A. The authority to publish and promulgate such regulations as may be necessary to carry out the purposes and provisions of this chapter is hereby vested in the Director. Regulations shall be consistent with regulations promulgated by the Secretary pursuant to the federal act or in conformity to any court ruling construing such act. In promulgating such regulations, the Director shall provide an opportunity for public comment, both oral and written, and shall give public notice of proposed regulations, in accordance with the Administrative Process Act (§ 2.2-4000 et seq.) and the Virginia Register Act (§ 2.2-4100 et seq.).
A1. In addition to the adoption of regulations under this chapter, the Director may at his discretion issue or distribute to the public interpretative, advisory or procedural bulletins or guidelines pertaining to permit applications or to matters reasonably related thereto without following any of the procedures set forth in the Administrative Process Act (§ 2.2-4000 et seq.). The materials shall be clearly designated as to their nature, shall be solely for purposes of public information and education, and shall not have the force of regulations under this chapter or under any other provision of this Code.
B. The authority to administer and enforce the provisions of this chapter is hereby vested in the Director. In administering and enforcing the provisions of this chapter, the Director shall exercise the following powers in addition to any other powers conferred upon him by law:
1. To supervise the administration and enforcement of this chapter; to make investigations and inspections necessary to insure compliance with this chapter; to conduct hearings, administer oaths, issue subpoenas and compel the attendance of witnesses and production of written or printed material as provided for in this chapter; to issue orders and notices of violation; to review and vacate or modify or approve orders and decisions; and order the suspension, revocation, or withholding of any permit for failure to comply with any of the provisions of this chapter or any rules and regulations adopted thereunder;
2. To administer the program for the purchase and reclamation of abandoned and unreclaimed mine areas pursuant to Article 4 (§ 45.1-260 et seq.) of this chapter;
3. To encourage and conduct investigations, research, experiments and demonstrations, and to collect and disseminate information relating to coal surface mining and reclamation of lands and waters affected by coal surface mining;
C. The Division of Mined Land Reclamation shall have the responsibilities provided under this chapter and such duties and responsibilities as the Director may assign, or as may be provided for in regulations promulgated by the Director.
1979, c. 290; 1982, c. 425; 1984, c. 590.