The following words and terms, when used in this Chapter (relating
to Coal Mining Regulations), shall have the following meanings unless
the context clearly indicates otherwise:
(1) Acid drainage--Water with a pH of less than 6.0
and in which total acidity exceeds total alkalinity, discharged from
an active, inactive or abandoned surface coal mine and reclamation
operation or from an area affected by surface coal mining and reclamation
(2) Acid-forming materials--Earth materials that contain
sulfide minerals or other materials which, if exposed to air, water,
or weathering processes, form acids that may create acid drainage.
(3) Act or State Act--The "Texas Surface Coal Mining
and Reclamation Act" (Texas Natural Resources Code, Chapter 134).
(4) Adjacent area--Land located outside the affected
area or permit area, depending on the context in which adjacent area
is used, where air, surface or ground water, fish, wildlife, vegetation
or other resources protected by the Act may be adversely impacted
by surface coal mining and reclamation operations.
(5) Administratively complete application--An application
for permit approval or approval for coal exploration where required,
which the Commission determines to contain information addressing
each application requirement of the regulatory program and to contain
all information necessary to initiate processing and public review.
(6) Affected area--Any land or water surface which
is used to facilitate, or which is physically altered by surface coal
mining and reclamation operations. Affected area includes the disturbed
area; any area upon which surface coal mining and reclamation operations
are conducted; any adjacent lands the use of which is incidental to
surface coal mining and reclamation operations; all areas covered
by new or existing roads used to gain access to, or for hauling coal
to or from surface coal mining and reclamation operations; any area
covered by surface excavations, workings, impoundments, dams, ventilation
shafts, entryways, refuse banks, dumps, stockpiles, overburden piles,
spoil banks, culm banks, tailings, holes or depressions, repair areas,
storage areas, shipping areas; any areas which contain sited structures,
facilities, or other property material on the surface resulting from,
or incident to, surface coal mining and reclamation operations; and
the area located above underground workings.
(7) Agricultural activities--With respect to alluvial
valley floors, the use of any tract of land for the production of
animal or vegetable life, where the use is enhanced or facilitated
by subirrigation or flood irrigation associated with alluvial valley
floors. These uses include, but are not limited to, the pasturing,
grazing or watering of livestock, and the cropping, cultivation or
harvesting of plants whose production is aided by the availability
of water from subirrigation or flood irrigation. Those uses do not
include agricultural practices which do not benefit from the availability
of water from subirrigation or flood irrigation.
(8) Agricultural use--The use of any tract of land
for the production of animal or vegetable life. The uses include,
but are not limited to, the pasturing, grazing, and watering of livestock,
and the cropping, cultivation, and harvesting of plants.
(9) Airblast--An airborne shock wave resulting from
the detonation of explosives and which may or may not be audible.
(10) Alluvial valley floors--The unconsolidated stream-laid
deposits holding streams with water availability sufficient for subirrigation
or flood irrigation agricultural activities but does not include upland
areas which are generally overlain by a thin veneer of colluvial deposits
composed chiefly of debris from sheet erosion, deposits formed by
unconcentrated runoff or slope wash, together with talus, or other
mass-movement accumulations, and windblown deposits.
(11) Anthracite--Coal classified as anthracite in the
American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) Standard D 388-77.
Coal classifications are published by the ASTM under the title, "Standard
Specification for Classification of Coals by Rank", ASTM D 388-77.
This ASTM Standard is on file and available for inspection at the
Office of the Surface Mining and Reclamation Division, Railroad Commission
of Texas, 1701 North Congress Avenue, Austin, Texas.
(12) APA--The "Administrative Procedure Act" (Texas
Government Code, Chapter 2001).
(13) Applicant--Any person seeking a permit, permit
revision, renewal, and transfer, assignment, or sale of permit rights
from the Commission to conduct surface or underground coal mining
and reclamation operations pursuant to the Act. With respect to Subchapter
G of this chapter (relating to Surface Coal Mining and Reclamation
Operations Permits and Coal Exploration Procedures Systems), this
term includes a person who seeks to obtain exploration approval or
a permit under that subchapter and the regulatory program. With respect
to Subchapter M of this chapter (relating to Training), this term
includes a person who submits an application to the Commission to
request blaster training, examination or certification.
(14) Applicant/Violator System or AVS--An automated
information system of applicant, permittee, operator, violation and
related data that the Office maintains to assist in implementing the
(15) Application--The documents and other information
filed with the Commission under this chapter (relating to Coal Mining
Regulations) for the issuance of permits; revisions; renewals; and
transfers, assignment, or sale of permit rights for surface coal mining
and reclamation operations or, where required, for coal exploration.
With respect to Subchapter M of this chapter, this term includes a
request submitted to the Commission on a prescribed form, and including
any required fee and any applicable supporting evidence or other attachments.
(16) Approximate original contour--That surface configuration
achieved by backfilling and grading of the mined areas so that the
reclaimed area, including any terracing or access roads, closely resembles
the general surface configuration of the land prior to mining and
blends into and complements the drainage pattern of the surrounding
terrain, with all highwalls, spoil piles and coal refuse piles eliminated.
Permanent water impoundments may be permitted where the Commission
has determined that they comply with §134.092(a)(8) of the Act.
(17) Aquifer--A zone, stratum, or group of strata that
can store and transmit water in sufficient quantities for a specific
(18) Arid or semiarid area--In the context of alluvial
valley floors, an area west of the 100th meridian west longitude,
experiencing water deficits, where water use by native vegetation
equals or exceeds that supplied by precipitation. As an example, the
Eagle Pass field in Texas is in an arid or semiarid area.
(19) Auger mining--A method of mining coal at a cliff
or highwall by drilling holes into an exposed coal seam from the highwall
and transporting the coal along an auger bit to the surface.
(20) Best Technology Currently Available (BTCA)--Equipment,
devices, systems, methods, or techniques which will:
(A) prevent, to the extent possible, additional contributions
of suspended solids to stream flow or runoff outside the permit area,
but in no event result in contributions of suspended solids in excess
of requirements set by applicable state or federal laws; and
(B) minimize, to the extent possible, disturbances
and adverse impacts on fish, wildlife and related environmental values,
and achieve enhancement of those resources where practicable. The
term includes equipment, devices, systems, methods, or techniques
which are currently available anywhere as determined by the Commission,
even if they are not in routine use. The term includes, but is not
limited to, construction practices, siting requirements, vegetative
selection and planting requirements, animal stocking requirements,
scheduling of activities and design of sedimentation ponds in accordance
with §§12.330 - 12.403 and 12.500 - 12.572 of this title
(relating to Permanent Program Performance Standards--Surface Mining
Activities, and to Permanent Program Performance Standards--Underground
Mining Activities). The Commission shall have the discretion to determine
the best technology currently available on a case-by-case basis, as
authorized by the Act and this chapter.
(21) Blaster--A person who is directly responsible
for the use of explosives.
(22) Blaster certification--To issue to an applicant
a Commission Blaster Certificate.
(23) Blasthole--A hole drilled for the placement of
explosives in rock or other material to be blasted.
(24) Blasting crew--Persons whose function is to load
explosive charges and assist blasters in the use of explosives.
(25) Cemetery--Any area of land where human bodies
(26) Certificate issuance--To grant to an applicant
his or her first Commission blaster certificate.
(27) Certificate reissuance--To grant to an applicant,
who has had a Commission blaster certificate that expired or was revoked,
a subsequent certificate for which additional training and examination
(28) Certificate renewal--To grant to an applicant,
who holds a Commission blaster certificate that is currently valid
and not expired or revoked, a subsequent certificate for which training
and examination are not required.
(29) Certificate replacement--To grant to an applicant,
who holds a Commission blaster certificate that is currently valid
and not expired, suspended, or revoked, a duplicate certificate as
a substitute for one that was lost or destroyed.
(30) Certified blaster--A person who has met the qualifications
of Subchapter M of this chapter and who has been issued a Commission
blaster certificate that is currently valid and not expired, suspended,
(31) CFR--The federal Code of Federal Regulations.
(32) Close of public comment period--The close of a
public hearing on a surface mining permit application. When no public
hearing is held, this time shall be 30 days after the last publication
of the newspaper notice required by §12.207(a) of this title
(relating to Public Notices of Filing of Permit Applications).
(33) Coal--Combustible carbonaceous rock, classified
as anthracite, bituminous, subbituminous, or lignite by ASTM Standard
(34) Coal exploration--The field gathering of:
(A) Surface or subsurface geologic, physical, or chemical
data by mapping, trenching, drilling, geophysical, or other techniques
necessary to determine the quality and quantity of overburden and
coal of an area; or
(B) The gathering of environmental data to establish
the conditions of an area before beginning surface coal mining and
reclamation operations under the requirements of this chapter.
(35) Coal exploration operation--The substantial disturbance
of the surface or subsurface for the purpose of coal exploration.
(36) Coal mine waste--Coal processing waste and underground
(37) Coal mining operation--The business of developing,
producing, preparing or loading bituminous coal, subbituminous coal,
anthracite, or lignite, or of reclaiming the areas upon which such
(38) Coal preparation--Chemical or physical processing
and the cleaning, concentrating, or other processing or preparation
(39) Coal processing plant or coal preparation plant--A
facility where coal is subjected to chemical or physical processing
or cleaning, concentrating, or other processing or preparation. It
includes facilities associated with coal preparation activities, including,
but not limited to, the following: loading facilities; storage and
stockpile facilities; sheds, shops and other buildings; water treatment
and water storage facilities; settling basins and impoundments; coal
processing and other waste disposal areas; and, roads, railroads and
other transport facilities. It does not include facilities operated
by the final consumer of the coal, such as an electricity generating
power plant, when, in the opinion of the Commission, the primary purpose
of the facilities is to make the coal ready for conversion into a
different energy form and the facilities are located at or near the
electricity generating plant or other point of final consumption away
from the mine site and outside of the approved mine permit area.
(40) Coal processing waste--Earth materials which are
separated and wasted from the product coal during cleaning, concentrating,
or other processing or preparation of coal.
(41) Combustible material--Organic material that is
capable of burning, either by fire or through oxidation, accompanied
by the evolution of heat and a significant temperature rise.
(42) Commission--The Railroad Commission of Texas.
(43) Commission Blaster Certificate--A certificate
issued by the Commission to a person determined to be qualified under §§12.700
- 12.710 of this title (relating to Training, Examination, and Certification
of Blasters) to be directly responsible for the use of explosives
in mining operations regulated by the Commission.
(44) Commissioner--One of the elected or appointed
members of the decision making body defined as the Commission.