This rule shall apply only to coal exploration operations that substantially disturb the natural land surface.
(A) Habitats of unique or unusually high value for fish, wildlife, and other related environmental values, including critical habitats of threatened species and critical habitats of species protected by state or federal law, shall not be disturbed during coal exploration operations.
(B) All roads shall comply with the applicable provisions of rule 1501:13-10-01 of the Administrative Code.
(C) If excavations, artificially flat areas, or embankments are created during coal exploration operations, these areas shall be returned to the approximate original contour promptly after such features are no longer needed for coal exploration operations.
(D) Topsoil shall be removed, stored, and redistributed on disturbed areas as necessary to assure successful revegetation.
(E) All disturbed areas shall be revegetated in a manner that encourages prompt revegetation and recovery of a diverse, effective, and permanent vegetative cover. Revegetation shall be accomplished in accordance with the following:
(1) All disturbed lands shall be seeded or planted to the same seasonal variety native to the disturbed area. If the land use of the explored area is intensive agriculture, planting of crops normally grown will meet the requirements of this paragraph; and
(2) The vegetative cover shall be capable of stabilizing the soil surface from erosion.
(F) Use of diversions. Diversions of perennial and intermittent streams and miscellaneous flows shall be made in accordance with paragraph (F) of rule 1501:13-9-04 of the Administrative Code.
(G) Each exploration hole, borehole, or other exposed underground opening created during exploration operations shall be reclaimed in accordance with rule 1501:13-9-02 of the Administrative Code.
(H) All facilities and equipment shall be removed from the exploration area promptly when they are no longer needed for coal exploration operations, except those facilities and equipment that the chief determines may remain to:
(1) Provide additional environmental data;
(2) Reduce or control on- and off-site effects of the exploration operations; or
(3) Facilitate future coal mining and reclamation operations by the person conducting the exploration operations under an approved permit.
(I) Coal exploration operations shall be conducted in a manner which minimizes disturbance of the prevailing hydrologic balance in accordance with rule 1501:13-9-04 of the Administrative Code. The chief may specify additional measures which shall be adopted by the person engaged in coal exploration operations.
(J) Toxic- and acid-forming materials shall be handled and disposed of in accordance with paragraph (J) of rule 1501:13-9-14 and paragraph (J) of rule 1501:13-9-04 of the Administrative Code. The chief may specify additional measures which shall be adopted by the person engaged in coal exploration operations.
(K) If explosives are to be used in connection with a coal exploration permit, the explosives shall be used in accordance with rule 1501:13-9-06 of the Administrative Code.
(L) Notification of completion of coal exploration. The person conducting the coal exploration operations shall notify the chief:
(1) Upon completion of the exploration; and
(2) Upon completion of the reclamation of the area after exploration.