURFACE COAL MINING AND RECLAMATION ACTIVITIES and UNDERGROUND COAL MINING AND RECLAMATION ACTIVITIES which are to be combined. The reclamation and operation plans for these permits will contain appropriate narratives, maps, and plans, which:

282.100. Show why the proposed UNDERGROUND COAL MINING AND RECLAMATION ACTIVITIES are necessary or desirable to assure maximum practical recovery of the coal;

282.200. Show how multiple future disturbances of surface lands or waters will be avoided;

282.300. Identify the specific surface areas for which a variance is sought and the sections of the State Program from which a variance is being sought;

282.400. Show how the activities will comply with R645-301-513.700 and R645-301-523.200 and other applicable requirements of the State Program;

282.500. Show why the variance sought is necessary for the implementation of the proposed UNDERGROUND COAL MINING AND RECLAMATION ACTIVITIES;

282.600. Provide an assessment of the adverse environmental consequences and damages, if any, that will result if the reclamation of disturbed areas is delayed; and

282.700. Show how off-site storage of spoil will be conducted to comply with the requirements of the Act, R645-301-211, R645-301-212, R645-301-412.300, R645-301-512.210, R645-301-512.220, R645-301-514.100, R645-301-528.310, R645-301-535.100 through R645-301-535.130, R645-301-535.300 through R645-301-535.500, R645-301-536.300, R645-301-542.720, R645-301-553.240, R645-301-745.100, R645-301-745.300, R645-301-745.400, and the State Program.

283. Issuance of Permit. A permit incorporating a variance under R645-302-280 may be issued by the Division if it first finds, in writing, upon the basis of a complete application filed in accordance with R645-302-280, that:

283.100. The applicant has presented, as part of the permit application, specific, feasible plans for the proposed UNDERGROUND COAL MINING AND RECLAMATION ACTIVITIES;

283.200. The proposed UNDERGROUND COAL MINING AND RECLAMATION ACTIVITIES are necessary or desirable to assure maximum practical recovery of the mineral resource and will avoid multiple future disturbances of surface land or waters;

283.300. The applicant has satisfactorily demonstrated that the applications for the SURFACE COAL MINING AND RECLAMATION ACTIVITIES and UNDERGROUND COAL MINING AND RECLAMATION ACTIVITIES conform to the requirements of the State Program;

283.400. The disturbed area proposed for the variance has been shown by the applicant to be necessary for implementing the proposed UNDERGROUND COAL MINING AND RECLAMATION ACTIVITIES;

283.500. No substantial adverse environmental damage, either on-site or off-site, will result from the delay in completion of reclamation otherwise required by R645-301, R645-302, and the State Program;

283.600. The operations will, insofar as a variance is authorized, be conducted in compliance with the requirements of R645-301-513.700, R645-301-532.200, and the State Program;

283.700. Provisions for off-site storage of spoil will comply with the requirements of R645-301-211, R645-301-212, R645-301-412.300, R645-301-512.210, R645-301-512.220, R645-301-514.100, R645-301-528.310, R645-301-535.100 through R645-301-535.130, R645-301-535.300 through R645-301-535.500, R645-301-536.300, R645-301-542.720, R645-301-553.240, R645-301-745.100, R645-301-745.300, R645-301-745.400, and the State Program;

283.800. Liability under the performance bond required to be filed by the applicant with the Division pursuant to R645-301-800 and the State Program will be for the duration of the UNDERGROUND COAL MINING AND RECLAMATION ACTIVITIES and until all requirements of R645-301-800 and the State Program have been complied with; and

283.900. The permit for the coal mining and reclamation operation contains specific conditions:

283.910. Delineating the particular surface areas for which a variance is authorized;

283.920. Identifying the applicable provisions of R645 Rules and the State Program; and

283.930. Providing a detailed schedule for compliance with the provisions of R645-302-280.

284. Review of Permits Containing Variances. Permits to conduct coal mining and reclamation operations that contain variances granted under R645-302-280 will be reviewed by the Division no later than three years from the dates of issuance of the permit and any permit renewals.

290. Small Operator Assistance Program (SOAP).

291. General Information on SOAP. The rules in R645-302-290 describe the Small Operator Assistance Program (SOAP) and govern the procedures for providing assistance to eligible small mine operators who request assistance under Section 40-10-10(3) of the Act, for:

291.100. The determination of the probable hydrologic consequences of mining and reclamation, under Section 40-10-10(2)(c) of the Act; and

291.200. The statement of physical and chemical analyses of test borings or core samples, under Section 40-10-10(2)(d) of the Act.

292. Objectives. The objectives of this part are to meet the intent of Section 40-10-10(3) of the Act by:

292.100. Providing financial and other necessary assistance to qualified small operators; and

292.200. Assuring that the Division will have sufficient information to make a reasonable assessment of the probable cumulative impacts of all anticipated mining upon the hydrology of the area and particularly upon water availability.

293. Financial Assistance. The Division will provide financial and other assistance under Section 40-10-10(3) of the Act, contingent upon receipt of funding.

293.100. Assistance Funding.

293.110. Use of Funds. Funds specifically authorized for SOAP will be used to provide the services specified in R645-302-299 and will not be used to cover administrative expenses.

293.120. Allocation of Funds. The Division Mined Land Reclamation Program Administrator, hereinafter referred to as the "Program Administrator", will establish a formula for allocating funds to provide services for eligible small operators if available funds are less than those required to provide the services pursuant to R645-302-290.

293.200. Applicant Liability.

293.210. The applicant will reimburse the Division for the cost of the laboratory services performed pursuant to R645-302-290 if:

293.211. The applicant submits false information, fails to submit a permit application within one year from the date of receipt of the approved laboratory report, or fails to mine after obtaining a permit;

293.212. The program administrator finds that the applicant's actual and attributed annual production of coal for all locations exceeds 100,000 tons during any consecutive 12-month period either during the term of the permit for which assistance is provided or during the first five years after issuance of the permit whichever is shorter; or

293.213. The permit is sold, transferred, or assigned to another person and the transferee's total actual and attributed production exceeds the 100,000 ton annual production limit during any consecutive 12-month period of the remaining term of the permit. Under R645-302-293.213 the applicant and its successor are jointly and severally obligated to reimburse the Division.

293.220. The Division may waive the reimbursement obligation if it finds that the applicant at all times acted in good faith.

294. Responsibilities of the Division. The Division will:

294.100. Review requests for assistance and determine qualified operators;

294.200. Develop and maintain a list of qualified laboratories, and select and pay laboratories for services rendered;

294.300. Conduct periodic on-site evaluations of SOAP activities with the operator;

294.400. Participate with the Office in data coordination activities with the U.S. Geological Survey, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and other appropriate agencies or institutions; and

294.500. Insure that applicable equal opportunity in employment provisions are included within any contract or other procurement documents.

295. Qualified Laboratories.

295.100. Basic Qualifications. To be designated a qualified laboratory, a firm will demonstrate that it:

295.110. Is staffed with experienced, professional or technical personnel in the fields applicable to the work to be performed;

295.120. Has adequate space for material preparation and cleaning and sterilizing equipment and has stationary equipment, storage, and space to accommodate workloads during peak periods;

295.130. Meets applicable Federal or Utah safety and health requirements;

295.140. Has analytical, monitoring and measuring equipment capable of meeting applicable standards;

295.150. Has the capability of collecting necessary field samples and making hydrologic field measurements and analytical laboratory determinations by acceptable hydrologic, geologic, or analytical methods in accordance with the requirements of R645-301-623 through R645-301-623.200, R645-301-624 through R645-301-626, R645-301-723, R645-301-724.100 through R645-301-724.320, R645-301-724.500, R645-301-725 through R645-301-729.200, R645-301-731, R645-301-731.210 through R645-301-731.213, R645-301-731.220 through R645-301-731.223, and any other applicable provisions of the R645 Rules. Other appropriate methods or guidelines for data acquisition may be approved by the program administrator; and

295.160. Has the capability of performing services for either the determination or statement referenced in R645-302-299.200.

295.200. Subcontractors. Subcontractors may be used to provide some of the required services provided their use is identified at the time a determination is made that a firm is qualified and they meet requirements specified by the Division.

296. Eligibility for Assistance.

296.100. Applicants are eligible for assistance if they:

296.110. Intend to apply for a permit pursuant to the State Program;

296.120. Establish that their probable total actual and attributed production from all locations during any consecutive 12-month period either during the term of their permit or during the first five years after issuance of their permit, whichever period is shorter, will not exceed 100,000 tons. Production from the following operations will be attributed to the applicant:

296.121. The pro rata share, based upon percentage of ownership of applicant, of coal produced by operations in which the applicant owns more than a five percent interest;

296.122. The pro rata share, based upon percentage of ownership of applicant, of coal produced in other operations by persons who own more than five percent of the applicant's operation;

296.123. All coal produced by operations owned by persons who directly or indirectly control the applicant by reason of direction of the management; and

296.124. All coal produced by operations owned by members of the applicant's family and the applicant's relatives, unless it is established that there is no direct or indirect business relationship between or among them;

296.130. Are not restricted in any manner from receiving a permit under the State Program; and

296.140. Do not organize or reorganize their company solely for the purpose of obtaining assistance under the SOAP.

296.200. The Division may provide alternate criteria or procedures for determining the eligibility of an operator for assistance under SOAP, provided that such criteria may not be used as a basis for grant requests in excess of that which would be authorized under the criteria of R645-302-296.100.

297. Filing for Assistance. Each application for assistance will include the following information:

297.100. A statement of the operator's intent to file a permit application;

297.200. The names and addresses of:

297.210. The permit applicant; and

297.220. The operator if different from the applicant;

297.300. A schedule of the estimated total production of coal from the proposed permit area and all other locations from which production is attributed to the applicant under R645-302-296. The schedule will include for each location:

297.310. The operator or company name under which coal is or will be mined;

297.320. The permit number and MSHA number;

297.330. The actual coal production during the year preceding the year for which the applicant applies for assistance and production that may be attributed to the applicant under R645-302-296; and

297.340. The estimated coal production and any production which may be attributed to the applicant for each year of the proposed permit;

297.400. A description of:

297.410. The proposed method of coal mining;

297.420. The anticipated starting and termination dates of coal mining and reclamation operations;

297.430. The number of acres of land to be affected by the proposed coal mining and reclamation operation; and

297.440. A general statement on the probable depth and thickness of the coal resource including a statement of reserves in the permit area and the method by which they were calculated.

297.500. A U.S. Geological Survey topographic map at a scale of 1:24,000 or larger or other topographic map of equivalent detail which clearly shows:

297.510. The area of land to be affected;

297.520. The location of any existing or proposed test borings; and

297.530. The location and extent of known workings of any underground mines; and

297.600. Copies of documents which show that:

297.610. The applicant has a legal right to enter and commence mining within the permit area; and

297.620. A legal right of entry has been obtained for the program administrator and laboratory personnel to inspect the lands to be mined and adjacent areas to collect environmental data or to install necessary instruments.

298. Application Approval and Notice.

298.100. If the program administrator finds the applicant eligible, then the applicant will be informed in writing that the application is approved.

298.200. If the program administrator finds the applicant ineligible, then the applicant will be informed in writing that the application is denied. The notice of denial will state the reasons for denial.

299. Program Services and Data Requirements.

299.100. To the extent possible with available funds, the program administrator will select and pay a qualified laboratory to make the determination and statement referenced in R645-302-299.200 for eligible operators who request assistance.

299.200. The program administrator will determine the data needed for each applicant or group of applicants. Data collected and the results provided to the program administrator will be sufficient to satisfy the requirements for:

299.210. The determination of the probable hydrologic consequences of the coal mining and reclamation operations in the proposed permit area and adjacent areas in accordance with R645-301-728 and any other applicable provisions of the R645 Rules; and

299.220. The statement of the results of test borings or core samplings for the proposed permit area in accordance with R645-301-624 and any other applicable provisions of the R645 Rules.

299.300. Data collection and analysis may proceed concurrently with the development of mining and reclamation plans by the operator.

299.400. Data collected under this program will be made publicly available in accordance with R645-300-124.

R645-302-300. Special Areas of Mining.

The rules in R645-302-300 present the minimum requirements for information to be included in the permit application to conduct coal mining and reclamation operations for mining in designated special areas and present procedures to process said permit applications.

310. Prime Farmland. R645-302-300 applies to any person who conducts or intends to conduct coal mining and reclamation operations on prime farmlands historically used for cropland.

311. The rules given under R645-302-300 do not apply to:

311.100. Lands on which coal mining and reclamation operations are conducted pursuant to any permit issued prior to August 3, 1977; or

311.200. Lands on which coal mining and reclamation operations are conducted pursuant to any renewal or revision of a permit issued prior to August 3, 1977; or

311.300. Lands included in any existing coal mining and reclamation operations for which a permit was issued for all or any part thereof prior to August 3, 1977, provided that:

311.310. Such lands are part of a single continuous coal mining and reclamation operation begun under a permit issued before August 3, 1977; and

311.320. The permittee had a legal right to mine the lands prior to August 3, 1977, through ownership, contract, or lease but not including an option to buy, lease, or contract; and

311.330. The lands contain part of a continuous recoverable coal seam that was being mined in a single continuous mining pit (or multiple pits if the lands are proven to be part of a single continuous surface coal mining and reclamation activity) begun under a permit issued prior to August 3, 1977.

312. For purposes of R645-302-300:

312.100. A pit will be deemed to be a single continuous mining pit even if portions of the pit are crossed by a road, pipeline, railroad, or powerline or similar crossing; and

312.200. A single continuous SURFACE COAL MINING AND RECLAMATION ACTIVITY is presumed to consist only of a single continuous mining pit under permit issued prior to August 3, 1977, but may include noncontiguous parcels if the operator can prove by clear and convincing evidence that, prior to August 3, 1977, the noncontiguous parcels were part of a single permitted operation. Clear and convincing evidence includes, but is not limited to, contracts, leases, deeds or other properly executed legal documents (not including options) that specifically treat physically separate parcels as one SURFACE COAL MINING AND RECLAMATION ACTIVITY.

313. Application Contents--Reconnaissance Inspection. All permit applications, whether or not prime farmland is present, will include the results of a reconnaissance inspection of the proposed permit area to indicate whether prime farmland exists. The Division in consultation with the NRCS will determine the nature and extent of the required reconnaissance inspection.

313.100. If the reconnaissance inspection establishes that no land within the proposed permit area is prime farmland historically used for cropland, the applicant will submit a statement that no prime farmland is present. The statement will identify the basis upon which such a conclusion was reached.

313.200. If the reconnaissance inspection indicates that land within the proposed permit area may be prime farmland historically used for cropland, the applicant will determine if a soil survey exists for those lands and whether soil mapping units in the permit area have been designated as prime farmland. If no soil survey exists, the applicant will have a soil survey made of the lands within the permit area which the reconnaissance inspection indicates could be prime farmland. Soil surveys of the detail used by the NRCS for operational conservation planning will be used to identify and locate prime farmland soils.

313.210. If the soil survey indicates that no prime farmland soils are present within the proposed permit area, R645-302-313.100 will apply.

313.220. If the soil survey indicates that prime farmland soils are present within the proposed permit area, R645-302-314 will apply.

314. Application Contents--Prime Farmland. All permit applications for areas in which prime farmland has been identified within the proposed permit area will include the following:

314.100. A soil survey of the permit area according to the standards of the National Cooperative Soil Survey and in accordance with the procedures set forth in U.S. Department of Agriculture Handbooks 436 "Soil Taxonomy" (U.S. Soil Conservation Service, 1975), as amended on March 22, 1982 and October 5, 1982 and 18, "Soil Survey Manual" (U.S. Soil Conservation Service, 1951) as amended on December 18, 1979, May 7, 1980, May 9, 1980, September 11, 1980, June 9, 1981, June 29, 1981, November 16, 1982. The NRCS establishes the standards of the National Cooperative Soil Survey and maintains a National Soils Handbook which gives current acceptable procedures for conducting soil surveys. This National Soils Handbook is available for review at area and Utah NRCS offices.

314.110. U.S. Department of Agriculture Handbooks 436 and 18 are incorporated by reference as they respectively existed on October 5,1982, and November 16,1982.

314.120. The soil survey will include a description of soil mapping units and a representative soil profile as determined by the NRCS, including, but not limited to, soil-horizon depths, pH, and the range of soil densities for each prime farmland soil unit within the permit area. Other representative soil-profile descriptions from the locality, prepared according to the standards of the National Cooperative Soil Survey, may be used if their use is approved by the State Conservationist, NRCS. The Division may request the operator to provide information on other physical and chemical soil properties as needed to make a determination that the operator has the technological capability to restore the prime farmland within the permit area to the soil-reconstruction standards of R645-302-317.

314.200. A plan for soil reconstruction, replacement, and stabilization for the purpose of establishing the technological capability of the mine operator to comply with the requirements of R645-302-317.

314.300. Scientific data, such as agricultural-school studies, for areas with comparable soils, climate, and management that demonstrate that the proposed method of reclamation, including the use of soil mixtures or substitutes, if any, will achieve, within a reasonable time, levels of yield equivalent to, or higher than, those of nonmined prime farmland in the surrounding area; and

314.400. The productivity prior to mining, including the average yield of food, fiber, forage, or wood products obtained under a high level of management.

315. Consultation with Secretary of Agriculture. The Secretary of Agriculture has responsibilities with respect to prime farmland soils and has assigned the prime farmland responsibilities arising under the Federal Act to the Chief of the NRCS. The NRCS will carry out consultation and review through the State Conservationist located in Utah.

315.100. The State Conservationist will provide to the Division a list of prime farmland soils, their location, physical and chemical characteristics, crop yields, and associated data necessary to support adequate prime farmland soil descriptions.

315.200. The State Conservationist will assist the Division in describing the nature and extent of the reconnaissance inspection required under R645-302-313.

315.300. Before any permit is issued for areas that include prime farmland, the Division will consult with the State Conservationist. The State Conservationist will provide for the review of, and comment on, the proposed method of soil reconstruction in the plan submitted under R645-302-314. If the State Conservationist considers those methods to be inadequate, then revisions will be suggested to the Division which result in more complete and adequate reconstruction.

316. Issuance of Permit. A permit to conduct coal mining and reclamation operations that include mining and reclamation on designated special areas of prime farmland may be granted by the Division, if it first finds, in writing, upon the basis of a complete application, that:

316.100. The approved proposed postmining land use of these prime farmlands will be cropland;

316.200. The permit incorporates as specific conditions the contents of the plan submitted under R645-302-314, after consideration of any revisions to that plan suggested by the State Conservationist under R645-302-315.300;

316.300. The applicant has the technological capability to restore the prime farmland, within a reasonable time, to equivalent or higher levels of yield as nonmined prime farmland in the surrounding area under equivalent levels of management; and

316.400. The proposed coal mining and reclamation operations will be conducted in compliance with the requirements of R645-302-317 and other environmental protection performance and reclamation standards for mining and reclamation of prime farmland of the State Program.

316.500. The aggregate total prime farmland acreage shall not be decreased from that which existed prior to mining. Water bodies, if any, to be constructed during mining and reclamation operations must be located within the post-reclamation non-prime farmland portions of the permit area. The creation of any such water bodies must be approved by the Division and the consent of all affected property owners within the permit area must be obtained.

317. Prime Farmland Performance Standards.

317.100. Scope and Purpose. The rules under R645-302-317 set forth special environmental protection performance, reclamation, and design standards for coal mining and reclamation operations on prime farmland.

317.200. Responsibilities of Agencies.

317.210. The NRCS within Utah will establish specifications for prime farmland soil removal, storage, replacement, and reconstruction.

317.220. The Division will use the soil-reconstruction specifications of R645-302-317.210 to carry out its responsibilities under R645-302-310 through R645-302-316 and R645-301-800.

317.300. Applicability. The requirements of the R645-302-317 will not apply to prime farmland that has been excluded in accordance with R645-302-311 and R645-302-312.

317.400. Soil Removal and Stockpiling.

317.410. Prime farmland soils will be removed from the areas to be disturbed before drilling, blasting, or mining.

317.420. The minimum depth of soil and soil materials to be removed and stored for use in the reconstruction of prime farmland will be sufficient to meet the requirements of R645-302-317.520.

317.430. Soil removal and stockpiling operations on prime farmland will be conducted to:

317.431. Separately remove the topsoil, or remove other suitable soil materials where such other soil materials will create a final soil having a greater productive capacity than that which exists prior to mining. If not utilized immediately, this material will be placed in stockpiles separate from the spoil and all other excavated materials; and

317.432. Separately remove the B or C horizon or other suitable soil material to provide the thickness of suitable soil required by R645-302-317.520. If not utilized immediately, each horizon or other material will be stockpiled separately from the spoil and all other excavated materials. Where combinations of such soil materials created by mixing have been shown to be equally or more favorable for plant growth than the B horizon, separate handling is not necessary.

317.440. Stockpiles will be placed within the permit area where they will not be disturbed or be subject to excessive erosion. If left in place for more than 30 days, stockpiles will meet the requirements of R645-301-232, R645-301-233.100, R645-301-234, R645-301-242, and R645-301-243.

317.500. Soil Replacement.

317.510. Soil reconstruction specifications established by the NRCS will be based upon the standards of the National Cooperative Soil Survey and will include, as a minimum, physical and chemical characteristics of reconstructed soils and soil descriptions containing soil-horizon depths, soil densities, soil pH, and other specifications such that reconstructed soils will have the capability of achieving levels of yield equal to, or higher than, those of nonmined prime farmland in the surrounding area.

317.520. The minimum depth of soil and substitute soil material to be reconstructed will be 48 inches, or a lesser depth equal to the depth to a subsurface horizon in the natural soil that inhibits or prevents root penetration, or a greater depth if determined necessary to restore the original soil productive capacity. Soil horizons will be considered as inhibiting or preventing root penetration if their physical or chemical properties or water-supplying capacities cause them to restrict or prevent penetration by roots of plants common to the vicinity of the permit area and if these properties or capacities have little or no beneficial effect on soil productive capacity.

317.530. The operator will replace and regrade the soil horizons or other root-zone material with proper compaction and uniform depth.

317.540. The operator will replace the B horizon, C horizon, or other suitable material specified in R645-302-317.432 to the thickness needed to meet the requirements of R645-302-317.520.

317.550. The operator will replace the topsoil or other suitable soil materials specified in R645-302-317.431 as the final surface soil layer. This surface soil layer will equal or exceed the thickness of the original surface soil layer, as determined by the soil survey.

317.600. Revegetation and Restoration of Soil Productivity.

317.610. Following prime farmland soil replacement, the soil surface will be stabilized with a vegetative cover or other means that effectively controls soil loss by wind and water erosion.

317.620. Prime farmland soil productivity will be restored in accordance with the following provisions:

317.621. Measurement of soil productivity will be initiated within 10 years after completion of soil replacement;

317.622. Soil productivity will be measured on a representative sample or on all of the mined and reclaimed prime farmland area using the reference crop determined under R645-302-317.626. A statistically valid sampling technique at a 90-percent or greater statistical confidence level will be used as approved by the Division in consultation with the NRCS;

317.623. The measurement period for determining average annual crop production (yield) will be a minimum of three crop years prior to release of the operator's performance bond;

317.624. The level of management applied during the measurement period will be the same as the level of management used on nonmined prime farmland in the surrounding area;

317.625. Restoration of soil productivity will be considered achieved when the average yield during the measurement period equals or exceeds the average yield of the reference crop established for the same period for nonmined soils of the same or similar texture or slope phase of the soil series in the surrounding area under equivalent management practices;

317.626. The reference crop on which restoration of soil productivity is proven will be selected from the crops most commonly produced on the surrounding prime farmland. Where row crops are the dominant crops grown on prime farmland in the area, the row crop requiring the greatest rooting depth will be chosen as one of the reference crops;

317.627. Reference crop yields for a given crop season are to be determined from:

317.627.1. The current yield records of representative local farms in the surrounding area, with concurrence by the NRCS; or

317.627.2. The average county yields recognized by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which have been adjusted by the NRCS for local yield variation within the county that is associated with differences between nonmined prime farmland soil and all other soils that produce the reference crop; and

317.628. Under either procedure in R645-302-317.627, the average reference crop yield may be adjusted, with the concurrence of the NRCS, for:

317.628.1. Disease, pest, and weather-induced seasonal variations; or

317.628.2. Differences in specific management practices where the overall management practices of the crops being compared are equivalent.

320. Alluvial Valley Floors. R645-302-320 applies to any person who conducts or intends to conduct coal mining and reclamation operations on areas or adjacent to areas designated as alluvial valley floors.

321. Alluvial Valley Floor Determination.

321.100. Before applying for a permit to conduct, or before conducting surface coal mining and reclamation operations within a valley holding a stream or in a location where the adjacent area includes any stream, the applicant shall either affirmatively demonstrate, based on available data, the presence of an alluvial valley floor, or submit to the Division the results of a field investigation of the proposed permit and adjacent area. The field investigations shall include sufficiently detailed geologic, hydrologic, land use, soils, and vegetation studies on areas required to be investigated by the Division, after consultation with the applicant, to enable the Division to make an evaluation regarding the existence of the probable alluvial valley floor in the proposed permit or adjacent area and to determine which areas, if any, require more detailed study in order to allow the Division to make a final determination regarding the existence of an alluvial valley floor.

321.200. Studies performed during the investigation by the applicant or subsequent studies as required of the applicant by the Division shall include an appropriate combination, adapted to site-specific conditions, of:

321.210. Mapping of unconsolidated stream-laid deposits holding streams including, but not limited to, geologic maps of unconsolidated deposits, and stream-laid deposits, maps of streams, delineation of surface watersheds and directions of shallow groundwater flows through and into the unconsolidated deposits, topography showing local and regional terrace levels, and topography of terraces, flood plains and channels showing surface drainage patterns;

321.220. Mapping of all lands included in the area in accordance with R645-302-321 and subject to agricultural activities, showing the area in which different types of agricultural lands, such as flood irrigated lands, pasture lands and undeveloped rangelands, exist, and accompanied by measurements of vegetation in terms of productivity and type;

321.230. Mapping of all lands that are currently or were historically flood irrigated, showing the location of each diversion structure, ditch, dam and related reservoir, irrigated land, and topography of those lands;

321.240. Documentation that areas identified in R645-302-321 are, or are not, subirrigated, based on groundwater monitoring data, representative water quality, soil moisture measurements, and measurements of rooting depth, soil mottling, and water requirements of vegetation;

321.250. Documentation, based on representative sampling, that areas identified under R645-302-321 are, or are not, flood irrigable, based on streamflow, water quality, water yield, soils measurements, and topographic characteristics; and

321.260. Analysis of a series of aerial photographs, including color infrared imagery flown at a time of year to show any late summer and fall differences between upland and valley floor vegetative growth and of a scale adequate for reconnaissance identification of areas that may be alluvial valley floors.

321.300. Based on the investigations conducted under R645-302-321.200, the Division will make a determination of the extent of any alluvial valley floors within the study area and whether any stream in the study area may be excluded from further consideration as lying within an alluvial valley floor. The Division will determine that an alluvial valley floor exists if it finds that:

321.310. Unconsolidated streamlaid deposits holding streams are present; and,

321.320. There is sufficient water to support agricultural activities as evidenced by:

321.321. The existence of flood irrigation in the area in question or its historical use;

321.322. The capability of an area to be flood irrigated, based on streamflow water yield, soils, water quality, and topography; or,

321.323. Subirrigation of the lands in question, derived from the groundwater system of the valley floor.

322. Application Contents for Operations Affecting Designated Alluvial Valley Floors.

322.100. If land within the permit area or adjacent area is identified as an alluvial valley floor and the proposed coal mining and reclamation operation may affect an alluvial valley floor or waters supplied to an alluvial valley floor, the applicant will submit a complete application for the proposed coal mining and reclamation operation to be used by the Division together with other relevant information, including the information required by R645-302-321, as a basis for approval or denial of the permit.

322.200. The complete application will include detailed surveys and baseline data required by the Division for a determination of:

322.210. The characteristics of the alluvial valley floor which are necessary to preserve the essential hydrologic functions throughout the mining and reclamation process;

322.220. The significance of the area to be affected to agricultural activities;

322.230. Whether the operation will cause, or presents an unacceptable risk of causing, material damage to the quantity or quality of surface or groundwaters that supply the alluvial valley floor;

322.240. The effectiveness of proposed reclamation with respect to requirements of the State Program; and

322.250. Specific environmental monitoring required to measure compliance with R645-302-324 during and after coal mining and reclamation operations.

322.300. Information required under R645-302-322 shall include, but not be limited to:

322.310. Geologic data, including geologic structure, and surficial geologic maps, and geologic cross-sections;

322.320. Soils and vegetation data, including a detailed soil survey and chemical and physical analysis of soils, a vegetation map and narrative descriptions of quantitative and qualitative surveys, and land use data, including an evaluation of crop yields;

322.330. Surveys and data required under R645-302-322 for areas designated as alluvial valley floors because of their flood irrigation characteristics will also include, at a minimum, surface hydrologic data, including streamflow, runoff, sediment yield, and water quality analysis describing seasonal variations over at least one full year, field geomorphic surveys and other geomorphic studies;

322.340. Surveys and data required under R645-302-322 for areas designated as alluvial valley floors because of their subirrigation characteristics, will also include, at a minimum, geohydrologic data including observation well establishment for purposes of water level measurements, groundwater contour maps, testing to determine aquifer characteristics that affect waters supplying the alluvial valley floors, well and spring inventories, and water quality analysis describing seasonal variations over at least one full year, and physical and chemical analysis of overburden to determine the effect of the proposed coal mining and reclamation operations on water quality and quantity;

322.350. Plans showing how the operations will avoid, during mining and reclamation, interruption, discontinuance or preclusion of farming on the alluvial valley floors unless the premining land use has been undeveloped rangeland which is not significant to farming and will not materially damage the quantity or quality of water in surface and groundwater systems that supply alluvial valley floors;

322.360. Maps showing farms that could be affected by the mining and, if any farm includes an alluvial valley floor, statements of the type and quantity of agricultural activity performed on the alluvial valley floor and its relationship to the farm's total agricultural activity including an economic analysis; and

322.370. Such other data as the Division may require.

322.400. The surveys required by R645-302-322 should identify those geologic, hydrologic, and biologic characteristics of the alluvial valley floor necessary to support the essential hydrologic functions of an alluvial valley floor. Characteristics which support the essential hydrologic functions and which must be evaluated in a complete application include, but are not limited to:

322.410. Characteristics supporting the function of collecting water which include, but are not limited to;

322.411. The amount and rate of runoff and water balance analysis, with respect to rainfall, evapotranspiration, infiltration and groundwater recharge;

322.412. The relief, slope, and density of the network of drainage channels;

322.413. The infiltration, permeability, porosity and transmissivity of unconsolidated deposits of the valley floor that either constitute the aquifer associated with the stream or lie between the aquifer and the stream; and

322.414. Other factors that affect the interchange of water between surface streams and groundwater systems, including the depth to groundwater, the direction of groundwater flow, the extent to which the stream and associated alluvial groundwater aquifers provide recharge to, or are recharged by bedrock aquifers;

322.420. Characteristics supporting the function of storing water which include, but are not limited to:

322.421. Roughness, slope, and vegetation of the channel, flood plain, and low terraces that retard the flow of surface waters;

322.422. Porosity, permeability, waterholding capacity, saturated thickness and volume of aquifers associated with streams, including alluvial aquifers, perched aquifers, and other water bearing zones found beneath valley floors; and

322.423. Moisture held in soils or the plant growth medium within the alluvial valley floor, and the physical and chemical properties of the subsoil that provide for sustained vegetation growth or cover during extended periods of low precipitation;

322.430. Characteristics supporting the function of regulating the flow of water which include, but are not limited to:

322.431. The geometry and physical character of the valley, expressed in terms of the longitudinal profile and slope of the valley and the channel, the sinuosity of the channel, the cross-section, slopes and proportions of the channels, flood plains and low terraces, the nature and stability of the stream banks and the vegetation established in the channels and along the stream banks and flood plains;

322.432. The nature of surface flows as shown by the frequency and duration of flows of representative magnitude including low flows and floods; and

322.433. The nature of interchange of water between streams, their associated alluvial aquifers and any bedrock aquifers as shown by the rate and amount of water supplied by the stream to associated alluvial and bedrock aquifers (i.e. recharge) and by the rates and amounts of water supplied by aquifers to the stream (i.e., baseflow); and

322.500. Characteristics which make water available and which include, but are not limited to the presence of land forms including flood plains and terraces suitable for agricultural activities.

323. Findings

323.100. No permit or permit change application for coal mining and reclamation operations in Utah will be approved by the Division unless the application demonstrates and the Division finds in writing, on the basis of information set forth in the application that:

323.110. The proposed operations would not interrupt, discontinue, or preclude farming on an alluvial valley floor unless the premining land use has been undeveloped rangeland which is not significant to farming on the alluvial valley floor, or unless the area of an affected alluvial valley floor is small and provides, or may provide, negligible support for production of one or more farms; provided however, R645-302-323.100 does not apply to those lands which were identified in a reclamation plan approved by the State Program prior to August 3, 1977, for any coal mining and reclamation operation that, in the year preceding August 3, 1977;

323.111. Produced coal in commercial quantities and was located within or adjacent to alluvial valley floors, or

323.112. Obtained specific permit approval by the Division to conduct coal mining and reclamation operations within an alluvial valley floor;

323.120. The proposed operations would not materially damage the quantity and quality of water in surface and underground water systems that supply those alluvial valley floors or portions of alluvial valley floors which are:

323.121. Included in R645-302-323.110; or

323.122. Outside the permit area of an existing or proposed coal mining and reclamation operation;

323.130. The proposed operations would be conducted in accordance with all applicable requirements of the State Program; and

323.140. Any change in the land use of the lands covered by the proposed permit area from its premining use in or adjacent to alluvial valley floors will not interfere with or preclude the reestablishment of the essential hydrologic functions of the alluvial valley floor.

323.200. The significance of the impact of the proposed operations on farming will be based on the relative importance of the vegetation and water of the developed grazed or hayed alluvial valley floor area to the farm's production, or any more stringent criteria established by the Division as suitable for site-specific protection of agricultural activities in alluvial valley floors. The effect of the proposed operations on farming will be concluded to be significant if they would remove from production, over the life of the mine, a proportion of the farm's production that would decrease the expected annual income from agricultural activities normally conducted at the farm.

323.300. Criteria for determining whether a coal mining and reclamation operation will materially damage the quantity or quality of waters subject to R645-302-323.310 and R645-302-323.320 include, but are not limited to:

323.310. Potential increases in the concentration of total dissolved solids of waters supplied to an alluvial valley floor, as measured by specific conductance in millimhos, to levels above the threshold value at which crop yields decrease, as specified in Maas and Hoffman, "Crop Salt Tolerance - Current Assessment," Table 1, "Salt Tolerance of Agricultural Crops," which is incorporated by reference unless the applicant demonstrates compliance with R645-302-323.320.

323.311. Salt tolerances for agricultural crops have been published by E.V. Maas and G.J. Hoffman, in a paper titled "Crop Salt Tolerance - Current Assessment" contained in The Journal of The Irrigation and Drainage Division, American Society of Civil Engineers, pages 115 through 134, June, 1977. Table 1, giving threshold salinity values is presented on pages 22 through 125.

323.312. The Maas and Hoffman publication is on file and available for inspection and copying at the Division office;

323.320. Potential increases in the concentration of total dissolved solids of waters supplied to an alluvial valley floor in excess of those incorporated by reference in R645-302-323.310 will not be allowed unless the applicant demonstrates, through testing related to the production of crops grown in the locality, that the proposed operations will not cause increases that will result in crop yield decreases;

323.321. For types of vegetation not listed in Maas and Hoffman as specified by the Division, based upon consideration of observed correlation between total dissolved solid concentrations in water and crop yield declines, taking into account the accuracy of the correlations;

323.322. Potential increases in the average depth to water saturated zones (during the growing season) located within the root zone of the alluvial valley floor that would reduce the amount of subirrigation land compared to premining conditions;

323.323. Potential decreases in surface flows that would reduce the amount of irrigable land compared to premining conditions; and

323.324. Potential changes in the surface or groundwater systems that reduce the area available to agriculture as a result of flooding or increased saturation of the root zone.

323.400. For the purposes of R645-302-323, a farm is one or more land units on which agricultural activities are conducted. A farm is generally considered to be the combination of land units with acreage and boundaries in existence prior to August 3, 1977, or, if established after August 3, 1977, with those boundaries based on enhancement of the farm's agricultural productivity and not related to coal mining and reclamation operations.

324. Performance Standards.

324.100. Essential Hydrologic Functions.

324.110. The operator of a coal mining and reclamation operation will minimize disturbances to the hydrologic balance by preserving throughout the mining and reclamation process the essential hydrologic functions of an alluvial valley floor not within the permit area.

324.120. The operator of a coal mining and reclamation operation will minimize disturbances to the hydrologic balance within the permit area by reestablishing throughout the mining and reclamation process the essential hydrologic functions of alluvial valley floors.

324.200. Protection of Agricultural Activities.

324.210. Prohibitions. Coal mining and reclamation operations will not:

324.211. Interrupt, discontinue or preclude farming on alluvial valley floors; or

324.212. Cause material damage to the quantity or quality of water in surface or underground water systems that supply alluvial valley floors.

324.220. Statutory Exclusions. The prohibitions of R645-302-324.210 will not apply:

324.221. Where the premining land use of an alluvial valley floor is undeveloped rangeland which is not significant to farming;

324.222. Where farming on the alluvial valley floor that would be affected by the coal mining and reclamation operation is of such small acreage as to be of negligible impact on the farm's agricultural production;

324.223. To any coal mining and reclamation operation that, in the year preceding August 3, 1977:

324.223.1. Produced coal in commercial quantities and was located within or adjacent to a alluvial valley floor; or

324.223.2. Obtained specific permit approval by the Division to conduct coal mining and reclamation operations within an alluvial valley floor; or

324.224. To any land that is the subject of an application for renewal or revision of a permit issued pursuant to the Act which is an extension of the original permit, insofar as:

324.224.1. The land was previously identified in a reclamation plan submitted under R645-301, and

324.224.2. The original permit area was excluded from the protection of R645-302-324.210 for a reason set forth in R645-302-324.223.

324.300. Monitoring.

324.310. A monitoring system will be installed, maintained, and operated by the permittee on all alluvial valley floors during coal mining and reclamation operations and continued until all bonds are released in accordance with R645-301-800. The monitoring system will provide sufficient information to allow the Division to determine that:

324.311. The essential hydrologic functions of alluvial valley floors are being preserved outside the permit area or reestablished within the permit area throughout the mining and reclamation process in accordance with R645-302-324.100;

324.312. Farming on lands protected under R645-302-324.200 is not being interrupted, discontinued, or precluded; and

324.313. The operation is not causing material damage to the quantity or quality of water in the surface or underground systems that supply alluvial valley floors protected under R645-302-324.200.

324.320. Monitoring will be conducted at adequate frequencies to indicate long-term trends that could affect compliance with R645-302-324.100 and R645-302-324.200.

324.330. All monitoring data collected and analyses thereof will routinely be made available to the Division.

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.