405 Kar 30:290. Topsoil

Link to law: http://www.lrc.ky.gov/kar/405/030/290.htm
Published: 2015

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      405 KAR 30:290. Topsoil.


      RELATES TO: KRS 350.600


350.028, 350.050, 350.600


350.600 requires the Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet to develop administrative

regulations for oil shale operations to minimize and prevent their adverse

effects on the citizens and environment of the Commonwealth. This

administrative regulation sets forth requirements for the removal, storage and

redistribution of topsoil, and requirements for substitution of other materials

for topsoil.


      Section 1. General. (1) The applicant

shall before making a permit application investigate the proposed permit area

to determine whether lands within the area may be prime farmland according to

405 KAR 30:280, Section 2.

      (2) The applicant shall before making a

permit application have soil survey data prepared for the proposed permit area

if survey data is not available from the U.S. Soil Conservation Service. The

soil survey data shall include:

      (a) Location of permit boundaries, flood

frequency data, water table, erosion characteristics, permeability, and other

information needed to characterize existing topsoil conditions.

      (b) A description of the existing soil

profile showing the depth and thickness of each of the soil horizons to be

removed, stored, and replaced in accordance with Sections 2, 3, and 4 of this

administrative regulation.

      (c) A detailed soil description of the

representative soil of each soil mapping unit in the permit area.

      (3) Topsoil removal shall be as specified

in Section 2 of this administrative regulation, storage as specified in Section

3 of this administrative regulation, and replacement as specified in Section 4

of this administrative regulation.

      (4) For surface areas which are without

suitable topsoil, the cabinet shall approve and/or specify, on a site-specific

basis, alternative practices designed to utilize those available materials

which are most suitable for supporting successful revegetation. The cabinet

requires the application of nutrients and soil amendments as necessary for

supporting successful revegetation.

      (5) Topsoil handling and restoration

plan. The applicant shall submit to the cabinet a plan for the handling and

restoration of topsoil material within the proposed permit boundaries. This

plan shall be used by the cabinet in judging the technological capability of

the applicant to restore topsoil material. The plan shall include the following

and any other data required by the cabinet:

      (a) Information contained in the soil

survey as required in Section 1(2) of this administrative regulation;

      (b) A description of amount and source of

proposed soil amendments, overburden materials or topsoil borrow areas proposed

as substitutes for existing topsoil;

      (c) The location of areas to be used for

the separate stockpiling of the soil horizons and plans for soil stabilization

during stockpiling;

      (d) The proposed method and type of

equipment to be used for removal, storage, and replacement of the soil;

      (e) Plans for reclaiming the final graded

mine land and the conservation practices to control erosion and sedimentation

during the first twelve (12) months after regrading is completed. Proper

adjustments for seasons must be made so that final graded land is not exposed

to erosion during seasons when vegetation or conservation practices cannot be

established due to weather conditions; and

      (f) Before any permit is issued the

cabinet may consult with the United States Soil Conservation Service and

Kentucky Division of Conservation or other agencies to provide a review of the

proposed method of soil reconstruction and comment on possible revisions that

will result in a more complete and adequate restoration.


      Section 2. Removal. (1) Topsoil shall be

removed from areas to be disturbed, after vegetative cover that would interfere

with the use of the topsoil is cleared from those areas, but before any

drilling, blasting, mining, or other surface disturbance of those areas. The

minimum depth of topsoil and subsoil material or topsoil substitute material to

be restored on nonprime farmland areas shall be twenty-four (24) inches, in

accordance with Section 4 of this administrative regulation.

      (2) All topsoil and subsoil material

shall be removed in a separate layer from the areas to be disturbed, unless use

of substitute or supplemental materials is approved by the cabinet in

accordance with subsection (6) of this section. If use of substitute or

supplemental materials is approved, all materials to be redistributed shall be


      (3) A soil survey providing an inventory

of the topsoil on the permit area will assist in determining the type of

removal and handling required for the topsoil material.

      (4) The A horizon as identified by the

soil survey shall be removed as provided in this section and then replaced on

disturbed areas as the surface soil layer.

      (a) If the A horizon is less than six (6)

inches, a six (6) inch layer that includes the A horizon and the necessary

subsoil or unconsolidated material immediately below the A horizon as required

to meet the twenty-four (24) inch minimum (or all unconsolidated material if

the total available is less than six (6) inches and the necessary substitute

material to meet the twenty-four (24) inch minimum), shall be removed and the

mixture segregated and redistributed as the surface soil layer at a total

minimum depth of twenty-four (24) inches.

      (b) If the A horizon is more than six (6)

inches, all of the A horizon and necessary subsoil shall be removed separately

and restored to meet the twenty-four (24) inch minimum depth.

      (5) The cabinet shall require that a

portion or all of the subsoil (B and C horizons) or other underlying layers

demonstrated to have comparable quality for root development be segregated and

replaced as necessary to obtain the minimum twenty-four (24) inch requirement

or to obtain productivity consistent with the approved postmining land use.

      (6)(a) Selected overburden materials or

soil amendment may be substituted for or used as a supplement to, topsoil, if

the cabinet determines that the substitute material would be equal to or more

suitable for sustaining vegetation than is the available topsoil or subsoil and

the substitute material is the best available material in the permit area to

support revegetation. This determination shall be based on:

      1. The results of chemical and physical

analyses of overburden and topsoil. These analyses shall include determinations

of active soil pH, lime requirements from a SMP buffer or other potential

acidity test, phosphorus, potassium, texture class, and other analyses as

required by the cabinet. The cabinet may also require field-site trials, greenhouse

tests or other demonstrations by the applicant to establish the feasibility of

using these overburden materials.

      2. Results of analyses, trials, and tests

shall be submitted to the cabinet. Certification of trials and tests shall be

made by a laboratory approved by the cabinet, stating that: the proposed

substitute material is equal to or more suitable for sustaining the vegetation

than is the available topsoil; the substitute material is the best available

material to support the vegetation; and the trials and tests were conducted

using approved standard testing procedures.

      3. Consultation. Before any permit is

approved for substitute materials, the cabinet shall consult with the United

States Soil Conservation Service and the Kentucky Division of Conservation or

other appropriate agencies to provide a review of the proposed substitute

material and comment on possible revisions that will result in a more favorable

substitute material within the permit area to support revegetation.

      (b) Substituted or supplemental

overburden material shall be removed, segregated, and replaced in compliance

with the requirements for topsoil under this section.

      (7) Where the removal of vegetative

material, topsoil, or other materials may result in erosion which may cause air

or water pollution:

      (a) The size of the area from which

topsoil is removed at any one time shall be limited;

      (b) The soil horizons or substitute

material shall be redistributed during favorable conditions in which temporary

or permanent vegetative cover can be established to minimize erosion and

protect the physical and chemical properties of the material; and

      (c) Such other measures shall be taken as

the cabinet may approve or require to control erosion.


      Section 3. Storage. (1) Topsoil and other

materials removed under Section 2 of this administrative regulation shall be

stockpiled only when it is impractical to promptly redistribute such materials

on regraded areas.

      (2) Stockpiled materials shall be

selectively placed on a stable area within the permit area, not disturbed, and

protected from wind and water erosion, unnecessary compaction, and contaminants

which lessen the capability of the materials to support vegetation when redistributed.

      (a) Protection measures shall be

accomplished by:

      1. An effective cover of nonnoxious,

quick-growing annual and perennial plants, seeded or planted during the first

normal period after removal for favorable planting conditions; or

      2. Other methods demonstrated to and

approved by the cabinet to provide equal protection.

      (b) Unless approved by the cabinet,

stockpiled topsoil and other materials shall not be moved until required for

redistribution on a regraded area.


      Section 4. Redistribution. (1) After

final grading and before the replacement of topsoil and other materials

segregated in accordance with Section 2 of this administrative regulation,

regraded land shall be scarified or otherwise treated as required by the

cabinet to eliminate slippage surfaces and to promote root penetration. If the

permittee shows, through appropriate tests, and the cabinet approves, that no

harm will be caused to the topsoil and vegetation, scarification may be conducted

after topsoiling.

      (2) Topsoil and other materials shall be

redistributed in a manner that:

      (a) Soil replacement starts with those

soil horizons in the reverse order in which they were removed or substitute and

overburden materials replaced first with topsoil material last. The minimum

depth of material to be redistributed is twenty-four (24) inches, in accordance

with Section 2 of this administrative regulation.

      (b) Achieves an approximate uniform

stable thickness consistent with the approved postmining land uses, contours,

and surface water drainage system;

      (c) Prevents excess compaction of the

topsoil; and

      (d) Protects the topsoil from wind and

water erosion before and after it is seeded and planted.


      Section 5. Nutrients and Soil Amendments.

Nutrients and soil amendments in the amounts determined by soils tests shall be

applied to the redistributed surface soil layer, so that it supports the

approved postmining land use and meets the revegetation requirements of 405 KAR

30:400. All soil tests shall be performed by a qualified laboratory using

standard methods approved by the cabinet. (8 Ky.R. 122; Am. 483; eff. 3-1-82;

TAm eff. 8-9-2007.)