Department of Natural Resources - Miscellaneous Surface and Underground Mining - Steep slope mining.

Published: 1988-10-01

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(A) The operator conducting coal mining and reclamation operations on natural slopes that exceed twenty degrees, or on lesser slopes that require measures to protect the area from disturbance, as determined by the chief after consideration of soils, climate, the method of operation, geology, and other regional characteristics, shall meet the performance standards of this rule. The standards of this rule do not apply where mining is done on a 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 the mining is governed by rule 1501:13-13-04 of the Administrative Code:

(1) Spoil, waste materials or debris, including that from clearing and grubbing and abandoned or disabled equipment, shall not be placed or allowed to remain on the downslope;

(2) The highwall shall be completely covered with compacted spoil and the disturbed area graded to comply with the provisions of rule 1501:13-9-14 of the Administrative Code. Land above the highwall shall not be disturbed unless the chief finds that this disturbance will facilitate compliance with the environmental protection standards of these rules and the disturbance is limited to that necessary to facilitate compliance. The person who conducts the coal mining and reclamation operation must demonstrate to the chief, using standard geotechnical analysis, that the minimum static factor of safety for the stability of all portions of the reclaimed land is at least 1.3;

(3) Material in excess of that required to meet the provisions of rule 1501:13-9-14 of the Administrative Code shall be disposed of in accordance with the requirements of paragraph (B) of this rule;

(4) Woody materials may be buried in the backfilled area only when burial does not cause, or add to, instability of the backfill when approved by the chief; and

(5) Unlined or unprotected drainage channels shall not be constructed on backfills unless approved by the chief as stable and not subject to erosion.

(B) An operator conducting steep slope mining shall place all excess spoil material resulting from coal mining and reclamation operations in such a manner that it complies with rule 1501:13-9-07 of the Administrative Code.