National Academies Press: OpenBook

Coal Mining (1978)

Chapter: APPENDIX C: GOVERNMENT AGENCIES REGULATING MINING

« Previous: APPENDIX B: THE U.S. BUREAU OF MINES RESEARCH, DEVELOPMENT, AND DEMONSTRATION PROGRAM
Suggested Citation:"APPENDIX C: GOVERNMENT AGENCIES REGULATING MINING." National Research Council. 1978. Coal Mining. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18766.
×
Page 83
Suggested Citation:"APPENDIX C: GOVERNMENT AGENCIES REGULATING MINING." National Research Council. 1978. Coal Mining. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18766.
×
Page 84
Suggested Citation:"APPENDIX C: GOVERNMENT AGENCIES REGULATING MINING." National Research Council. 1978. Coal Mining. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18766.
×
Page 85
Suggested Citation:"APPENDIX C: GOVERNMENT AGENCIES REGULATING MINING." National Research Council. 1978. Coal Mining. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18766.
×
Page 86
Suggested Citation:"APPENDIX C: GOVERNMENT AGENCIES REGULATING MINING." National Research Council. 1978. Coal Mining. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18766.
×
Page 87
Suggested Citation:"APPENDIX C: GOVERNMENT AGENCIES REGULATING MINING." National Research Council. 1978. Coal Mining. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18766.
×
Page 88
Suggested Citation:"APPENDIX C: GOVERNMENT AGENCIES REGULATING MINING." National Research Council. 1978. Coal Mining. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18766.
×
Page 89
Suggested Citation:"APPENDIX C: GOVERNMENT AGENCIES REGULATING MINING." National Research Council. 1978. Coal Mining. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18766.
×
Page 90
Suggested Citation:"APPENDIX C: GOVERNMENT AGENCIES REGULATING MINING." National Research Council. 1978. Coal Mining. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18766.
×
Page 91

Below is the uncorrected machine-read text of this chapter, intended to provide our own search engines and external engines with highly rich, chapter-representative searchable text of each book. Because it is UNCORRECTED material, please consider the following text as a useful but insufficient proxy for the authoritative book pages.

APPENDIX C GOVERNMENT AGENCIES PECULATING MINING 83

1. AGENCIES AND THEIR ROLES Some of the agencies that regulate mining are listed below along with a brief description of the agency's role. a. U.S. Department of the Interior—U.S. Geological Survey (USGS1 Mining plans for all operations on federally owned land must be approved by the USGS. A mining supervisor in this agency oversees the implementation of the plans and approves such things as road construction for exploratory drilling, location of drill holes, sequence of development, evaluation of reserves, and evaluation of environmental performance as well as any changes necessary in mining plans as the operation grows. This agency plays a major role in land withdrawals (e.g., for wilderness areas) that essentially prohibit any mining in the future. b. U.S. Department of the Interior—Bureau of Land Management (BLM) The BLM works closely with the USGS and other agencies in determining reclamation plans and rights-of-way over federal lands and administers the federal coal leasing program. The bidding process for obtaining coal leases is under its direction. c. U.S. Department of the Interior-—Bureau of Reclamation Water reservoirs and the overall use of water are primary responsibilities of the Bureau. Its greatest responsibility is in the semi-arid West where municipalities, fanners, ranchers, and industry all compete for available water. d. U.S. Department of the Interior—Bureau of Sport Fisheries and Wildlife The Bureau for the most part plays an advisory role to others in the Department of the Interior concerning the effect of mining operations on fish and wildlife. It must concur that mining will not adversely affect fish and wildlife before plans can receive final approval. e. U.S. Department of the Interior—Mining Enforcement and Safety Administration (MESA) The health and safety of the American coal iriner is the prime responsibility of this agency. The Coal Mine Health and Safety Act of 1969 is probably the most stringent regulation of its type in the world today. The MESA deals with the details of mining practice, which requires numerous 84

inspections and the development of reports and approvals covering such matters as dust and noise sampling programs, certified mine maps, approval of safety and record-keeping programs, emergency medical plans, emergency escape and excavation plans, and ground control plans. It essentially controls the safety aspects of the day-to-day operation of American mining. (Standards and regulations of the Health and Safety Act have been in effect for over six years and there is a need to review these standards in light of the experience gained and technological advances made during this period.) f. U.S. Department of Labor — Occupational safety and Health Administration (OSHA) The OSHA may inspect new mining operations during the construction phase to be sure they meet all health and safety standards put forth in its charter. After a mine is in operation, it normally turns its responsibilities for inspection and enforcement over to the MESA. This serves to eliminate overlap between agencies. g« U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare 1HEW) Standards for the health of and for the environment in which the American workman labors are the responsibility of the HEW. The standards put forth are enforced by MESA with the concurrence of HEW. h. U.S. Department of Agriculture — U.S. Forest Service (USFS1 The DSFS is responsible for any activity that takes place in any national forest and works closely with the agencies of the Department of the Interior. It must concur in any plans for mining within National Forests. It also has a research role in regard to reclamation plans. i. U.S. Department of Defense — Corps of Engineers The Corps of Engineers is responsible for river crossings, water intake structures, and any discharge of dredge or flow of material. On federal lands in the West, the Corps must work closely with the Bureau of Reclamation; however, the Bureau is not active in the eastern fields. j. U.S. Treasury Department — Internal Revenue Service The IRS is responsible for explosive user permits, the inspection of powder storage areas, and the quantity of explosives that may be kept on hand at any one time. 85

k. U.S. Department of Transportation jDCT)—Coast Guard The DOT plays a vital role in approving rail, targe, truck, and pipeline movement of minerals. Water safety, dock loading facilities, barge transportation, etc., fall under the jurisdiction of the Coast Guard, which has an effect on the transportation of mineral products. The DOT also is actively engaged in studying the problems of slurry pipeline transportation of coal from the Great Plains into the metropolitan areas of the Midwest. 1. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency jEPA) The EPA sets the air quality and water quality standards for all regions of the United States. It can prohibit the burning of any fuel that does not meet its requirement for sulfur content, particulate matter, and disposal of ash. It promulgates rules, issues licenses and permits, and monitors and enforces its rules and, thus, has a major role in controlling the development of the American mining industry. m. Executive Office of the President—Council on Environmental Quality (CEO) The CEQ works closely with agencies enforcing environmental regulations (e.g., the EPA) but does not itself have regulatory authority. It requires an environmental impact statement that details the full impact of a new operation on the site to be mined, its effect on the nearby communities, the degree of pollution (both air and water) that may develop, and the impact on fish and wildlife and generally on the quality of life in the area. The environmental impact statement development and review will add a year or more to lead times required for new projects. After the CEQ approves the environmental impact statement, responsibility for its implementation and for regulation pass to other agencies. n. Federal Energy Administration (FEA) The PEA directly affects the development of new mines in the United States in that it dictates which fuels will be used where and in what quantities in power generation. By Executive Order, a number of power companies have been forced to switch from low-sulfur crude back to coal as their energy source, and these orders have served to stimulate interest and development of western coals because of their low sulfur content. o. State and Local Agencies It is impossible to enumerate all of the various state and local groups that are involved in issuing permits and 86

licenses and in approving mines before they are opened and operated. States that have a viable mining industry generally have a department of mines, a land use department (perhaps called department of natural resources or department of state land), a department of health, a state engineer for highways and rights-of-way, and perhaps a state environmental department supervising air and water use. In establishing a new mine, one or more of these groups might require an environmental impact assessment or a notice of activity and might be involved in: (1) Granting mining permit (2) Providing bonding for land reclamation (3) Granting rights-of-way over state lands (4) Granting water discharge permit (5) Approving for highway crossings for vehicles, pipelines, powerlines, etc. (6) Approving of reservoir design (7) Granting permits for water wells and water . treatment plant construction (8) Granting permits to use mine water ff (9) Granting powder-magazine permits (10) Approving for sewage treatment facilities (11) Granting permits for refuse disposal facilities and for slope and shaft sinking It also may be necessary to meet local county or city ordinances, and building and/or use permits often are needed. A mining permit and rehabilitation plan may be required, and sewage treatment facilities and facilities for solid-waste disposal may have to meet county standards. Permits to cross or change county roads also may have to be obtained. Local zoning ordinances have been employed over the years to force mining operations away froir populated areas. This has been clearly demonstrated in the crushed-stone and sand and gravel industries in urban areas. The same type of zoning can be used by local residents to prohibit mining through the implementation of unrealistic reclamation plans. 87

2. AGENCY INTERFACE AND PESPONSIBILITY Figure C-1 illustrates the rate of regulation in the coal extraction and mine transportation process. The following explanation is essential to an understanding of the diagram. The chart delineates federal regulatory activities as they fit into the fuel cycle for coal. The diagram identifies the agencies involved and distinguishes among the type of regulatory activity (e.g., standard-setting, licensing); the aspect subject of regulation (e.g., public safety, land use); and the degree of each agency's involvement (by the system of number-coding explained below). Abbreviations used on the chart for the agencies are as follows: NRC Nuclear Regulatory Commission A/FS Department of Agriculture/Forest Service C/E Department of Defense/Corps of Engineers EPA Environmental Protection Agency FPC Federal Power Commission I/BLM Department of the Interior/Bureau of Land Management I/GS Department of the Interior/Geological Survey I/MESA Department of the Interior/Mining Enforceirent and Safety Administration I/SFW Department of the Interior/Bureau of Sport Fisheries and Wildlife L/OSHA Department of Labor/Occupational Safety and Health Administration T/CG Department of Transportation/Coast Guard T/NTSB Department of Transportation/National Transportation Safety Board T/PS Department of Transportation/Office of Pipeline Safety Number-codes listed in parentheses after agency abbreviations on the diagram indicate the degree of involvement by each agency at any specific point. Their meaning is as follows: (1) The agency has a prime responsibility here. It promulgates regulations and standards, issues permits or licenses that refer to a specific regulated matter, or has direct monitoring and enforcement responsibilities. (2) The agency has a mandatory responsibility to review and either concur in or veto a proposal of another agency that has prime responsibility in a particular matter; for example, the Forest Service in certain circumstances can veto a proposal of the Bureau of Land Management to lease oil and gas rights on Forest Service lands. 88

3 u 89

(3) The agency has a mandatory responsibility to review, comment on, or make recommendations concerning a proposal of another agency. In this case, the reviewing agency cannot veto the project but must make comments or recommendations. (4) The agency has the option of commenting upon proposed actions of another agency. (5) This indicates state or local action that is being taken under authority granted by a federal agency or taken pursuant to state law or regulations which satisfy federal requirements. For example, a state may enforce pollution laws that have been approved at the federal level by EPA. (*) The agency has a regulatory responsibility only in certain circumstances as described in Federal Energy Administration, Federal Energy Regulation: An Organizational Study (Washington, D.C.: Federal Energy Administration, 1974), Appendixes F, G, and H. For example, the Forest service is concerned with land use but only on lands it administers. SAMPLE: ( MINING MONITORING ENFORCEMENT AND 1/FS (1,*), STATES (1,*) PUBLIC SAFETY This segment of the diagram indicates that there are some circumstances in which the U.S. Geological Survey has prime responsibility for monitoring and enforcing public safety aspects of coal mines and other circumstances in which the states have such responsibility. The asterisks indicate that OSGS responsibility extends only to coal mines on federal lands and that the state responsibility is with respect to nonfederal lands. 90

Coal Mining Get This Book
×
MyNAP members save 10% online.
Login or Register to save!
Download Free PDF
  1. ×

    Welcome to OpenBook!

    You're looking at OpenBook, NAP.edu's online reading room since 1999. Based on feedback from you, our users, we've made some improvements that make it easier than ever to read thousands of publications on our website.

    Do you want to take a quick tour of the OpenBook's features?

    No Thanks Take a Tour »
  2. ×

    Show this book's table of contents, where you can jump to any chapter by name.

    « Back Next »
  3. ×

    ...or use these buttons to go back to the previous chapter or skip to the next one.

    « Back Next »
  4. ×

    Jump up to the previous page or down to the next one. Also, you can type in a page number and press Enter to go directly to that page in the book.

    « Back Next »
  5. ×

    To search the entire text of this book, type in your search term here and press Enter.

    « Back Next »
  6. ×

    Share a link to this book page on your preferred social network or via email.

    « Back Next »
  7. ×

    View our suggested citation for this chapter.

    « Back Next »
  8. ×

    Ready to take your reading offline? Click here to buy this book in print or download it as a free PDF, if available.

    « Back Next »
Stay Connected!