Vol. 29 Iss. 19 - May 20, 2013

Chapter 31
Fast-Track Regulation

Title of Regulation: 4VAC25-31. Reclamation Regulations for Mineral Mining (repealing 4VAC25-31-50, 4VAC25-31-550).

Statutory Authority: §§ 45.1-161.3 and 45.1-180.3 of the Code of Virginia.

Public Hearing Information: No public hearings are scheduled.

Public Comment Deadline: June 19, 2013.

Effective Date: July 4, 2013.

Agency Contact: Michael Skiffington, Regulatory Coordinator, Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy, 1100 Bank Street, 8th Floor, Richmond, VA 23219-3402, telephone (804) 692-3212, FAX (804) 692-3237, TTY (800) 828-1120, or email

Basis: The department is authorized to promulgate regulations necessary to the performance of its duties under § 45.1-161.3 of the Code of Virginia. Section 45.1-180.3 of the Code of Virginia gives the director of the department specific authority over the reclamation of mineral mines.

Purpose: The purpose of this action is to repeal unnecessary or duplicative regulations. There are no substantive changes to the regulation.

Rationale for Using Fast-Track Process: This rulemaking is expected to be noncontroversial because unnecessary or duplicative regulations are being repealed.

Substance: Two sections of 4VAC25-31 are being repealed because they are duplicative or unnecessary. No substantive changes are being made.

Issues: The primary advantage is simplifying the Virginia Administrative Code by eliminating unnecessary or duplicative regulations. There are no disadvantages.

Department of Planning and Budget's Economic Impact Analysis:

Summary of the Proposed Amendments to Regulation. The Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy (DMME) proposes to repeal two redundant sections of these regulations.

Result of Analysis. The benefits likely exceed the costs for all proposed changes.

Estimated Economic Impact. The proposed repeal of redundant language will have no impact on requirements and essentially no economic impact beyond saving a small amount of time spent reading regulations.

Businesses and Entities Affected. There are 433 mineral operations currently in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Approximately 90% of these (roughly 390) would qualify as small businesses.1

Localities Particularly Affected. The proposed regulations will affect all localities in the Commonwealth that have mineral mines. According to DMME, 91% of Virginia’s counties have mineral mines governed by these regulations.

Projected Impact on Employment. The proposed repeal does not affect employment.

Effects on the Use and Value of Private Property. The proposed repeal does not significantly affect the use and value of private property.

Small Businesses: Costs and Other Effects. The proposed repeal does not significantly affect costs for small businesses.

Small Businesses: Alternative Method that Minimizes Adverse Impact. The proposed repeal does not adversely affect small businesses.

Real Estate Development Costs. The proposed repeal does not affect real estate development costs.

Legal Mandate. The Department of Planning and Budget (DPB) has analyzed the economic impact of this proposed regulation in accordance with § 2.2-4007.04 of the Administrative Process Act and Executive Order Number 14 (10). Section 2.2-4007.04 requires that such economic impact analyses include, but need not be limited to, a determination of the public benefit, the projected number of businesses or other entities to whom the regulation would apply, the identity of any localities and types of businesses or other entities particularly affected, the projected number of persons and employment positions to be affected, the projected costs to affected businesses or entities to implement or comply with the regulation, and the impact on the use and value of private property. Further, if the proposed regulation has an adverse effect on small businesses, § 2.2-4007.04 requires that such economic impact analyses include (i) an identification and estimate of the number of small businesses subject to the regulation; (ii) the projected reporting, recordkeeping, and other administrative costs required for small businesses to comply with the regulation, including the type of professional skills necessary for preparing required reports and other documents; (iii) a statement of the probable effect of the regulation on affected small businesses; and (iv) a description of any less intrusive or less costly alternative methods of achieving the purpose of the regulation. The analysis presented above represents DPB's best estimate of these economic impacts.


1 Data source: Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy

Agency's Response to Economic Impact Analysis: The Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy concurs with the economic impact analysis conducted by the Department of Planning and Budget.


The regulatory action repeals sections that are unnecessary and duplicative.

4VAC25-31-50. Mineral Mine Operator's Manual. (Repealed.)

The Mineral Mine Operator's Manual is a nonregulatory guidance document to assist operators in complying with Title 45.1 of the Code of Virginia. The manual may be obtained from the division.

4VAC25-31-550. Intensive agricultural use. (Repealed.)

If the post-mining use is to be intensive agriculture, the planting and harvesting of a normal crop yield is required. A normal yield for a particular crop is equal to the five-year average for the county. The use of grass, water bars, or diversion strips and natural vegetative drainage control may be required in the initial planting year as specified by the director.

VA.R. Doc. No. R13-3520; Filed April 26, 2013, 8:30 a.m.