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Section 1513.09 | Inspections of coal mining and reclamation operations.


(A) The chief of the division of mineral resources management shall cause to be made such inspections of any coal mining and reclamation operations as the chief considers necessary. The chief and authorized representatives of the chief have a right of entry to, upon, or through any area of land upon which coal mining and reclamation operations are being conducted or upon which the chief or authorized representative has reason to believe such operations are being conducted for the purpose of performing such inspections.

(B) For the purpose of administration and enforcement of any requirement of this chapter or in the administration and enforcement of any permit under this chapter or of determining whether any person is in violation of any requirement of this chapter:

(1) The chief shall require any permittee or operator to:

(a) Establish and maintain appropriate records;

(b) Make monthly reports to the chief;

(c) Install, use, and maintain any necessary monitoring equipment or methods;

(d) Evaluate results in accordance with such methods, at such locations, intervals, and in such manner as the chief shall prescribe;

(e) Provide such other information relative to coal mining and reclamation operations as the chief considers reasonable and necessary.

(2) For those coal mining and reclamation operations that remove or disturb strata that serve as aquifers that significantly ensure the hydrologic balance of water use either on or off the mining site, the chief shall specify those:

(a) Monitoring sites to record the quantity and quality of surface drainage above and below the minesite, as well as in the potential zone of influence;

(b) Monitoring sites to record level, amount, and samples of ground water and aquifers potentially affected by the mining, including aquifers directly below the lower-most, deepest, coal seam to be mined;

(c) Records of well logs and borehole data to be maintained;

(d) Monitoring sites to record precipitation.

The monitoring and data collection and analysis required by this section shall be conducted according to standards and procedures set forth, by rule, by the chief in order to assure their reliability and validity.

(3) The authorized representatives of the chief, without advance notice and upon presentation of appropriate credentials:

(a) May enter into, upon, or through any coal mining and reclamation operations, any premises upon which the authorized representatives have a reasonable belief that such operations are being conducted, or any premises in which any records required to be maintained under division (B)(1) of this section are located;

(b) May, during office hours, have access to and copy any records and at reasonable times, without delay, any monitoring equipment or method of operation required under this chapter.

(C) The inspections by the chief or an authorized representative of the chief shall:

(1) Occur on an irregular basis averaging not less than one partial inspection per month and one complete inspection per calendar quarter for the coal mining and reclamation operation covered by each permit;

(2) Occur without prior notice to the permittee or the permittee's agents or employees, except for necessary onsite meetings with the permittee;

(3) Include the filing of inspection records adequate to enforce the requirements of and to carry out the terms and purposes of this chapter.

(D) Each permittee shall conspicuously maintain at the entrances to the coal mining and reclamation operations a clearly visible sign that sets forth the name, business address, and phone number of the permittee and the permit number of the coal mining and reclamation operations.

(E) Each mineral resources inspector, upon detection of each violation of any requirement of this chapter, shall immediately inform the operator in writing and shall report in writing any such violation to the chief.

(F) Copies of any records, reports, inspection material, or information obtained under this chapter by the chief shall be made available immediately to the public at central and sufficient locations in the county, multi-county, and state area of mining so that they are conveniently available to residents in the areas of mining.

(G)(1) A person who is or may be adversely affected by a coal mining operation may notify the chief or any representative of the chief responsible for conducting the inspection, in writing, of any violation of this chapter that the person has reason to believe exists at the mining site. The chief shall, by rule, establish procedures for informal review of any refusal by an authorized representative to issue a notice of violation or order with respect to any such alleged violation. The chief shall furnish the persons requesting the review a written statement of the reasons for the chief's final disposition of the matter.

(2) The chief shall also, by rule, establish procedures to ensure that adequate and complete inspections are made. Any person who is aggrieved or adversely affected may notify the chief of any failure to make such inspections, after which the chief shall determine whether adequate and complete inspections have been made. The chief shall furnish such persons a written statement of the reasons for the chief's determination that adequate and complete inspections have or have not been conducted.

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