A. The Director shall promulgate rules and regulations, in accordance with Article 2 (§ 2.2-4006 et seq.) of the Administrative Process Act, necessary to ensure safe working conditions and practices at surface mineral mines in the Commonwealth. Nothing in this section shall restrict the Director from promulgating regulations more stringent than regulations promulgated pursuant to the federal mine safety law. Such rules and regulations applicable to surface mineral mines shall establish requirements:
1. For protecting miners from general risks found at surface mineral mines;
2. For the provision and use of personal protection equipment;
3. For controlling unstable ground conditions;
4. For the handling and storage of combustible materials, including requirements for emergency plans, fire-fighting and emergency rescue, fire prevention and safety features on mine equipment, and fire prevention and safety in mine structures and buildings;
5. For controlling exposure to airborne toxic contaminants;
6. For safe storage, transportation, and use of explosives and blasting devices;
7. For the safe design, operation, maintenance, and inspection of drilling equipment;
8. For the construction, use, maintenance, and inspection of boilers, air compressors, and compressed gas systems;
9. For the safe design, operation, maintenance, and inspection of mobile equipment;
10. For the safe design, use, maintenance, and inspection of ladders, walkways, and travel ways;
11. For the safe design, operation, maintenance, and inspection of electrical equipment and systems;
12. For the safe design, use, maintenance, and inspection of guards on moving parts of equipment and machinery;
13. For the storage, transportation and handling of materials, including corrosive and hazardous substances;
14. For the safe design, operation, maintenance, and inspection of hoisting equipment and cables;
15. For the actions of certified and competent persons; and
16. For the design, construction, maintenance, inspection of refuse piles, and water and silt retaining dams, including emergency response plans.
B. The Director shall not promulgate any regulation relating to surface mineral mines which is inconsistent with requirements established by the Act, or which, when an operator takes action to comply with the provisions of such regulation, would place the operator in violation of the federal mine safety law.
1994, c. 28; 1996, c. 774; 1998, c. 695.