U.S. Code of Federal Regulations

Regulations most recently checked for updates: Jun 30, 2022

§ 23.8 - Approval of mining plan.

(a) Before surface mining operations may commence under any permit or lease issued under the mineral leasing acts the operator must file a mining plan with the mining supervisor and obtain his approval of the plan. Paragraphs (b) through (g) of this section confer authority upon mining supervisors with respect to mining plans pertaining to permits or leases issued under the mineral leasing acts. The mining supervisor shall consult with the district manager with respect to the surface protection and reclamation aspects before approving said plan.

(b) Depending on the size and nature of the operation and the requirements established pursuant to § 23.5, the mining supervisor or the district manager may require that the mining plan submitted by the operator include any or all of the following:

(1) A description of the location and area to be affected by the operations;

(2) Two copies of a suitable map, or aerial photograph showing the topography, the area covered by the permit, lease, or contract, the name and location of major topographic and cultural features, and the drainage plan away from the area to be affected;

(3) A statement of proposed methods of operating, including a description of proposed roads or vehicular trails; the size and location of structures and facilities to be built;

(4) An estimate of the quantity of water to be used and pollutants that are expected to enter any receiving waters;

(5) A design for the necessary impoundment, treatment or control of all runoff water and drainage from workings so as to reduce soil erosion and sedimentation and to prevent the pollution of receiving waters;

(6) A description of measures to be taken to prevent or control fire, soil erosion, pollution of surface and ground water, damage to fish and wildlife, and hazards to public health and safety; and

(7) A statement of the proposed manner and time of performance of work to reclaim areas disturbed by the holder's operation.

(c) In those instances in which the permit, lease, or contract requires the revegetation of an area of land to be affected the mining plan shall show:

(1) Proposed methods of preparation and fertilizing the soil prior to replanting;

(2) Types and mixtures of shrubs, trees, or tree seedlings, grasses or legumes to be planted; and

(3) Types and methods of planting, including the amount of grasses or legumes per acre, or the number and spacing of trees, or tree seedlings, or combinations of grasses and trees.

(d) In those instances in which the permit, lease, or contract requires regrading and backfilling, the mining plan shall show the proposed methods and the timing of grading and backfilling of areas to be affected by the operation.

(e) The mining supervisor or the district manager shall review the mining plan submitted to him by the operator and shall promptly indicate to the operator any changes, additions, or amendments necessary to meet the requirements formulated pursuant to § 23.5, the provisions of the regulations in this part and the terms of the permit, lease, or contract. The operator shall comply with the provisions of an approved mining plan.

(f) A mining plan may be changed by mutual consent of the mining supervisor or the district manager and the operator at any time to adjust to changed conditions or to correct any oversight. To obtain approval of a change or supplemental plan the operator shall submit a written statement of the proposed changes or supplement and the justification for the changes proposed. The mining supervisor or the district manager shall promptly notify the operator that he consents to the proposed changes or supplement or, in the event he does not consent, he shall specify the modifications thereto under which the proposed changes or supplement would be acceptable. After mutual acceptance of a change of a plan the operator shall not depart therefrom without further approval.

(g) If circumstances warrant, or if development of a mining plan for the entire operation is dependent upon unknown factors which cannot or will not be determined except during the progress of the operations, a partial plan may be approved and supplemented from time to time. The operator shall not, however, perform any operation except under an approved plan.

[34 FR 852, Jan. 18, 1969, as amended at 48 FR 27016, June 10, 1983]