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Surface Mining Reclamation Specialist 1801

Surface Mining Reclamation Specialist, 1801

Department of Interior

Individual Occupational Requirements

Education, Training and Experience Requirements

The following table shows the amounts of education/training and/or experience required to qualify for positions covered by this standard.

GS-5 4-year course of study above high school leading to a bachelor's degree (See also the provision for crediting reclamation or mining technology training.) 3 years, 1 year of which was equivalent to at least GS-4 None
GS-7 1 full academic year of graduate education or superior academic achievement None 1 year equivalent to at least GS-5
GS-9 None None 1 year equivalent to at least GS-7
GS-11 None None 1 year equivalent to at least GS-9
GS-12 and above None None 1 year equivalent to at least next lower grade level

Equivalent combinations of education/training and experience are qualifying for grade levels for which both education and experience are acceptable.


Undergraduate and Graduate Education: Major study -- hydrology, agronomy, geology, range conservation, forestry, ecology, civil engineering, mining engineering, natural sciences, biological sciences, natural resources, environmental planning, or earth science.


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General Experience (for GS-5 positions): Experience that provided:

  • Application of use, conservation, and protection principles for land resources, the preservation of landscapes, or the establishment of environmental conditions that will support plant and wild life;
  • Ability to gather factual information through questioning, observation, and examination of documents, records, or physical evidence;
  • Ability to analyze problems; and
  • Ability to communicate orally and in writing.

Examples of qualifying general experience include:

  • Planning and implementing flood control projects.
  • Utilizing plantings, grading, or construction of devices to control erosion.
  • Conducting wildlife or biological surveys and evaluation of endangered species.
  • Evaluating forested lands for marketing or enhancement of aesthetic values.
  • Mitigating off-site sedimentation from earthmoving projects.
  • Evaluating water chemistry and the treatment of water for the removal of pollutants.
  • Identifying and evaluating geologic conditions influencing excavation projects.

The following types of work are not creditable as generally experience: dozer operator performing backfilling and regrading of mine sites; equipment operator constructing haulroads and drainage systems; underground miner; or underground health and safety inspector.

Intensive Training in Reclamation or Mining Technology: Study successfully completed in a 2-year reclamation technology or mining technology program may be substituted for 2 years of general experience. Students in such programs are exposed to mining or reclamation multidisciplinary training, including instruction in engineering, forestry, agronomy, hydrology, reclamation laws and practices, soils, and geology. A 2-year reclamation or mining technology degree plus 1 year of general experience as defined above is fully qualifying for GS-5.

Specialized Experience (for positions above GS-5): Experience that demonstrated:

  • Knowledge of reclamation problems associated with surface mining and/or the surface effects of underground mining and the techniques and methods used to resolve them.
  • Understanding of surface mining and/or the surface effects of underground mining operations.
  • Ability to analyze surface mining and reclamation problems.
  • Ability to communicate technical information effectively with industry officials and employees, landowners, and the general public.
  • Ability to read and interpret maps and fundamental technical plans and reports.

Examples of qualifying specialized experience include:

  • Conducting surveys of hazards resulting from slides of wastes or spoil material, inundations, failure of impoundment dams, etc.
  • Evaluating reclamation problems such as subsidence, acid drainage, sedimentation, erosion control, water quality, etc.
  • Inspecting active and abandoned mines to determine if there are any violations.
  • Conducting soil surveys, plant survival studies, and water testing to determine forestry and agronomic species adaptability to the environment.
  • Applying reclamation techniques (revegetation, restoration of the original contour, spillway and sediment control structures, drainage control structures, etc) to resolve reclamation problems.
  • Developing mine plans or permits.

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Medical Requirements

The duties of these positions require arduous physical exertion under dangerous and rigorous conditions. Employees may work irregular and protracted hours and are subject to all the dangers inherent in strip mining. Any organic, functional, or structural disease, defect, or limitation that interferes with safe and efficient performance of the duties of these positions will disqualify an applicant for appointment.

Applicants must meet the following requirements:

Vision: Distant visual acuity must be at least 20/200 (Snellen) in each eye without glasses, and must be correctable to at least 20/30 in one eye and 20/50 in the other. Near visual acuity, corrected or uncorrected, must be sufficient to read Jaeger type 2 at 14 inches. Ability to distinguish basic colors, normal depth perception, and peripheral vision is required.

Hearing: Using the ISO or ANSI scale, applicants will be tested in the 500, 1000, and 2000 Hz ranges, and must have no hearing loss in either ear of more than 40 decibels in any of these ranges. Using the ASA scale, applicants must have no loss in either ear of more than 30 decibels in any of these ranges. Chronic disease of the ear that affects hearing or equilibrium is disqualifying. Perforation of an eardrum is disqualifying.

Nose, Mouth, and Throat: Chronic diseases or conditions that interfere with distinct speech or with free breathing (with or without a breathing apparatus) are disqualifying. Normal sense of smell is required.

Respiratory System: Any of the following chronic diseases or conditions that result in reduced pulmonary function, shortness of breath, painful respiration, or that otherwise impair full performance of duties is disqualifying:

  • History of pulmonary tuberculosis that has been arrested (inactive or cured) for less than 1 year.
  • Pleurisy, bronchitis, or pneumothorax.
  • Empyema, bronchiectasis, or asthma.
  • Emphysema.
  • Silicosis, anthracosilicosis, and coal miner's pneumoconiosis in any degree beyond the initial or simple stages.
  • Any other irremediable disabling condition of the lungs, pleura, or mediastinum.

Cardiovascular System: The following diseases or conditions are disqualifying:

  • Symptomatic organic heart disease, with or without medication.
  • Coronary heart disease, cardiac enlargement, or angina pectoris.
  • Cardiac arrhythmia or irregularity other than sinus arrhythmia or occasional extrasystole.
  • Arteriosclerosis beyond that normal for the applicant's age.
  • Symptomatic varicose veins manifested by ulceration or discoloration of the skin.

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The following conditions are also disqualifying if the initial reading is above or below the given standards and the applicant fails to meet the standard upon two retestings conducted on separate days:

  • A persistent pulse rate, at rest, that exceeds 120 or is less than 50.
  • A blood pressure (whether uncontrolled or controlled by medication) reading that exceeds 160 systolic, or 100 diastolic, or that is less than 105 systolic, or 60 diastolic.

Occupational Mine Diseases: Any chronic occupational mine disease or irremediable poisoning, such as mercury, lead, asbestos, beryllium, arsenic, uranium (cancer), and other metallic and non-metallic mine-induced disease or poisoning is disqualifying.

Blood Disease: Any current blood dyscrasia is disqualifying.

Gastrointestinal System: The following, and any chronic, disabling disease of the abdominal viscera are disqualifying:

  • Active or recurrent peptic ulcer requiring medication.
  • Uncorrected hernia.
  • Symptomatic enlargement of liver or spleen.
  • Mucous and ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease, or cirrhosis of the liver.
  • Chronic recurrent cholecystitis and cholelithiasis, ascites.

Endocrine System: Any history of a systemic metabolic disease, such as diabetes, gout, or symptomatic adrenal, thyroid, or pituitary dysfunction may be disqualifying.

Genitourinary System: The following diseases or conditions are disqualifying:

  • Chronic symptomatic genitourinary disease.
  • Chronic symptomatic inflammation or hypertrophy of prostate.
  • Large or painful varicocele or hydrocele.

Skin: Any chronic skin disease that interferes with safe and efficient performance of duties or that would be aggravated by exposure to the environment encountered in the mines or mills is disqualifying.

Spine, Pelvis, Sacroiliac, and Lumbosacral Joints: Any of the following diseases or conditions that interfere with function and prevent safe and efficient performance of job duties is disqualifying:

  • Significant curvature, deformity, or malformation of the spine.
  • Herniated nucleus pulposus, with or without surgery, within the past 5 years.
  • Chronic or intermittent low back pain.
  • Residuals of hemiparalysis.
  • Chronic sciatica, chronic symptomatic arthritis.

Extremities: Any anomaly, deformity, or other condition that demonstrably interferes with safe and efficient job performance is disqualifying.

Nervous System: The following diseases or conditions are disqualifying:

  • Clinically diagnosed psychotic disorder or emotional instability.
  • Epilepsy that interferes with full performance.
  • Paralysis, paresis, chronic demyelinating diseases, or Parkinson's disease.
  • Muscular atrophies or dystrophies that interfere with full performance.

Other: Any other disease, defect, or limitation, though not specifically named above, that demonstrably interferes with safe or efficient performance of any of the duties of these positions is disqualifying. Remediable defects and acute or curable diseases that interfere with safe and efficient performance are disqualifying if existent at the time of appointment consideration; however, applicants may be restored to an existing list of eligibles upon submission of proof of remedy of the defect or cure of the disease.

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