405 KAR 1:110.
RELATES TO: KRS
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.
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.
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
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
(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
(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
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.)