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Division of Mining and Reclamation
Quarry handbook of policies and procedures published by the West Virginia Department of Environmental ProtectionDivision of Mining and Reclamation, November 2001.
Table of Contents
Quarry Law and Regulations
Quarry Law and Regulations Index
Quarry Statute Table of Contents
Rules for Quarrying and Reclamation Table of Contents
Section 1 - Administrative Extension
: The Secretary may grant an administrative extension for the renewal of an existing permit for a period not exceeding one year.
Section 2 - Agency Notification
: Upon receipt of an application for a new quarry permit, a notice of intent to operate (underground mines with five acres or less surface disturbance) or major modification of an existing permit, DEP will notify the affected agencies. All agencies with the authority to issue permits and licenses applicable to the proposed quarrying operation will be notified.
Section 3 - Appeals
: If, during the review of a new application, the applicant disagrees with a decision of the director concerning application completeness or technical deficiencies, the applicant may, by written notice, request a hearing within 30 calendar days of receipt of notice.
Section 4 - Approved Persons
: In order for a Professional Engineer (formerly Registered Professional Engineer) or a Professional Surveyor (formerly Licensed Land Surveyor) to become an Approved Person under the provisions of Article 4 they must submit to the DEP the following...
Section 5 - Blasting
: WV Code 22-4-13(d) states that “The director shall propose legislative rules ...which shall provide for a warning of impending blast to owners, residents or other persons who may be present on property adjacent to the blasting area.” WV Rules at 38-3-6.3 requires in part that “... prior to blasting operations, written notification of blasting operations...shall be delivered in person or by certified mail to each residence and owners of protected structures, adjacent to any part of the proposed operation.”
Section 6 - Bonding
: Performance bond or contributions to the Bond Pooling Fund must be posted with each new permit. Contributions to the Bond Pooling Fund must be reviewed annually at the anniversary date of the permit to determine if additional contributions to the Bond Pooling Fund are required. A permittee who qualifies for the Bond Pooling Fund must participate in the Fund.
Section 7 - Buffer Zones
: The director shall not give approval to quarry within one hundred feet of any public road, stream, lake, or state, national or interstate park or other public property, and shall not approve the application for a permit where the quarry operation will cause adverse affects to these locations unless adequate screening and other measures approved by the director are to be utilized and the permit application so provides...
Section 8 - Coal Removal on Quarry
: ...coal removal is allowed on a quarry permit (no Article 3 permit required) as long as the tonnage of coal removal does not exceed sixteen and two-thirds percentage of the total minerals removed. A quarry operator must demonstrate in the quarry application that the coal removed is incidental to the quarrying operations and does not exceed sixteen and two-thirds percent of the total minerals to be sold.
Section 9 - Combining Permits
:The combining of quarry permits can be accomplished through a permit modification. The most recently issued permit will be the host permit. The anniversary date of the most recently issued permit being consolidated shall become the new date for permit renewal and submission of the annual Bonding Progress Report Map. The remaining permits (guest) will be incorporated into the host permit and then go through the release process described below...
Section 10 - Culture and History (SHPO)
: The West Virginia State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) is authorized pursuant to Chapter 29, Article 1, Section 5 of the Code of West Virginia to review all undertakings permitted, funded, licensed or otherwise assisted in whole or in part by the State in order to carry out its duties and responsibilities under State and Federal laws.
Section 11 - Drainage
: The West Virginia Quarry Rule 38-3-7.3a provides that diversion ditches above the highwall are not required, while 38-3-7.6a requires that all reasonable measures shall be taken to intercept all undisturbed surface water to prevent water from entering the pit area.... An application that does not contain plans for intercepting the undisturbed water prior to entering the pit must include within the narrative a discussion of pit control.
Section 12 - Exemptions
: Breaking of the ground surface in order to facilitate the extraction of regulated minerals and any activity constituting all or part of a process for mineral extraction or removal from their original location requires a quarry permit from the DEP unless the activity meets the qualifications for an exemption under 22-4-29. The quarry permit must include adjacent areas ancillary to the operation, including preparation and processing activities, storage areas and haulage ways, roads and trails. The term “quarrying” does not apply to manufacturing operations, including those operations adjacent to the permitted area where manufacturing is conducted [22-4-3(20)].
Section 13 - Fills
: Temporary spoil storage areas constructed on slopes steeper than twenty (20) degrees shall be designed using those same requirements as permanent excess spoil disposal sites. Temporary spoil storage areas that are in place and inactive for more than 12 months shall be stabilized and revegetated.
Section 14 - Geology/Hydrology
: 22-4-5(c)(9), 22-4-8 and 38-3-10.b authorize overburden sampling and analysis and special handling of toxic overburden strata. The predominant and preferred method for collecting overburden samples is through “hollow-stem” core drilling. “Highwall sampling” or similar methods can be approved on a case-by-case basis. “Air rotary” drilling and collection of “chip” samples is an inaccurate and imprecise method of sampling and is not accepted.22-4-5(c)(9), 22-4-8 and 38-3-10.b authorize overburden sampling and analysis and special handling of toxic overburden strata. The predominant and preferred method for collecting overburden samples is through “hollow-stem” core drilling. “Highwall sampling” or similar methods can be approved on a case-by-case basis. “Air rotary” drilling and collection of “chip” samples is an inaccurate and imprecise method of sampling and is not accepted.
Section 15 - Hearings
: No public hearing is required for a notice of intent to operate an underground quarry with a surface disturbance less than five acres (22-4-6). Hearings may be requested for new permit or major modifications of a permit and shall be submitted in writing and received by the DEP Secretary prior to the close of the public comment period. The protest must identify the company name and QMA or permit number. In the event all parties requesting the public hearing stipulate agreement prior to the hearing and withdraw their request, a hearing need not be held. The Director, upon receipt of comments expressing substantial new questions regarding the application, may reopen the public comment period. A final decision will be made within thirty days of the close of the public comment period for a new permit application.
Section 16 - Inactive Status
: he request for Inactive Status must be submitted on a MR-14Q, “Application for Inactive Status of Quarry Permit” form and signed by a principal officer of the company and shall certify or address the following points...
Section 17 - Inspection and Enforcement
: The director shall inspect each active operation at least once every calendar quarter. Operations with approved inactive status shall be inspected at least once every six (6) months. More inspections may be conducted as necessary to ensure compliance. (38-3-16) Newly started permits or operations where major construction is ongoing (i.e. installation of drainage system, fill or haul road construction, etc) shall be inspected at least monthly. Permits with unabated violations shall be inspected as often as necessary to insure compliance with remedial measures. For active operations, the complete “Quarry Complete Checklist” (MR 44) will be attached to the inspection reports at least once every six months. For inactive quarries, the checklist will be attached to the inspection reports at least annually.
Section 18 - Insurance
: Each applicant must provide a certificate of insurance issued by an insurance company authorized to do business in this state for all operators at the site including blasting and quarry operators. Blasting insurance is not required of quarry operations which do not conduct blasting. The coverage shall include not less than one million dollars for personal injury per occurrence, and not less than five hundred thousand dollars for property damage per occurrence. Proof of continuing insurance coverage shall be required on an annual basis.
Section 19 - Lands Inquiry
: New quarry permit applications, a notice of intent to operator (underground mines with less than five (5) acres surface disturbance) and major modifications that change the outside boundary of the permitted area require a Lands Inquiry Response to be included in the application. Note that not all boundary revisions or acreage additions require a major modification
Section 20 - Maps
: Progress Maps can be requested by DEP at anytime. It is recommended that progress maps be requested when it is suspected that the operator has caused disturbance off permit. The company has sixty days to comply with the request. The request for a progress map by the DEP shall be in the form of a copy of an order to the company by certified United States mail. A copy of a Non-Coal Mine Inspection Report (MR-6Q) with a request for progress maps noted in the comment section may serve as an order.
Section 21 - Modifications
: Quarry permits can be modified by using the MR-25-M form. A major modification is required when the proposed modification would cause a significant departure from the terms and conditions of the existing permit and would result in a significant impact to the environment or to nearby property. A determination as to whether the application will be a major or minor modification will be a site-specific judgement by the Permit Supervisor.
Section 22 - New Permits
: Applicants are encouraged to contact the regional staff to review their proposed application prior to submittal. The applicant should have a map and general idea of the drainage plan that is proposed. A company official, the consultant preparing the application, the inspector, the Inspection and Enforcement Supervisor and permitting staff should attend the pre-application meeting. The purpose of this meeting is to avoid last-minute delays in the permitting process that may result in significant delays. The MR-25 checklist should be made available to the applicant to aid in preparation of the application.
Section 23 - Permit Blocks
: The director may deny a permit application, modification or transfer for one or more of the following reasons: • Any requirement of federal or state environmental law, rule or regulation would be violated by the proposed permit, • The proposed operation is located in an area the director finds ineligible for a permit pursuant to section 8 of the Act, • The applicant or any person required to be listed on the application pursuant to section five of the Act has not corrected all violations which has resulted in one of the following...
Section 24 - Protest
: Upon receipt of written comments regarding a pending application the permit supervisor shall: • Date stamp letter and enter in ERIS • Prepare and mail a written response immediately to each commentor • Prepare and mail a certified written response to applicant to include copy of commentor’s letter • Maintain a list of commentors on ERIS...
Section 25 - Quarry and Reclamation Plan
: New quarry permit applications must contain a Quarrying and Reclamation Plan. A Quarrying and Reclamation Plan must be prepared by an Approved or Qualified Person. Areas disturbed as of June 8, 2000 are exempt from further reclamation requirements unless required by the approved permit. The Division of Mining Reclamation shall actively encourage voluntary reclamation to be accomplished.
Section 26 - Release
: Permittee shall: 1. Submit the grading approval package (4 copies of the final map and all appropriate MR-12s) to the appropriate regional office, Release Section within 60 days of completion of mining. The maps must be signed by an PS or PE who is an Approved Person...
Section 27 - Renewal
: One hundred eighty (180) days prior to expiration, the notice to renew may be mailed from the headquarters office with instructions to return the completed application to the appropriate regional office. A copy of the notification letter will be sent to the appropriate regional office. Applicant submits the following to the regional office at least 120 days prior to the expiration date...
Section 28 - Revocation
: WV Code 22-4-24(c)(3) allows the director to revoke a permit whenever the director discovers a violation of the act, rules, permit conditions, or other order. Whenever a Quarry Revocation Report is filed, the inspector shall note in the comment section of the MR-10Q a description of the circumstances which should result in the permit being revoked. Appropriate pictures shall be attached. The Inspection and Enforcement Supervisor approval of the recommendation will be indicated by their signature on the MR-10Q. This is a most serious action and should not be taken lightly.
Section 29 - Roads
: To insure protection to the general public and to the environment, the following guidelines shall be used: When mud, debris, or other quarry related materials are being tracked or deposited on a public roadway directly from a quarry operation, several degrees of seriousness can occur depending upon the conditions.
Section 30 - Special Use
: 38-3-3.8.a. “With the approval of the landowner, the director may authorize the retention of drainage structures, roads, buildings, or other structures after final bond release.” 38-3-3.8.b. “With the approval of the landowner, the director may authorize, as a condition of a permit, the export of backfill material off the permitted area for beneficial purposes, or may authorize other beneficial uses of the operation, which are reasonable. Time limits shall be established for the completion of these special land uses. Drainage control may be required to minimize pollution.”
Section 31 - Transfer
: A permit transfer is required when the interest of a permittee is sold, leased, assigned or otherwise disposed of. A transfer is NOT required for contractors operating on a permit area. The permittee is responsible for all violations within the permit area.
Section 32 - Violations
: he MR-6Q requires the Evaluation Codes listed below. “FC” is used when the particular category is in full compliance. “NCM” is used when a Notice of Non-Compliance (MR-15Q) is going to be issued. “PC” is used when a Notice of Non-Compliance was issued in a previous inspection and has not been terminated, withdrawn, nor vacated. “CE” is used when an issued MR-15Q includes this particular category also. “SUS” is used when the permit has been suspended for non-compliance in the particular category.
Division of Mining and Reclamation
Blaster Certification Information and Forms
Policies for Blasting
Pre-Blast Surveyor Information
Codes and Regulations
Inspection and Enforcement Handbook
Narrative Guidance Information
NPDES Tool and Information
Training, Studies, and Investigations
DMR Mailing List Archive
DMR Monthly Status Reports
Report an Emergency
Imminent Danger: 911
Official Emergency Spill Report
Report Non-Emergency Complaint
Department of Environmental Protection
601 57th Street SE
Charleston, WV 25304
Toll Free: 866-568-6649
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