405 Kar 1:110. Revegetation

Link to law: http://www.lrc.ky.gov/kar/405/001/110.htm
Published: 2015

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      405 KAR 1:110.

Revegetation.

 

      RELATES TO: KRS

350.095, 350.435

      STATUTORY AUTHORITY:

KRS 350.028

      NECESSITY, FUNCTION,

AND CONFORMITY: KRS 350.028 requires the Environmental and Public Protection

Cabinet to adopt rules and administrative regulations for the strip mining of

coal. This administrative regulation sets forth requirements for the

revegetation of lands affected by strip mining.

 

      Section 1. General.

(1) The permittee shall establish on all land that has been disturbed, a

diverse, effective, and permanent vegetative cover of species native to the

area of disturbed land or species that will support the planned postmining uses

of the land approved according to 405 KAR 1:070. For areas designated as prime

farmland, the reclamation procedures of 405 KAR 1:250 shall apply.

      (2) Revegetation

shall be carried out in a manner that encourages a prompt vegetative cover and

recovery of productivity levels compatible with approved land uses. The

vegetative cover shall be capable of stabilizing the soil surface with respect

to erosion. All disturbed lands, except water areas and surface areas of roads

that are approved as a part of the postmining land use, shall be seeded or

planted to achieve a vegetative cover of the same seasonal variety native to

the area of disturbed land. If both the pre- and postmining land use is

intensive agriculture, planting of the crops normally grown will meet the

requirement. Vegetative cover will be considered of the same seasonal variety

when it consists of mixture of species of equal or superior utility for the

intended land use when compared with the utility of naturally occurring

vegetation during each season of the year.

      (3) On federal

lands, the surface management agency shall be consulted for approval prior to

revegetation regarding what species are selected, and following revegetation,

to determine when the area is ready to be used.

 

      Section 2. Use of

Introduced Species. Introduced species may be substituted for native species

only if appropriate field trials have demonstrated that the introduced species

are of equal or superior utility for the approved postmining land use, or are

necessary to achieve a quick, temporary, and stabilizing cover. Such species

substitution shall be approved by the cabinet. Introduced species shall meet

the applicable state and federal seed or introduced species statutes, and shall

not include poisonous or potentially toxic species.

 

      Section 3. Timing of

Revegetation. (1) Seeding and planting of disturbed areas shall be conducted

during the first normal period for favorable planting conditions after final

preparation. The normal period for favorable planting shall be that planting

time generally accepted locally for the type of plant materials selected to

meet specific site conditions and climate.

      (2) Any disturbed

areas, except water areas and surface areas of roads that are approved under

405 KAR 1:070 as part of the postmining land use, which have been graded shall

be seasonably seeded with a temporary cover of small grains, grasses, or

legumes to control erosion until an adequate permanent cover is established.

      (3) When rills or

gullies, that would preclude the successful establishment of vegetation or the

achievement of the postmining land use, form in regraded areas as specified in

405 KAR 1:130, additional regrading or other stabilization practices will be

required before seeding and planting.

 

      Section 4. Mulching.

(1) Mulch shall be used on all regraded and topsoiled areas to control erosion,

to promote germination of seeds, and to increase the moisture retention of the

soil. Mulch means vegetation residues or other suitable materials that aid in

soil stabilization and soil moisture conservation, thus providing microclimatic

conditions suitable for germination and growth, and do not interfere with the

postmining use of the land.

      (2) Mulch shall be

anchored to the soil surface where appropriate, to ensure effective protection

of the soil and vegetation.

      (3) Application

rates of mulch shall be consistent with those rates submitted on the revegetation

plan except as otherwise approved by the cabinet.

      (4) Annual grains

such as oats, rye and wheat may be used instead of mulch when it is shown to

the satisfaction of the cabinet that the substituted grains will provide

adequate stability and that they will later be replaced by species approved for

the postmining use.

 

      Section 5. Methods

of Revegetation. (1) The permittee shall use technical publications or the

results of laboratory and field test approved by the cabinet to determine the

varieties, species, seeding rates, and soil amendment practices essential for

establishment and self-regeneration of vegetation. The cabinet shall approve

species selection and planting plans.

      (2) Where hayland or

pasture is to be the postmining land use, the species of grasses, legumes,

browse, trees, or forbs for seeding or planting and their pattern of

distribution shall be selected by the permittee to provide a diverse,

effective, and permanent vegetative cover with the seasonal variety,

succession, distribution, and regenerative capabilities native to the area.

Livestock grazing will not be allowed on reclaimed land until the seedlings are

established and can sustain managed grazing. The cabinet, in consultation with

the permittee and the landowner or in concurrence with the governmental

land-managing agency having jurisdiction over the surface, shall determine when

the revegetated area is ready for livestock grazing.

      (3) Where forest is

to be the postmining land use, the permittee shall plant trees adapted to local

site conditions and climate. Trees shall be planted in combination with an

herbaceous cover of grains, grasses, legumes, forbs, or woody plants to provide

a diverse, effective, and permanent vegetative cover with the seasonal variety,

succession, and regeneration capabilities native to the area.

      (4) Where wildlife

habitat is to be included in the postmining land use, the permittee shall

consult with appropriate state and federal wildlife and land management

agencies and shall select those species that will fulfill the needs of

wildlife, including food, water, cover, and space. Plant groupings and water

resources shall be spaced and distributed to fulfill the requirements of

wildlife.

 

      Section 6. Standards

for Measuring Success of Revegetation. (1) Success of revegetation shall be

measured on the basis of reference areas approved by the cabinet. Reference

areas mean land units of varying size and shape identified and maintained under

appropriate management for the purpose of measuring ground cover, productivity

and species diversity that are produced naturally. The reference areas must be

representative of geology, soils, slope, aspect, and vegetation in the permit

area. Management of the reference area shall be comparable to that which will

be required for the approved postmining land use of the area to be mined. The

cabinet shall approve the estimating techniques that will be used to determine

the degree of success in the revegetated area.

      (2) The ground cover

of living plants on the revegetated area shall be equal to the ground cover of

living plants of the approved reference area for a minimum of two (2) growing

seasons. The ground cover shall not be considered equal if it is less than

ninety (90) percent of the ground cover of the reference area for any

significant portion of the mined area. Exceptions may be authorized by the

cabinet for:

      (a) Previously mined

areas that were not reclaimed to the standards required by this chapter prior

to May 3, 1978. The ground cover of living plants for such areas shall not be

less than required to control erosion, and in no case less than that existing

before redisturbance.

      (b) Areas to be

developed immediately for industrial or residential use. The ground cover of

living plants shall not be less than required to control erosion. As used in

this paragraph, "immediately" means less than two (2) years after

regrading has been completed for the area to be used; and

      (c) Areas to be used

for agricultural cropland purposes. Success in revegetation of cropland shall

be determined on the basis of crop production from the mined area compared to

the reference area. Crop production from the mined area shall be equal to that

of the approved reference area for a minimum of two (2) growing seasons.

Production shall not be considered equal if it is less than ninety (90) percent

of the production of the reference area for any significant portion of the

mined area.

      (3) Species

diversity, distribution, seasonal variety, and vigor shall be evaluated on the

basis of the results which could reasonably be expected using the methods of

revegetation approved under Section 6 of this administrative regulation.

 

      Section 7. Seeding

of Stockpiled Topsoil. Topsoil stockpiled in compliance with 405 KAR 1:100 must

be seeded or planted with an effective cover of nonnoxious, quick growing

annual and perennial plants during the first normal period for favorable

planting conditions, or protected by other approved measures. (4 Ky.R. 388;

eff. 5-3-78; Am. 486; 5 Ky.R. 199; eff. 8-23-78; TAm eff. 8-9-2007.)