South Carolina Code of Regulations
Chapter 89 - OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR--MINING COUNCIL OF SOUTH CAROLINA
89-330 - Criteria for Approval of Reclamation Plan and Completed Land Reclamation.

Universal Citation: SC Code Regs 89-330

89-330. Criteria for Approval of Reclamation Plan and Completed Land Reclamation.

A. Minimum standards for final slopes in all excavations in soil, sand, gravel, or other unconsolidat-ed materials.

The final slopes in all excavations in soil, sand, gravel and other unconsolidated materials shall be at such an angle as to minimize the possibility of slides and be consistent with the future use of the land and shall not be steeper than 3H:1V, unless approved by the Department.

B. Minimum safety standards for excavations.

(1) Provisions for safety to persons and to adjoining property must be provided in all excavations. If deemed necessary by the Department, other appropriate provisions may be required, including but not limited to, fences, guardrails, sloping, warning signs and other protective measures.

(2) Safety to adjoining property shall be provided by adequate setback, slope angles, or other provisions as deemed necessary by the Department. If necessary to provide safety, mine operators may be required to leave a minimum undisturbed buffer zone between the mine excavation and contiguous property line or highway right-of-way, unless other safety provisions are approved by the Department.

C. Minimum standards for the configuration of overburden and spoil banks.

In open cast mining operations, all overburden and spoil shall be left in a configuration which is in accordance with accepted conservation practices and which is suitable for the proposed subsequent use of the land. Side slopes of spoil banks, peaks, ridges, and refuse shall not be steeper than 3H:1V, unless approved by the Department.

D. Minimum standards for pools of water, streams, lakes, ponds and marshlands.

(1) In no event shall any provision of the Act be construed to allow small pools of water that are, or are likely to become noxious, odious, or foul to collect or remain on the mined land. Lakes, ponds, wetlands or marshlands shall be considered adequately reclaimed lands when approved by the Department.

(2) Suitable drainage ditches, conduits, or surface gradient shall be constructed to avoid collection of noxious, odious, or foul pools of water.

(3) Those portions of the reclamation plan involving lakes and ponds shall be approved if:

(a) A supply of water sufficient to maintain the approximate design pool elevation in accordance with the reclamation plan is available. In all cases, a sufficient water supply shall be available to maintain a minimum water depth of four (4) feet on at least fifty (50) percent of the surface area of the lake or pond unless the lake or pond is to be used for aquaculture;

(b) Side slopes no steeper than 3H:1V extending to the anticipated average water level except for excavations in rock or where other special considerations are approved by the Department;

(c) Structures impounding a lake or pond conform to standards set forth in requirements promulgated under the Dams and Reservoirs Safety Act or designed by a professional engineer;

(d) All waters shall conform to standards set forth by the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control for surface waters in South Carolina. The specified standards will not be considered violated when values outside the established limits are caused by natural conditions and when no significant environmental harm would result;

(e) Waters designated for fishing lakes shall have at least twenty (20) percent of the total surface area less than six (6) feet deep, with an average minimum depth of three (3) feet;

(f) Water designated for use in water contact sports shall meet the following conditions: all areas within five feet of the lowest expected water level shall be cleared of all stumps, logs, and other debris, and there shall be no sudden dropoffs or deep holes. A three-foot deep shelf around the shore line is permissible for control of aquatic vegetation;

(g) Water designated to be used as waterfowl areas shall have a means of controlling the water level so that at least fifty (50) percent of the area can be either drained or flooded, unless otherwise approved by the Department;

(h) Water areas designated for other uses, such as for aesthetics, irrigation, stock watering, aquaculture, marshlands, or wetlands, shall be considered adequately reclaimed upon approval by the Department.

(4) Stream banks are adequately reclaimed when returned to the approximate original slope and vegetated. Such reclamation shall be done in a manner so as not to adversely affect downstream areas.

E. Minimum standards for cropland.

Slopes and the condition of the surface must be such that commonly used farm machinery can cultivate, maintain, and harvest the area safely. Conservation practices essential for controlling erosion and sediment must be established, unless waived by the Department.

F. Minimum standards for grassland.

The operator shall establish on a continuing basis the vegetative cover and soil stability appropriate to the area. Conservation practices essential for controlling both on-site and off-site erosion and siltation must be established. A minimum of seventy-five (75) percent vegetative ground cover, with no substantial bare spots, must be established and maintained into the second growing season. Where the Department finds that because of special soil conditions it is not feasible to establish a minimum of seventy-five (75) percent ground cover, it may approve a reclamation plan consistent with the original soil condition.

G. Minimum standards for woodland.

(1) The operator shall establish on a continuing basis the vegetative cover and soil stability appropriate to the area. Conservation practices essential for controlling both on-site and off-site erosion and siltation must be established.

(2) Areas reclaimed to woodland must be planted or seeded with respect to species selection, spacing, and ground preparation, according to the recommendations of the South Carolina Commission of Forestry or a registered forester.

(a) Survival meeting the recommendations of the South Carolina Commission of Forestry or a registered forester with no substantial bare spots must be achieved through one full growing season;

(b) Ground cover or other conservation practices shall be required in areas where erosion will be active until the trees or shrubs establish a ground cover from their own litter. Ground cover may be annual or perennial vegetation, or mulching. The requirement for ground cover may be omitted in sandy areas if the reclaimed area has a closed drainage system as long as temporary measures are used to prevent significant erosion and siltation within such areas.

H. Minimum standards for managed wildlife habitat.

Successful reclamation of this type requires highly specialized studies and the operator should work closely with the Department or other conservation agencies in planning and installing such a project. Approval of reclamation of this type will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

I. Minimum standards for reclamation involving a sanitary landfill or other waste disposal.

The Department will refer this type of reclamation over to the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control for permitting, administration and enforcement of operational and monitoring requirements. When the Department receives notice that the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control's requirements have been met, the Department will then release all or the appropriate portion of the operator's surety bond or other security, provided that the operator has established on a continuing basis the vegetative or other ground cover necessary to control or prevent erosion, the soil stability, and the water and safety conditions, appropriate to the area as required by these regulations.

J. Other reclamation.

Mined land can be reclaimed to many other uses. The Department shall encourage and work with operators desiring to reclaim land to unconventional and innovative post-mining uses of affected lands. Such reclamation may be for recreational, developmental, educational or other uses.

K. Notwithstanding any other provision in this regulation or any other applicable regulation issued pursuant to Section 48-20-210 of the Act, the criteria for completed reclamation under an approved reclamation plan, as it pertains to any surety, shall be that criteria set forth in the regulations in effect at the time of the issuance of the mining permit and approved reclamation plan or that criteria in effect at the time of approval of any modification of the mining permit or reclamation plan provided the surety has consented hereto.

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