Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement Office August 30, 2006 – Federal Register Recent Federal Regulation Documents

Topsoil Redistribution and Revegetation Success Standards
Document Number: 06-7249
Type: Rule
Date: 2006-08-30
Agency: Department of the Interior, Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement Office
We, the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSM), are finalizing minor changes to our regulations to improve the quality and diversity of revegetation in the reclamation of coal mined lands. These revisions govern topsoil redistribution and revegetation success standards and will: Encourage species diversity on reclaimed lands by allowing replacement of soil in variable thicknesses; provide more flexibility to States in using new vegetative success standards and sampling techniques by removing the current requirement that such changes be included in the approved regulatory program; define success standards for lands with an undeveloped land postmining land use; remove shelter belts from the list of postmining land uses subject to success standards; provide more flexibility to operators when they demonstrate compliance with time-in-place requirements by allowing them to consider all trees and shrubs in place at bond release, including volunteer trees and shrubs, and not requiring them to verify the length of time that individual trees and shrubs have been in placethis change will remove a significant impediment to reforestation of mined lands; and make the timing of revegetation success measurements in areas receiving 26 inches of annual precipitation or less consistent with those in areas receiving more than 26 inches of annual precipitation.