1.1 This practice describes minimum data requirements required to locate and identify structures created for the disposal of excess spoil and refuse material resulting from the mining and processing of coal. 1.1.1 Excess Spoil Structuresexcess spoil is created when the total spoil produced during mining exceeds the volume of material that can be utilized for reclamation. This occurrence is common in steep slope areas, where the final grade of reclaimed slopes is limited by stability requirements. It also occurs where overburden volume is significantly larger than the volume of minable coal. Spoil also exhibits a net increase in volume due to the introduction of void spaces in fragmented rock when overburden is removed to expose underlying coal seams. The production of excess spoil requires the creation of disposal structures that extend outside the mined area. These structures usually take the form of out-of-pit spoil piles, side-hill fills, or valley fills (depicted in Fig 1). 1.1.2 Refuseis a waste byproduct of coal processing, where non-combustible material is removed, and crushing, sizing, and blending of multiple grades of coal may occur. Refuse generally is categorized as either coarse or fine, with the latter often handled as a slurry containing a blend of water, fine coal, silt, sand, and clay particles. 1.1.3 Impounding Refuse Structurescreate a holding area for slurry that allows solids to settle out and water to be recovered. Cross-valley and diked impoundments utilize an embankment, often constructed of coarse coal refuse, which forms a basin for slurry retention, as shown in Fig 2 and Fig 3 respectively. Incised impoundments dispose of slurry in an excavated area below the natural surface and do not utilize a significant embankment for slurry retention, see Fig 4. 1.1.4 Non-impounding Refuse Structuresmay contain slurry that has been dewatered and stabilized prior to disposal. A structure also may utilize slurry cells to dispose of fine refuse. Methods for significantly reducing the water content of fine coal refuse may allow a refuse structure to avoid being classified as an impoundment, despite other structural similarities.
1.2 This practice addresses coal mining geospatial data relative to the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 (SMCRA). This geospatial data shall be obtained from each Regulatory Authority (RA) authorized under SMCRA to regulate surface coal mining operations (SCMO). Each RA shall be the authoritative data source (ADS) for coal mining geospatial data. 1.3 This practice is limited to structures designed for spoil or refuse disposal that have been authorized by the RA. 1.4 This practice is limited to coal mining operations after passage of SMCRA.
KeywordsSMCRA; surface mining; coal mining; coal refuse impoundment; slurry impoundment; coal refuse; excess spoil fill; valley fill; head-of-hollow fill; durable rock fill; out-of-pit spoil pile
The title and scope are in draft form and are under development within this ASTM Committee.Back to Top
Draft Under Development