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Virginia Department of Mines, Mineral and Energy

Operator Memos

Guidance Memoranda
Following is a list of Guidance Memoranda by subject matter.  Copies can be obtained by contacting (276) 523-8100 or e-mail.
DMLR Memos to Operators and Guidance Memoranda Summary List -   (Word)      (PDF)
Joint Mining (CSMO) and Monitoring (NPDES) Permits - Public Participation - (37-12)
Coal Removal from Government Financed Construction Projects - (36-11)

Receipt of Electronic Correspondence from the Agency - (35-11)

Monitoring Fill Underdrains - (34-11)

Permitting Guidance for Surface Coal Mining Operations to Protect Virginia’s Narrative Water Quality Standards - 32-10

Abandoned Mined Land Refuse/Gob Piles – Exploration and Recovery - (31-10)
Engineering Review of Sediment Basin Design; Excavated Basins - (30-10)
Roads - Maintenance and Fugitive Dust Control - (29-09)
Application Processing Time Limits - (28-09)
Electronic Permitting - Mapping Guidelines Approved - (27-09)
Aquatic Species-Specific Protective Measures Guide to Permitted Coal Mining Activities in Virginia - (26-09)
NPDES Permit and Anniversary Fees - (25-08)

Clarification of “Depth to Water” for Ground Water Monitoring Wells - (24-08)

Revisions: Insignificant vs. Significant; Acreage Amendments; and Incidental Boundary
Forestry Reclamation Approach (22-08)
Submittal of Electronic Engineers Signatures and Seals for Maps, Drawings and Plans (21-07)
Permit Applications - Submittal of Corrections, Descriptions of Attachments, and File Path Lengths (20-07)
Acreage Amendments, Anniversary Reports and Temporary Cessations (19-07)
Completed Areas and DGO Permitted Operations (18-07)
Impoundments - Underground Mining (17-07)
Permitting and Bonding of Shared Structures/Facilities (16-07)
Potential Problem Discharges During Reclamation & Bond Release (15-07)
Approximate Original Contour Guidelines (4-02)
Bond Reduction/Release Applications & Completion Reports (7-03)  
Ground Control Plan (11-05)
Permit Applications / Priority Reviews (3-01)  -  (Word)    (PDF)
Permit Fees (6-03)
Permit Signs & Markers (12-05)
Permitting Process - Watersheds with Adopted Total Maximum Daily Loads  (14-05)
Requirements for Haulroad Construction & Design (10-05)
Requirements for Permit Transfer (#9-04)  
Memorandums to Operators
Following is a list of Memorandums to Operators (MTOs) by subject matter.  Copies of MTOs can be obtained by contacting (276) 523-8100 or e-mail.
Air Pollution Control Plan (#8-82) NPDES Monitoring and Reporting (#7-94)
Appl. (Corrections) Submittal; Anniversary Fees (#12-94) Notice of Effluent Non-Compl. Discharges (#4-85)
Archaeological Sites or Historic Places
Permit Fees (#6-03)
Application Processing Time Limit (#13-86) Permit Renewals (#4-84)
Baseline Hydrologic Data Requirements (PHC Assessment) (#1-90) Permit Streamline Procedures (#3-98)
Biosolids Use Guidelines (#6-95) Permit Streamline Procedures - Forms (#9-98)
Cert. of Deposit (#3-83) Public Notice & Comment Periods (#11-94)

Coal Combustion By-Prod. Guidelines

Public Notices (#7-92)
Company Structure Master File (#9-93) Reclamation Fees (#5-84)
Confidential Information (#2-85) Remining Incentives (#4-98)
Contractor Information in Public Notices
Standardized Reporting Form (Qtrly Acid-Base Monitoring) (#3-90)
Cost Bond - Long term Facilities (#2-91) Storm Water Discharges (#8-92)
DMLR Blaster Endorsement Cert. (#9-92) Updating Ownership & Control Information (#3-92)
Filing Appl. - Public Participation Process (#3-89) Waiver to Mine Within 300 Feet (#6-88)
Groundwater Monitoring Frequency (#3-99)  
Highwall Settlement Guidelines (#5-95)  
Mining Operations Near Facilities (#9-89)  
NPDES Enforcement Policy (#8-85)  

Issue Date:  February 17, 2004
Subject: Requirements for Permit Transfer

In order to expedite the review process and to incorporate this activity into the electronic permitting process, this memorandum identifies the information that is needed in an application for permit transfer.  

      The application for permit transfer (succession) should contain forms: DMLR-PT-034p, DMLR-PT-034e, and DMLR-PT-034o (only if adding an operator).  

Complete all items concerning the permittee information.

a.   Answer ALL the Yes/No questions throughout the application as  they pertain to the existing permit.  

b.     Include the appropriate code (A, C or D) to information contained in the following items: 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4, 3.5, 3.6, 3.12, 4.2, 5.3, 5.7, 5.12, 5.15, 7.1, 7.6, 10.3, 11.2, 12.2, 14.1, and 17.1.

c.    Complete all information in Sections I, II, III, V, XIX and XXI.  

Section II -  

d.      Include a current certificate of liability insurance, and rider (4 VAC 25-130-778.18 and 4 VAC 25-130-800.60) - attach in Item 2.5.

e.       Include a sample public notice (example attached) - attach in Item 2.6.  

    f.        Include the original Certificate of Publication[1] - attach in Item 2.7.

Section III -

    g.       Include a completed relinquishment form (DMLR-PT-027) - attach in Item 3.13.

Section V -

    h.       Include a completed DMLR-PT-128 (NPDES application form) - attach in Item 5.15.  

        Section XIX -

    i.         Include a completed Coal Surface Mining Reclamation Fund[2] application form (DMLR-PT-162), if applicable - attach in Item 19.1.

    j.        Include a brief narrative describing the bonding plan and amounts - attach in Item 19.1.  

        Section XXI -

    k.      Include a notarized statement that the applicant will assume the terms and conditions of the original permit # ____________, presently permitted to ______________________ - attach in Item 21.1.

    l.         Include a notarized statement that the new permittee will abate any existing violations within a period acceptable to DMLR - attach in Item 21.1.

    m.     Include a proof of consummation (example attached: Section 4 VAC 25-130-774.17 (e)(2)) - attach in Item 21.1.

NOTE: Items “k, l, and m” may be included in one document and attached in Item 21.1).

    n.       Include a completed application certification form (DMLR-PT-034d) - attach in Item 21.1.

    o.      Include a certified map that identifies the remaining coal reserves (underground only) -attach in Item 21.2.


Complete all items concerning the operator information as requested.

Note: If a new operator is being added at the time of transfer, the appropriate information should be included in the public notice.  If an existing operator is to be removed, that should be done prior to getting the data download for the transfer application.

        The transfer application material should be completed and submitted to the Inspector for review.  This would include the electronic copy along with the package containing the original signature documents.  If the application is submitted in paper format the original and one copy should be submitted.

      After review of the application material and completion of the public comment period, the following items will be required for final decision on the permit transfer application:

i.         A current original affidavit for proof of payment of reclamation fees (DMLR-PT-244) (a new affidavit is required for the previous quarter, 30 days following the end of that quarter)

ii.   Replacement of bond (current bond will be released to the original   permittee when the transfer application is approved and bond replaced). 

iii.      Permit fees at $26.00 per acre and any portion thereof.

iv.     Reclamation fund entrance fee (4 VAC 25-130-801.12(a)), if applicable.

v.       Original ownership and control affidavits (DMLR-PT-240).


         ·        If a permit renewal application is currently in review, the renewal should be approved prior to requesting a data download for the transfer application.

          ·        If a permit renewal application is submitted while a transfer application is being reviewed, the Division’s decision on the permit renewal application will be made first.  The transfer application would have to be updated to reflect any changes made as a result of the renewal application approval.

         ·        If there are two or more applications submitted for the permit being transferred (e.g., transfer or revision applications):

-     If the transfer application is approved and processed prior to the Division’s decision on the other application(s), the pending application(s) will be denied.  The applicant or consultant would need to obtain a new data download for the pending application(s) using the new permit number.

-     If the additional application(s) is/are approved and processed (for the existing permit) prior to the Division’s decision on the transfer application, the applicant or consultant will be directed to incorporate the new data from the approved application(s) into the transfer application (in order to ensure all data has been captured).

      Should you have any questions regarding permit transfer process or the electronic permitting requirements, please contact the Division of Mined Land Reclamation’s Reclamation Program Manager at (276) 523-8202.

BASIC PUBLIC NOTICE FORMAT (1 week/30 day comment)

EXAMPLE - Transfer, Assignment, Sale of Permit Rights - Application






    (Company Name and Business Address)        is applying for the transfer, assignment, or sale of the permit rights of   (Current Permittee and Business Address)   concerning Permit No.                  located in                            County                  (Precise Location)                                        as provided by 4 VAC 25-130-774.17 of the Virginia Coal Surface Mining Reclamation Regulations.

Any person with a valid legal interest which might be adversely affected by this application to transfer, assign, or sell the permit rights of the aforementioned permit, may within 30 days of (Date of  Publication) submit written comments concerning the application to the Division of Mined Land Reclamation. All correspondence concerning the application should be submitted to the attention of the Division of Mined Land Reclamation’s Permit Section at Post Office Drawer 900; Big Stone Gap, Virginia 24219.   Written comments may be e-mailed to the Division at

Questions concerning the application review process may be directed to the Permit Section at (276) 523-8202. 


Proof of Consummation

 The purpose of this succession application is to transfer Virginia Division of Mined Land Reclamation Permit Number xxxxxxx from (Relinquishing Company Name) to (Succession Company Name).

The application (#xxxxxxx) is based upon an (agreement, contract, lease, etc.) dated (Date) between (Relinquishing Company Name) and (Succession Company Name) to:

Signed: ______________________   Title: ______________________  

Subscribed and sworn/affirmed to before me by _______________________________ this ____ day of _______________, 20_____, in the State of _______________ City/County of ___________________ .


____________________________________   My Commission Expires ______________  
            Notary Public Signature                                                                           


(attach SEAL)

[1] Upon obtaining a publication number from the field inspector, the public notice should be published in a newspaper of general circulation in the locality of the operation for one (1) week.  A 30-day public comment period will commence on the date of the publication.  A copy of the application should be at the DMLR’s Big Stone Gap office on the first day of publication.  The original Certificate of Publication is to be submitted as an attachment in Item 2.7.

[2] The company may apply to participate in the Coal Surface Mining Reclamation Fund if coal production will occur under the new permit.

Issue Date:  May 12, 2003
Subject: Permit Fees

 The Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy (DMME), Division of Mined Land Reclamation (DMLR) through this guidance memorandum is implementing the following guideline concerning permitting/anniversary fees.   

The 2003 session of the General Assembly amended Section 45.1-235(E) of the Code of Virginia to increase the permit application fee of $12 to “$26 per acre for the area of land to be affected by the total operation for which plans have been submitted.”  In addition the anniversary fee of $6 per acre for areas disturbed was increased to $13 per acre.  These rate increases will be effective as of July 1, 2003. 

DMLR has mailed correspondence to a number of operations requesting permit application or anniversary fees with anniversary or effective dates before July 1, 2003, to be submitted at the current rates. Please be advised that if payment of the fees is not submitted by the close of business on June 30, 2003, the new rates will be applicable effective July 1, 2003.  

In addition, the permit fee that will be applicable on a permit’s anniversary or renewal date must be submitted. For example, if the anniversary date is July1, 2003 or later and you wish to submit payment before that date, the new rate effective July 1 ($13 per acre) must be submitted.

1This Memorandum is to be considered a guideline issued under the authority of § 45.1-230.A1 of the Code of Virginia which reads: 

"In addition to the adoption of regulations under this chapter, the Director may at his discretion issue or distribute to the public interpretative, advisory or procedural bulletins or guidelines pertaining to permit applications or to matters reasonably related thereto without following any of the procedures set forth in the Administrative Process Act (§ 2.2-4000 et seq.). The materials shall be clearly designated as to their nature, shall be solely for purposes of public information and education, and shall not have the force of regulations under this chapter or under any other provision of this Code."


Air Pollution Control Plan (issued 3/31/82, updated 10/1/01)

             In accordance with §§4 VAC 25-130-780.18(b)(9) and 4 VAC 25-130-784.13(b)(9) of the Virginia Coal Surface Mining Reclamation Regulations, the Department of Environmental Quality (  - Air Compliance Office) will review the Air Pollution Control Plan of each coal surface mining and reclamation operation permit application and have the opportunity to submit comments pursuant to §4 VAC 25-130-773.13 of the regulations.  

            The Air Pollution Control Plan should include, at a minimum, the following information: 


Surface mining operation -

Fugitive dust control plan for haul-roads (all the way to the pit) and for the equipment use in the mining process, particularly dust collectors on drills.





Surface disturbances of Underground operations -

Fugitive dust control plan for haul-roads (all the way to the underground mine face), open stockpiles, storage silos (particularly rock dust silos).





Preparation Plants, Tipples, and Refuse areas’

Fugitive dust control plan for haul-roads and areas associated with these facilities.

             §§4 VAC 25-130-816.95 and 4 VAC 25-130-817.95 set forth the performance standard requirements for air pollution control.  These do not supersede any requirements administered by the DEQ’s Air Compliance office.

Archaeological Sites or Historic Places (issued 6/7/82, updated 10/1/01)

    The Virginia Department of Historic Resources (VDHR) should be contacted for a determination of the archaeological significance of the area proposed for a coal surface and reclamation permit The contact will aid the company in addressing the information requirements of §4 VAC 25-130-761.12(f) of the Virginia Coal Surface Mining Reclamation Regulations.  The following information should be provided to VDHR to assist its research – 

  1. Delineation of the area disturbed within the proposed mining area;
  2. Information on the slope grade (in per cent) of the proposed area to be affected by the mining operation; and,
  3. A 7.5 minute quadrangle topographic (USGS) map – quad identified - outlining the proposed mining operation.

             A copy of correspondence sent to VDHR should be incorporated into the coal surface mining and reclamation permit application.  

Certificates of Deposit (issued 2/10/83, updated 10/1/01)

             §4 VAC 25-130-800.16 of the regulations require that performance bonds, such as certificates of deposit, be made payable to the “Commonwealth of Virginia, Director-Division of Mined Land Reclamation”.

             The Division will not accept interest payments.  Interest payments for the certificates of deposit should be made payable to the party putting up the certificate.  There may be other means available for handling interest payments.  The Division does not have to approve methods for handling interest payments. 

Permit Renewals (issued 5/23/84, updated 10/1/01 & 04/21/08) 

            §4VAC25-130-774.15 provides that a valid permit carries with it the right of successive renewal, within the approved boundaries of the existing permit, upon the expiration of the permit term.  

  1. Permittee will receive 180 days in advance notice of permit’s pending expiration date.
  2. Permittee should notify the DMLR if it does not intend to conduct mining after the permit’s expiration date.
  3. Permittee intending to continue operations beyond the expiration date shall submit renewal application at least 120 days prior to permit’s expiration date.
  4. The DMLR field inspector must review and upload the renewal application prior to its submittal to the Big Stone Gap office and provide a publication number.
Reclamation Fees (issued 5/25/84, updated 10/1/01)          

            Pursuant to §4 VAC 25-130-773.17(g), the permittee shall submit proof that all reclamation fees lawfully required under Title IV of the Federal Act have been paid.  The permittee may utilize form DMLR-PT-244 in providing the necessary proof.  Only one original affidavit will be required during the quarter.  For subsequent permit or revision applications that quarter, the permittee should attach a copy of the affidavit.  

Confidential Information (issued 2/8/85, updated 10/1/01 & 04/21/08) 

          §4VAC25-130-773.13(d)(3) describes the information which may be kept confidential in a permit application.  Confidential information must be bound separately and clearly identified as “Confidential”.  Any information submitted as confidential and deemed by the DMLR not to be confidential will be returned to the permittee to incorporate into the electronic application.

Notice of Effluent Non-Compliance Reports (issued 2/25/85, updated 10/1/01)

             Pursuant to §§4 VAC 25-130-816.42 and 4 VAC 25-130-817.42 and the approved NPDES permit, permittees are required to notify the DMLR of any instance when NPDES surface water effluent limitations are exceeded.  The permittee is required to –

    1.      Immediately report by telephone the non-compliance to the DMLR’s water quality staff.

    2.      Submit a written Notice of Effluent Non-Compliance (DMLR-PT-084) to the DMLR within 5 days. 

 In instances where the water monitoring is handled through a contracting laboratory/service, the permittee is still responsible to ensure the reporting procedure is complied with.  Failure to report in a timely manner could result in enforcement action. 

NPDES Enforcement Policy (issued 4/7/85, updated 10/1/01)

The permittee is strictly liable for any violation of the NPDES permit; however, this policy will focus on those repeat effluent violations of sufficient magnitude and duration to be considered for regulatory review or response.

The Division will use EPA’s definitions of “Significant Non-Compliance” (SNC) and “Chronic Non-Compliance” (CNC) as guidelines in considering enforcement action for effluent violations reported by the permittee on the monthly Discharge Monitoring Reports (DMRs: DMLR-PT-119).  

    §§4 VAC 25-130-816.42 and 4 VAC 25-130-817.42


Monthly Average Limit


Total suspended solids (TSS)

35 mg/l

49 mg/l

Iron (existing source) (TFe)

3.5 mg/l

Iron (new source) (TFe)

3.0 mg/l

4.2 mg/l

Manganese (TMn)

2.0 mg/l

2.8 mg/l

All NPDES monitoring and reporting required of the permittee will remain unchanged, and there will be no change in the policy regarding single event and short term non-compliance that is reported by the permittee.  The field inspector upon the next routine inspection will address all daily maximum and monthly average violations that are noted on the DMRs.  However, violations deemed to be serious shall be investigated and addressed immediately.   

Application Processing Time Limit (issued 12/18/86, updated 10/1/01)

            §4 VAC 25-130-774.13(b)(1) of the regulations requires the Division to establish a time period for its review and approval/disapproval of a revision application.  The time period has been set as 12 months from the date of initial submittal. 

            The Division will administratively deny revision applications that have been submitted in excess of 12 months (with no recent action on the permittee’s part).  This denial does not prevent the permittee from updating the application package and submitting it as a new revision application.

            Applications for new permits will be acted upon (approval or disapproval) within 18 months from the date of submittal.  

Waiver to Mine Within 300 Feet (issued 5/6/88, updated 10/1/01)

            §4 VAC 25-130-761.11(e) of the regulations allows a company to mine within 300 feet of an occupied dwelling if the owner(s) of the structure has provided a written waiver consenting to surface coal mining operations closer than 300 feet.  The waiver must be executed and approved by the Division prior to the company’s land disturbing activities within 300 feet of the dwelling. 

            The permittee may utilize form DMLR-PT-223 in obtaining the written waiver.  The waiver should also provide for the transfer of the permit to subsequent applicants without requiring new waivers. 

Filing Application – Public Participation Process (issued 3/17/89, updated 10/1/01 & 04/21/08)

           §4VAC25-130-773.13(a) (2) of the regulations requires that the applicant for a permit make the application available for public review and copying at a public office of the county/city where the mine site is located. 

            In order to ensure public access and prevent delays in the application decision process, the Division will require the applicant to obtain a receipt or other documentation from the public office to verify the application was properly filed and made available for public inspection (from the 1st date of public notice publication through the end of the public comment period.  The applicant can use form DMLR-PT-236.

            Subsequent changes and corrections required by DMLR during the review and public participation process must also be placed in the copy for public display and review.

This requirement applies to each permit, significant revision, and renewal application.

Mining Operations Near Facilities (issued 6/9/89, updated 10/1/01)

            §§4 VAC 25-130-816.180 and 4 VAC 25-130-817.180 of the regulations require that all surface coal and underground mining activities be conducted in a manner that minimizes damage, destruction, or disruption of services provided by oil, gas, and water wells; oil, gas, and coal slurry pipelines; railroads; electric and telephone lines; and water and sewage lines which pass over, under, or through the permit area, unless otherwise approved by the owner of those facilities and the Division.

            As of August 1, 1989, permittees are required to provide advance notification to owners, the Division, and appropriate regulatory agencies exercising jurisdiction over the facilities prior to beginning operations within 300 feet of the facilities.  

Baseline Hydrologic Data Requirements (PHC Assessment) (issued 1/17/90, updated 10/1/01 & 04/21/08)

             According to §§4VAC25-130-780.21 and 4VAC25-130-784.14 of the regulations, permit applications must provide data sufficient to make a Probable Hydrologic Consequences (PHC) determination.  The surface and ground water monitoring plans are based upon that determination, as well.  In addition, the Division uses this data in developing the Cumulative Hydrologic Impact Assessment (CHIA). 

            The process for developing these plans should –

  1. Establish seasonal surface and ground water baseline hydrologic conditions;
  2. Describe existing and anticipated impacts;
  3. Design the operation to minimize impacts within the permit and adjacent areas and to prevent material damage to the hydrologic balance outside the permit area;
  4. Prepare the PHC determination; and,
  5. Design a water monitoring plan to quantify actual impacts.

(Existing data may be extrapolated and used in compiling the required information.)  
Ground Water Baseline Data
       §§4VAC25-130-780.21(b) (1 and 2) and 4VAC25-130-784.14(b) (1 and 2) of the regulations require documentation of seasonal quantity and quality of surface and ground waters.  A minimum of 6 months of data for both surface and ground waters is required to quantify baseline conditions.  The PHC determination cannot be made, nor can the monitoring sites be determined, until seasonal baseline is established.  Baseline data in the potential impact area can be established from water supply inventories, surveys of springs, seeps, flooded underground works, mine discharges, streams, and baseline monitoring wells.

The regulations also require a water supply inventory for all supplies in the potential impact area of surface and underground mines.  Including complete inventory data with the permit application submittal will strengthen the PHC determination and minimize the permit review processing time.

Geologic Logs
            The location of ground water occurrences must be labeled on the geologic log (§§4VAC25-130-780.22(b)(2)(i) and 4VAC25-130-784.22(b)(2 and 3)(i)), on the geologic cross-section and the stratigraphic data sheet in the lithology modifiers column.  If not available for existing logs, data may be provided by other means.  However, the location of ground water occurrences is required on all logs submitted for sections measured or holes drilled.


            A narrative must accompany baseline data discussing and interpreting the data significance.  The PHC narrative must evaluate all geologic and hydrologic data relative to the proposed operation (§§4VAC25-130-780.21(f) and 4VAC25-130-784.14(e)).  Using hydrologic baseline data, each water-bearing stratum should be addressed in the narrative with a determination made as to its significance to the hydrologic balance within the cumulative impact area.  The potential impact of subsidence should also be discussed in the PHC narrative.

            The surface and ground water compliance monitoring plans should be developed to determine if the impacts are as anticipated by the PHC after the baseline conditions have been established, the mining plan developed, and the PHC determination made.  

Standardized Reporting Form (Quarterly Acid-Base Monitoring) (issued 6/28/90, updated 10/1/01)  

            As of July 1, 1990, the Division required the use of a standard reporting form for quarterly acid-base monitoring reports (DMLR-PT-239), to be filled out by the company or laboratory performing the analysis.

            At the end of each calendar quarter, 2 copies of the report form should be submitted to the Division’s Big Stone Gap office.  (Even if no material was placed during the quarter or the facility was inactive, the report form should still be submitted stating such.) A separate reporting form should be submitted for each sample taken and analyzed.  The area inspector does not have to review and initial the reports.  

Cost Bond – Long Term Facilities (issued 2/5/91, updated 10/1/01 & 4/21/08)  

            §4VAC25-130-800.17(b)(2) of the regulations specifies the cost of removing the facilities associated with the long-term disturbances shall be considered in the performance bond calculation.  The Division may exclude the cost of removing facilities that will remain on the site after the operation is completed when the facilities retention is necessary to achieve the post mining land use. 

Updating Ownership and Control Information (issued 4/28/92, updated 10/1/01 & 4/21/08)

           The Division must verify the company’s eligibility to conduct coal surface mining operations through its permit records and the Applicant Violator System (AVS) whenever the legal structure of a permittee changes.

            To delete the name of an owner, officer, director, principal stockholder, or other company official from the Division’s record, the permittee must submit an affidavit, notarized letter, or notarized Board resolution describing the change.  The document should specify the effective date of the change. 

The permittee would also need to submit an application to update the permit records.  To add or delete the names of the owners, officers, directors, principal stockholders, or other company officials, the permittee would need to submit –

Public Notices (issued 9/11/92, updated 10/1/01 & 4/21/08)          

              The Division is responsible for seeing that the public is adequately informed concerning the location and nature of a proposed or existing coal surface mining operation based upon what appears in the public notice required by §4VAC25-130-773.13(a)(1) of the regulations.

            Public notices must be understandable and clearly delineate the location and nature of the proposed operation.

The public notice must be reviewed by the field inspector. Once approved, the inspector will assign a publication number that must be added to the notice for publication.            

NPDES Permits – Storm Water Discharges (issued 9/25/92, updated 10/1/01)

            Storm water discharges will be addressed in the NPDES permit application (DMLR-PT-128).  The application must include, at the minimum, monitoring representative of the entire site for 1 storm event.  Applications for proposed operations should use estimated parameter values based on discharges from operations similar in nature and submit site specific storm water analysis for discharges when the operation starts (Terms of Issuance).  Operations with multiple discharges may use representative monitoring sites for pond and haulroad discharges that are substantially identical.  

            Storm water analyses (in addition to the coal industry parameters of pH, TSS, Fe, & Mn) will also monitor the parameters of oil and grease; COD; BOD5; total phosphorus; total Kjeldahl nitrogen; and nitrate plus nitrite nitrogen.  

DMLR Blasters Endorsement Certification (issued 12/1/92, updated 10/1/01 & 4/21/08)

            Effective January 1, 1993, the Division of Mines (DM) began processing and issuing original applications and renewals of coal surface mine blaster certifications.  DM also began conducting endorsement training and tracking all data and information related to the certification and endorsement procedures. 

            DMLR continues to issue the blaster endorsement certifications and enforce blasting enforcement standards (including suspension or revocation of the endorsement certification, as needed).




Applications, Renewals, & general certification information

DM –Regulatory Boards Administrator

(276) 523-8234

DM Training & DMLR Endorsement training

DM –Coal Mine Safety Engineer

(276) 523-8231

Blaster violation history, suspension/revocation procedures

DMLR –Training Coordinator

(276) 523-8191

Contractor Information in Public Notices (issued 6/14/93, updated 10/1/01)

              Information that a contractor will be doing the actual mining on a proposed mining operation should be included in the public notice  required under §4 VAC 25-130-773.13 of the regulations.  The information should also provide the contractor’s name and address.  

Company Structure Master File (issued 11/17/93, updated 10/1/01)

            The permittee is required to update the ownership and control information whenever a change occurs in the company structure for the permittee and operator.  Forms DMLR-PT-034p and DMLR-PT-034o are to be used to update the relevant information.

            In order to reduce copying and costs for the permittee, the Division has established a company structure master file for the permittee information.  Future permit applications may reference the permittee’s master file if no changes have occurred in the company’s legal structure since the last update.  The permittee would only need to submit an affidavit (DMLR-PT-250) with the application materials certifying that no changes have occurred from the previous information filed with the Division.

            The permittee must maintain and make available a duplicate copy of the master file at the appropriate courthouse(s) or public office(s) where the permit application (including significant revisions and renewals) is filed for public inspection. 

NPDES Monitoring and Reporting Requirements (issued 8/29/94, updated 10/1/01) 

            Effective January 1, 1995 –  

Qualifying Rainfall Events for Discharges

Pre-reclamation areas

0.2”/24 hrs.

Refuse areas

2.5”/24 hrs.

Controlled surface water

4.4”/24 hrs.

Commingled water

4.4”/24 hrs.

  MEMORANDUM # 11-94
Public Notice and Comment Periods (issued 11/21/94, updated 10/1/01)

            Publication rate and comment periods:

·        Published once a week for 4 consecutive weeks with a 30 day comment period from the last date of publication –

New permit applications *                        Significant Revisions*

CSMO permit renewals*                          Bond Releases ** 

·        Published once a week for 2 consecutive weeks with a 30 day comment period from the 1st date of publication – 

Transfer applications **                            NPDES renewals/revisions

Ownership/control revisions** 

                        *             Copy placed at courthouse (approved public office) for public inspection

                        **           Copy displayed at DMLR’s Big Stone Gap office.   

Application (Corrections) Submittal; Anniversary Fees (issued 12/5/94, updated 10/1/01 & 4/21/08)

            Permittees or consultants no longer will be required to have the DMLR field inspector review and initial corrections on applications, unless a major change occurs or review is requested in the DMLR’s comment letter.

            Anniversary fees – the permittee needs to submit the required anniversary fees to the DMLR office once notified of the permitting and technical review approval of the anniversary report application.    

Coal Combustion By-Products Guidelines (issued 1/30/95, updated 10/1/01 & 4/21/08)

            The Division will implement the requirements of §9VAC20-85-10 et seq. for the use of coal combustion by-products on permits issued under the Virginia Coal Surface Mining Reclamation Regulations (4VAC25-130-700.1 et seq.).   The Coal Combustion By-Products Guidelines are to be used in conjunction with the aforementioned regulations. 

Highwall Settlement Guidelines (issued 8/3/95, updated 10/1/01)  

            The following guidelines set forth the procedures to be used by DMLR to determine whether or not a settled highwall must be re-eliminated. 

      (§§4 VAC 25-130-816.102 and 4 VAC 25-130-817.102)

1.      Completion of initial backfilling and grading per 4 VAC 25-130-816/817.102

2.      Inspector will confirm compliance (photos & inspection report) before backfilling and grading approval is granted.

3.      1 year after backfilling, Inspector will document occurrence and extent of each area of backfill settlement, noting – areas of settlement less than 3 feet; in excess of 3 feet; those with stability problems; and where land use problems may exist. 

4.      Inspector will document each occurrence and extent of backfill settlement during each complete inspection (quarterly). 

5.      DMLR to evaluate each occurrence of settlement to determine if stability or land use problems exist.

6.      Re-exposure of highwall result of instability – DMLR will require mitigation, including re-elimination of highwall as soon as possible.

7.      After 18 months, should DMLR determine settlement interferes with postmining land use implementation, permittee will be instructed to mitigate settlement, total highwall re-elimination (45 days, with extensions possible based upon site-specific situation).  Failure to comply may result in enforcement action (4 VAC 25-130.816/817.133(a)).

8.      Post 18 months - settlement in excess of 3 feet deemed impediment to the post mining land use and final bond release would not be considered until areas of wall exceeding 3 feet are re-eliminated.  DMLR will instruct mitigation of settlement in areas exceeding 3 feet (45 days, with extensions possible based upon site-specific situation).  Failure to comply may result in enforcement action (4 VAC 25-130.816/817.133(a)).

9.      Areas re-disturbed to eliminate settlement will be evaluated by DMLR to determine whether any portion or all of the permit must have the bond liability period extended per 4 VAC 25-130.816/817.116.  The full period of liability will be applied if more than 10% of the applicable area is significantly re-disturbed. (see Normal Husbandry Practices).

Highwall settlement of 3 feet  or less will be allowed, provided

a.                  The highwall must have been originally totally eliminated.

b.                  A certification from a professional engineer is submitted to the DMLR attesting that the highwall is stable and no stability problems exist.

c.                  There are no other existing violations associated with the highwall backfill. 

Biosolids Use Guidelines (issued 8/9/95, updated 10/1/01 & 4/21/08)

             Legislation  passed by the General Assembly (HB 2802, Acts of Assembly c. 881, 2007) and signed into law by the Governor, amended § 64.1-44.19:3 and § 32.1-164.2 through § 32.1-164.7 of the Code of Virginia providing for transferring the biosolids use permitting authority and the Biosolids Use Regulations from the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) to the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) . The transfer became effective January 1, 2008.

           The Division will implement the requirements of §12VAC5-585 et seq. for the use of biosolids on permits issued under the Virginia Coal Surface Mining Reclamation Regulations (4VAC25-130-700.1 et seq.).   The Biosolids Use Guidelines are to be used in conjunction with the aforementioned regulations.

Permit Streamline Procedures (issued 6/16/98, updated 10/1/01 & 4/21/08)  

Inspector’s Copy of Completed/Approved Permit Application 
The permittee must submit the Inspector’s copy of the complete and correct application upon completion of the application review (same time the OSM copy is provided to DMLR). 

Midterm Reviews 
DMLR shall conduct the comprehensive review of the permit at the middle of the permit’s term. 4VAC25-130-774.11

When renewing a permit, the following material needs to be submitted to the DMLR:

  1. Revision application  - DMLR-PT-034e: Include Sections 1, 2, 21 and those sections proposed to be revised and all applicable sections of the application for the areas to be amended to the existing permit; and
  2. Renewal application  - (see above).

Remining Permit Streamline Procedures 

Field reviews – DMLR remining permit review team will provide consultation prior to, during and after permit preparation, as requested; assist industry’s and consultant’s location of remining/AML features upon request (DMLR GPS capability); coordinate up-front site visits and review with other state and federal agencies to facilitate the permitting process; consider alternate sediment control designs if compliance can be demonstrated (alternate designs to be included in the sediment control designs of the permit).

Remining Incentives (issued 7/10/98, updated 10/1/01)

A permittee can qualify for a reduction in the responsibility period for successful revegetation by clearly distinguishing between remined areas and the other areas of the permit.  The timing of bond release on the remined segments can be reduced from 5 to 2 years following the date of last augmented seeding. In order to qualify for the other incentives, a permittee or applicant must provide the applicable information required under Part 4 VAC 25-130-785.  Remining incentives cannot apply to an existing permit until a permit revision is submitted and approved.   

Permit Streamline Procedures - Forms (issued 12/17/98, updated 10/1/01 & 4/21/08)

           As of March 1, 1999, the Division will require permitting action be submitted on the following electronic forms.  (If you are just revising permittee or operator information, you need only submit the completed DMLR-PT-034o or DMLR-PT-034p, as applicable.)  The certification form (DMLR-PT-034D) needs to be submitted with each application package.

DMLR-PT-034e Application for Coal Surface Mining and Reclamation Operations.  General and Technical Information
DMLR-PT-034eg Application Guide. (The guide will identify the other permitting forms which may be used.)

DMLR-PT-034p Application for Coal Surface Mining and Reclamation Operations Permittee Information  
DMLR-PT-034pg Application for Guide – Permittee Information  
DMLR-PT-034o Application for Coal Surface Mining and Reclamation Operations - Operator Information
DMLR-PT-034og Application for Guide – Operator Information  
DMLR-PT-034D Certification of Application    

The DMLR permitting forms are available through the Internet ( in Acrobat and Microsoft Word versions.

When renewing a permit, the following material needs to be submitted to the DMLR:

If the permittee wishes to renew an existing permit under its current boundaries and conditions

Application for permit renewal

  1. NPDES application (DMLR-PT-128).
  2. Sample public notice.
  3. Proof of publication (must be filed with the Division and made a part of the complete application not later than 4 weeks after the date of publication).
  4. Proof of liability insurance coverage (copy of the current policy on file).
  5. Renewal map with legend (DMLR-PT-017).
  6. Map showing the extent of underground mining (if applicable).
  7. Operator’s seeding report (DMLR-PT-011) – only if seeding has occurred since progress report from the previous year.
  8. Evidence that the performance bond is in full force.

Midterm Evaluations
The Division will conduct the detailed comprehensive review of the existing permit at the middle of the permit’s term (as per 4VAC25-130-774.11(a) of the regulations).  As part of the Division’s mid term permit evaluation, it may request a reassessment of the Probable Hydrologic Consequences (PHC) determination.

Upon completion of the Division’s mid term evaluation (field and technical review), the permittee will be notified of the DMLR findings.  The notification letter will inform the permittee that the permit’s plans are:

Groundwater Monitoring Frequency (issued 11/5/99, updated 10/1/01)

      The frequency for sampling and analyzing groundwater monitoring points for field parameters is changed from bi-weekly to twice each month, at least 7 days apart.

      If the permit’s groundwater monitoring plan contains any other frequency, this memorandum does not modify the plan.  Any other frequency change(s) must be requested through an appropriate revision application.  Form DMLR-PT-101 was revised to reflect the frequency change.

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