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Presented by the University of Kentucky’s Center for Applied Energy Research DidYou Getting Your Coal Mine Permit(s) in Kentucky Know First, let’s have a brief history of how we got here. Difficult as it may be for some to believe, Kentucky has issued coal mine permits since the mid 1960s, though obviously changing much over the intervening years. There had been several attempts toward regulating surface coal mining, beginning in the late 1940s, but most laws had little impact or importance. The first significant statute came in 1964, followed by regulations adopted in 1965. These regu- lations required cast overburden to be regraded and limited bench widths on eastern Kentucky contour mining. In 1966 Kentucky began requiring permits for mining. These permits involved completing a triplicate application form that addressed specifications about land regrading, revegetation, drainage details, and other now familiar items. The application required an enlarged topographic map, certified by a professional engineer and had to be accompanied by a reclamation bond, as well as permit and acreage fees. Around this same time, many other states were taking similar steps. One of the most One may ask, “What has changed?” Although performance standards have changed over the intervening years, typically getting tougher, the biggest changes in SMCRA permitting have been in the permit application process, i.e., the “paperwork.” ? In 1820 the first commercial coal mine in Kentucky opened. Michael Munday, Patriot Coal In the Kentucky coal business we often talk about “getting a permit.” However, there are several “permits” and other approvals necessary before commencing coal mining operations. While there are many steps involved in the permitting process, I hope this brief overview is helpful. Vol. 23 No. 2/2012 significant was the 1972 Ohio Strip Mine Law. Some of its striking requirements included topsoil removal, storage, and replacement; backfilling and regrading to approximate original contour; drainage and sediment control plans; successful revegetation; more detailed mapping and P.E. (professional engineering) oversight, topped off with increased paperwork and subsequent inspection/enforcement. Many believe—and perhaps rightly so— that Ohio’s 1972 law became the outline for the U.S. Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 (SMCRA). (An interesting sidelight is that the original 1972 law specified that maps had to be certified by a professional civil engineer, not a professional mining engineer. That strange error was corrected in a 1975 amendment.) continued on page 3 CAER/Minova/DHS Press Conference Shows Off New Product Imagine a tragedy where an act of terror damages a building, runway, tunnel, bridge or dam. Now imagine a quick-curing concrete that can be sprayed to reinforce the structure almost immediately before it fails catastrophically, providing safety for rescue workers, who risk their lives minutes after disasters hit. The Trials, Frustrations, and Issues Related to Getting a Permit for Mining see page 2 A technology developed at the University of Kentucky Center for Applied Energy Research (CAER) and Minova North America headquartered in Georgetown, Ky., does just that. The products, called Tekcrete Fast and Tekcrete Fast M (with a continued on page 3 1

Energeia 23.2

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