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Part X
Permitting and Enforcement Authority

9VAC25-31-940. Authority of the Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy for coal surface mining operations.

For the purpose of Part X of this chapter, NPDES and VPDES permits are synonymous.

A. The Director of the Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy (DMME) has the authority to issue, revoke and reissue, modify, or terminate NPDES permits for the discharge of industrial wastes or other wastes other than sewage from coal surface mining operations as defined in 45.1-229 of the Code of Virginia. Any NPDES permit issued, modified, or revoked and reissued by the Director of DMME that meets the conditions set forth in this chapter shall be as valid and enforceable as if issued by the board.

B. Prior to issuing permits, the Director of DMME shall adhere to the following requirements:

1. That every permit issued, revoked and reissued, or modified shall conform to the requirements of this chapter, the CWA, and all pertinent regulations adopted by the board under law and those adopted under the CWA;

2. That the Director of DMME shall transmit to the department a copy of each application for a NPDES permit received by it, a copy of every draft NPDES permit prepared by it, and written notice of every action taken or contemplated to be taken by the Director of DMME with respect to such a permit; and

3. That no NPDES permit shall be issued, revoked and reissued, or modified if, within 30 days of the date of the transmittal to the department of the complete application and the draft NPDES permit to it, the board objects in writing to the issuance, revocation and reissuance, or modification of such permit. Where required, the board shall stipulate more stringent permit conditions as necessary to maintain applicable water quality standards and provisions of the law. Each such stipulation shall be accompanied by a justifying documentation to the Director of DMME. Such stipulations shall be binding upon the Director of DMME. However, nothing herein shall affect or impair any rights that the applicant may have to a public hearing before the board pursuant to the law or to judicial review of such decision pursuant to the law.

C. The Director of DMME shall enforce NPDES permits issued to coal surface mining operations for the discharge of industrial wastes and other wastes; provided, however, that the board reserves the right to assert its enforcement authority as provided in  45.1-254 F of the Code of Virginia and provided further that the board reserves the right to take emergency enforcement action where the Director of DMME has not taken or cannot take effective emergency enforcement action.

Statutory Authority

62.1-44.15 of the Code of Virginia; 402 of the Clean Water Act; 40 CFR Parts 122, 123, 124, 403, and 503.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 12, Issue 20, eff. July 24, 1996; amended, Virginia Register Volume 27, Issue 26, eff. September 28, 2011.

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