OFFICE OF SURFACE MINING RECLAMATION AND ENFORCEMENT
Library of COALEX Research Reports
COALEX Research Reports are the products of research and analysis conducted on specific issues relating to the regulation of Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977. The research is conducted in response to requests for information from State Regulatory Authorities, under a cooperative agreement between the Office of Surface Mining (OSM) and the Interstate Mining Compact Commission (IMCC).
COALEX refers to the Library of Surface Mining Materials maintained by OSM in LEXIS-NEXIS and is a major source for the research.
Each Report includes a list of resources which were sent as attachments to the individual who requested the research. To obtain a copy of the attachments or to obtain any additional information, contact Joyce Zweben Scall by phone at 202-686-9138 or by email at JZScall@aol.com.
COALEX STATE INQUIRY REPORT - 187
Department of Natural Resources
Division of Environmental Quality
P.O. Box 176
Jefferson City, Missouri 65102
TOPIC: REVEGETATION PRODUCTIVITY MEASUREMENTS FOR PHASE III BOND RELEASE
INQUIRY: Federal regulations [30 CFR 816.116(a)(1)] require statistically valid sampling techniques for measuring successful revegetation; however, nowhere in the federal regulations does it indicate what methods may be used to measure vegetative ground cover, number of trees per acre, etc. Please conduct a survey to determine what production testing methods other states are proposing to use to measure revegetation success for final bond release.
SEARCH RESULTS: A questionnaire was prepared to be used in canvassing IMCC members. Responses to initial calls indicated that other states also were seeking information on OSM-approved statistically valid sampling techniques for measuring successful revegetation. As a result, the survey was foreshortened when Pennsylvania produced the OSM methodology report, Virginia produced the Raelson-McKee study and Kentucky provided its memorandum on sampling techniques recently submitted to OSM. Copies of Federal Register notices which discuss both federal rules and approval or disapproval of state program amendments are also attached.
"An Evaluation of Methods for Measuring Ground Cover for Reclamation Bond Release", Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, Eastern Field Operations (January, 1987).
The report provides an evaluation of the following eight methods of determining ground cover percentage:
"Measurement of Plant Cover to Evaluate Revegetation Success", J.V. Raelson and G.W. McKee (January, 1982) [Agronomy Series 67, Department of Agronomy, Pennsylvania State University].
According to Raelson and McKee, methods for measuring vegetative cover should meet three requirements:
Along with the measurement methods listed below, the report discusses selection of sample points:
"Field Sampling Techniques for Determining Ground Cover, Productivity, and Stocking Success of Reclaimed Surface Mined Lands", Technical Reclamation Memorandum # 19, Kentucky Department For Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (June 28, 1991).
Kentucky's report covers Parallel Transect and Angular Transect as methods for determining observations points for collecting vegetation data, productivity determination and sampling for measuring the success of:
The following Federal Register preambles to proposed and final federal rules on revegetation success (816.116/817.116) are enclosed to provide background information:
44 FR 14902 (MARCH 13, 1979). Permanent Program Preamble - Final Rule. 816.116 Revegetation: Standards of success.
45 FR 51547 (AUGUST 4, 1980). Notice of suspension and statement of policy regarding effect on State programs.
47 FR 12596 (MARCH 23, 1982). Proposed rule. Revegetation.
Among other goals, the proposed rule would broaden the approaches acceptable for determining the success of revegetation.
48 FR 40140 (SEPTEMBER 2, 1983). Final rule. Revegetation.
The revision of the federal rules was "not a weakening of revegetation requirements but reflects that the rules are designed to account for regional diversity in terrain, climate, soils, and other conditions under which mining occurs."
51 FR 41952 (NOVEMBER 20, 1986). Final rule; suspension. Compliance with court order.
52 FR 28012 (JULY 27, 1987). Proposed rule. Revegetation.
53 FR 34636 (SEPTEMBER 8, 1988). Final rule. Revegetation.
STATE PROGRAM AMENDMENTS AND GUIDELINES
Federal Register preambles for Virginia, Ohio and Louisiana are also attached. In these preambles, OSM discusses the specific elements of the state methodology or techniques for measuring revegetation success and why they do or do not comport with the federal regulations.
Research conducted by: Joyce Zweben Scall
QUESTIONNAIRE RE: REVEGETATION PRODUCTIVITY MEASUREMENT
(Reformatted from original)
For Phase III bond release: