(A) On and after July 20, 1984, no operator shall begin longwall mining in any coal mine until plans for the longwall mining have been filed with and approved by the chief of the division of mineral resources management. All revisions to approved plans shall also be submitted for approval to the chief. The chief shall not approve any plan or revision unless it meets the requirements of this section and shall approve all plans and revisions that meet those requirements.
Approval of a plan or revision, or portion thereof, under comparable provisions of the "Federal Coal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1969," 83 Stat. 742, 30 U.S.C.A. 801, as amended or reenacted, or regulations adopted thereunder, shall be a sufficient basis for approval of the plan or revision, or portion thereof, by the chief unless the chief makes a specific written explanation and findings as to why the federally approved plan, revision, or portion thereof does not meet the requirements of the mining laws of this state and as to why a variance from the federally approved plan is reasonably necessary to meet the requirements of this state's mining laws.
The chief shall make a final decision on a plan or revision, including review of any additional information the chief requests, no later than fourteen days after the operator's initial submission of the plan or revision. Approval of completed plans or revisions shall not be unreasonably withheld.
(B) Longwall mining plans submitted to the chief for approval shall include all of the following:
(1) Company name;
(2) Mine name;
(3) Mine location;
(4) Mine address;
(5) Mine telephone number;
(6) Name, title, and telephone number of the person submitting the plan;
(7) Mine identification number;
(8) Longwall mining roof control plan, which shall include a plan indicating the roof support to be used and the working procedures to be followed when a cavity is encountered over chocks or shields;
(9) Ventilation plan, which shall include the complete section and face ventilation controls and bleeder systems;
(10) Methane and dust control plan;
(11) Any other information required by the chief.
(C) After the chief has approved plans submitted under this section, an operator shall not be required to obtain additional approvals for new longwall working sections if plans initially approved or revised are complied with.
(D) In coal mines where longwall working section operations are in progress prior to July 20, 1984, no operator shall begin new longwall working sections until required plans for longwall mining have been filed with and approved by the chief.
Effective Date: 06-14-2000