30 U.S.C.
United States Code, 2011 Edition
Title 30 - MINERAL LANDS AND MINING
CHAPTER 25 - SURFACE MINING CONTROL AND RECLAMATION
From the U.S. Government Printing Office, www.gpo.gov

CHAPTER 25—SURFACE MINING CONTROL AND RECLAMATION

SUBCHAPTER I—STATEMENT OF FINDINGS AND POLICY

Sec.
1201.
Congressional findings.
1202.
Statement of purpose.

        

SUBCHAPTER II—OFFICE OF SURFACE MINING RECLAMATION AND ENFORCEMENT

1211.
Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement.

        

SUBCHAPTER III—STATE MINING AND MINERAL RESOURCES RESEARCH INSTITUTES

1221.
Authorization of State allotments to institutes.
1222.
Research funds to institutes.
1223.
Funding criteria.
1224.
Duties of Secretary.
1225.
Effect on colleges and universities.
1226.
Research.
1227.
Center for cataloging.
1228.
Interagency cooperation.
1229.
Committee on Mining and Mineral Resources Research.
1230.
Eligibility criteria.
1230a.
Strategic Resources Generic Mineral Technology Center.

        

SUBCHAPTER IV—ABANDONED MINE RECLAMATIONS

1231.
Abandoned Mine Reclamation Fund.
1232.
Reclamation fee.
1233.
Objectives of fund.
1234.
Eligible lands and water.
1235.
State reclamation program.
1236.
Reclamation of rural lands.
1237.
Acquisition and reclamation of land adversely affected by past coal mining practices.
1238.
Liens.
1239.
Filling voids and sealing tunnels.
1240.
Emergency powers.
1240a.
Certification.
1241.
Omitted.
1242.
Powers of Secretary or State.
1243.
Interagency cooperation.
1244.
Remining incentives.

        

SUBCHAPTER V—CONTROL OF THE ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS OF SURFACE COAL MINING

1251.
Environmental protection standards.
1251a.
Abandoned coal refuse sites.
1252.
Initial regulatory procedures.
1253.
State programs.
1254.
Federal programs.
1255.
State laws.
1256.
Permits.
1257.
Application requirements.
1258.
Reclamation plan requirements.
1259.
Performance bonds.
1260.
Permit approval or denial.
1261.
Revision of permits.
1262.
Coal exploration permits.
1263.
Public notice and public hearings.
1264.
Decisions of regulatory authority and appeals.
1265.
Environmental protection performance standards.
1266.
Surface effects of underground coal mining operations.
1267.
Inspections and monitoring.
1268.
Penalties.
1269.
Release of performance bonds or deposits.
1270.
Citizens suits.
1271.
Enforcement.
1272.
Designating areas unsuitable for surface coal mining.
1273.
Federal lands.
1274.
Public agencies, public utilities, and public corporations.
1275.
Review by Secretary.
1276.
Judicial review.
1277.
Special bituminous coal mines.
1278.
Surface mining operations not subject to this chapter.
1279.
Anthracite coal mines.

        

SUBCHAPTER VI—DESIGNATION OF LANDS UNSUITABLE FOR NONCOAL MINING

1281.
Designation procedures.

        

SUBCHAPTER VII—ADMINISTRATIVE AND MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS

1291.
Definitions.
1292.
Other Federal laws.
1293.
Employee protection.
1294.
Penalty.
1295.
Grants to States.
1296.
Annual report to President and Congress.
1297.
Separability.
1298.
Alaskan surface coal mine study.
1299.
Study of reclamation standards for surface mining of other minerals.
1300.
Indian lands.
1301.
Environmental practices.
1302.
Authorization of appropriations.
1303.
Coordination of regulatory and inspection activities.
1304.
Surface owner protection.
1305.
Federal lessee protection.
1306.
Effect on rights of owner of coal in Alaska to conduct surface mining operations.
1307.
Water rights and replacement.
1308.
Advance appropriations.
1308a.
Use of civil penalty funds to reclaim lands.
1309.
Certification and training of blasters.
1309a.
Subsidence.
1309b.
Research.

        

SUBCHAPTER VIII—UNIVERSITY COAL RESEARCH LABORATORIES

1311.
Establishment of university coal research laboratories.
1312.
Financial assistance.
1313.
Limitation on payments.
1314.
Payments; Federal share of operating expenses.
1315.
Advisory Council on Coal Research.
1316.
Authorization of appropriations.

        

SUBCHAPTER IX—ENERGY RESOURCE GRADUATE FELLOWSHIPS

1321.
Fellowship awards.
1322.
Fellowship recipients.
1323.
Distribution of fellowships.
1324.
Stipends and allowances.
1325.
Limitation on fellowships.
1326.
Fellowship conditions.
1327.
Authorization of appropriations.
1328.
Research, development projects, etc., relating to alternative coal mining technologies.

        

SUBCHAPTER I—STATEMENT OF FINDINGS AND POLICY

§1201. Congressional findings

The Congress finds and declares that—

(a) extraction of coal and other minerals from the earth can be accomplished by various methods of mining, including surface mining;

(b) coal mining operations presently contribute significantly to the Nation's energy requirements; surface coal mining constitutes one method of extraction of the resource; the overwhelming percentage of the Nation's coal reserves can only be extracted by underground mining methods, and it is, therefore, essential to the national interest to insure the existence of an expanding and economically healthy underground coal mining industry;

(c) many surface mining operations result in disturbances of surface areas that burden and adversely affect commerce and the public welfare by destroying or diminishing the utility of land for commercial, industrial, residential, recreational, agricultural, and forestry purposes, by causing erosion and landslides, by contributing to floods, by polluting the water, by destroying fish and wildlife habitats, by impairing natural beauty, by damaging the property of citizens, by creating hazards dangerous to life and property by degrading the quality of life in local communities, and by counteracting governmental programs and efforts to conserve soil, water, and other natural resources;

(d) the expansion of coal mining to meet the Nation's energy needs makes even more urgent the establishment of appropriate standards to minimize damage to the environment and to productivity of the soil and to protect the health and safety of the public.1

(e) surface mining and reclamation technology are now developed so that effective and reasonable regulation of surface coal mining operations by the States and by the Federal Government in accordance with the requirements of this chapter is an appropriate and necessary means to minimize so far as practicable the adverse social, economic, and environmental effects of such mining operations;

(f) because of the diversity in terrain, climate, biologic, chemical, and other physical conditions in areas subject to mining operations, the primary governmental responsibility for developing, authorizing, issuing, and enforcing regulations for surface mining and reclamation operations subject to this chapter should rest with the States;

(g) surface mining and reclamation standards are essential in order to insure that competition in interstate commerce among sellers of coal produced in different States will not be used to undermine the ability of the several States to improve and maintain adequate standards on coal mining operations within their borders;

(h) there are a substantial number of acres of land throughout major regions of the United States disturbed by surface and underground coal on which little or no reclamation was conducted, and the impacts from these unreclaimed lands impose social and economic costs on residents in nearby and adjoining areas as well as continuing to impair environmental quality;

(i) while there is a need to regulate surface mining operations for minerals other than coal, more data and analyses are needed to serve as a basis for effective and reasonable regulation of such operations;

(j) surface and underground coal mining operations affect interstate commerce, contribute to the economic well-being, security, and general welfare of the Nation and should be conducted in an environmentally sound manner; and

(k) the cooperative effort established by this chapter is necessary to prevent or mitigate adverse environmental effects of present and future surface coal mining operations.

(Pub. L. 95–87, title I, §101, Aug. 3, 1977, 91 Stat. 447.)

References in Text

This chapter, referred to in pars. (e), (f), and (k), was in the original “this Act”, meaning Pub. L. 95–87, Aug. 3, 1977, 91 Stat. 445, as amended, which enacted this chapter and amended section 1114 of Title 18, Crimes and Criminal Procedure. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out below and Tables.

Short Title of 2006 Amendment

Pub. L. 109–432, div. C, title II, §200, Dec. 20, 2006, 120 Stat. 3006, provided that: “This title [enacting section 1244 of this title, amending sections 1231 to 1233, 1236, 1238, 1240a, 1260, 1300, and 1302 of this title and sections 9701, 9702, 9704 to 9707, 9711, 9712, and 9721 of Title 26, Internal Revenue Code, and enacting provisions set out as notes under section 1232 of this title and sections 9701, 9704, and 9712 of Title 26] may be cited as the ‘Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act Amendments of 2006’.”

Short Title of 1990 Amendments

Pub. L. 101–508, title VI, §6001, Nov. 5, 1990, 104 Stat. 1388–289, provided that: “This subtitle [subtitle A (§§6001–6014) of title VI of Pub. L. 101–508, enacting section 1240a of this title, amending sections 1231 to 1237, 1239, 1257, and 1302 of this title, and enacting provisions set out as notes under section 1231 of this title] may be cited as the ‘Abandoned Mine Reclamation Act of 1990’.”

Pub. L. 101–498, §1, Nov. 2, 1990, 104 Stat. 1207, provided that: “This Act [enacting section 1230a of this title] may be cited as the ‘Strategic and Critical Minerals Act of 1990’.”

Short Title of 1988 Amendment

Pub. L. 100–483, §13, Oct. 12, 1988, 102 Stat. 2341, provided that: “This Act [amending sections 1221, 1222, 1224, 1226, 1229, and 1230 of this title and enacting provisions set out as notes under this section and section 1229 of this title] may be cited as the Mining and Mineral Resources Research Institute Amendments of 1988.”

Short Title

Section 1 of Pub. L. 95–87 provided: “That this Act [enacting this chapter and amending section 1114 of Title 18, Crimes and Criminal Procedure] may be cited as the ‘Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977’.”

Pub. L. 98–409, §11, as added by Pub. L. 100–483, §12, Oct. 12, 1988, 102 Stat. 2341; amended by Pub. L. 104–312, §1(b), Oct. 19, 1996, 110 Stat. 3819, provided that: “This Act [enacting subchapter III of this chapter] may be cited as the ‘Mining and Mineral Resources Institutes Act’.”

1 So in original. The period probably should be a semicolon.

§1202. Statement of purpose

It is the purpose of this chapter to—

(a) establish a nationwide program to protect society and the environment from the adverse effects of surface coal mining operations;

(b) assure that the rights of surface landowners and other persons with a legal interest in the land or appurtenances thereto are fully protected from such operations;

(c) assure that surface mining operations are not conducted where reclamation as required by this chapter is not feasible;

(d) assure that surface coal mining operations are so conducted as to protect the environment;

(e) assure that adequate procedures are undertaken to reclaim surface areas as contemporaneously as possible with the surface coal mining operations;

(f) assure that the coal supply essential to the Nation's energy requirements, and to its economic and social well-being is provided and strike a balance between protection of the environment and agricultural productivity and the Nation's need for coal as an essential source of energy;

(g) assist the States in developing and implementing a program to achieve the purposes of this chapter;

(h) promote the reclamation of mined areas left without adequate reclamation prior to August 3, 1977, and which continue, in their unreclaimed condition, to substantially degrade the quality of the environment, prevent or damage the beneficial use of land or water resources, or endanger the health or safety of the public;

(i) assure that appropriate procedures are provided for the public participation in the development, revision, and enforcement of regulations, standards, reclamation plans, or programs established by the Secretary or any State under this chapter;

(j) provide a means for development of the data and analyses necessary to establish effective and reasonable regulation of surface mining operations for other minerals;

(k) encourage the full utilization of coal resources through the development and application of underground extraction technologies;

(l) stimulate, sponsor, provide for and/or supplement present programs for the conduct of research investigations, experiments, and demonstrations, in the exploration, extraction, processing, development, and production of minerals and the training of mineral engineers and scientists in the field of mining, minerals resources, and technology, and the establishment of an appropriate research and training center in various States; and

(m) wherever necessary, exercise the full reach of Federal constitutional powers to insure the protection of the public interest through effective control of surface coal mining operations.

(Pub. L. 95–87, title I, §102, Aug. 3, 1977, 91 Stat. 448.)

SUBCHAPTER II—OFFICE OF SURFACE MINING RECLAMATION AND ENFORCEMENT

§1211. Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement

(a) Establishment

There is established in the Department of the Interior, the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (hereinafter referred to as the “Office”).

(b) Appointment, compensation, duties, etc., of Director; employees

The Office shall have a Director who shall be appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, and shall be compensated at the rate provided for level V of the Executive Schedule under section 5315 1 of title 5, and such other employees as may be required. Pursuant to section 5108 of title 5, and after consultation with the Secretary, the Director of the Office of Personnel Management shall determine the necessary number of positions in general schedule employees in grade 16, 17, and 18 to perform functions of this subchapter and shall allocate such positions to the Secretary. The Director shall have the responsibilities provided under subsection (c) of this section and those duties and responsibilities relating to the functions of the Office which the Secretary may assign, consistent with this chapter. Employees of the Office shall be recruited on the basis of their professional competence and capacity to administer the provisions of this chapter. The Office may use, on a reimbursable basis when appropriate, employees of the Department and other Federal agencies to administer the provisions of this chapter, providing that no legal authority, program, or function in any Federal agency which has as its purpose promoting the development or use of coal or other mineral resources or regulating the health and safety of miners under provisions of the Federal Coal Mine Health and Safety Act of 1969 (83 Stat. 742) [30 U.S.C. 801 et seq.], shall be transferred to the Office.

(c) Duties of Secretary

The Secretary, acting through the Office, shall—

(1) administer the programs for controlling surface coal mining operations which are required by this chapter; review and approve or disapprove State programs for controlling surface coal mining operations and reclaiming abandoned mined lands; make those investigations and inspections necessary to insure compliance with this chapter; conduct hearings, administer oaths, issue subpenas, and compel the attendance of witnesses and production of written or printed material as provided for in this chapter; issue cease-and-desist orders; 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 pursuant thereto;

(2) publish and promulgate such rules and regulations as may be necessary to carry out the purposes and provisions of this chapter;

(3) administer the State grant-in-aid program for the development of State programs for surface and mining and reclamation operations provided for in subchapter V of this chapter;

(4) administer the program for the purchase and reclamation of abandoned and unreclaimed mined areas pursuant to subchapter IV of this chapter;

(5) administer the surface mining and reclamation research and demonstration project authority provided for in this chapter;

(6) consult with other agencies of the Federal Government having expertise in the control and reclamation of surface mining operations and assist States, local governments, and other eligible agencies in the coordination of such programs;

(7) maintain a continuing study of surface mining and reclamation operations in the United States;

(8) develop and maintain an Information and Data Center on Surface Coal Mining, Reclamation, and Surface Impacts of Underground Mining, which will make such data available to the public and the Federal, regional, State, and local agencies conducting or concerned with land use planning and agencies concerned with surface and underground mining and reclamation operations;

(9) assist the States in the development of State programs for surface coal mining and reclamation operations which meet the requirements of this chapter, and at the same time, reflect local requirements and local environmental and agricultural conditions;

(10) assist the States in developing objective scientific criteria and appropriate procedures and institutions for determining those areas of a State to be designated unsuitable for all or certain types of surface coal mining pursuant to section 1272 of this title;

(11) monitor all Federal and State research programs dealing with coal extraction and use and recommend to Congress the research and demonstration projects and necessary changes in public policy which are designated to (A) improve feasibility of underground coal mining, and (B) improve surface mining and reclamation techniques directed at eliminating adverse environmental and social impacts;

(12) cooperate with other Federal agencies and State regulatory authorities to minimize duplication of inspections, enforcement, and administration of this chapter; and

(13) perform such other duties as may be provided by law and relate to the purposes of this chapter.

(d) Restriction on use of Federal coal mine health and safety inspectors

The Director shall not use either permanently or temporarily any person charged with responsibility of inspecting coal mines under the Federal Coal Mine Health and Safety Act of 1969 [30 U.S.C. 801 et seq.], unless he finds and publishes such finding in the Federal Register, that such activities would not interfere with such inspections under the 1969 Act.

(e) Repealed. Pub. L. 96–511, §4(b), Dec. 11, 1980, 94 Stat. 2826

(f) Conflict of interest; penalties; rules and regulations; report to Congress

No employee of the Office or any other Federal employee performing any function or duty under this chapter shall have a direct or indirect financial interest in underground or surface coal mining operations. Whoever knowingly violates the provisions of the above sentence shall, upon conviction, be punished by a fine of not more than $2,500, or by imprisonment for not more than one year, or both. The Director shall (1) within sixty days after August 3, 1977, publish regulations, in accordance with section 553 of title 5, to establish the methods by which the provisions of this subsection will be monitored and enforced, including appropriate provisions for the filing by such employees and the review of statements and supplements thereto concerning their financial interests which may be affected by this subsection, and (2) report to the Congress as part of the annual report (section 1296 of this title) on the actions taken and not taken during the preceding calendar year under this subsection.

(g) Petition for issuance, amendment, or repeal of rule; filing; hearing or investigation; notice of denial

(1) After the Secretary has adopted the regulations required by section 1251 of this title, any person may petition the Director to initiate a proceeding for the issuance, amendment, or repeal of a rule under this chapter.

(2) Such petitions shall be filed in the principal office of the Director and shall set forth the facts which it is claimed established that it is necessary to issue, amend, or repeal a rule under this chapter.

(3) The Director may hold a public hearing or may conduct such investigation or proceeding as the Director deems appropriate in order to determine whether or not such petition should be granted.

(4) Within ninety days after filing of a petition described in paragraph (1), the Director shall either grant or deny the petition. If the Director grants such petition, the Director shall promptly commence an appropriate proceeding in accordance with the provisions of this chapter. If the Director denies such petition, the Director shall so notify the petitioner in writing setting forth the reasons for such denial.

(Pub. L. 95–87, title II, §201, Aug. 3, 1977, 91 Stat. 449; Pub. L. 95–240, title I, §100, Mar. 7, 1978, 92 Stat. 109; 1978 Reorg. Plan No. 2, §102, eff. Jan. 1, 1979, 43 F.R. 36037, 92 Stat. 3783; Pub. L. 96–511, §4(b), Dec. 11, 1980, 94 Stat. 2826.)

References in Text

The Federal Coal Mine Health and Safety Act of 1969, referred to in subsecs. (b) and (d), is Pub. L. 91–173, Dec. 30, 1969, 83 Stat. 742, as amended, which was redesignated the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977 by Pub. L. 95–164, title I, §101, Nov. 9, 1977, 91 Stat. 1290, and is classified principally to chapter 22 (§801 et seq.) of this title. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 801 of this title and Tables.

Amendments

1980—Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 96–511 struck subsec. (e) which provided for consideration of Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement as an independent Federal regulatory agency. See section 3502(10) of Title 44, Public Printing and Documents.

1978—Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 95–240 substituted “V” for “IV”.

Effective Date of 1980 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 96–511 effective Apr. 1, 1981, see section 5 of Pub. L. 96–511, set out as a note under section 2904 of Title 44, Public Printing and Documents.

Termination of Reporting Requirements

For termination, effective May 15, 2000, of provisions in subsec. (f) of this section relating to requirement to report to Congress on actions taken and not taken under subsec. (f), see section 3003 of Pub. L. 104–66, as amended, set out as a note under section 1113 of Title 31, Money and Finance, and page 109 of House Document No. 103–7.

Transfer of Functions

“The Director of the Office of Personnel Management” substituted for “a majority of members of the Civil Service Commission” in subsec. (b) pursuant to Reorg. Plan No. 2 of 1978, §102, 43 F.R. 36037, 92 Stat. 3783, set out under section 1101 of Title 5, Government Organization and Employees, which transferred all functions vested by statute in the United States Civil Service Commission to the Director of the Office of Personnel Management (except as otherwise specified), effective Jan. 1, 1979, as provided by section 1–102 of Ex. Ord. No. 12107, Dec. 28, 1978, 44 F.R. 1055, set out under section 1101 of Title 5.

References in Other Laws to GS–16, 17, or 18 Pay Rates

References in laws to the rates of pay for GS–16, 17, or 18, or to maximum rates of pay under the General Schedule, to be considered references to rates payable under specified sections of Title 5, Government Organization and Employees, see section 529 [title I, §101(c)(1)] of Pub. L. 101–509, set out in a note under section 5376 of Title 5.

Travel and Per Diem Expenses

Pub. L. 100–446, title I, Sept. 27, 1988, 102 Stat. 1793, provided: “That notwithstanding any other provisions of law, appropriations for the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement may, hereafter, provide for the travel and per diem expenses of State and tribal personnel attending OSMRE sponsored training”.

Similar provisions were contained in the following appropriations acts:

Pub. L. 112–74, div. E, title I, Dec. 23, 2011, 125 Stat. 995.

Pub. L. 111–88, div. A, title I, Oct. 30, 2009, 123 Stat. 2915.

Pub. L. 111–8, div. E, title I, Mar. 11, 2009, 123 Stat. 712.

Pub. L. 110–161, div. F, title I, Dec. 26, 2007, 121 Stat. 2109.

Pub. L. 109–54, title I, Aug. 2, 2005, 119 Stat. 512.

Pub. L. 108–447, div. E, title I, Dec. 8, 2004, 118 Stat. 3054.

Pub. L. 108–108, title I, Nov. 10, 2003, 117 Stat. 1256.

Pub. L. 108–7, div. F, title I, Feb. 20, 2003, 117 Stat. 230.

Pub. L. 107–63, title I, Nov. 5, 2001, 115 Stat. 429.

Pub. L. 106–291, title I, Oct. 11, 2000, 114 Stat. 933.

Pub. L. 106–113, div. B, §1000(a)(3) [title I], Nov. 29, 1999, 113 Stat. 1535, 1501A–147.

Pub. L. 105–277, div. A, §101(e) [title I], Oct. 21, 1998, 112 Stat. 2681–231, 2681–244.

Pub. L. 105–83, title I, Nov. 14, 1997, 111 Stat. 1553.

Pub. L. 104–208, div. A, title I, §101(d) [title I], Sept. 30, 1996, 110 Stat. 3009–181, 3009–191.

Pub. L. 104–134, title I, §101(c) [title I], Apr. 26, 1996, 110 Stat. 1321–156, 1321–168; renumbered title I, Pub. L. 104–140, §1(a), May 2, 1996, 110 Stat. 1327.

Pub. L. 103–332, title I, Sept. 30, 1994, 108 Stat. 2510.

Pub. L. 103–138, title I, Nov. 11, 1993, 107 Stat. 1389.

Pub. L. 102–381, title I, Oct. 5, 1992, 106 Stat. 1387.

Pub. L. 102–154, title I, Nov. 13, 1991, 105 Stat. 1002.

Pub. L. 101–512, title I, Nov. 5, 1990, 104 Stat. 1927.

Pub. L. 101–121, title I, Oct. 23, 1989, 103 Stat. 712.

1 So in original. Probably should be section “5316”.

SUBCHAPTER III—STATE MINING AND MINERAL RESOURCES RESEARCH INSTITUTES

Codification

Subchapter was not enacted as part of the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 which comprises this chapter.

§1221. Authorization of State allotments to institutes

(a)(1) There are authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary of the Interior (hereafter in this subchapter referred to as the “Secretary”) funds adequate to provide for each participating State $400,000 for each of the fiscal years ending September 30, 1990, through September 30, 1994, to assist the States in carrying on the work of a competent and qualified mining and mineral resources research institute or center (hereafter in this subchapter referred to as the “institute”) at one public college or university in the State which meets the eligibility criteria established in section 1230 of this title.

(2)(A) Funds appropriated under this section shall be made available for grants to be matched on a basis of no less than 2 non-Federal dollars for each Federal dollar.

(B) If there is more than one such eligible college or university in a State, funds appropriated under this subchapter shall, in the absence of a designation to the contrary by act of the legislature of the State, be granted to one such college or university designated by the Governor of the State.

(C) Where a State does not have a public college or university eligible under section 1230 of this title, the Committee on Mining and Mineral Resources Research established in section 1229 of this title (hereafter in this subchapter referred to as the “Committee”) may allocate the State's allotment to one private college or university which it determines to be eligible under such section.

(b) It shall be the duty of each institute to plan and conduct, or arrange for a component or components of the college or university with which it is affiliated to conduct research, investigations, demonstrations, and experiments of either, or both, a basic or practical nature in relation to mining and mineral resources, and to provide for the training of mineral engineers and scientists through such research, investigations, demonstrations, and experiments. The subject of such research, investigation, demonstration, experiment, and training may include exploration; extraction; processing; development; production of fuel and nonfuel mineral resources; mining and mineral technology; supply and demand for minerals; conservation and best use of available supplies of minerals; the economic, legal, social, engineering, recreational, biological, geographic, ecological, and other aspects of mining, mineral resources, and mineral reclamation. Such research, investigation, demonstration, experiment and training shall consider the interrelationship with the natural environment, the varying conditions and needs of the respective States, and mining and mineral resources research projects being conducted by agencies of the Federal and State governments and other institutes.

(Pub. L. 98–409, §1, Aug. 29, 1984, 98 Stat. 1536; Pub. L. 100–483, §§2–4, Oct. 12, 1988, 102 Stat. 2339.)

Codification

Section was enacted as part of the Mining and Mineral Resources Research Institute Act of 1984, and not as part of the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 which comprises this chapter.

Prior Provisions

A prior section 1221, Pub. L. 95–87, title III, §301, Aug. 3, 1977, 91 Stat. 451, contained provisions similar to this section covering fiscal years 1978 through 1984.

Amendments

1988—Subsec. (a)(1). Pub. L. 100–483, §2, substituted “$400,000 for each of the fiscal years ending September 30, 1990, through September 30, 1994” for “$300,000 for the fiscal year ending September 30, 1985, and $400,000 to each participating State for each fiscal year thereafter for a total of five years”.

Subsec. (a)(2)(A). Pub. L. 100–483, §3, amended subpar. (A) generally. Prior to amendment, subpar. (A) read as follows: “Funds appropriated under this section shall be made available for grants to be matched on a basis of no less than one and one-half non-Federal dollars for each Federal dollar during the fiscal years ending September 30, 1985, and September 30, 1986, and no less than two non-Federal dollars for each Federal dollar during the fiscal years ending September 30, 1987, September 30, 1988, and September 30, 1989.”

Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 100–483, §4, substituted “production of fuel and nonfuel mineral resources” for “production of mineral resources”.

Short Title

For short title of Pub. L. 98–409, which enacted this subchapter, as the Mining and Mineral Resources Institutes Act, see section 11 of Pub. L. 98–409, as amended, set out as a note under section 1201 of this title.

§1222. Research funds to institutes

(a) Authorization of appropriations

There is authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary not more than $15,000,000 for each of the fiscal years ending September 30, 1990, through September 30, 1994, which shall remain available until expended. Such funds when appropriated shall be made available to an institute or to institutes participating in a generic mineral technology center to meet the necessary expenses for purposes of—

(1) specific mineral research and demonstration projects of broad application, which could not otherwise be undertaken, including the expenses of planning and coordinating regional mining and mineral resources research projects by two or more institutes; and

(2) research into any aspects of mining and mineral resources problems related to the mission of the Department of the Interior, which are deemed by the Committee to be desirable and are not otherwise being studied.


There is authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary not more than $1,800,000 for each of the fiscal years after fiscal year 1996 to be made available by the Secretary to an institute or institutes experienced in investigating the continental shelf regions of the United States, the deep seabed and near shore environments of islands, and the Arctic and cold water regions as a source for nonfuel minerals. Such funds are to be used by the institute or institutes to assist in developing domestic technological capabilities required for the location of, and the efficient and environmentally sound recovery of, minerals (other than oil and gas) from the Nation's shallow and deep seabed.

(b) Application for funds; contents

Each application for funds under subsection (a) of this section shall state, among other things, the nature of the project to be undertaken; the period during which it will be pursued; the qualifications of the personnel who will direct and conduct it; the estimated costs; the importance of the project to the Nation, region, or State concerned; its relation to other known research projects theretofore pursued or being pursued; the extent to which the proposed project will provide opportunity for the training of mining and mineral engineers and scientists; and the extent of participation by nongovernmental sources in the project.

(c) Research facilities; selection of institutes; designation of funds for scholarships and fellowships

The Committee shall review all such funding applications and recommend to the Secretary the use of the institutes, insofar as practicable, to perform special research. Recommendations shall be made without regard to the race, religion, or sex of the personnel who will conduct and direct the research, and on the basis of the facilities available in relation to the particular needs of the research project; special geographic, geologic, or climatic conditions within the immediate vicinity of the institute; any other special requirements of the research project; and the extent to which such project will provide an opportunity for training individuals as mineral engineers and scientists. The Committee shall recommend to the Secretary the designation and utilization of such portions of the funds authorized to be appropriated by this section as it deems appropriate for the purpose of providing scholarships, graduate fellowships, and postdoctoral fellowships.

(d) Requirements for receipt of funds

No funds shall be made available under subsection (a) of this section except for a project approved by the Secretary and all funds shall be made available upon the basis of merit of the project, the need for the knowledge which it is expected to produce when completed, and the opportunity it provides for the training of individuals as mineral engineers and scientists.

(e) Restriction on application of funds

No funds made available under this section shall be applied to the acquisition by purchase or lease of any land or interests therein, or the rental, purchase, construction, preservation, or repair of any building.

(Pub. L. 98–409, §2, Aug. 29, 1984, 98 Stat. 1537; Pub. L. 100–483, §5, Oct. 12, 1988, 102 Stat. 2339; Pub. L. 104–312, §1(a), Oct. 19, 1996, 110 Stat. 3819.)

Codification

Section was enacted as part of the Mining and Mineral Resources Research Institute Act of 1984, and not as part of the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 which comprises this chapter.

Prior Provisions

A prior section 1222, Pub. L. 95–87, title III, §302, Aug. 3, 1977, 91 Stat. 452, contained provisions similar to this section covering fiscal years 1978 through 1984.

Amendments

1996—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 104–312 inserted at end “There is authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary not more than $1,800,000 for each of the fiscal years after fiscal year 1996 to be made available by the Secretary to an institute or institutes experienced in investigating the continental shelf regions of the United States, the deep seabed and near shore environments of islands, and the Arctic and cold water regions as a source for nonfuel minerals. Such funds are to be used by the institute or institutes to assist in developing domestic technological capabilities required for the location of, and the efficient and environmentally sound recovery of, minerals (other than oil and gas) from the Nation's shallow and deep seabed.”

1988—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 100–483, in introductory provisions, substituted “not more than $15,000,000 for each of the fiscal years ending September 30, 1990, through September 30, 1994” for “$10,000,000 for the fiscal year ending September 30, 1985. This amount shall be increased by $1,000,000 for each fiscal year thereafter for four additional years” and “an institute or to institutes participating in a generic mineral technology center” for “institutes”.

§1223. Funding criteria

(a) Funds available to institutes under sections 1221 and 1222 of this title shall be paid at such times and in such amounts during each fiscal year as determined by the Secretary, and upon vouchers approved by him. Each institute shall—

(1) set forth its plan to provide for the training of individuals as mineral engineers and scientists under a curriculum appropriate to the field of mineral resources and mineral engineering and related fields;

(2) set forth policies and procedures which assure that Federal funds made available under this subchapter for any fiscal year will supplement and, to the extent practicable, increase the level of funds that would, in the absence of such Federal funds, be made available for purposes of this subchapter, and in no case supplant such funds; and

(3) have an officer appointed by its governing authority who shall receive and account for all funds paid under the provisions of this subchapter and shall make an annual report to the Secretary on or before the first day of September of each year, on work accomplished and the status of projects underway, together with a detailed statement of the amounts received under any provisions of this subchapter during the preceding fiscal year, and of its disbursements on schedules prescribed by the Secretary.


If any of the funds received by the authorized receiving officer of any institute under the provisions of this subchapter shall by any action or contingency be found by the Secretary to have been improperly diminished, lost, or misapplied, such funds shall be replaced by the State concerned and until so replaced no subsequent appropriation shall be allotted or paid to any institute of such State.

(b) The institutes are authorized and encouraged to plan and conduct programs under this subchapter in cooperation with each other and with such other agencies and individuals as may contribute to the solution of the mining and mineral resources problems involved. Moneys appropriated pursuant to this subchapter shall be available for paying the necessary expenses of planning, coordinating, and conducting such cooperative research.

(Pub. L. 98–409, §3, Aug. 29, 1984, 98 Stat. 1538.)

Codification

Section was enacted as part of the Mining and Mineral Resources Research Institute Act of 1984, and not as part of the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 which comprises this chapter.

Prior Provisions

A prior section 1223, Pub. L. 95–87, title III, §303, Aug. 3, 1977, 91 Stat. 453, contained provisions similar to this section covering fiscal years 1978 through 1984.

§1224. Duties of Secretary

(a) Consulting with other agencies; prescribing rules and regulations; furnishing advice and assistance; coordinating research

The Secretary, acting through the Director of the United States Bureau of Mines, shall administer this subchapter and, after full consultation with other interested Federal agencies, shall prescribe such rules and regulations as may be necessary to carry out its provisions. The Secretary shall furnish such advice and assistance as will best promote the purposes of this subchapter, shall participate in coordinating research initiated under this subchapter by the institutes, shall indicate to them such lines of inquiry that seem most important, and shall encourage and assist in the establishment and maintenance of cooperation by and between the institutes and between them and other research organizations, the United States Department of the Interior, and other Federal establishments.

(b) Annual ascertainment of compliance

On or before the first day of July in each year beginning after August 29, 1984, the Secretary shall ascertain whether the requirements of section 1223(a) of this title have been met as to each institute and State.

(Pub. L. 98–409, §4, Aug. 29, 1984, 98 Stat. 1538; Pub. L. 100–483, §6, Oct. 12, 1988, 102 Stat. 2340; Pub. L. 102–285, §10(b), May 18, 1992, 106 Stat. 172.)

Codification

Subsec. (c) of this section, which required the Secretary to make an annual report to Congress on the receipts, expenditures, and work of the institutes in all States under the provisions of this subchapter, terminated, effective May 15, 2000, pursuant to section 3003 of Pub. L. 104–66, as amended, set out as a note under section 1113 of Title 31, Money and Finance. See, also, page 109 of House Document No. 103–7.

Section was enacted as part of the Mining and Mineral Resources Research Institute Act of 1984, and not as part of the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 which comprises this chapter.

Prior Provisions

A prior section 1224, Pub. L. 95–87, title III, §304, Aug. 3, 1977, 91 Stat. 454, contained provisions similar to this section covering fiscal years 1978 through 1984.

Amendments

1988—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 100–483 inserted “, acting through the Director of the Bureau of Mines,” after “The Secretary”.

Change of Name

“United States Bureau of Mines” substituted for “Bureau of Mines” in subsec. (a) pursuant to section 10(b) of Pub. L. 102–285, set out as a note under section 1 of this title. For provisions relating to closure and transfer of functions of the United States Bureau of Mines, see Transfer of Functions note set out under section 1 of this title.

§1225. Effect on colleges and universities

Nothing in this subchapter shall be construed to impair or modify the legal relationship existing between any of the colleges or universities under whose direction an institute is established and the government of the State in which it is located, and nothing in this subchapter shall in any way be construed to authorize Federal control or direction of education at any college or university.

(Pub. L. 98–409, §5, Aug. 29, 1984, 98 Stat. 1539.)

Codification

Section was enacted as part of the Mining and Mineral Resources Research Institute Act of 1984, and not as part of the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 which comprises this chapter.

Prior Provisions

A prior section 1225, Pub. L. 95–87, title III, §305, Aug. 3, 1977, 91 Stat. 454, contained provisions similar to this section covering fiscal years 1978 through 1984.

§1226. Research

(a) Coordination with existing programs; availability of information to public

The Secretary shall obtain the continuing advice and cooperation of all agencies of the Federal Government concerned with mining and mineral resources, of State and local governments, and of private institutions and individuals to assure that the programs authorized by this subchapter will supplement and not be redundant with respect to established mining and minerals research programs, and to stimulate research in otherwise neglected areas, and to contribute to a comprehensive nationwide program of mining and minerals research, with due regard for the protection and conservation of the environment. The Secretary shall make generally available information and reports on projects completed, in progress, or planned under the provisions of this subchapter, in addition to any direct publication of information by the institutes themselves.

(b) Effect on Federal agencies

Nothing in this subchapter is intended to give or shall be construed as giving the Secretary any authority over mining and mineral resources research conducted by any agency of the Federal Government, or as repealing or diminishing existing authorities or responsibilities of any agency of the Federal Government to plan and conduct, contract for, or assist in research in its area of responsibility and concern with regard to mining and mineral resources.

(c) Availability of results to public

No research, demonstration, or experiment shall be carried out under this subchapter by an institute financed by grants under this subchapter, unless all uses, products, processes, patents, and other developments resulting therefrom, with such exception or limitation, if any, as the Secretary may find necessary in the public interest, are made available promptly to the general public. Patentable inventions shall be governed by the provisions of Public Law 96–517. Nothing contained in this section shall deprive the owner of any background patent relating to any such activities of any rights which that owner may have under that patent.

(d) Authorization of appropriations

(1) There is authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary $450,000 for each of the fiscal years ending September 30, 1990, through September 30, 1994, to administer this subchapter. No funds may be withheld by the Secretary for administrative expenses from those authorized to be appropriated by sections 1221 and 1222 of this title.

(2) There are authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary such sums as are necessary for the printing and publishing of the results of activities carried out by institutes and generic mineral technology centers under this subchapter, but such appropriations shall not exceed $550,000 in any single fiscal year.

(Pub. L. 98–409, §6, Aug. 29, 1984, 98 Stat. 1539; Pub. L. 100–483, §7, Oct. 12, 1988, 102 Stat. 2340.)

References in Text

Public Law 96–517, referred to in subsec. (c), is Pub. L. 96–517, Dec. 12, 1980, 94 Stat. 3015. Section 6(a) of Pub. L. 96–517, relating to patent rights in inventions made with Federal assistance, is classified to chapter 18 (§200 et seq.) of Title 35, Patents. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Tables.

Codification

Section was enacted as part of the Mining and Mineral Resources Research Institute Act of 1984, and not as part of the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 which comprises this chapter.

Prior Provisions

A prior section 1226, Pub. L. 95–87, title III, §306, Aug. 3, 1977, 91 Stat. 454, contained provisions similar to this section covering fiscal years 1978 through 1984.

Amendments

1988—Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 100–483 amended subsec. (d) generally. Prior to amendment, subsec. (d) read as follows: “There are authorized to be appropriated after September 30, 1984, such sums as are necessary for the printing and publishing of the results of activities carried out by institutes under this subchapter and for administrative planning and direction, but such appropriations shall not exceed $1,000,000 in any single fiscal year.”

§1227. Center for cataloging

The Secretary shall establish a center for cataloging current and projected scientific research in all fields of mining and mineral resources. Each Federal agency doing mining and mineral resources research shall cooperate by providing the cataloging center with information on work underway or scheduled by it. The cataloging center shall classify and maintain for public use a catalog of mining and mineral resources research and investigation projects in progress or scheduled by all Federal agencies and by such non-Federal agencies of government, colleges, universities, private institutions, firms, and individuals as may make such information available.

(Pub. L. 98–409, §7, Aug. 29, 1984, 98 Stat. 1540.)

Codification

Section was enacted as part of the Mining and Mineral Resources Research Institute Act of 1984, and not as part of the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 which comprises this chapter.

Prior Provisions

A prior section 1227, Pub. L. 95–87, title III, §307, Aug. 3, 1977, 91 Stat. 455, contained provisions similar to this section covering fiscal years 1978 through 1984.

§1228. Interagency cooperation

The President shall, by such means as he deems appropriate, clarify agency responsibility for Federal mining and mineral resources research and provide for interagency coordination of such research, including the research authorized by this subchapter. Such coordination shall include—

(1) continuing review of the adequacy of the Government-wide program in mining and mineral resources research;

(2) identification and elimination of duplication and overlap between agency programs;

(3) identification of technical needs in various mining and mineral resources research categories;

(4) recommendations with respect to allocation of technical effort among Federal agencies;

(5) review of technical manpower needs, and findings concerning management policies to improve the quality of the Government-wide research effort; and

(6) actions to facilitate interagency communication at management levels.

(Pub. L. 98–409, §8, Aug. 29, 1984, 98 Stat. 1540.)

Codification

Section was enacted as part of the Mining and Mineral Resources Research Institute Act of 1984, and not as part of the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 which comprises this chapter.

Prior Provisions

A prior section 1228, Pub. L. 95–87, title III, §308, Aug. 3, 1977, 91 Stat. 455, contained provisions similar to this section covering fiscal years 1978 through 1984.

§1229. Committee on Mining and Mineral Resources Research

(a) Appointment; composition

The Secretary shall appoint a Committee on Mining and Mineral Resources Research composed of—

(1) the Assistant Secretary of the Interior responsible for minerals and mining research, or his delegate;

(2) the Director, United States Bureau of Mines, or his delegate;

(3) the Director, United States Geological Survey, or his delegate;

(4) the Director of the National Science Foundation, or his delegate;

(5) the President, National Academy of Sciences, or his delegate;

(6) the President, National Academy of Engineering, or his delegate; and

(7) not more than 7 other persons who are knowledgeable in the fields of mining and mineral resources research, including two university administrators involved in the conduct of programs authorized by this subchapter, 3 representatives from the mining industry, a working miner, and a representative from the conservation community. In making these 7 appointments, the Secretary shall consult with interested groups.

(b) Consultation and recommendations

The Committee shall consult with, and make recommendations to, the Secretary on all matters relating to mining and mineral resources research and the determinations that are required to be made under this subchapter. The Secretary shall consult with, and consider recommendations of, such Committee in such matters.

(c) Compensation, travel, subsistence and related expenses

Committee members, other than officers or employees of Federal, State, or local governments, shall be, for each day (including traveltime) during which they are performing Committee business, paid at a rate fixed by the Secretary but not 1 excess of the daily equivalent of the maximum rate of pay for grade GS–18 of the General Schedule under section 5332 of title 5, and shall be fully reimbursed for travel, subsistence, and related expenses.

(d) Chairmanship of Committee

The Committee shall be jointly chaired by the Assistant Secretary of the Interior responsible for minerals and mining and a person to be elected by the Committee from among the members referred to in paragraphs (5), (6), and (7) of subsection (a) of this section.

(e) National plan for research

The Committee shall develop a national plan for research in mining and mineral resources, considering ongoing efforts in the universities, the Federal Government, and the private sector, and shall formulate and recommend a program to implement the plan utilizing resources provided for under this subchapter. The Committee shall submit such plan to the Secretary, the President, and the Congress on or before March 1, 1986, and shall submit an annual update of such plan by January 15 of each calendar year.

(f) Application of Federal Advisory Committee Act

Section 10 of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (5 U.S.C. App.) shall not apply to the Committee.

(Pub. L. 98–409, §9, Aug. 29, 1984, 98 Stat. 1540; Pub. L. 100–483, §§8, 9, Oct. 12, 1988, 102 Stat. 2340; Pub. L. 102–285, §10(b), May 18, 1992, 106 Stat. 172.)

References in Text

Section 10 of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, referred to in subsec. (f), is section 10 of Pub. L. 92–463, which is set out in the Appendix to Title 5, Government Organization and Employees.

Codification

Section was enacted as part of the Mining and Mineral Resources Research Institute Act of 1984, and not as part of the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 which comprises this chapter.

Prior Provisions

A prior section 1229, Pub. L. 95–87, title III, §309, Aug. 3, 1977, 91 Stat. 455, contained provisions similar to this section covering fiscal years 1978 through 1984.

Amendments

1988—Subsec. (a)(7). Pub. L. 100–483, §8, substituted “7 other persons” for “six other persons”, “this subchapter, 3” for “section 301 of the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977, two”, and “7 appointments” for “six appointments”.

Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 100–483, §9, substituted “submit an annual update of such plan by January 15 of each calendar year” for “update the plan annually thereafter”.

Change of Name

“United States Bureau of Mines” substituted for “Bureau of Mines” in subsec. (a)(2) pursuant to section 10(b) of Pub. L. 102–285, set out as a note under section 1 of this title. For provisions relating to closure and transfer of functions of the United States Bureau of Mines, see Transfer of Functions note set out under section 1 of this title.

Termination of Reporting Requirements

For termination, effective May 15, 2000, of provisions in subsec. (e) of this section relating to the requirement to submit annual updates of the national plan to Congress, see section 3003 of Pub. L. 104–66, as amended, set out as a note under section 1113 of Title 31, Money and Finance, and page 157 of House Document No. 103–7.

References in Other Laws to GS–16, 17, or 18 Pay Rates

References in laws to the rates of pay for GS–16, 17, or 18, or to maximum rates of pay under the General Schedule, to be considered references to rates payable under specified sections of Title 5, Government Organization and Employees, see section 529 [title I, §101(c)(1)] of Pub. L. 101–509, set out in a note under section 5376 of Title 5.

Reports

Section 11 of Pub. L. 100–483 directed Committee on Mining and Mineral Resources Research to submit a report to Congress by Jan. 15, 1992, on programs established under this subchapter, including reviews of activities of the institutes and generic mineral technology centers established under this subchapter, each institute's and center's eligibility pursuant to section 1230 of this title, and recommendations on establishing new generic mineral technology centers, as well as phasing out or consolidating existing centers, and further directed Committee to submit to Congress, by Jan. 15, 1990, a proposal to establish a Generic Mineral Technology Center on Strategic and Critical Minerals.

1 So in original. Probably should be followed by “in”.

§1230. Eligibility criteria

(a) The Committee shall determine the eligibility of a college or university to participate as a mining and mineral resources research institute under this subchapter using criteria which include—

(1) the presence of a substantial program of graduate instruction and research in mining or mineral extraction or closely related fields which has a demonstrated history of achievement;

(2) evidence of institutional commitment for the purposes of this subchapter;

(3) evidence that such institution has or can obtain significant industrial cooperation in activities within the scope of this subchapter; and

(4) the presence of an engineering program in mining or minerals extraction that is accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, or evidence of equivalent institutional capability as determined by the Committee.


(b)(1) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (a) of this section, those colleges or universities which, on October 12, 1988, have a mining or mineral resources research institute program which has been found to be eligible pursuant to this subchapter shall continue to be eligible subject to review at least once during the period authorized by the Mining and Mineral Resources Research Institute Amendments of 1988, under the provisions of subsection (a) of this section. The results of such review shall be submitted by January 15, 1992, pursuant to section 11(a)(2) of the Mining and Mineral Resources Research Institute Amendments of 1988.

(2) Generic mineral technology centers established by the Secretary under this subchapter are to be composed of institutes eligible pursuant to subsection (a) of this section. Existing generic mineral technology centers shall continue to be eligible under this subchapter subject to at least one review prior to January 15, 1992, pursuant to section 11(a)(3) of the Mining and Mineral Resources Research Institute Amendments of 1988.

(Pub. L. 98–409, §10, Aug. 29, 1984, 98 Stat. 1541; Pub. L. 100–483, §10, Oct. 12, 1988, 102 Stat. 2340.)

References in Text

The Mining and Mineral Resources Research Institute Amendments of 1988, referred to in subsec. (b), is Pub. L. 100–483, Oct. 12, 1988, 102 Stat. 2339. Section 11(a)(2) and (3) of the Mining and Mineral Resources Research Institute Amendments of 1988 is set out as a note under section 1229 of this title. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title of 1988 Amendment note set out under section 1201 of this title and Tables.

Codification

Section was enacted as part of the Mining and Mineral Resources Research Institute Act of 1984, and not as part of the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 which comprises this chapter.

Amendments

1988—Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 100–483 amended subsec. (b) generally. Prior to amendment, subsec. (b) read as follows: “Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (a) of this section, those colleges or universities which, on August 29, 1984, have a mining or mineral resources research institute program which has been found to be eligible pursuant to title III of the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 (91 Stat. 445) shall continue to be eligible pursuant to this subchapter for a period of four fiscal years beginning October 1, 1984.”

§1230a. Strategic Resources Generic Mineral Technology Center

(a) Establishment

The Secretary of 1 Interior is authorized and directed to establish a Strategic Resources Mineral Technology Center (hereinafter referred to as the “center”) for the purpose of improving existing, and developing new, technologies that will decrease the dependence of the United States on supplies of strategic and critical minerals.

(b) Functions

The center shall—

(1) provide for studies and technology development in the areas of mineral extraction and refining processes, product substitution and conservation of mineral resources through recycling and advanced processing and fabrication methods;

(2) identify new deposits of strategic and critical mineral resources; and

(3) facilitate the transfer of information, studies, and technologies developed by the center to the private sector.

(c) Criteria

The Secretary shall establish the center referred to in subsection (a) of this section at a university that—

(1) does not currently host a generic mineral technology center;

(2) has established advanced degree programs in geology and geological engineering, and metallurgical and mining engineering;

(3) has expertise in materials and advanced processing research; and

(4) is located west of the 100th meridian.

(d) Authorization of appropriations

There is authorized to be appropriated such sums as may be necessary to carry out this section.

(Pub. L. 98–409, §12, as added Pub. L. 101–498, §2, Nov. 2, 1990, 104 Stat. 1207.)

Codification

Section was enacted as part of the Mining and Mineral Resources Research Institute Act of 1984, and not as part of the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 which comprises this chapter.

1 So in original. Probably should be “of the”.

SUBCHAPTER IV—ABANDONED MINE RECLAMATIONS

§1231. Abandoned Mine Reclamation Fund

(a) Establishment; administration; State funds

There is created on the books of the Treasury of the United States a trust fund to be known as the Abandoned Mine Reclamation Fund (hereinafter referred to as the “fund”) which shall be administered by the Secretary of the Interior. State abandoned mine reclamation funds (State funds) generated by grants from this subchapter shall be established by each State pursuant to an approved State program.

(b) Sources of deposits to fund

The fund shall consist of amounts deposited in the fund, from time to time derived from—

(1) the reclamation fees levied under section 1232 of this title;

(2) any user charge imposed on or for land reclaimed pursuant to this subchapter after expenditures for maintenance have been deducted;

(3) donations by persons, corporations, associations, and foundations for the purposes of this subchapter;

(4) recovered moneys as provided for in this subchapter; and

(5) interest credited to the fund under subsection (e) of this section.

(c) Use of moneys

Moneys in the fund may be used for the following purposes:

(1) reclamation and restoration of land and water resources adversely affected by past coal mining, including but not limited to reclamation and restoration of abandoned surface mine areas, abandoned coal processing areas, and abandoned coal refuse disposal areas; sealing and filling abandoned deep mine entries and voids; planting of land adversely affected by past coal mining to prevent erosion and sedimentation; prevention, abatement, treatment, and control of water pollution created by coal mine drainage including restoration of stream beds, and construction and operation of water treatment plants; prevention, abatement, and control of burning coal refuse disposal areas and burning coal in situ; prevention, abatement, and control of coal mine subsidence; and establishment of self-sustaining, individual State administered programs to insure private property against damages caused by land subsidence resulting from underground coal mining in those States which have reclamation plans approved in accordance with section 1253 of this title: Provided, That funds used for this purpose shall not exceed $3,000,000 of the funds made available to any State under section 1232(g)(1) of this title;

(2) acquisition and filling of voids and sealing of tunnels, shafts, and entryways under section 1239 of this title;

(3) acquisition of land as provided for in this subchapter;

(4) enforcement and collection of the reclamation fee provided for in section 1232 of this title;

(5) restoration, reclamation, abatement, control, or prevention of adverse effects of coal mining which constitutes an emergency as provided for in this subchapter;

(6) grants to the States to accomplish the purposes of this subchapter;

(7) administrative expenses of the United States and each State to accomplish the purposes of this subchapter;

(8) for use under section 1240a of this title;

(9) for the purpose of section 1257(c) of this title, except that not more than $10,000,000 shall annually be available for such purpose;

(10) for the purpose described in section 1232(h) of this title; and

(11) all other necessary expenses to accomplish the purposes of this subchapter.

(d) Availability of moneys; no fiscal year limitation

(1) In general

Moneys from the fund for expenditures under subparagraphs (A) through (D) of section 1232(g)(3) of this title shall be available only when appropriated for those subparagraphs.

(2) No fiscal year limitation

Appropriations described in paragraph (1) shall be made without fiscal year limitation.

(3) Other purposes

Moneys from the fund shall be available for all other purposes of this subchapter without prior appropriation as provided in subsection (f).

(e) Interest

The Secretary of the Interior shall notify the Secretary of the Treasury as to what portion of the fund is not, in his judgment, required to meet current withdrawals. The Secretary of the Treasury shall invest such portion of the fund in public debt securities with maturities suitable for achieving the purposes of the transfers under section 1232(h) of this title and bearing interest at rates determined by the Secretary of the Treasury, taking into consideration current market yields on outstanding marketable obligations of the United States of comparable maturities. The income on such investments shall be credited to, and form a part of, the fund for the purpose of the transfers under section 1232(h) of this title.

(f) General limitation on obligation authority

(1) In general

From amounts deposited into the fund under subsection (b), the Secretary shall distribute during each fiscal year beginning after September 30, 2007, an amount determined under paragraph (2).

(2) Amounts

(A) For fiscal years 2008 through 2022

For each of fiscal years 2008 through 2022, the amount distributed by the Secretary under this subsection shall be equal to—

(i) the amounts deposited into the fund under paragraphs (1), (2), and (4) of subsection (b) for the preceding fiscal year that were allocated under paragraphs (1) and (5) of section 1232(g) of this title; plus

(ii) the amount needed for the adjustment under section 1232(g)(8) of this title for the current fiscal year.

(B) Fiscal years 2023 and thereafter

For fiscal year 2023 and each fiscal year thereafter, to the extent that funds are available, the Secretary shall distribute an amount equal to the amount distributed under subparagraph (A) during fiscal year 2022.

(3) Distribution

(A) In general

Except as provided in subparagraph (B), for each fiscal year, of the amount to be distributed to States and Indian tribes pursuant to paragraph (2), the Secretary shall distribute—

(i) the amounts allocated under paragraph (1) of section 1232(g) of this title, the amounts allocated under paragraph (5) of section 1232(g) of this title, and any amount reallocated under section 1240a(h)(3) of this title in accordance with section 1240a(h)(2) of this title, for grants to States and Indian tribes under section 1232(g)(5) of this title; and

(ii) the amounts allocated under section 1232(g)(8) of this title.

(B) Exclusion

Beginning on October 1, 2007, certified States shall be ineligible to receive amounts under section 1232(g)(1) of this title.

(4) Availability

Amounts in the fund available to the Secretary for obligation under this subsection shall be available until expended.

(5) Addition

(A) In general

Subject to subparagraph (B), the amount distributed under this subsection for each fiscal year shall be in addition to the amount appropriated from the fund during the fiscal year.

(B) Exceptions

Notwithstanding paragraph (3), the amount distributed under this subsection for the first 4 fiscal years beginning on and after October 1, 2007, shall be equal to the following percentage of the amount otherwise required to be distributed:

(i) 50 percent in fiscal year 2008.

(ii) 50 percent in fiscal year 2009.

(iii) 75 percent in fiscal year 2010.

(iv) 75 percent in fiscal year 2011.

(Pub. L. 95–87, title IV, §401, Aug. 3, 1977, 91 Stat. 456; Pub. L. 98–473, title I, §101(c) [title III, §324], Oct. 12, 1984, 98 Stat. 1837, 1875; Pub. L. 101–508, title VI, §6002, Nov. 5, 1990, 104 Stat. 1388–289; Pub. L. 102–486, title XIX, §19143(b)(3)(A), title XXV, §2504(c)(1), Oct. 24, 1992, 106 Stat. 3056, 3105; Pub. L. 109–432, div. C, title II, §201(a), Dec. 20, 2006, 120 Stat. 3006.)

Amendments

2006—Subsec. (c)(2) to (13). Pub. L. 109–432, §201(a)(1), redesignated pars. (3) to (5) and (7) to (13) as (2) to (4) and (5) to (11), respectively, and struck out former pars. (2) and (6) which read as follows:

“(2) for transfer on an annual basis to the Secretary of Agriculture for use under section 1236 of this title;” and

“(6) studies, research, and demonstration projects by the Department of the Interior to such extent or in such amounts as are provided in appropriation Acts with public and private organizations conducted in accordance with section 3501 of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1986, conducted for the purposes of this subchapter;”.

Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 109–432, §201(a)(2), added subsec. (d) and struck out former subsec. (d) which read as follows: “Moneys from the fund shall be available for the purposes of this subchapter, only when appropriated therefor, and such appropriations shall be made without fiscal year limitations.”

Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 109–432, §201(a)(3), in second sentence, substituted “achieving the purposes of the transfers under section 1232(h) of this title” for “the needs of such fund” and, in third sentence, inserted “for the purpose of the transfers under section 1232(h) of this title” before period at end.

Subsec. (f). Pub. L. 109–432, §201(a)(4), added subsec. (f).

1992—Subsec. (c)(6). Pub. L. 102–486, §2504(c)(1), substituted “studies, research, and demonstration projects” for “studies” and struck out “to provide information, advice, and technical assistance, including research and demonstration projects” after “private organizations”.

Subsec. (c)(12), (13). Pub. L. 102–486, §19143(b)(3)(A), added par. (12) and redesignated former par. (12) as (13).

1990—Subsec. (b)(1). Pub. L. 101–508, §6002(a)(1), amended par. (1) generally. Prior to amendment, par. (1) read as follows: “the reclamation fees levied under section 1232 of this title: Provided, That an amount not to exceed 10 per centum of such reclamation fees collected for any calendar quarter shall be reserved beginning in the first calendar year in which the fee is imposed and continuing for the remainder of that fiscal year and for the period in which such fee is imposed by law, for the purpose of section 1257(c) of this title, subject to appropriation pursuant to authorization under section 1302 of this title: Provided further, That not more than $10,000,000 shall be available for such purposes;”.

Subsec. (b)(5). Pub. L. 101–508, §6002(a)(2), added par. (5).

Subsec. (c)(1). Pub. L. 101–508, §6002(b)(1), substituted “section 1232(g)(1)” for “section 1232(g)(2)”.

Subsec. (c)(2). Pub. L. 101–508, §6002(b)(2), amended par. (2) generally. Prior to amendment, par. (2) read as follows: “for use under section 1236 of this title, by the Secretary of Agriculture, of up to one-fifth of the money deposited in the funds annually and transferred by the Secretary of the Interior to the Secretary of Agriculture for such purposes;”.

Subsec. (c)(6). Pub. L. 101–508, §6002(b)(3), struck out “by contract” after “Department of the Interior” and inserted “conducted in accordance with section 3501 of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1986” after “projects”.

Subsec. (c)(10) to (12). Pub. L. 101–508, §6002(b)(5), added pars. (10) and (11) and redesignated former par. (10) as (12).

Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 101–508, §6002(c), added subsec. (e).

1984—Subsec. (c)(1). Pub. L. 98–473 inserted at end “and establishment of self-sustaining, individual State administered programs to insure private property against damages caused by land subsidence resulting from underground coal mining in those States which have reclamation plans approved in accordance with section 1253 of this title: Provided, That funds used for this purpose shall not exceed $3,000,000 of the funds made available to any State under section 1232(g)(2) of this title;”.

Effective Date of 1990 Amendment

Section 6014 of Pub. L. 101–508 provided that: “The amendments made by this subtitle [subtitle A (§§6001–6014) of title VI of Pub. L. 101–508, enacting section 1240a of this title and amending this section and sections 1232 to 1237, 1239, 1257, and 1302 of this title] shall take effect at the beginning of the first fiscal year [Oct. 1, 1991] immediately following the fiscal year in which this subtitle is enacted.”

Savings Provision

Section 6013 of Pub. L. 101–508 provided that: “Nothing in this subtitle [subtitle A (§§6001–6014) of title VI of Pub. L. 101–508, see Short Title of 1990 Amendment note set out under section 1201 of this title] shall be construed to affect the certifications made by the State of Wyoming, the State of Montana, and the State of Louisiana to the Secretary of the Interior prior to the date of enactment of this subtitle [Nov. 5, 1990] that such State has completed the reclamation of eligible abandoned coal mine lands.”

Abandoned Mine Reclamation Fund; Deposit and Expenditure of Certain Donations

Pub. L. 105–277, div. A, §101(e) [title I], Oct. 21, 1998, 112 Stat. 2681–231, 2681–245, provided in part: “That hereafter, donations received to support projects under the Appalachian Clean Streams Initiative and under the Western Mine Lands Restoration Partnerships Initiative, pursuant to 30 U.S.C. 1231, shall be credited to this account and remain available until expended without further appropriation for projects sponsored under these initiatives, directly through agreements with other Federal agencies, or through grants to States, and funding to local governments, or tax exempt private entities.”

Abandoned Mine Reclamation Research and Development

Pub. L. 99–509, title III, §3501, Oct. 21, 1986, 100 Stat. 1891, as amended by Pub. L. 102–285, §10(b), May 18, 1992, 106 Stat. 172, provided that after enactment of Pub. L. 99–509, the research and demonstration authorities of the Department of the Interior under former subsec. (c)(6) of this section were to be transferred to, and carried out by, the Director of the United States Bureau of Mines.

§1232. Reclamation fee

(a) Payment; rate

All operators of coal mining operations subject to the provisions of this chapter shall pay to the Secretary of the Interior, for deposit in the fund, a reclamation fee of 31.5 cents per ton of coal produced by surface coal mining and 13.5 cents per ton of coal produced by underground mining or 10 per centum of the value of the coal at the mine, as determined by the Secretary, whichever is less, except that the reclamation fee for lignite coal shall be at a rate of 2 per centum of the value of the coal at the mine, or 9 cents per ton, whichever is less.

(b) Due date

Such fee shall be paid no later than thirty days after the end of each calendar quarter beginning with the first calendar quarter occurring after August 3, 1977, and ending September 30, 2021.

(c) Submission of statement

Together with such reclamation fee, all operators of coal mine operations shall submit a statement of the amount of coal produced during the calendar quarter, the method of coal removal and the type of coal, the accuracy of which shall be sworn to by the operator and notarized. Such statement shall include an identification of the permittee of the surface coal mining operation, any operator in addition to the permittee, the owner of the coal, the preparation plant, tripple,1 or loading point for the coal, and the person purchasing the coal from the operator. The report shall also specify the number of the permit required under section 1256 of this title and the mine safety and health identification number. Each quarterly report shall contain a notification of any changes in the information required by this subsection since the date of the preceding quarterly report. The information contained in the quarterly reports under this subsection shall be maintained by the Secretary in a computerized database.

(d) Penalty

(1) Any person, corporate officer, agent or director, on behalf of a coal mine operator, who knowingly makes any false statement, representation or certification, or knowingly fails to make any statement, representation or certification required in this section shall, upon conviction, be punished by a fine of not more than $10,000, or by imprisonment for not more than one year, or both.

(2) The Secretary shall conduct such audits of coal production and the payment of fees under this subchapter as may be necessary to ensure full compliance with the provisions of this subchapter. For purposes of performing such audits the Secretary (or any duly designated officer, employee, or representative of the Secretary) shall, at all reasonable times, upon request, have access to, and may copy, all books, papers, and other documents of any person subject to the provisions of this subchapter. The Secretary may at any time conduct audits of any surface coal mining and reclamation operation, including without limitation, tipples and preparation plants, as may be necessary in the judgment of the Secretary to ensure full and complete payment of the fees under this subchapter.

(e) Civil action to recover fee

Any portion of the reclamation fee not properly or promptly paid pursuant to this section shall be recoverable, with statutory interest, from coal mine operators, in any court of competent jurisdiction in any action at law to compel payment of debts.

(f) Cooperation from other agencies

All Federal and State agencies shall fully cooperate with the Secretary of the Interior in the enforcement of this section. Whenever the Secretary believes that any person has not paid the full amount of the fee payable under subsection (a) of this section the Secretary shall notify the Federal agency responsible for ensuring compliance with the provisions of section 4121 of title 26.

(g) Allocation of funds

(1) Except as provided in subsection (h) of this section, moneys deposited into the fund shall be allocated by the Secretary to accomplish the purposes of this subchapter as follows:

(A) 50 percent of the reclamation fees collected annually in any State (other than fees collected with respect to Indian lands) shall be allocated annually by the Secretary to the State, subject to such State having each of the following:

(i) An approved abandoned mine reclamation program pursuant to section 1235 of this title.

(ii) Lands and waters which are eligible pursuant to section 1234 of this title (in the case of a State not certified under section 1240a(a) of this title) or pursuant to section 1240a(b) of this title (in the case of a State certified under section 1240a(a) of this title).


(B) 50 percent of the reclamation fees collected annually with respect to Indian lands shall be allocated annually by the Secretary to the Indian tribe having jurisdiction over such lands, subject to such tribe having each of the following:

(i) an 2 approved abandoned mine reclamation program pursuant to section 1235 of this title.

(ii) Lands and waters which are eligible pursuant to section 1234 of this title (in the case of an Indian tribe not certified under section 1240a(a) of this title) or pursuant to section 1240a(b) of this title (in the case of a tribe certified under section 1240a(a) of this title).


(C) The funds allocated by the Secretary under this paragraph to States and Indian tribes shall only be used for annual reclamation project construction and program administration grants.

(D) To the extent not expended within 3 years after the date of any grant award under this paragraph (except for grants awarded during fiscal years 2008, 2009, and 2010 to the extent not expended within 5 years), such grant shall be available for expenditure by the Secretary under paragraph (5).


(2) In making the grants referred to in paragraph (1)(C) and the grants referred to in paragraph (5), the Secretary shall ensure strict compliance by the States and Indian tribes with the priorities described in section 1233(a) of this title until a certification is made under section 1240a(a) of this title.

(3) Amounts available in the fund which are not allocated to States and Indian tribes under paragraph (1) or allocated under paragraph (5) are authorized to be expended by the Secretary for any of the following:

(A) For the purpose of section 1257(c) of this title, either directly or through grants to the States, subject to the limitation contained in section 1231(c)(9) of this title.

(B) For the purpose of section 1240 of this title (relating to emergencies).

(C) For the purpose of meeting the objectives of the fund set forth in section 1233(a) of this title for eligible lands and waters pursuant to section 1234 of this title in States and on Indian lands where the State or Indian tribe does not have an approved abandoned mine reclamation program pursuant to section 1235 of this title.

(D) For the administration of this subchapter by the Secretary.

(E) For the purpose of paragraph (8).


(4)(A) Amounts available in the fund which are not allocated under paragraphs (1), (2), and (5) or expended under paragraph (3) in any fiscal year are authorized to be expended by the Secretary under this paragraph for the reclamation or drainage abatement of lands and waters within unreclaimed sites which are mined for coal or which were affected by such mining, wastebanks, coal processing or other coal mining processes and left in an inadequate reclamation status.

(B) Funds made available under this paragraph may be used for reclamation or drainage abatement at a site referred to in subparagraph (A) if the Secretary makes either of the following findings:

(i) A finding that the surface coal mining operation occurred during the period beginning on August 4, 1977, and ending on or before the date on which the Secretary approved a State program pursuant to section 1253 of this title for a State in which the site is located, and that any funds for reclamation or abatement which are available pursuant to a bond or other form of financial guarantee or from any other source are not sufficient to provide for adequate reclamation or abatement at the site.

(ii) A finding that the surface coal mining operation occurred during the period beginning on August 4, 1977, and ending on or before November 5, 1990, and that the surety of such mining operator became insolvent during such period, and as of November 5, 1990, funds immediately available from proceedings relating to such insolvency, or from any financial guarantee or other source are not sufficient to provide for adequate reclamation or abatement at the site.


(C) In determining which sites to reclaim pursuant to this paragraph, the Secretary shall follow the priorities stated in paragraphs (1) and (2) of section 1233(a) of this title. The Secretary shall ensure that priority is given to those sites which are in the immediate vicinity of a residential area or which have an adverse economic impact upon a local community.

(D) Amounts collected from the assessment of civil penalties under section 1268 of this title are authorized to be appropriated to carry out this paragraph.

(E) Any State may expend grants made available under paragraphs (1) and (5) for reclamation and abatement of any site referred to in subparagraph (A) if the State, with the concurrence of the Secretary, makes either of the findings referred to in clause (i) or (ii) of subparagraph (B) and if the State determines that the reclamation priority of the site is the same or more urgent than the reclamation priority for eligible lands and waters pursuant to section 1234 of this title under the priorities stated in paragraphs (1) and (2) of section 1233(a) of this title.

(F) For the purposes of the certification referred to in section 1240a(a) of this title, sites referred to in subparagraph (A) of this paragraph shall be considered as having the same priorities as those stated in section 1233(a) of this title for eligible lands and waters pursuant to section 1234 of this title. All sites referred to in subparagraph (A) of this paragraph within any State shall be reclaimed prior to such State making the certification referred to in section 1240a(a) of this title.

(5)(A) The Secretary shall allocate 60 percent of the amount in the fund after making the allocation referred to in paragraph (1) for making additional annual grants to States and Indian tribes which are not certified under section 1240a(a) of this title to supplement grants received by such States and Indian tribes pursuant to paragraph (1)(C) until the priorities stated in paragraphs (1) and (2) of section 1233(a) of this title have been achieved by such State or Indian tribe. The allocation of such funds for the purpose of making such expenditures shall be through a formula based on the amount of coal historically produced in the State or from the Indian lands concerned prior to August 3, 1977. Funds made available under paragraph (3) or (4) of this subsection for any State or Indian tribe shall not be deducted against any allocation of funds to the State or Indian tribe under paragraph (1) or under this paragraph.

(B) Any amount that is reallocated and available under section 1240a(h)(3) of this title shall be in addition to amounts that are allocated under subparagraph (A).

(6)(A) Any State with an approved abandoned mine reclamation program pursuant to section 1235 of this title may receive and retain, without regard to the 3-year limitation referred to in paragraph (1)(D), up to 30 percent of the total of the grants made annually to the State under paragraphs (1) and (5) if those amounts are deposited into an acid mine drainage abatement and treatment fund established under State law, from which amounts (together with all interest earned on the amounts) are expended by the State for the abatement of the causes and the treatment of the effects of acid mine drainage in a comprehensive manner within qualified hydrologic units affected by coal mining practices.

(B) In this paragraph, the term “qualified hydrologic unit” means a hydrologic unit—

(i) in which the water quality has been significantly affected by acid mine drainage from coal mining practices in a manner that adversely impacts biological resources; and

(ii) that contains land and water that are—

(I) eligible pursuant to section 1234 of this title and include any of the priorities described in section 1233(a) of this title; and

(II) the subject of expenditures by the State from the forfeiture of bonds required under section 1259 of this title or from other States sources to abate and treat acid mine drainage.


(7) In complying with the priorities described in section 1233(a) of this title, any State or Indian tribe may use amounts available in grants made annually to the State or tribe under paragraphs (1) and (5) for the reclamation of eligible land and water described in section 1233(a)(3) of this title before the completion of reclamation projects under paragraphs (1) and (2) of section 1233(a) of this title only if the expenditure of funds for the reclamation is done in conjunction with the expenditure before, on, or after December 20, 2006, of funds for reclamation projects under paragraphs (1) and (2) of section 1233(a) of this title.

(8)(A) In making funds available under this subchapter, the Secretary shall ensure that the grant awards total not less than $3,000,000 annually to each State and each Indian tribe having an approved abandoned mine reclamation program pursuant to section 1235 of this title and eligible land and water pursuant to section 1234 of this title, so long as an allocation of funds to the State or tribe is necessary to achieve the priorities stated in paragraphs (1) and (2) of section 1233(a) of this title.

(B) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, this paragraph applies to the States of Tennessee and Missouri.

(h) Transfers of interest earned by Fund

(1) In general

(A) Transfers to Combined Benefit Fund

As soon as practicable after the beginning of fiscal year 2007 and each fiscal year thereafter, and before making any allocation with respect to the fiscal year under subsection (g), the Secretary shall use an amount not to exceed the amount of interest that the Secretary estimates will be earned and paid to the fund during the fiscal year to transfer to the Combined Benefit Fund such amounts as are estimated by the trustees of such fund to offset the amount of any deficit in net assets in the Combined Benefit Fund as of October 1, 2006, and to make the transfer described in paragraph (2)(A).

(B) Transfers to 1992 and 1993 plans

As soon as practicable after the beginning of fiscal year 2008 and each fiscal year thereafter, and before making any allocation with respect to the fiscal year under subsection (g), the Secretary shall use an amount not to exceed the amount of interest that the Secretary estimates will be earned and paid to the fund during the fiscal year (reduced by the amount used under subparagraph (A)) to make the transfers described in paragraphs (2)(B) and (2)(C).

(2) Transfers described

The transfers referred to in paragraph (1) are the following:

(A) United Mine Workers of America Combined Benefit Fund

A transfer to the United Mine Workers of America Combined Benefit Fund equal to the amount that the trustees of the Combined Benefit Fund estimate will be expended from the fund for the fiscal year in which the transfer is made, reduced by—

(i) the amount the trustees of the Combined Benefit Fund estimate the Combined Benefit Fund will receive during the fiscal year in—

(I) required premiums; and

(II) payments paid by Federal agencies in connection with benefits provided by the Combined Benefit Fund; and


(ii) the amount the trustees of the Combined Benefit Fund estimate will be expended during the fiscal year to provide health benefits to beneficiaries who are unassigned beneficiaries solely as a result of the application of section 9706(h)(1) of title 26, but only to the extent that such amount does not exceed the amounts described in subsection (i)(1)(A) that the Secretary estimates will be available to pay such estimated expenditures.

(B) United Mine Workers of America 1992 Benefit Plan

A transfer to the United Mine Workers of America 1992 Benefit Plan, in an amount equal to the difference between—

(i) the amount that the trustees of the 1992 UMWA Benefit Plan estimate will be expended from the 1992 UMWA Benefit Plan during the next calendar year to provide the benefits required by the 1992 UMWA Benefit Plan on December 20, 2006; minus

(ii) the amount that the trustees of the 1992 UMWA Benefit Plan estimate the 1992 UMWA Benefit Plan will receive during the next calendar year in—

(I) required monthly per beneficiary premiums, including the amount of any security provided to the 1992 UMWA Benefit Plan that is available for use in the provision of benefits; and

(II) payments paid by Federal agencies in connection with benefits provided by the 1992 UMWA Benefit Plan.

(C) Multiemployer Health Benefit Plan

A transfer to the Multiemployer Health Benefit Plan established after July 20, 1992, by the parties that are the settlors of the 1992 UMWA Benefit Plan referred to in subparagraph (B) (referred to in this subparagraph and subparagraph (D) as “the Plan”), in an amount equal to the excess (if any) of—

(i) the amount that the trustees of the Plan estimate will be expended from the Plan during the next calendar year, to provide benefits no greater than those provided by the Plan as of December 31, 2006; over

(ii) the amount that the trustees estimated the Plan will receive during the next calendar year in payments paid by Federal agencies in connection with benefits provided by the Plan.


Such excess shall be calculated by taking into account only those beneficiaries actually enrolled in the Plan as of December 31, 2006, who are eligible to receive benefits under the Plan on the first day of the calendar year for which the transfer is made.

(D) Individuals considered enrolled

For purposes of subparagraph (C), any individual who was eligible to receive benefits from the Plan as of December 20, 2006, even though benefits were being provided to the individual pursuant to a settlement agreement approved by order of a bankruptcy court entered on or before September 30, 2004, will be considered to be actually enrolled in the Plan and shall receive benefits from the Plan beginning on December 31, 2006.

(3) Adjustment

If, for any fiscal year, the amount of a transfer under subparagraph (A), (B), or (C) of paragraph (2) is more or less than the amount required to be transferred under that subparagraph, the Secretary shall appropriately adjust the amount transferred under that subparagraph for the next fiscal year.

(4) Additional amounts

(A) Previously credited interest

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, any interest credited to the fund that has not previously been transferred to the Combined Benefit Fund referred to in paragraph (2)(A) under this section—

(i) shall be held in reserve by the Secretary until such time as necessary to make the payments under subparagraphs (A) and (B) of subsection (i)(1), as described in clause (ii); and

(ii) in the event that the amounts described in subsection (i)(1) are insufficient to make the maximum payments described in subparagraphs (A) and (B) of subsection (i)(1), shall be used by the Secretary to supplement the payments so that the maximum amount permitted under those paragraphs is paid.

(B) Previously allocated amounts

All amounts allocated under subsection (g)(2) before December 20, 2006, for the program described in section 1236 of this title, but not appropriated before December 20, 2006, shall be available to the Secretary to make the transfers described in paragraph (2).

(C) Adequacy of previously credited interest

The Secretary shall—

(i) consult with the trustees of the plans described in paragraph (2) at reasonable intervals; and

(ii) notify Congress if a determination is made that the amounts held in reserve under subparagraph (A) are insufficient to meet future requirements under subparagraph (A)(ii).

(D) Additional reserve amounts

In addition to amounts held in reserve under subparagraph (A), there is authorized to be appropriated such sums as may be necessary for transfer to the fund to carry out the purposes of subparagraph (A)(ii).

(E) Inapplicability of cap

The limitation described in subsection (i)(3)(A) shall not apply to payments made from the reserve fund under this paragraph.

(5) Limitations

(A) Availability of funds for next fiscal year

The Secretary may make transfers under subparagraphs (B) and (C) of paragraph (2) for a calendar year only if the Secretary determines, using actuarial projections provided by the trustees of the Combined Benefit Fund referred to in paragraph (2)(A), that amounts will be available under paragraph (1), after the transfer, for the next fiscal year for making the transfer under paragraph (2)(A).

(B) Rate of contributions of obligors

(i) In general

(I) Rate

A transfer under paragraph (2)(C) shall not be made for a calendar year unless the persons that are obligated to contribute to the plan referred to in paragraph (2)(C) on the date of the transfer are obligated to make the contributions at rates that are no less than those in effect on the date which is 30 days before December 20, 2006.

(II) Application

The contributions described in subclause (I) shall be applied first to the provision of benefits to those plan beneficiaries who are not described in paragraph (2)(C)(ii).

(ii) Initial contributions

(I) In general

From December 20, 2006, through December 31, 2010, the persons that, on December 20, 2006, are obligated to contribute to the plan referred to in paragraph (2)(C) shall be obligated, collectively, to make contributions equal to the amount described in paragraph (2)(C), less the amount actually transferred due to the operation of subparagraph (C).

(II) First calendar year

Calendar year 2006 is the first calendar year for which contributions are required under this clause.

(III) Amount of contribution for 2006

Except as provided in subclause (IV), the amount described in paragraph (2)(C) for calendar year 2006 shall be calculated as if paragraph (2)(C) had been in effect during 2005.

(IV) Limitation

The contributions required under this clause for calendar year 2006 shall not exceed the amount necessary for solvency of the plan described in paragraph (2)(C), measured as of December 31, 2006, and taking into account all assets held by the plan as of that date.

(iii) Division

The collective annual contribution obligation required under clause (ii) shall be divided among the persons subject to the obligation, and applied uniformly, based on the hours worked for which contributions referred to in clause (i) would be owed.

(C) Phase-in of transfers

For each of calendar years 2008 through 2010, the transfers required under subparagraphs (B) and (C) of paragraph (2) shall equal the following amounts:

(i) For calendar year 2008, the Secretary shall make transfers equal to 25 percent of the amounts that would otherwise be required under subparagraphs (B) and (C) of paragraph (2).

(ii) For calendar year 2009, the Secretary shall make transfers equal to 50 percent of the amounts that would otherwise be required under subparagraphs (B) and (C) of paragraph (2).

(iii) For calendar year 2010, the Secretary shall make transfers equal to 75 percent of the amounts that would otherwise be required under subparagraphs (B) and (C) of paragraph (2).

(i) Funding

(1) In general

Subject to paragraph (3), out of any funds in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated, the Secretary of the Treasury shall transfer to the plans described in subsection (h)(2) such sums as are necessary to pay the following amounts:

(A) To the Combined Fund (as defined in section 9701(a)(5) of title 26 and referred to in this paragraph as the “Combined Fund”), the amount that the trustees of the Combined Fund estimate will be expended from premium accounts maintained by the Combined Fund for the fiscal year to provide benefits for beneficiaries who are unassigned beneficiaries solely as a result of the application of section 9706(h)(1) of title 26, subject to the following limitations:

(i) For fiscal year 2008, the amount paid under this subparagraph shall equal—

(I) the amount described in subparagraph (A); minus

(II) the amounts required under section 9706(h)(3)(A) of title 26.


(ii) For fiscal year 2009, the amount paid under this subparagraph shall equal—

(I) the amount described in subparagraph (A); minus

(II) the amounts required under section 9706(h)(3)(B) of title 26.


(iii) For fiscal year 2010, the amount paid under this subparagraph shall equal—

(I) the amount described in subparagraph (A); minus

(II) the amounts required under section 9706(h)(3)(C) of title 26.


(B) On certification by the trustees of any plan described in subsection (h)(2) that the amount available for transfer by the Secretary pursuant to this section (determined after application of any limitation under subsection (h)(5)) is less than the amount required to be transferred, to the plan the amount necessary to meet the requirement of subsection (h)(2).

(C) To the Combined Fund, $9,000,000 on October 1, 2007, $9,000,000 on October 1, 2008, $9,000,000 on October 1, 2009, and $9,000,000 on October 1, 2010 (which amounts shall not be exceeded) to provide a refund of any premium (as described in section 9704(a) of title 26) paid on or before September 7, 2000, to the Combined Fund, plus interest on the premium calculated at the rate of 7.5 percent per year, on a proportional basis and to be paid not later than 60 days after the date on which each payment is received by the Combined Fund, to those signatory operators (to the extent that the Combined Fund has not previously returned the premium amounts to the operators), or any related persons to the operators (as defined in section 9701(c) of title 26), or their heirs, successors, or assigns who have been denied the refunds as the result of final judgments or settlements if—

(i) prior to December 20, 2006, the signatory operator (or any related person to the operator)—

(I) had all of its beneficiary assignments made under section 9706 of title 26 voided by the Commissioner of the Social Security Administration; and

(II) was subject to a final judgment or final settlement of litigation adverse to a claim by the operator that the assignment of beneficiaries under section 9706 of title 26 was unconstitutional as applied to the operator; and


(ii) on or before September 7, 2000, the signatory operator (or any related person to the operator) had paid to the Combined Fund any premium amount that had not been refunded.

(2) Payments to States and Indian tribes

Subject to paragraph (3), out of any funds in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated, the Secretary of the Treasury shall transfer to the Secretary of the Interior for distribution to States and Indian tribes such sums as are necessary to pay amounts described in paragraphs (1)(A) and (2)(A) of section 1240a(h) of this title.

(3) Limitations

(A) Cap

The total amount transferred under this subsection for any fiscal year shall not exceed $490,000,000.

(B) Insufficient amounts

In a case in which the amount required to be transferred without regard to this paragraph exceeds the maximum annual limitation in subparagraph (A), the Secretary shall adjust the transfers of funds so that—

(i) each transfer for the fiscal year is a percentage of the amount described;

(ii) the amount is determined without regard to subsection (h)(5)(A); and

(iii) the percentage transferred is the same for all transfers made under this subsection for the fiscal year.

(4) Availability of funds

Funds shall be transferred under paragraphs (1) and (2) beginning in fiscal year 2008 and each fiscal year thereafter, and shall remain available until expended.

(Pub. L. 95–87, title IV, §402, Aug. 3, 1977, 91 Stat. 457; Pub. L. 100–34, title I, §101, May 7, 1987, 101 Stat. 300; Pub. L. 101–508, title VI, §§6003, 6004, Nov. 5, 1990, 104 Stat. 1388–290, 1388–291; Pub. L. 102–486, title XIX, §19143(b)(1), (2), (3)(B), title XXV, §2515, Oct. 24, 1992, 106 Stat. 3056, 3113; Pub. L. 108–447, div. E, title I, §135(a), Dec. 8, 2004, 118 Stat. 3068; Pub. L. 109–13, div. A, title VI, §6035, May 11, 2005, 119 Stat. 289; Pub. L. 109–54, title I, §129, Aug. 2, 2005, 119 Stat. 525; Pub. L. 109–234, title VII, §7007, June 15, 2006, 120 Stat. 483; Pub. L. 109–432, div. C, title II, §202, Dec. 20, 2006, 120 Stat. 3008; Pub. L. 110–343, div. C, title VI, §602, Oct. 3, 2008, 122 Stat. 3911.)

Amendment of Subsection (a)

Pub. L. 109–432, div. C, title II, §202(a)(2), Dec. 20, 2006, 120 Stat. 3008, provided that, effective Oct. 1, 2012, subsection (a) of this section is amended by substituting “28” for “31.5”, “12” for “13.5”, and “8 cents” for “9 cents”.

Codification

November 5, 1990, referred to in subsec. (g)(4)(B)(ii), was in the original “the date of enactment of this paragraph”, which was translated as meaning the date of enactment of Pub. L. 101–508, which amended this section generally, to reflect the probable intent of Congress.

Amendments

2008—Subsec. (i)(1)(C). Pub. L. 110–343 substituted “$9,000,000 on October 1, 2009, and $9,000,000 on October 1, 2010” for “and $9,000,000 on October 1, 2009” in introductory provisions.

2006—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 109–432, §202(a)(1), substituted “31.5” for “35”, “13.5” for “15”, and “9 cents” for “10 cents”.

Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 109–432, §202(b), substituted “September 30, 2021” for “September 30, 2007, after which time the fee shall be established at a rate to continue to provide for the deposit referred to in subsection (h) of this section”.

Pub. L. 109–234 substituted “September 30, 2007” for “June 30, 2006”.

Subsec. (g)(1)(D). Pub. L. 109–432, §202(c)(1), inserted “(except for grants awarded during fiscal years 2008, 2009, and 2010 to the extent not expended within 5 years)” after “this paragraph” and substituted “under paragraph (5)” for “in any area under paragraph (2), (3), (4), or (5)”.

Subsec. (g)(2). Pub. L. 109–432, §202(c)(2), added par. (2) and struck out former par. (2) which read as follows: “20 percent of the amounts available in the fund in any fiscal year which are not allocated under paragraph (1) in that fiscal year (including that interest accruing as provided in section 1231(e) of this title and including funds available for reallocation pursuant to paragraph (1)(D)), shall be allocated to the Secretary only for the purpose of making the annual transfer to the Secretary of Agriculture under section 1231(c)(2) of this title.”

Subsec. (g)(3). Pub. L. 109–432, §202(c)(3)(A), substituted “paragraph (5)” for “paragraphs (2) and (5)” in introductory provisions.

Subsec. (g)(3)(A). Pub. L. 109–432, §202(c)(3)(B), substituted “1231(c)(9)” for “1231(c)(11)”.

Subsec. (g)(3)(E). Pub. L. 109–432, §202(c)(3)(C), added subpar. (E).

Subsec. (g)(5). Pub. L. 109–432, §202(c)(4), designated existing provisions as subpar. (A), in first sentence, substituted “60” for “40”, in last sentence, subtituted “Funds made available under paragraph (3) or (4)” for “Funds allocated or expended by the Secretary under paragraphs (2), (3), or (4)”, and added subpar. (B).

Subsec. (g)(6) to (8). Pub. L. 109–432, §202(c)(5), added pars. (6) to (8) and struck out former pars. (6) to (8) which related to authority of any State to receive and retain up to 10 percent of the total of grants, State authority to establish an acid mine drainage abatement and treatment fund and to implement plans for acid mine drainage abatement and treatment, and allocation of not less than $2,000,000 annually for expenditure in each State and for each Indian tribe, having an approved reclamation program and eligible lands and waters.

Subsecs. (h), (i). Pub. L. 109–432, §202(d), added subsecs. (h) and (i) and struck out former subsec. (h) which related to transfer of funds to the United Mine Workers of America Combined Benefit Fund.

2005—Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 109–54 substituted “June 30, 2006” for “September 30, 2005”.

Pub. L. 109–13 substituted “September 30, 2005” for “June 30, 2005”.

2004—Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 108–447 substituted “June 30, 2005” for “September 30, 2004”.

1992—Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 102–486, §2515, which directed that subsec. (b) be amended by substituting “2004, after which time the fee shall be established at a rate to continue to provide for the deposit referred to in subsection (h) of this section” for “1995”, was executed by inserting “, after which time the fee shall be established at a rate to continue to provide for the deposit referred to in subsection (h) of this section” after “2004”, to reflect the probable intent of Congress and the intervening amendment by Pub. L. 102–486, §19143(b)(1). See below.

Pub. L. 102–486, §19143(b)(1), substituted “2004” for “1995” before period at end.

Subsec. (g)(1). Pub. L. 102–486, §19143(b)(3)(B), substituted “Except as provided in subsection (h) of this section, moneys” for “Moneys”.

Subsec. (h). Pub. L. 102–486, §19143(b)(2), added subsec. (h).

1990—Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 101–508, §6003(a), substituted “ending September 30, 1995” for “ending fifteen years after August 3, 1977, unless extended by an Act of Congress”.

Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 101–508, §6003(b), inserted at end “Such statement shall include an identification of the permittee of the surface coal mining operation, any operator in addition to the permittee, the owner of the coal, the preparation plant, tripple, or loading point for the coal, and the person purchasing the coal from the operator. The report shall also specify the number of the permit required under section 1256 of this title and the mine safety and health identification number. Each quarterly report shall contain a notification of any changes in the information required by this subsection since the date of the preceding quarterly report. The information contained in the quarterly reports under this subsection shall be maintained by the Secretary in a computerized database.”

Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 101–508, §6003(c), designated existing provisions as par. (1) and added par. (2).

Subsec. (f). Pub. L. 101–508, §6003(d), inserted at end “Whenever the Secretary believes that any person has not paid the full amount of the fee payable under subsection (a) of this section the Secretary shall notify the Federal agency responsible for ensuring compliance with the provisions of section 4121 of title 26.”

Subsec. (g). Pub. L. 101–508, §6004, amended subsec. (g) generally, substituting present provisions for provisions relating to geographic allocation of expenditures from the fund, providing for allocation of 50 percent of funds collected annually in any State or Indian reservation to that State or Indian reservation pursuant to approved reclamation program, providing for special State set-aside for future expenditure, and authorizing expenditure of balance of funds collected at discretion of Secretary in order to meet the purposes of this subchapter.

1987—Subsec. (g)(3), (4). Pub. L. 100–34 added par. (3) and redesignated former par. (3) as (4).

Effective Date of 2006 Amendment

Pub. L. 109–432, div. C, title II, §202(a)(1), Dec. 20, 2006, 120 Stat. 3008, provided that the amendment made by section 202(a)(1) [amending this section] is effective Oct. 1, 2007.

Pub. L. 109–432, div. C, title II, §202(a)(2), Dec. 20, 2006, 120 Stat. 3008, provided that the amendment made by section 202(a)(2) [amending this section] is effective Oct. 1, 2012.

Pub. L. 109–432, div. C, title II, §202(b), Dec. 20, 2006, 120 Stat. 3008, provided that the amendment made by section 202(b) [amending this section] is effective Sept. 30, 2007.

Effective Date of 1990 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 101–508 effective Oct. 1, 1991, see section 6014 of Pub. L. 101–508 set out as a note under section 1231 of this title.

1 So in original. Probably should be “tipple,”.

2 So in original. Probably should be capitalized.

§1233. Objectives of fund

(a) Priorities

Expenditure of moneys from the fund on lands and water eligible pursuant to section 1234 of this title for the purposes of this subchapter, except as provided for under section 1240a of this title, shall reflect the following priorities in the order stated:

(1)(A) the protection; 1 of public health, safety, and property from extreme danger of adverse effects of coal mining practices;

(B) the restoration of land and water resources and the environment that—

(i) have been degraded by the adverse effects of coal mining practices; and

(ii) are adjacent to a site that has been or will be remediated under subparagraph (A);


(2)(A) the protection of public health and safety from adverse effects of coal mining practices;

(B) the restoration of land and water resources and the environment that—

(i) have been degraded by the adverse effects of coal mining practices; and

(ii) are adjacent to a site that has been or will be remediated under subparagraph (A); and


(3) the restoration of land and water resources and the environment previously degraded by adverse effects of coal mining practices including measures for the conservation and development of soil, water (excluding channelization), woodland, fish and wildlife, recreation resources, and agricultural productivity.

(b) Water supply restoration

(1) Any State or Indian tribe not certified under section 1240a(a) of this title may expend funds allocated to such State or Indian tribe in any year through the grants made available under paragraphs (1) and (5) of section 1232(g) of this title for the purpose of protecting, repairing, replacing, constructing, or enhancing facilities relating to water supply, including water distribution facilities and treatment plants, to replace water supplies adversely affected by coal mining practices.

(2) If the adverse effect on water supplies referred to in this subsection occurred both prior to and after August 3, 1977, or as the case may be, the dates (and under the criteria) set forth under section 1232(g)(4)(B) of this title, section 1234 of this title shall not be construed to prohibit a State or Indian tribe referred to in paragraph (1) from using funds referred to in such paragraph for the purposes of this subsection if the State or Indian tribe determines that such adverse effects occurred predominantly prior to August 3, 1977, or as the case may be, the dates (and under the criteria) set forth under section 1232(g)(4)(B) of this title.

(c) Inventory

For the purposes of assisting in the planning and evaluation of reclamation projects pursuant to section 1235 of this title, and assisting in making the certification referred to in section 1240a(a) of this title, the Secretary shall maintain an inventory of eligible lands and waters pursuant to section 1234 of this title which meet the priorities stated in paragraphs (1) and (2) of subsection (a) of this section. Under standardized procedures established by the Secretary, States and Indian tribes with approved abandoned mine reclamation programs pursuant to section 1235 of this title may offer amendments, subject to the approval of the Secretary, to update the inventory as it applies to eligible lands and waters under the jurisdiction of such States or tribes. The Secretary shall provide such States and tribes with the financial and technical assistance necessary for the purpose of making inventory amendments. The Secretary shall compile and maintain an inventory for States and Indian lands in the case when a State or Indian tribe does not have an approved abandoned mine reclamation program pursuant to section 1235 of this title. On a regular basis, but not less than annually, the projects completed under this subchapter shall be so noted on the inventory under standardized procedures established by the Secretary.

(Pub. L. 95–87, title IV, §403, Aug. 3, 1977, 91 Stat. 458; Pub. L. 101–508, title VI, §6005, Nov. 5, 1990, 104 Stat. 1388–294; Pub. L. 102–486, title XXV, §2504(c)(2), (e), Oct. 24, 1992, 106 Stat. 3105, 3106; Pub. L. 109–432, div. C, title II, §203, Dec. 20, 2006, 120 Stat. 3015.)

Amendments

2006—Subsec. (a)(1). Pub. L. 109–432, §203(1)(A), designated existing provisions as subpar. (A), inserted semicolon after “protection”, struck out “general welfare,” after “safety,”, and added subpar. (B).

Subsec. (a)(2). Pub. L. 109–432, §203(1)(B), designated existing provisions as subpar. (A), substituted “health and safety” for “health, safety, and general welfare”, and added subpar. (B).

Subsec. (a)(3). Pub. L. 109–432, §203(1)(C), which directed that a period be substituted for the semicolon at end, could not be executed because a period already appeared at end.

Subsec. (a)(4), (5). Pub. L. 109–432, §203(1)(D), struck out pars. (4) and (5) which read as follows:

“(4) the protection, repair, replacement, construction, or enhancement of public facilities such as utilities, roads, recreation, and conservation facilities adversely affected by coal mining practices;

“(5) the development of publicly owned land adversely affected by coal mining practices including land acquired as provided in this subchapter for recreation and historic purposes, conservation, and reclamation purposes and open space benefits.”

Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 109–432, §203(2)(A), substituted “Water supply restoration” for “Utilities and other facilities” in heading.

Subsec. (b)(1). Pub. L. 109–432, §203(2)(B), struck out “up to 30 percent of the” before “funds”.

Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 109–432, §203(3), inserted “, subject to the approval of the Secretary,” after “amendments” in second sentence.

1992—Subsec. (a)(4) to (6). Pub. L. 102–486, §2504(c)(2), redesignated pars. (5) and (6) as (4) and (5), respectively, and struck out former par. (4) which read as follows: “research and demonstration projects relating to the development of surface mining reclamation and water quality control program methods and techniques;”.

Subsec. (b)(2). Pub. L. 102–486, §2504(e), inserted “, or as the case may be, the dates (and under the criteria) set forth under section 1232(g)(4)(B) of this title” after “1977” in two places.

1990—Pub. L. 101–508 designated existing provisions as subsec. (a), inserted heading and “, except as provided for under section 1240a of this title,” after “subchapter”, and added subsecs. (b) and (c).

Effective Date of 1990 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 101–508 effective Oct. 1, 1991, see section 6014 of Pub. L. 101–508 set out as a note under section 1231 of this title.

1 So in original.

§1234. Eligible lands and water

Lands and water eligible for reclamation or drainage abatement expenditures under this subchapter are those which were mined for coal or which were affected by such mining, wastebanks, coal processing, or other coal mining processes, except as provided for under section 1240a of this title, and abandoned or left in an inadequate reclamation status prior to August 3, 1977, and for which there is no continuing reclamation responsibility under State or other Federal laws. For other provisions relating to lands and waters eligible for such expenditures, see section 1232(g)(4) of this title, section 1233(b)(1) of this title, and section 1239 of this title. Surface coal mining operations on lands eligible for remining shall not affect the eligibility of such lands for reclamation and restoration under this subchapter after the release of the bond or deposit for any such operation as provided under section 1269 of this title. In the event the bond or deposit for a surface coal mining operation on lands eligible for remining is forfeited, funds available under this subchapter may be used if the amount of such bond or deposit is not sufficient to provide for adequate reclamation or abatement, except that if conditions warrant the Secretary shall immediately exercise his authority under section 1240 of this title.

(Pub. L. 95–87, title IV, §404, Aug. 3, 1977, 91 Stat. 459; Pub. L. 101–508, title VI, §6006, Nov. 5, 1990, 104 Stat. 1388–295; Pub. L. 102–486, title XXV, §2503(d), Oct. 24, 1992, 106 Stat. 3103.)

Amendments

1992—Pub. L. 102–486 inserted at end “Surface coal mining operations on lands eligible for remining shall not affect the eligibility of such lands for reclamation and restoration under this subchapter after the release of the bond or deposit for any such operation as provided under section 1269 of this title. In the event the bond or deposit for a surface coal mining operation on lands eligible for remining is forfeited, funds available under this subchapter may be used if the amount of such bond or deposit is not sufficient to provide for adequate reclamation or abatement, except that if conditions warrant the Secretary shall immediately exercise his authority under section 1240 of this title.”

1990—Pub. L. 101–508 inserted “, except as provided for under section 1240a of this title” after “processes” and inserted at end “For other provisions relating to lands and waters eligible for such expenditures, see section 1232(g)(4) of this title, section 1233(b)(1) of this title, and section 1239 of this title.”

Effective Date of 1990 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 101–508 effective Oct. 1, 1991, see section 6014 of Pub. L. 101–508 set out as a note under section 1231 of this title.

§1235. State reclamation program

(a) Promulgation of regulations

Not later than the end of the one hundred and eighty-day period immediately following August 3, 1977, the Secretary shall promulgate and publish in the Federal Register regulations covering implementation of an abandoned mine reclamation program incorporating the provisions of this subchapter and establishing procedures and requirements for preparation, submission, and approval of State programs consisting of the plan and annual submissions of projects.

(b) Submission of State Reclamation Plan and annual projects

Each State having within its borders coal mined lands eligible for reclamation under this subchapter, may submit to the Secretary a State Reclamation Plan and annual projects to carry out the purposes of this subchapter.

(c) Restriction

The Secretary shall not approve, fund, or continue to fund a State abandoned mine reclamation program unless that State has an approved State regulatory program pursuant to section 1253 of this title.

(d) Approval of State program; withdrawal

If the Secretary determines that a State has developed and submitted a program for reclamation of abandoned mines and has the ability and necessary State legislation to implement the provisions of this subchapter, sections 1232 and 1240 of this title excepted, the Secretary shall approve such State program and shall grant to the State exclusive responsibility and authority to implement the provisions of the approved program: Provided, That the Secretary shall withdraw such approval and authorization if he determines upon the basis of information provided under this section that the State program is not in compliance with the procedures, guidelines, and requirements established under subsection (a) of this section.

(e) Contents of State Reclamation Plan

Each State Reclamation Plan shall generally identify the areas to be reclaimed, the purposes for which the reclamation is proposed, the relationship of the lands to be reclaimed and the proposed reclamation to surrounding areas, the specific criteria for ranking and identifying projects to be funded, and the legal authority and programmatic capability to perform such work in conformance with the provisions of this subchapter.

(f) Annual application for support; contents

On an annual basis, each State having an approved State Reclamation Plan may submit to the Secretary an application for the support of the State program and implementation of specific reclamation projects. Such annual requests shall include such information as may be requested by the Secretary including:

(1) a general description of each proposed project;

(2) a priority evaluation of each proposed project;

(3) a statement of the estimated benefits in such terms as: number of acres restored, miles of stream improved, acres of surface lands protected from subsidence, population protected from subsidence, air pollution, hazards of mine and coal refuse disposal area fires;

(4) an estimate of the cost for each proposed project;

(5) in the case of proposed research and demonstration projects, a description of the specific techniques to be evaluated or objective to be attained;

(6) an identification of lands or interest therein to be acquired and the estimated cost; and

(7) in each year after the first in which a plan is filed under this subchapter, an inventory of each project funded under the previous year's grant: which inventory shall include details of financial expenditures on such project together with a brief description of each such project, including project locations, landowner's name, acreage, type of reclamation performed.

(g) Costs

The costs for each proposed project under this section shall include: actual construction costs, actual operation and maintenance costs of permanent facilities, planning and engineering costs, construction inspection costs, and other necessary administrative expenses.

(h) Grant of funds

Upon approval of State Reclamation Plan by the Secretary and of the surface mine regulatory program pursuant to section 1253 of this title, the Secretary shall grant, on an annual basis, funds to be expended in such State pursuant to section 1232(g) of this title and which are necessary to implement the State reclamation program as approved by the Secretary.

(i) Program monitorship

The Secretary, through his designated agents, will monitor the progress and quality of the program. The States shall not be required at the start of any project to submit complete copies of plans and specifications.

(j) Annual report to Secretary

The Secretary shall require annual and other reports as may be necessary to be submitted by each State administering the approved State reclamation program with funds provided under this subchapter. Such reports shall include that information which the Secretary deems necessary to fulfill his responsibilities under this subchapter.

(k) Eligible lands of Indian tribes

Indian tribes having within their jurisdiction eligible lands pursuant to section 1234 of this title or from which coal is produced, shall be considered as a “State” for the purposes of this subchapter except for purposes of subsection (c) of this section with respect to the Navajo, Hopi and Crow Indian Tribes.

(l) State liability

No State shall be liable under any provision of Federal law for any costs or damages as a result of action taken or omitted in the course of carrying out a State abandoned mine reclamation plan approved under this section. This subsection shall not preclude liability for cost or damages as a result of gross negligence or intentional misconduct by the State. For purposes of the preceding sentence, reckless, willful, or wanton misconduct shall constitute gross negligence.

(Pub. L. 95–87, title IV, §405, Aug. 3, 1977, 91 Stat. 459; Pub. L. 100–71, title I, July 11, 1987, 101 Stat. 416; Pub. L. 101–508, title VI, §§6007, 6012(d)(1), (2), Nov. 5, 1990, 104 Stat. 1388–295, 1388–298.)

Amendments

1990—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 101–508, §6012(d)(1), substituted “preparation” for “perparation”.

Subsec. (h). Pub. L. 101–508, §6012(d)(2), substituted “Upon approval” for “Upon approved”.

Subsec. (l). Pub. L. 101–508, §6007, added subsec. (l).

1987—Subsec. (k). Pub. L. 100–71, which directed the amendment of subsec. (k) by inserting “except for purposes of subsection (c) of this section with respect to the Navajo, Hopi and Crow Indian Tribes” at the end thereof, was executed by making the insertion before the period to reflect the probable intent of Congress.

Effective Date of 1990 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 101–508 effective Oct. 1, 1991, see section 6014 of Pub. L. 101–508 set out as a note under section 1231 of this title.

Grant of Funds to States Under Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act

Pub. L. 97–377, title I, §150, Dec. 21, 1982, 96 Stat. 1918, provided that: “Within 60 days of receipt of a complete abandoned mine reclamation fund grant application from any eligible State under the provisions of the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act (91 Stat. 460) [Pub. L. 95–87, see Short Title note set out under section 1201 of this title] the Secretary of Interior shall grant to such State any and all funds available for such purposes in the applicable appropriations Act.”

§1236. Reclamation of rural lands

(a) Agreements with landowners for conservation treatment

In order to provide for the control and prevention of erosion and sediment damages from unreclaimed mined lands, and to promote the conservation and development of soil and water resources of unreclaimed mined lands and lands affected by mining, the Secretary of Agriculture is authorized to enter into agreements of not more than ten years with landowners (including owners of water rights), residents, and tenants, and individually or collectively, determined by him to have control for the period of the agreement of lands in question therein, providing for land stabilization, erosion, and sediment control, and reclamation through conservation treatment, including measures for the conservation and development of soil, water (excluding stream channelization), woodland, wildlife, and recreation resources, and agricultural productivity of such lands. Such agreements shall be made by the Secretary with the owners, including owners of water rights, residents, or tenants (collectively or individually) of the lands in question.

(b) Conservation and development plans

The landowner, including the owner of water rights, resident, or tenant shall furnish to the Secretary of Agriculture a conservation and development plan setting forth the proposed land uses and conservation treatment which shall be mutually agreed by the Secretary of Agriculture and the landowner, including owner of water rights, resident, or tenant to be needed on the lands for which the plan was prepared. In those instances where it is determined that the water rights or water supply of a tenant, landowner, including owner of water rights, resident, or tenant have been adversely affected by a surface or underground coal mine operation which has removed or disturbed a stratum so as to significantly affect the hydrologic balance, such plan may include proposed measures to enhance water quality or quantity by means of joint action with other affected landowners, including owner of water rights, residents, or tenants in consultation with appropriate State and Federal agencies.

(c) Agreement to effect plan

Such plan shall be incorporated in an agreement under which the landowner, including owner of water rights, resident, or tenant shall agree with the Secretary of Agriculture to effect the land uses and conservation treatment provided for in such plan on the lands described in the agreement in accordance with the terms and conditions thereof.

(d) Financial and other assistance; determination by Secretary

In return for such agreement by the landowner, including owner of water rights, resident, or tenant, the Secretary of Agriculture is authorized to furnish financial and other assistance to such landowner, including owner of water rights, resident, or tenant, in such amounts and subject to such conditions as the Secretary of Agriculture determines are appropriate in the public interest for carrying out the land use and conservation treatment set forth in the agreement. Grants made under this section, depending on the income-producing potential of the land after reclaiming, shall provide up to 80 per centum of the cost of carrying out such land uses and conservation treatment on not more than one hundred and twenty acres of land occupied by such owner, including water rights owners, resident, or tenant, or on not more than one hundred and twenty acres of land which has been purchased jointly by such landowners, including water rights owners, residents, or tenants, under an agreement for the enhancement of water quality or quantity or on land which has been acquired by an appropriate State or local agency for the purpose of implementing such agreement; except the Secretary may reduce the matching cost share where he determines that (1) the main benefits to be derived from the project are related to improving offsite water quality, offsite esthetic values, or other offsite benefits, and (2) the matching share requirement would place a burden on the landowner which would probably prevent him from participating in the program: Provided, however, That the Secretary of Agriculture may allow for land use and conservation treatment on such lands occupied by any such owner in excess of such one hundred and twenty acre limitation up to three hundred and twenty acres, but in such event the amount of the grant to such landowner to carry out such reclamation on such lands shall be reduced proportionately. Notwithstanding any other provision of this section with regard to acreage limitations, the Secretary of Agriculture may carry out reclamation treatment projects to control erosion and improve water quality on all lands within a hydrologic unit, consisting of not more than 25,000 acres, if the Secretary determines that treatment of such lands as a hydrologic unit will achieve greater reduction in the adverse effects of past surface mining practices than would be achieved if reclamation was done on individual parcels of land.

(e) Termination of agreements

The Secretary of Agriculture may terminate any agreement with a landowner including water rights owners, operator, or occupier by mutual agreement if the Secretary of Agriculture determines that such termination would be in the public interest, and may agree to such modification of agreements previously entered into hereunder as he deems desirable to carry out the purposes of this section or to facilitate the practical administration of the program authorized herein.

(f) Preservation and surrender of history and allotments

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Secretary of Agriculture, to the extent he deems it desirable to carry out the purposes of this section, may provide in any agreement hereinunder for (1) preservation for a period not to exceed the period covered by the agreement and an equal period thereafter of the cropland, crop acreage, and allotment history applicable to land covered by the agreement for the purpose of any Federal program under which such history is used as a basis for an allotment or other limitation on the production of such crop; or (2) surrender of any such history and allotments.

(g) Rules and regulations

The Secretary of Agriculture shall be authorized to issue such rules and regulations as he determines are necessary to carry out the provisions of this section.

(h) Utilization of Natural Resources Conservation Service

In carrying out the provisions of this section, the Secretary of Agriculture shall utilize the services of the Natural Resources Conservation Service.

(i) Authorization of appropriations

There are authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary of Agriculture, from amounts in the Treasury other than amounts in the fund, such sums as may be necessary to carry out this section.

(Pub. L. 95–87, title IV, §406, Aug. 3, 1977, 91 Stat. 460; Pub. L. 97–98, title XV, §1551, Dec. 22, 1981, 95 Stat. 1344; Pub. L. 101–508, title VI, §§6008, 6012(c), (d)(3), Nov. 5, 1990, 104 Stat. 1388–295, 1388–298; Pub. L. 109–432, div. C, title II, §204, Dec. 20, 2006, 120 Stat. 3016.)

Amendments

2006—Subsec. (h). Pub. L. 109–432, §204(a), substituted “Natural Resources Conservation Service” for “Soil Conservation Service”.

Subsec. (i). Pub. L. 109–432, §204(b), added subsec. (i).

1990—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 101–508, §6012(d)(3), which directed the substitution of “(including owners” for “including owners” was executed the first time that phrase appeared to reflect the probable intent of Congress, because the parenthetical statement concluding with “water rights)” was enacted without an opening parenthesis.

Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 101–508, §6008, struck out “experimental” before “reclamation treatment projects” in last sentence.

Subsec. (i). Pub. L. 101–508, §6012(c), repealed subsec. (i) which read as follows: “Funds shall be made available to the Secretary of Agriculture for the purposes of this section, as provided in section 1231 of this title.”

1981—Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 97–98 inserted provisions that notwithstanding any other provision of this section with regard to acreage limitations, the Secretary may carry out experimental reclamation treatment projects to control erosion and improve water quality on all lands within a hydrologic unit, consisting of not more than 25,000 acres, if the Secretary determines that treatment of such lands as a hydrologic unit will achieve greater reduction in the adverse effects of past surface mining practices than would be achieved if reclamation was done on individual parcels of land.

Effective Date of 1990 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 101–508 effective Oct. 1, 1991, see section 6014 of Pub. L. 101–508 set out as a note under section 1231 of this title.

Effective Date of 1981 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 97–98 effective Dec. 22, 1981, see section 1801 of Pub. L. 97–98, set out as an Effective Date note under section 4301 of Title 7, Agriculture.

§1237. Acquisition and reclamation of land adversely affected by past coal mining practices

(a) Findings of fact; notice; right of entry

If the Secretary or the State pursuant to an approved State program, makes a finding of fact that—

(1) land or water resources have been adversely affected by past coal mining practices; and

(2) the adverse effects are at a stage where, in the public interest, action to restore, reclaim, abate, control, or prevent should be taken; and

(3) the owners of the land or water resources where entry must be made to restore, reclaim, abate, control, or prevent the adverse effects of past coal mining practices are not known, or readily available; or

(4) the owners will not give permission for the United States, the States, political subdivisions, their agents, employees, or contractors to enter upon such property to restore, reclaim, abate, control, or prevent the adverse effects of past coal mining practices;


then, upon giving notice by mail to the owners if known or if not known by posting notice upon the premises and advertising once in a newspaper of general circulation in the municipality in which the land lies, the Secretary, his agents, employees, or contractors, or the State pursuant to an approved State program, shall have the right to enter upon the property adversely affected by past coal mining practices and any other property to have access to such property to do all things necessary or expedient to restore, reclaim, abate, control, or prevent the adverse effects. Such entry shall be construed as an exercise of the police power for the protection of public health, safety, and general welfare and shall not be construed as an act of condemnation of property nor of trespass thereon. The moneys expended for such work and the benefits accruing to any such premises so entered upon shall be chargeable against such land and shall mitigate or offset any claim in or any action brought by any owner of any interest in such premises for any alleged damages by virtue of such entry: Provided, however, That this provision is not intended to create new rights of action or eliminate existing immunities.

(b) Studies or exploratory work

The Secretary, his agents, employees, or contractors or the State pursuant to an approved State program, shall have the right to enter upon any property for the purpose of conducting studies or exploratory work to determine the existence of adverse effects of past coal mining practices and to determine the feasibility of restoration, reclamation, abatement, control, or prevention of such adverse effects. Such entry shall be construed as an exercise of the police power for the protection of public health, safety, and general welfare and shall not be construed as an act of condemnation of property nor trespass thereon.

(c) Requirements for acquisition of affected land

The Secretary or the State pursuant to an approved State program, may acquire any land, by purchase, donation, or condemnation, which is adversely affected by past coal mining practices if the Secretary determines that acquisition of such land is necessary to successful reclamation and that—

(1) the acquired land, after restoration, reclamation, abatement, control, or prevention of the adverse effects of past coal mining practices, will serve recreation and historic purposes, conservation and reclamation purposes or provide open space benefits; and

(2) permanent facilities such as a treatment plant or a relocated stream channel will be constructed on the land for the restoration, reclamation, abatement, control, or prevention of the adverse effects of past coal mining practices; or

(3) acquisition of coal refuse disposal sites and all coal refuse thereon will serve the purposes of this subchapter or that public ownership is desirable to meet emergency situations and prevent recurrences of the adverse effects of past coal mining practices.

(d) Title to affected land; value

Title to all lands acquired pursuant to this section shall be in the name of the United States or, if acquired by a State pursuant to an approved program, title shall be in the name of the State. The price paid for land acquired under this section shall reflect the market value of the land as adversely affected by past coal mining practices.

(e) State participation; grants

States are encouraged as part of their approved State programs, to reclaim abandoned and unreclaimed mined lands within their boundaries and, if necessary, to acquire or to transfer such lands to the Secretary or the appropriate State regulatory authority under appropriate Federal regulations. The Secretary is authorized to make grants on a matching basis to States in such amounts as he deems appropriate for the purpose of carrying out the provisions of this subchapter but in no event shall any grant exceed 90 per centum of the cost of acquisition of the lands for which the grant is made. When a State has made any such land available to the Federal Government under this subchapter, such State shall have a preference right to purchase such lands after reclamation at fair market value less the State portion of the original acquisition price. Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph (1) of subsection (c) of this section, reclaimed land may be sold to the State or local government in which it is located at a price less than fair market value, which in no case shall be less than the cost to the United States of the purchase and reclamation of the land, as negotiated by the Secretary, to be used for a valid public purpose. If any land sold to a State or local government under this paragraph is not used for a valid public purpose as specified by the Secretary in the terms of the sales agreement then all right, title, and interest in such land shall revert to the United States. Money received from such sale shall be deposited in the fund.

(f) Rules and regulations

The Secretary, in formulating regulations for making grants to the States to acquire land pursuant to this section, shall specify that acquired land meet the criteria provided for in subsections (c) and (d) of this section. The Secretary may provide by regulation that money derived from the lease, rental, or user charges of such acquired land and facilities thereon will be deposited in the fund.

(g) Public sale; notice and hearing

(1) Where land acquired pursuant to this section is deemed to be suitable for industrial, commercial, residential, or recreational development, the Secretary may sell or authorize the States to sell such land by public sale under a system of competitive bidding, at not less than fair market value and under such other regulations promulgated to insure that such lands are put to proper use consistent with local and State land use plans, if any, as determined by the Secretary.

(2) The Secretary or the State pursuant to an approved State program, when requested after appropriate public notice shall hold a public hearing, with the appropriate notice, in the county or counties or the appropriate subdivisions of the State in which lands acquired pursuant to this section are located. The hearings shall be held at a time which shall afford local citizens and governments the maximum opportunity to participate in the decision concerning the use or disposition of the lands after restoration, reclamation, abatement, control, or prevention of the adverse effects of past coal mining practices.

(h) Construction or rehabilitation of housing for disabled, displaced, or dislocated persons; grants

In addition to the authority to acquire land under subsection (d) of this section the Secretary is authorized to use money in the fund to acquire land by purchase, donation, or condemnation, and to reclaim and transfer acquired land to any State or to a political subdivision thereof, or to any person, firm, association, or corporation, if he determines that such is an integral and necessary element of an economically feasible plan for the project to construct or rehabilitate housing for persons disabled as the result of employment in the mines or work incidental thereto, persons displaced by acquisition of land pursuant to this section, or persons dislocated as the result of adverse effects of coal mining practices which constitute an emergency as provided in section 1240 of this title or persons dislocated as the result of natural disasters or catastrophic failures from any cause. Such activities shall be accomplished under such terms and conditions as the Secretary shall require, which may include transfers of land with or without monetary consideration: Provided, That, to the extent that the consideration is below the fair market value of the land transferred, no portion of the difference between the fair market value and the consideration shall accrue as a profit to such persons, firm, association, or corporation. No part of the funds provided under this subchapter may be used to pay the actual construction costs of housing. The Secretary may carry out the purposes of this subsection directly or he may make grants and commitments for grants, and may advance money under such terms and conditions as he may require to any State, or any department, agency, or instrumentality of a State, or any public body or nonprofit organization designated by a State.

(Pub. L. 95–87, title IV, §407, Aug. 3, 1977, 91 Stat. 462; Pub. L. 101–508, title VI, §6012(d)(4)–(7), Nov. 5, 1990, 104 Stat. 1388–298.)

Amendments

1990—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 101–508, §6012(d)(4), (5), substituted a semicolon for the period at end of par. (4) and “then, upon giving notice” for “Then, upon giving notice” in concluding provisions.

Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 101–508, §6012(d)(6), substituted “paragraph (1) of subsection (c) of this section” for “paragraph (1), of this subsection”.

Subsec. (g)(2). Pub. L. 101–508, §6012(d)(7), substituted “use or” for “use of” before “disposition”.

Effective Date of 1990 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 101–508 effective Oct. 1, 1991, see section 6014 of Pub. L. 101–508 set out as a note under section 1231 of this title.

§1238. Liens

(a) Filing of statement and appraisal

Within six months after the completion of projects to restore, reclaim, abate, control, or prevent adverse effects of past coal mining practices on privately owned land, the Secretary or the State, pursuant to an approved State program, shall itemize the moneys so expended and may file a statement thereof in the office of the county in which the land lies which has the responsibility under local law for the recording of judgments against land, together with a notarized appraisal by an independent appraiser of the value of the land before the restoration, reclamation, abatement, control, or prevention of adverse effects of past coal mining practices if the moneys so expended shall result in a significant increase in property value. Such statement shall constitute a lien upon the said land. The lien shall not exceed the amount determined by the appraisal to be the increase in the market value of the land as a result of the restoration, reclamation, abatement, control, or prevention of the adverse effects of past coal mining practices. No lien shall be filed against the property of any person, in accordance with this subsection, who neither consented to nor participated in nor exercised control over the mining operation which necessitated the reclamation performed hereunder.

(b) Petition

The landowner may proceed as provided by local law to petition within sixty days of the filing of the lien, to determine the increase in the market value of the land as a result of the restoration, reclamation, abatement, control, or prevention of the adverse effects of past coal mining practices. The amount reported to be the increase in value of the premises shall constitute the amount of the lien and shall be recorded with the statement herein provided. Any party aggrieved by the decision may appeal as provided by local law.

(c) Recordation

The lien provided in this section shall be entered in the county office in which the land lies and which has responsibility under local law for the recording of judgments against land. Such statement shall constitute a lien upon the said land as of the date of the expenditure of the moneys and shall have priority as a lien second only to the lien of real estate taxes imposed upon said land.

(Pub. L. 95–87, title IV, §408, Aug. 3, 1977, 91 Stat. 465; Pub. L. 109–432, div. C, title II, §205, Dec. 20, 2006, 120 Stat. 3016.)

Amendments

2006—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 109–432 struck out “who owned the surface prior to May 2, 1977, and” after “this subsection,” in last sentence.

§1239. Filling voids and sealing tunnels

(a) Congressional declaration of hazardous conditions

The Congress declares that voids, and open and abandoned tunnels, shafts, and entryways resulting from any previous mining operation, constitute a hazard to the public health or safety and that surface impacts of any underground or surface mining operation may degrade the environment. The Secretary, at the request of the Governor of any State, or the the 1 governing body of an Indian tribe, is authorized to fill such voids, seal such abandoned tunnels, shafts, and entryways, and reclaim surface impacts of underground or surface mines which the Secretary determines could endanger life and property, constitute a hazard to the public health and safety, or degrade the environment. State regulatory authorities are authorized to carry out such work pursuant to an approved abandoned mine reclamation program.

(b) Limitation on funds

Funds available for use in carrying out the purpose of this section shall be limited to those funds which must be allocated to the respective States or Indian tribes under the provisions of paragraphs (1) and (5) of section 1232(g) of this title.

(c) Limitation on expenditures

(1) The Secretary may make expenditures and carry out the purposes of this section in such States where requests are made by the Governor or governing body of an Indian tribe for those reclamation projects which meet the priorities stated in section 1233(a)(1) of this title, except that for the purposes of this section the reference to coal in section 1233(a)(1) of this title shall not apply.

(2) The provisions of section 1234 of this title shall apply to this section, with the exception that such mined lands need not have been mined for coal.

(3) The Secretary shall not make any expenditures for the purposes of this section in those States which have made the certification referred to in section 1240a(a) of this title.

(d) Disposal of mine wastes

In those instances where mine waste piles are being reworked for conservation purposes, the incremental costs of disposing of the wastes from such operations by filling voids and sealing tunnels may be eligible for funding providing that the disposal of these wastes meets the purposes of this section.

(e) Land acquisition

The Secretary may acquire by purchase, donation, easement, or otherwise such interest in land as he determines necessary to carry out the provisions of this section.

(Pub. L. 95–87, title IV, §409, Aug. 3, 1977, 91 Stat. 465; Pub. L. 101–508, title VI, §6009, Nov. 5, 1990, 104 Stat. 1388–296.)

Amendments

1990—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 101–508, §6009(1), substituted “the governing body of an Indian tribe” for “chairman of any tribe”.

Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 101–508, §6009(2), substituted “Indian tribes under the provisions of paragraphs (1) and (5) of section 1232(g) of this title” for “Indian reservations under the provisions of subsection 1232(g) of this title”.

Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 101–508, §6009(3), amended subsec. (c) generally. Prior to amendment, subsec. (c) read as follows: “The Secretary may make expenditures and carry out the purposes of this section without regard to provisions of section 1234 of this title in such States or Indian reservations where requests are made by the Governor or tribal chairman and only after all reclamation with respect to abandoned coal lands or coal development impacts have been met, except for those reclamation projects relating to the protection of the public health or safety.”

Effective Date of 1990 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 101–508 effective Oct. 1, 1991, see section 6014 of Pub. L. 101–508 set out as a note under section 1231 of this title.

1 So in original.

§1240. Emergency powers

(a) The Secretary is authorized to expend moneys from the fund for the emergency restoration, reclamation, abatement, control, or prevention of adverse effects of coal mining practices, on eligible lands, if the Secretary makes a finding of fact that—

(1) an emergency exists constituting a danger to the public health, safety, or general welfare; and

(2) no other person or agency will act expeditiously to restore, reclaim, abate, control, or prevent the adverse effects of coal mining practices.


(b) The Secretary, his agents, employees, and contractors shall have the right to enter upon any land where the emergency exists and any other land to have access to the land where the emergency exists to restore, reclaim, abate, control, or prevent the adverse effects of coal mining practices and to do all things necessary or expedient to protect the public health, safety, or general welfare. Such entry shall be construed as an exercise of the police power and shall not be construed as an act of condemnation of property nor of trespass thereof. The moneys expended for such work and the benefits accruing to any such premises so entered upon shall be chargeable against such land and shall mitigate or offset any claim in or any action brought by any owner of any interest in such premises for any alleged damages by virtue of such entry: Provided, however, That this provision is not intended to create new rights of action or eliminate existing immunities.

(Pub. L. 95–87, title IV, §410, Aug. 3, 1977, 91 Stat. 466.)

§1240a. Certification

(a) Certification of completion of coal reclamation

(1) The Governor of a State, or the head of a governing body of an Indian tribe, with an approved abandoned mine reclamation program under section 1235 of this title may certify to the Secretary that all of the priorities stated in section 1233(a) of this title for eligible lands and waters pursuant to section 1234 of this title have been achieved. The Secretary, after notice in the Federal Register and opportunity for public comment, shall concur with such certification if the Secretary determines that such certification is correct.

(2)(A) The Secretary may, on the initiative of the Secretary, make the certification referred to in paragraph (1) on behalf of any State or Indian tribe referred to in paragraph (1) if on the basis of the inventory referred to in section 1233(c) of this title all reclamation projects relating to the priorities described in section 1233(a) of this title for eligible land and water pursuant to section 1234 of this title in the State or tribe have been completed.

(B) The Secretary shall only make the certification after notice in the Federal Register and opportunity for public comment.

(b) Eligible lands, waters, and facilities

If the Secretary has concurred in a State or tribal certification under subsection (a) of this section, for purposes of determining the eligibility of lands and waters for annual grants under section 1232(g)(1) of this title, section 1234 of this title shall not apply, and eligible lands, waters, and facilities shall be those—

(1) which were mined or processed for minerals or which were affected by such mining or processing, and abandoned or left in an inadequate reclamation status prior to August 3, 1977; and

(2) for which there is no continuing reclamation responsibility under State or other Federal laws. In determining the eligibility under this subsection of Federal lands, waters, and facilities under the jurisdiction of the Forest Service or Bureau of Land Management, in lieu of the August 3, 1977, date referred to in paragraph (1) the applicable date shall be August 28, 1974, and November 26, 1980, respectively.

(c) Priorities

Expenditures of moneys for lands, waters, and facilities referred to in subsection (b) of this section shall reflect the following objectives and priorities in the order stated (in lieu of the priorities set forth in section 1233 of this title):

(1) The protection of public health, safety, general welfare, and property from extreme danger of adverse effects of mineral mining and processing practices.

(2) The protection of public health, safety, and general welfare from adverse effects of mineral mining and processing practices.

(3) The restoration of land and water resources and the environment previously degraded by the adverse effects of mineral mining and processing practices.

(d) Specific sites and areas not eligible

Sites and areas designated for remedial action pursuant to the Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Control Act of 1978 (42 U.S.C. 7901 and following) or which have been listed for remedial action pursuant to the Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation and Liability Act of 1980 (42 U.S.C. 9601 and following) shall not be eligible for expenditures from the Fund under this section.

(e) Utilities and other facilities

Reclamation projects involving the protection, repair, replacement, construction, or enhancement of utilities, such as those relating to water supply, roads, and such other facilities serving the public adversely affected by mineral mining and processing practices, and the construction of public facilities in communities impacted by coal or other mineral mining and processing practices, shall be deemed part of the objectives set forth, and undertaken as they relate to, the priorities stated in subsection (c) of this section.

(f) Public facilities related to coal or minerals industry

Notwithstanding subsection (e) of this section, where the Secretary has concurred in the certification referenced in subsection (a) of this section and where the Governor of a State or the head of a governing body of an Indian tribe determines there is a need for activities or construction of specific public facilities related to the coal or minerals industry in States impacted by coal or minerals development and the Secretary concurs in such need, then the State or Indian tribe, as the case may be, may use annual grants made available under section 1232(g)(1) of this title to carry out such activities or construction.

(g) Application of other provisions

The provisions of sections 1237 and 1238 of this title shall apply to subsections (a) through (e) of this section, except that for purposes of this section the references to coal in sections 1237 and 1238 of this title shall not apply.

(h) Payments to States and Indian tribes

(1) In general

(A) Payments

(i) In general

Notwithstanding section 1231(f)(3)(B) of this title, from funds referred to in section 1232(i)(2) of this title, the Secretary shall make payments to States or Indian tribes for the amount due for the aggregate unappropriated amount allocated to the State or Indian tribe under subparagraph (A) or (B) of section 1232(g)(1) of this title.

(ii) Conversion as equivalent payments

Amounts allocated under subparagraph (A) or (B) of section 1232(g)(1) of this title shall be reallocated to the allocation established in section 1232(g)(5) of this title in amounts equivalent to payments made to States or Indian tribes under this paragraph.

(B) Amount due

In this paragraph, the term “amount due” means the unappropriated amount allocated to a State or Indian tribe before October 1, 2007, under subparagraph (A) or (B) of section 1232(g)(1) of this title.

(C) Schedule

Payments under subparagraph (A) shall be made in 7 equal annual installments, beginning with fiscal year 2008.

(D) Use of funds

(i) Certified States and Indian tribes

A State or Indian tribe that makes a certification under subsection (a) in which the Secretary concurs shall use any amounts provided under this paragraph for the purposes established by the State legislature or tribal council of the Indian tribe, with priority given for addressing the impacts of mineral development.

(ii) Uncertified States and Indian tribes

A State or Indian tribe that has not made a certification under subsection (a) in which the Secretary has concurred shall use any amounts provided under this paragraph for the purposes described in section 1233 of this title.

(2) Subsequent State and Indian tribe share for certified States and Indian tribes

(A) In general

Notwithstanding section 1231(f)(3)(B) of this title, from funds referred to in section 1232(i)(2) of this title, the Secretary shall pay to each certified State or Indian tribe an amount equal to the sum of the aggregate unappropriated amount allocated on or after October 1, 2007, to the certified State or Indian tribe under subparagraph (A) or (B) of section 1232(g)(1) of this title.

(B) Certified State or Indian tribe defined

In this paragraph the term “certified State or Indian tribe” means a State or Indian tribe for which a certification is made under subsection (a) in which the Secretary concurs.

(3) Manner of payment

(A) In general

Subject to subparagraph (B), payments to States or Indian tribes under this subsection shall be made without regard to any limitation in section 1231(d) of this title and concurrently with payments to States under that section.

(B) Initial payments

The first 3 payments made to any State or Indian tribe shall be reduced to 25 percent, 50 percent, and 75 percent, respectively, of the amounts otherwise required under paragraph (2)(A).

(C) Installments

Amounts withheld from the first 3 annual installments as provided under subparagraph (B) shall be paid in 2 equal annual installments beginning with fiscal year 2018.

(4) Reallocation

(A) In general

The amount allocated to any State or Indian tribe under subparagraph (A) or (B) of section 1232(g)(1) of this title that is paid to the State or Indian tribe as a result of a payment under paragraph (1) or (2) shall be reallocated and available for grants under section 1232(g)(5) of this title.

(B) Allocation

The grants shall be allocated based on the amount of coal historically produced before August 3, 1977, in the same manner as under section 1232(g)(5) of this title.

(Pub. L. 95–87, title IV, §411, as added Pub. L. 101–508, title VI, §6010(2), Nov. 5, 1990, 104 Stat. 1388–296; amended Pub. L. 109–432, div. C, title II, §206, Dec. 20, 2006, 120 Stat. 3016.)

References in Text

The Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Control Act of 1978, referred to in subsec. (d), is Pub. L. 95–604, Nov. 8, 1978, 92 Stat. 3021, as amended, which is classified principally to chapter 88 (§7901 et seq.) of Title 42, The Public Health and Welfare. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 7901 of Title 42 and Tables.

The Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation and Liability Act of 1980, referred to in subsec. (d), probably means the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980, Pub. L. 96–510, Dec. 11, 1980, 94 Stat. 2767, as amended, which is classified principally to chapter 103 (§9601 et seq.) of Title 42. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 9601 of Title 42 and Tables.

Prior Provisions

A prior section 411 of Pub. L. 95–87 was renumbered section 412 and was classified to section 1241 of this title, prior to being omitted from the Code.

Amendments

2006—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 109–432, §206(1), designated existing provisions as par. (1) and added par. (2).

Subsec. (h). Pub. L. 109–432, §206(2), added subsec. (h).

Effective Date

Section effective Oct. 1, 1991, see section 6014 of Pub. L. 101–508 set out as an Effective Date of 1990 Amendment note under section 1231 of this title.

§1241. Omitted

Codification

Section, Pub. L. 95–87, title IV, §412, formerly §411, Aug. 3, 1977, 91 Stat. 466, renumbered §412, Pub. L. 101–508, title VI, §6010(1), Nov. 5, 1990, 104 Stat. 1388–296, which required the Secretary of the Interior or the State pursuant to an approved State program to report to Congress annually on operations under the fund together with recommendations for future use of the fund, terminated, effective May 15, 2000, pursuant to section 3003 of Pub. L. 104–66, as amended, set out as a note under section 1113 of Title 31, Money and Finance. See, also, page 109 of House Document No. 103–7.

§1242. Powers of Secretary or State

(a) Engage in work, promulgate rules and regulations, etc., to implement and administer this subchapter

The Secretary or the State pursuant to an approved State program, shall have the power and authority, if not granted it otherwise, to engage in any work and to do all things necessary or expedient, including promulgation of rules and regulations, to implement and administer the provisions of this subchapter.

(b) Engage in cooperative projects

The Secretary or the State pursuant to an approved State program, shall have the power and authority to engage in cooperative projects under this subchapter with any other agency of the United States of America, any State and their governmental agencies.

(c) Request for action to restrain interference with regard to this subchapter

The Secretary or the State pursuant to an approved State program, may request the Attorney General, who is hereby authorized to initiate, in addition to any other remedies provided for in this subchapter, in any court of competent jurisdiction, an action in equity for an injunction to restrain any interference with the exercise of the right to enter or to conduct any work provided in this subchapter.

(d) Construct and operate plants for control and treatment of water pollution resulting from mine drainage

The Secretary or the State pursuant to an approved State program, shall have the power and authority to construct and operate a plant or plants for the control and treatment of water pollution resulting from mine drainage. The extent of this control and treatment may be dependent upon the ultimate use of the water: Provided, That the above provisions of this paragraph shall not be deemed in any way to repeal or supersede any portion of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (33 U.S.C.A. 1151, et seq. as amended) [33 U.S.C. 1251 et seq.] and no control or treatment under this subsection shall in any way be less than that required under the Federal Water Pollution Control Act. The construction of a plant or plants may include major interceptors and other facilities appurtenant to the plant.

(e) Transfer funds

The Secretary may transfer funds to other appropriate Federal agencies, in order to carry out the reclamation activities authorized by this subchapter.

(Pub. L. 95–87, title IV, §413, formerly §412, Aug. 3, 1977, 91 Stat. 466, renumbered §413, Pub. L. 101–508, title VI, §6010(1), Nov. 5, 1990, 104 Stat. 1388–296.)

References in Text

The Federal Water Pollution Control Act (33 U.S.C.A. 1151, et seq. as amended), referred to in subsec. (d), is act June 30, 1948, ch. 758, 62 Stat. 1155, formerly classified to chapter 23 (§1151 et seq.) of Title 33, Navigation and Navigable Waters, which was completely revised by Pub. L. 92–500, §2, Oct. 18, 1972, 86 Stat. 816, and is classified generally to chapter 26 (§1251 et seq.) of Title 33. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 1251 of Title 33 and Tables.

Prior Provisions

A prior section 413 of Pub. L. 95–87 was renumbered section 414 and is classified to section 1243 of this title.

§1243. Interagency cooperation

All departments, boards, commissioners, and agencies of the United States of America shall cooperate with the Secretary by providing technical expertise, personnel, equipment, materials, and supplies to implement and administer the provisions of this subchapter.

(Pub. L. 95–87, title IV, §414, formerly §413, Aug. 3, 1977, 91 Stat. 467, renumbered §414, Pub. L. 101–508, title VI, §6010(1), Nov. 5, 1990, 104 Stat. 1388–296.)

§1244. Remining incentives

(a) In general

Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, the Secretary may, after opportunity for public comment, promulgate regulations that describe conditions under which amounts in the fund may be used to provide incentives to promote remining of eligible land under section 1234 of this title in a manner that leverages the use of amounts from the fund to achieve more reclamation with respect to the eligible land than would be achieved without the incentives.

(b) Requirements

Any regulations promulgated under subsection (a) shall specify that the incentives shall apply only if the Secretary determines, with the concurrence of the State regulatory authority referred to in subchapter V, that, without the incentives, the eligible land would not be likely to be remined and reclaimed.

(c) Incentives

(1) In general

Incentives that may be considered for inclusion in the regulations promulgated under subsection (a) include, but are not limited to—

(A) a rebate or waiver of the reclamation fees required under section 1232(a) of this title; and

(B) the use of amounts in the fund to provide financial assurance for remining operations in lieu of all or a portion of the performance bonds required under section 1259 of this title.

(2) Limitations

(A) Use

A rebate or waiver under paragraph (1)(A) shall be used only for operations that—

(i) remove or reprocess abandoned coal mine waste; or

(ii) conduct remining activities that meet the priorities specified in paragraph (1) or (2) of section 1233(a) of this title.

(B) Amount

The amount of a rebate or waiver provided as an incentive under paragraph (1)(A) to remine or reclaim eligible land shall not exceed the estimated cost of reclaiming the eligible land under this section.

(Pub. L. 95–87, title IV, §415, as added Pub. L. 109–432, div. C, title II, §207, Dec. 20, 2006, 120 Stat. 3018.)

SUBCHAPTER V—CONTROL OF THE ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS OF SURFACE COAL MINING

§1251. Environmental protection standards

(a) Not later than the end of the ninety-day period immediately following August 3, 1977, the Secretary shall promulgate and publish in the Federal Register regulations covering an interim regulatory procedure for surface coal mining and reclamation operations setting mining and reclamation performance standards based on and incorporating the provisions set out in section 1252(c) of this title. The issuance of the interim regulations shall be deemed not to be a major Federal action within the meaning of section 4332(2)(c) 1 of title 42. Such regulations, which shall be concise and written in plain, understandable language shall not be promulgated and published by the Secretary until he has—

(A) published proposed regulations in the Federal Register and afforded interested persons and State and local governments a period of not less than thirty days after such publication to submit written comments thereon;

(B) obtained the written concurrence of the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency with respect to those regulations promulgated under this section which relate to air or water quality standards promulgated under the authority of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act, as amended [33 U.S.C. 1251 et seq.]; and the Clean Air Act, as amended [42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.]; and

(C) held at least one public hearing on the proposed regulations.


The date, time, and place of any hearing held on the proposed regulations shall be set out in the publication of the proposed regulations. The Secretary shall consider all comments and relevant data presented at such hearing before final promulgation and publication of the regulations.

(b) Not later than one year after August 3, 1977, the Secretary shall promulgate and publish in the Federal Register regulations covering a permanent regulatory procedure for surface coal mining and reclamation operations performance standards based on and conforming to the provisions of this subchapter and establishing procedures and requirements for preparation, submission, and approval of State programs; and development and implementation of Federal programs under the subchapter. The Secretary shall promulgate these regulations, which shall be concise and written in plain, understandable language in accordance with the procedures in subsection (a) of this section.

(Pub. L. 95–87, title V, §501, Aug. 3, 1977, 91 Stat. 467.)

References in Text

The Federal Water Pollution Control Act, referred to in subsec. (a)(B), is act June 30, 1948, ch. 758, 62 Stat. 1155, as amended generally by Pub. L. 92–500, §2, Oct. 18, 1972, 86 Stat. 816, which is classified generally to chapter 26 (§1251 et seq.) of Title 33, Navigation and Navigable Waters. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 1251 of Title 33 and Tables.

The Clean Air Act, referred to in subsec. (a)(B), is act July 14, 1955, ch. 360, 69 Stat. 322, as amended, which is classified generally to chapter 85 (§7401 et seq.) of Title 42, The Public Health and Welfare. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 7401 of Title 42 and Tables.

1 So in original. Probably should be “4332(2)(C)”.

§1251a. Abandoned coal refuse sites

(1) Notwithstanding any other provision of the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 [30 U.S.C. 1201 et seq.] to the contrary, the Secretary of the Interior shall, within one year after October 24, 1992, publish proposed regulations in the Federal Register, and after opportunity for public comment publish final regulations, establishing environmental protection performance and reclamation standards, and separate permit systems applicable to operations for the on-site reprocessing of abandoned coal refuse and operations for the removal of abandoned coal refuse on lands that would otherwise be eligible for expenditure under section 404 and section 402(g)(4) of the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 [30 U.S.C. 1234, 1232(g)(4)].

(2) The standards and permit systems referred to in paragraph (1) shall distinguish between those operations which reprocess abandoned coal refuse on-site, and those operations which completely remove abandoned coal refuse from a site for the direct use of such coal refuse, or for the reprocessing of such coal refuse, at another location. Such standards and permit systems shall be premised on the distinct differences between operations for the on-site reprocessing, and operations for the removal, of abandoned coal refuse and other types of surface coal mining operations.

(3) The Secretary of the Interior may devise a different standard than any of those set forth in section 515 and section 516 of the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 [30 U.S.C. 1265, 1266], and devise a separate permit system, if he determines, on a standard-by-standard basis, that a different standard may facilitate the on-site reprocessing, or the removal, of abandoned coal refuse in a manner that would provide the same level of environmental protection as under section 515 and section 516.

(4) Not later than 30 days prior to the publication of the proposed regulations referred to in this section, the Secretary shall submit a report to the Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs of the United States House of Representatives, and the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources of the United States Senate containing a detailed description of any environmental protection performance and reclamation standards, and separate permit systems, devised pursuant to this section.

(Pub. L. 102–486, title XXV, §2503(e), Oct. 24, 1992, 106 Stat. 3103.)

References in Text

The Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977, referred to in par. (1), is Pub. L. 95–87, Aug. 3, 1977, 91 Stat. 445, as amended, which is classified generally to this chapter (§1201 et seq.). For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 1201 of this title and Tables.

Codification

Section was enacted as part of the Energy Policy Act of 1992, and not as part of the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 which comprises this chapter.

Change of Name

Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs of House of Representatives changed to Committee on Natural Resources of House of Representatives on Jan. 5, 1993, by House Resolution No. 5, One Hundred Third Congress.

§1252. Initial regulatory procedures

(a) State regulation

No person shall open or develop any new or previously mined or abandoned site for surface coal mining operations on lands on which such operations are regulated by a State unless such person has obtained a permit from the State's regulatory authority.

(b) Interim standards

All surface coal mining operations on lands on which such operations are regulated by a State which commence operations pursuant to a permit issued on or after six months from August 3, 1977, shall comply, and such permits shall contain terms requiring compliance with, the provisions set out in subsection (c) of this section. Prior to final disapproval of a State program or prior to promulgation of a Federal program or a Federal lands program pursuant to this chapter, a State may issue such permits.

(c) Full compliance with environmental protection performance standards

On and after nine months from August 3, 1977, all surface coal mining operations on lands on which such operations are regulated by a State shall comply with the provisions of subsections (b)(2), (b)(3), (b)(5), (b)(10), (b)(13), (b)(15), (b)(19), and (d) of section 1265 of this title or, where a surface coal mining operation will remove an entire coal seam or seams running through the upper fraction of a mountain, ridge, or hill by removing all of the overburden and creating a level plateau or a gently rolling contour with no highwalls remaining, such operation shall comply with the requirements of section 1265(c)(4) and (5) of this title without regard to the requirements of section 1265(b)(3) or (d)(2) and (3) of this title, with respect to lands from which overburden and the coal seam being mined have not been removed: Provided, however, That surface coal mining operations in operation pursuant to a permit issued by a State before August 3, 1977, issued to a person as defined in section 1291(19) of this title in existence prior to May 2, 1977 and operated by a person whose total annual production of coal from surface and underground coal mining operations does not exceed one hundred thousand tons shall not be subject to the provisions of this subsection except with reference to the provision of section 1265(d)(1) of this title until January 1, 1979.

(d) Permit application

Not later than two months following the approval of a State program pursuant to section 1253 of this title or the implementation of a Federal program pursuant to section 1254 of this title, regardless of litigation contesting that approval or implementation, all operators of surface coal mines in expectation of operating such mines after the expiration of eight months from the approval of a State program or the implementation of a Federal program, shall file an application for a permit with the regulatory authority. Such application shall cover those lands to be mined after the expiration of eight months from the approval of a State program or the implementation of a Federal program. The regulatory authority shall process such applications and grant or deny a permit within eight months after the date of approval of the State program or the implementation of the Federal program, unless specially enjoined by a court of competent jurisdiction, but in no case later than forty-two months from August 3, 1977.

(e) Federal enforcement program

Within six months after August 3, 1977, the Secretary shall implement a Federal enforcement program which shall remain in effect in each State as surface coal mining operations are required to comply with the provisions of this chapter, until the State program has been approved pursuant to this chapter or until a Federal program has been implemented pursuant to this chapter. The enforcement program shall—

(1) include inspections of surface coal mine sites which may be made (but at least one inspection for every site every six months), without advance notice to the mine operator and for the purpose of ascertaining compliance with the standards of subsections (b) and (c) above. The Secretary shall order any necessary enforcement action to be implemented pursuant to the Federal enforcement provision of this subchapter to correct violations identified at the inspections;

(2) provide that upon receipt of inspection reports indicating that any surface coal mining operation has been found in violation of subsections (b) and (c) above, during not less than two consecutive State inspections or upon receipt by the Secretary of information which would give rise to reasonable belief that such standards are being violated by any surface coal mining operation, the Secretary shall order the immediate inspection of such operation by Federal inspectors and the necessary enforcement actions, if any, to be implemented pursuant to the Federal enforcement provisions of this subchapter. When the Federal inspection results from information provided to the Secretary by any person, the Secretary shall notify such person when the Federal inspection is proposed to be carried out and such person shall be allowed to accompany the inspector during the inspection;

(3) provide that the State regulatory agency file with the Secretary and with a designated Federal office centrally located in the county or area in which the inspected surface coal mine is located copies of inspection reports made;

(4) provide that moneys authorized by section 1302 of this title shall be available to the Secretary prior to the approval of a State program pursuant to this chapter to reimburse the State for conducting those inspections in which the standards of this chapter are enforced and for the administration of this section.1

(5) for purposes of this section, the term “Federal inspector” means personnel of the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement and such additional personnel of the United States Geological Survey, Bureau of Land Management, or of the Mining Enforcement and Safety Administration so designated by the Secretary, or such other personnel of the Forest Service, Soil Conservation Service, or the Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Service as arranged by appropriate agreement with the Secretary on a reimbursable or other basis; 2

(f) Interim period

Following the final disapproval of a State program, and prior to promulgation of a Federal program or a Federal lands program pursuant to this chapter, including judicial review of such a program, existing surface coal mining operations may continue surface mining operations pursuant to the provisions of this section. During such period no new permits shall be issued by the State whose program has been disapproved. Permits which lapse during such period may continue in full force and effect until promulgation of a Federal program or a Federal lands program.

(Pub. L. 95–87, title V, §502, Aug. 3, 1977, 91 Stat. 468.)

1 So in original. The period probably should be a semicolon.

2 So in original. The semicolon probably should be a period.

§1253. State programs

(a) Regulation of surface coal mining and reclamation operations; submittal to Secretary; time limit; demonstration of effectiveness

Each State in which there are or may be conducted surface coal mining operations on non-Federal lands, and which wishes to assume exclusive jurisdiction over the regulation of surface coal mining and reclamation operations, except as provided in sections 1271 and 1273 of this title and subchapter IV of this chapter, shall submit to the Secretary, by the end of the eighteenth-month 1 period beginning on August 3, 1977, a State program which demonstrates that such State has the capability of carrying out the provisions of this chapter and meeting its purposes through—

(1) a State law which provides for the regulation of surface coal mining and reclamation operations in accordance with the requirements of this chapter;

(2) a State law which provides sanctions for violations of State laws, regulations, or conditions of permits concerning surface coal mining and reclamation operations, which sanctions shall meet the minimum requirements of this chapter, including civil and criminal actions, forfeiture of bonds, suspensions, revocations, and withholding of permits, and the issuance of cease-and-desist orders by the State regulatory authority or its inspectors;

(3) a State regulatory authority with sufficient administrative and technical personnel, and sufficient funding to enable the State to regulate surface coal mining and reclamation operations in accordance with the requirements of this chapter;

(4) a State law which provides for the effective implementations,1 maintenance, and enforcement of a permit system, meeting the requirements of this subchapter for the regulations 1 of surface coal mining and reclamation operations for coal on lands within the State;

(5) establishment of a process for the designation of areas as unsuitable for surface coal mining in accordance with section 1272 of this title provided that the designation of Federal lands unsuitable for mining shall be performed exclusively by the Secretary after consultation with the State; and 1

(6) establishment for the purposes of avoiding duplication, of a process for coordinating the review and issuance of permits for surface coal mining and reclamation operations with any other Federal or State permit process applicable to the proposed operations; and

(7) rules and regulations consistent with regulations issued by the Secretary pursuant to this chapter.

(b) Approval of program

The Secretary shall not approve any State program submitted under this section until he has—

(1) solicited and publicly disclosed the views of the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, the Secretary of Agriculture, and the heads of other Federal agencies concerned with or having special expertise pertinent to the proposed State program;

(2) obtained the written concurrence of the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency with respect to those aspects of a State program which relate to air or water quality standards promulgated under the authority of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act, as amended [33 U.S.C. 1251 et seq.], and the Clean Air Act, as amended [42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.];

(3) held at least one public hearing on the State program within the State; and

(4) found that the State has the legal authority and qualified personnel necessary for the enforcement of the environmental protection standards.


The Secretary shall approve or disapprove a State program, in whole or in part, within six full calendar months after the date such State program was submitted to him.

(c) Notice of disapproval

If the Secretary disapproves any proposed State program in whole or in part, he shall notify the State in writing of his decision and set forth in detail the reasons therefor. The State shall have sixty days in which to resubmit a revised State program or portion thereof. The Secretary shall approve or disapprove the resubmitted State program or portion thereof within sixty days from the date of resubmission.

(d) Inability of State to take action

For the purposes of this section and section 1254 of this title, the inability of a State to take any action the purpose of which is to prepare, submit or enforce a State program, or any portion thereof, because the action is enjoined by the issuance of an injunction by any court of competent jurisdiction shall not result in a loss of eligibility for financial assistance under subchapters IV and VII of this chapter or in the imposition of a Federal program. Regulation of the surface coal mining and reclamation operations covered or to be covered by the State program subject to the injunction shall be conducted by the State pursuant to section 1252 of this title, until such time as the injunction terminates or for one year, whichever is shorter, at which time the requirements of this section and section 1254 of this title shall again be fully applicable.

(Pub. L. 95–87, title V, §503, Aug. 3, 1977, 91 Stat. 470.)

References in Text

The Federal Water Pollution Control Act, referred to in subsec. (b)(2), is act June 30, 1948, ch. 758, 62 Stat. 1155, as amended generally by Pub. L. 92–500, §2, Oct. 18, 1972, 86 Stat. 816, which is classified generally to chapter 26 (§1251 et seq.) of Title 33, Navigation and Navigable Waters. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 1251 of Title 33 and Tables.

The Clean Air Act, referred to in subsec. (b)(2), is act July 14, 1955, ch. 360, 69 Stat. 322, as amended, which is classified generally to chapter 85 (§7401 et seq.) of Title 42, The Public Health and Welfare. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 7401 of Title 42 and Tables.

1 So in original.

§1254. Federal programs

(a) Promulgation and implementation by Secretary for State

The Secretary shall prepare and, subject to the provisions of this section, promulgate and implement a Federal program for a State no later than thirty-four months after August 3, 1977, if such State—

(1) fails to submit a State program covering surface coal mining and reclamation operations by the end of the eighteen-month period beginning on August 3, 1977;

(2) fails to resubmit an acceptable State program within sixty days of disapproval of a proposed State program: Provided, That the Secretary shall not implement a Federal program prior to the expiration of the initial period allowed for submission of a State program as provided for in clause (1) of this subsection; or

(3) fails to implement, enforce, or maintain its approved State program as provided for in this chapter.


If State compliance with clause (1) of this subsection requires an act of the State legislature, the Secretary may extend the period of submission of a State program up to an additional six months. Promulgation and implementation of a Federal program vests the Secretary with exclusive jurisdiction for the regulation and control of surface coal mining and reclamation operations taking place on lands within any State not in compliance with this chapter. After promulgation and implementation of a Federal program the Secretary shall be the regulatory authority. If a Federal program is implemented for a State, section 1272(a), (c), and (d) of this title shall not apply for a period of one year following the date of such implementation. In promulgating and implementing a Federal program for a particular State the Secretary shall take into consideration the nature of that State's terrain, climate, biological, chemical, and other relevant physical conditions.

(b) Federal enforcement of State program

In the event that a State has a State program for surface coal mining, and is not enforcing any part of such program, the Secretary may provide for the Federal enforcement, under the provisions of section 1271 of this title, of that part of the State program not being enforced by such State.

(c) Notice and hearing

Prior to promulgation and implementation of any proposed Federal program, the Secretary shall give adequate public notice and hold a public hearing in the affected State.

(d) Review of permits

Permits issued pursuant to a previously approved State program shall be valid but reviewable under a Federal program. Immediately following promulgation of a Federal program, the Secretary shall undertake to review such permits to determine that the requirements of this chapter are not violated. If the Secretary determines any permit to have been granted contrary to the requirements of this chapter, he shall so advise the permittee and provide him an opportunity for hearing and a reasonable opportunity for submission of a new application and reasonable time, within a time limit prescribed in regulations promulgated pursuant to section 1251(b) of this title, to conform ongoing surface mining and reclamation operations to the requirements of the Federal program.

(e) Submission of State program after implementation of Federal program

A State which has failed to obtain the approval of a State program prior to implementation of a Federal program may submit a State program at any time after such implementation. Upon the submission of such a program, the Secretary shall follow the procedures set forth in section 1253(b) of this title and shall approve or disapprove the State program within six months after its submittal. Approval of a State program shall be based on the determination that the State has the capability of carrying out the provisions of this chapter and meeting its purposes through the criteria set forth in section 1253(a)(1) through (6) of this title. Until a State program is approved as provided under this section, the Federal program shall remain in effect and all actions taken by the Secretary pursuant to such Federal program, including the terms and conditions of any permit issued thereunder shall remain in effect.

(f) Validity of Federal program permits under superseding State program

Permits issued pursuant to the Federal program shall be valid under any superseding State program: Provided, That the Federal permittee shall have the right to apply for a State permit to supersede his Federal permit. The State regulatory authority may review such permits to determine that the requirements of this chapter and the approved State program are not violated. Should the State program contain additional requirements not contained in the Federal program, the permittee will be provided opportunity for hearing and a reasonable time, within a time limit prescribed in regulations promulgated pursuant to section 1251 of this title, to conform ongoing surface mining and reclamation operations to the additional State requirements.

(g) Preemption of State statutes or regulations

Whenever a Federal program is promulgated for a State pursuant to this chapter, any statutes or regulations of such State which are in effect to regulate surface mining and reclamation operations subject to this chapter shall, insofar as they interfere with the achievement of the purposes and the requirements of this chapter and the Federal program, be preempted and superseded by the Federal program. The Secretary shall set forth any State law or regulation which is preempted and superseded by the Federal program.

(h) Coordination of issuance and review of Federal program permits with any other Federal or State permit process

Any Federal program shall include a process for coordinating the review and issuance of permits for surface mining and reclamation operations with any other Federal or State permit process applicable to the proposed operation.

(Pub. L. 95–87, title V, §504, Aug. 3, 1977, 91 Stat. 471.)

§1255. State laws

(a) No State law or regulation in effect on August 3, 1977, or which may become effective thereafter, shall be superseded by any provision of this chapter or any regulation issued pursuant thereto, except insofar as such State law or regulation is inconsistent with the provisions of this chapter.

(b) Any provision of any State law or regulation in effect upon August 3, 1977, or which may become effective thereafter, which provides for more stringent land use and environmental controls and regulations of surface coal mining and reclamation operation than do the provisions of this chapter or any regulation issued pursuant thereto shall not be construed to be inconsistent with this chapter. The Secretary shall set forth any State law or regulation which is construed to be inconsistent with this chapter. Any provision of any State law or regulation in effect on August 3, 1977, or which may become effective thereafter, which provides for the control and regulation of surface mining and reclamation operations for which no provision is contained in this chapter shall not be construed to be inconsistent with this chapter.

(Pub. L. 95–87, title V, §505, Aug. 3, 1977, 91 Stat. 473.)

§1256. Permits

(a) Persons engaged in surface coal mining within State; time limit; exception

No later than eight months from the date on which a State program is approved by the Secretary, pursuant to section 1253 of this title, or no later than eight months from the date on which the Secretary has promulgated a Federal program for a State not having a State program pursuant to section 1254 of this title, no person shall engage in or carry out on lands within a State any surface coal mining operations unless such person has first obtained a permit issued by such State pursuant to an approved State program or by the Secretary pursuant to a Federal program; except a person conducting surface coal mining operations under a permit from the State regulatory authority, issued in accordance with the provisions of section 1252 of this title, may conduct such operations beyond such period if an application for a permit has been filed in accordance with the provisions of this chapter, but the initial administrative decision has not been rendered.

(b) Term

All permits issued pursuant to the requirements of this chapter shall be issued for a term not to exceed five years: Provided, That if the applicant demonstrates that a specified longer term is reasonably needed to allow the applicant to obtain necessary financing for equipment and the opening of the operation and if the application is full and complete for such specified longer term, the regulatory authority may grant a permit for such longer term. A successor in interest to a permittee who applies for a new permit within thirty days of succeeding to such interest and who is able to obtain the bond coverage of the original permittee may continue surface coal mining and reclamation operations according to the approved mining and reclamation plan of the original permittee until such successor's application is granted or denied.

(c) Termination

A permit shall terminate if the permittee has not commenced the surface coal mining operations covered by such permit within three years of the issuance of the permit: Provided, That the regulatory authority may grant reasonable extensions of time upon a showing that such extensions are necessary by reason of litigation precluding such commencement or threatening substantial economic loss to the permittee, or by reason of conditions beyond the control and without the fault or negligence of the permittee: Provided further, That in the case of a coal lease issued under the Federal Mineral Leasing Act, as amended [30 U.S.C. 181 et seq.], extensions of time may not extend beyond the period allowed for diligent development in accordance with section 7 of that Act [30 U.S.C. 207]: Provided further, That with respect to coal to be mined for use in a synthetic fuel facility or specific major electric generating facility, the permittee shall be deemed to have commenced surface mining operations at such time as the construction of the synthetic fuel or generating facility is initiated.

(d) Renewal

(1) Any valid permit issued pursuant to this chapter shall carry with it the right of successive renewal upon expiration with respect to areas within the boundaries of the existing permit. The holders of the permit may apply for renewal and such renewal shall be issued (provided that on application for renewal the burden shall be on the opponents of renewal), subsequent to fulfillment of the public notice requirements of sections 1263 and 1264 of this title unless it is established that and written findings by the regulatory authority are made that—

(A) the terms and conditions of the existing permit are not being satisfactorily met;

(B) the present surface coal mining and reclamation operation is not in compliance with the environmental protection standards of this chapter and the approved State plan or Federal program pursuant to this chapter; or

(C) the renewal requested substantially jeopardizes the operator's continuing responsibility on existing permit areas;

(D) the operator has not provided evidence that the performance bond in effect for said operation will continue in full force and effect for any renewal requested in such application as well as any additional bond the regulatory authority might require pursuant to section 1259 of this title; or

(E) any additional revised or updated information required by the regulatory authority has not been provided. Prior to the approval of any renewal of permit the regulatory authority shall provide notice to the appropriate public authorities.


(2) If an application for renewal of a valid permit includes a proposal to extend the mining operation beyond the boundaries authorized in the existing permit, the portion of the application for renewal of a valid permit which addresses any new land areas shall be subject to the full standards applicable to new applications under this chapter: Provided, however, That if the surface coal mining operations authorized by a permit issued pursuant to this chapter were not subject to the standards contained in section 1260(b)(5)(A) and (B) of this title by reason of complying with the proviso of section 1260(b)(5) of this title, then the portion of the application for renewal of the permit which addresses any new land areas previously identified in the reclamation plan submitted pursuant to section 1258 of this title shall not be subject to the standards contained in section 1260(b)(5)(A) and (B) of this title.

(3) Any permit renewal shall be for a term not to exceed the period of the original permit established by this chapter. Application for permit renewal shall be made at least one hundred and twenty days prior to the expiration of the valid permit.

(Pub. L. 95–87, title V, §506, Aug. 3, 1977, 91 Stat. 473.)

References in Text

The Federal Mineral Leasing Act, as amended, referred to in subsec. (c), probably means act Feb. 25, 1920, ch. 85, 41 Stat. 437, as amended, known as the Mineral Leasing Act, which is classified generally to chapter 3A (§181 et seq.) of this title. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 181 of this title and Tables.

§1257. Application requirements

(a) Fee

Each application for a surface coal mining and reclamation permit pursuant to an approved State program or a Federal program under the provisions of this chapter shall be accompanied by a fee as determined by the regulatory authority. Such fee may be less than but shall not exceed the actual or anticipated cost of reviewing, administering, and enforcing such permit issued pursuant to a State or Federal program. The regulatory authority may develop procedures so as to enable the cost of the fee to be paid over the term of the permit.

(b) Submittal; contents

The permit application shall be submitted in a manner satisfactory to the regulatory authority and shall contain, among other things—

(1) the names and addresses of (A) the permit applicant; (B) every legal owner of record of the property (surface and mineral), to be mined; (C) the holders of record of any leasehold interest in the property; (D) any purchaser of record of the property under a real estate contract; and (E) the operator if he is a person different from the applicant; and (F) if any of these are business entities other than a single proprietor, the names and addresses of the principals, officers, and resident agent;

(2) the names and addresses of the owners of record of all surface and subsurface areas adjacent to any part of the permit area;

(3) a statement of any current or previous surface coal mining permits in the United States held by the applicant and the permit identification and each pending application;

(4) if the applicant is a partnership, corporation, association, or other business entity, the following where applicable: the names and addresses of every officer, partner, director, or person performing a function similar to a director, of the applicant, together with the name and address of any person owning, of record 10 per centum or more of any class of voting stock of the applicant and a list of all names under which the applicant, partner, or principal shareholder previously operated a surface mining operation within the United States within the five-year period preceding the date of submission of the application;

(5) a statement of whether the applicant, any subsidiary, affiliate, or persons controlled by or under common control with the applicant, has ever held a Federal or State mining permit which in the five-year period prior to the date of submission of the application has been suspended or revoked or has had a mining bond or similar security deposited in lieu of bond forefeited 1 and, if so, a brief explanation of the facts involved;

(6) a copy of the applicant's advertisement to be published in a newspaper of general circulation in the locality of the proposed site at least once a week for four successive weeks, and which includes the ownership, a description of the exact location and boundaries of the proposed site sufficient so that the proposed operation is readily locatable by local residents, and the location of where the application is available for public inspection;

(7) a description of the type and method of coal mining operation that exists or is proposed, the engineering techniques proposed or used, and the equipment used or proposed to be used;

(8) the anticipated or actual starting and termination dates of each phase of the mining operation and number of acres of land to be affected;

(9) the applicant shall file with the regulatory authority on an accurate map or plan, to an appropriate scale, clearly showing the land to be affected as of the date of the application, the area of land within the permit area upon which the applicant has the legal right to enter and commence surface mining operations and shall provide to the regulatory authority a statement of those documents upon which the applicant bases his legal right to enter and commence surface mining operations on the area affected, and whether that right is the subject of pending court litigation: Provided, That nothing in this chapter shall be construed as vesting in the regulatory authority the jurisdiction to adjudicate property title disputes.2

(10) the name of the watershed and location of the surface stream or tributary into which surface and pit drainage will be discharged;

(11) a determination of the probable hydrologic consequences of the mining and reclamation operations, both on and off the mine site, with respect to the hydrologic regime, quantity and quality of water in surface and ground water systems including the dissolved and suspended solids under seasonal flow conditions and the collection of sufficient data for the mine site and surrounding areas so that an assessment can be made by the regulatory authority of the probable cumulative impacts of all anticipated mining in the area upon the hydrology of the area and particularly upon water availability: Provided, however, That this determination shall not be required until such time as hydrologic information on the general area prior to mining is made available from an appropriate Federal or State agency: Provided further, That the permit shall not be approved until such information is available and is incorporated into the application;

(12) when requested by the regulatory authority, the climatological factors that are peculiar to the locality of the land to be affected, including the average seasonal precipitation, the average direction and velocity of prevailing winds, and the seasonal temperature ranges;

(13) accurate maps to an appropriate scale clearly showing (A) the land to be affected as of the date of application and (B) all types of information set forth on topographical maps of the United States Geological Survey of a scale of 1:24,000 or 1:25,000 or larger, including all manmade features and significant known archeological sites existing on the date of application. Such a map or plan shall among other things specified by the regulatory authority show all boundaries of the land to be affected, the boundary lines and names of present owners of record of all surface areas abutting the permit area, and the location of all buildings within one thousand feet of the permit area;

(14) cross-section maps or plans of the land to be affected including the actual area to be mined, prepared by or under the direction of and certified by a qualified registered professional engineer, or professional geologist with assistance from experts in related fields such as land surveying and landscape architecture, showing pertinent elevation and location of test borings or core samplings and depicting the following information: the nature and depth of the various strata of overburden; the location of subsurface water, if encountered, and its quality; the nature and thickness of any coal or rider seam above the coal seam to be mined; the nature of the stratum immediately beneath the coal seam to be mined; all mineral crop lines and the strike and dip of the coal to be mined, within the area of land to be affected; existing or previous surface mining limits; the location and extent of known workings of any underground mines, including mine openings to the surface; the location of aquifers; the estimated elevation of the water table; the location of spoil, waste, or refuse areas and top-soil preservation areas; the location of all impoundments for waste or erosion control; any settling or water treatment facility; constructed or natural drainways and the location of any discharges to any surface body of water on the area of land to be affected or adjacent thereto; and profiles at appropriate cross sections of the anticipated final surface configuration that will be achieved pursuant to the operator's proposed reclamation plan;

(15) a statement of the result of test borings or core samplings from the permit area, including logs of the drill holes; the thickness of the coal seam found, an analysis of the chemical properties of such coal; the sulfur content of any coal seam; chemical analysis of potentially acid or toxic forming sections of the overburden; and chemical analysis of the stratum lying immediately underneath the coal to be mined except that the provisions of this paragraph (15) may be waived by the regulatory authority with respect to the specific application by a written determination that such requirements are unnecessary;

(16) for those lands in the permit application which a reconnaissance inspection suggests may be prime farm lands, a soil survey shall be made or obtained according to standards established by the Secretary of Agriculture in order to confirm the exact location of such prime farm lands, if any; and

(17) information pertaining to coal seams, test borings, core samplings, or soil samples as required by this section shall be made available to any person with an interest which is or may be adversely affected: Provided, That information which pertains only to the analysis of the chemical and physical properties of the coal (excepting information regarding such mineral or elemental content which is potentially toxic in the environment) shall be kept confidential and not made a matter of public record.

(c) Assistance to small coal operators

(1) If the regulatory authority finds that the probable total annual production at all locations of a coal surface mining operator will not exceed 300,000 tons, the cost of the following activities, which shall be performed by a qualified public or private laboratory or such other public or private qualified entity designated by the regulatory authority, shall be assumed by the regulatory authority upon the written request of the operator in connection with a permit application:

(A) The determination of probable hydrologic consequences required by subsection (b)(11) of this section, including the engineering analyses and designs necessary for the determination.

(B) The development of cross-section maps and plans required by subsection (b)(14) of this section.

(C) The geologic drilling and statement of results of test borings and core samplings required by subsection (b)(15) of this section.

(D) The collection of archaeological information required by subsection (b)(13) of this section and any other archaeological and historical information required by the regulatory authority, and the preparation of plans necessitated thereby.

(E) Pre-blast surveys required by section 1265(b)(15)(E) of this title.

(F) The collection of site-specific resource information and production of protection and enhancement plans for fish and wildlife habitats and other environmental values required by the regulatory authority under this chapter.


(2) The Secretary shall provide or assume the cost of training coal operators that meet the qualifications stated in paragraph (1) concerning the preparation of permit applications and compliance with the regulatory program, and shall ensure that qualified coal operators are aware of the assistance available under this subsection.

(d) Reclamation plan

Each applicant for a permit shall be required to submit to the regulatory authority as part of the permit application a reclamation plan which shall meet the requirements of this chapter.

(e) Public inspection

Each applicant for a surface coal mining and reclamation permit shall file a copy of his application for public inspection with the recorder at the courthouse of the county or an appropriate public office approved by the regulatory authority where the mining is proposed to occur, except for that information pertaining to the coal seam itself.

(f) Insurance certificate

Each applicant for a permit shall be required to submit to the regulatory authority as part of the permit application a certificate issued by an insurance company authorized to do business in the United States certifying that the applicant has a public liability insurance policy in force for the surface mining and reclamation operations for which such permit is sought, or evidence that the applicant has satisfied other State or Federal self-insurance requirements. Such policy shall provide for personal injury and property damage protection in an amount adequate to compensate any persons damaged as a result of surface coal mining and reclamation operations including use of explosives and entitled to compensation under the applicable provisions of State law. Such policy shall be maintained in full force and effect during the terms of the permit or any renewal, including the length of all reclamation operations.

(g) Blasting plan

Each applicant for a surface coal mining and reclamation permit shall submit to the regulatory authority as part of the permit application a blasting plan which shall outline the procedures and standards by which the operator will meet the provisions of section 1265(b)(15) of this title.

(h) Reimbursement of costs

A coal operator that has received assistance pursuant to subsection (c)(1) or (2) of this section shall reimburse the regulatory authority for the cost of the services rendered if the program administrator finds that the operator's actual and attributed annual production of coal for all locations exceeds 300,000 tons during the 12 months immediately following the date on which the operator is issued the surface coal mining and reclamation permit.

(Pub. L. 95–87, title V, §507, Aug. 3, 1977, 91 Stat. 474; Pub. L. 101–508, title VI, §6011, Nov. 5, 1990, 104 Stat. 1388–297; Pub. L. 102–486, title XXV, §2513, Oct. 24, 1992, 106 Stat. 3112.)

Amendments

1992—Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 102–486, §2513(a), amended subsec. (c) generally. Prior to amendment, subsec. (c) read as follows: “If the regulatory authority finds that the probable total annual production at all locations of any coal surface mining operator will not exceed 300,000 tons, the determination of probable hydrologic consequences required by subsection (b)(11) of this section and the statement of the result of test borings or core samplings required by subsection (b)(15) of this section shall, upon the written request of the operator be performed by a qualified public or private laboratory designated by the regulatory authority and the cost of the preparation of such determination and statement shall be assumed by the regulatory authority.”

Subsec. (h). Pub. L. 102–486, §2513(b), added subsec. (h).

1990—Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 101–508 substituted “300,000” for “100,000”.

Effective Date of 1990 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 101–508, effective Oct. 1, 1991, see section 6014 of Pub. L. 101–508 set out as a note under section 1231 of this title.

Discretionary Offsetting Collections

Pub. L. 112–74, div. E, title I, Dec. 23, 2011, 125 Stat. 996, provided: “That, in subsequent fiscal years [after fiscal year 2012], all amounts collected by the Office of Surface Mining from permit fees pursuant to section 507 of Public Law 95–87 (30 U.S.C. 1257) shall be credited to this account as discretionary offsetting collections, to remain available until expended.”

Preparation of Cross-Sections, Maps, and Plans of Land By or Under Direction of Qualified Registered Professional Engineers, Geologists, or Land Surveyors

Pub. L. 98–146, title I, §115, Nov. 4, 1983, 97 Stat. 938, provided that: “Notwithstanding section 507(b)(14) of the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 (Public Law 95–87) [subsec. (b)(14) of this section], cross-sections, maps or plans of land to be affected by an application for a surface mining and reclamation permit shall be prepared by or under the direction of a qualified registered professional engineer or geologist, or qualified registered professional land surveyor in any State which authorizes land surveyors to prepare and certify such maps or plans.”

1 So in original. Probably should be “forfeited”.

2 So in original. The period probably should be a semicolon.

§1258. Reclamation plan requirements

(a) Each reclamation plan submitted as part of a permit application pursuant to any approved State program or a Federal program under the provisions of this chapter shall include, in the degree of detail necessary to demonstrate that reclamation required by the State or Federal program can be accomplished, a statement of:

(1) the identification of the lands subject to surface coal mining operations over the estimated life of those operations and the size, sequence, and timing of the subareas for which it is anticipated that individual permits for mining will be sought;

(2) the condition of the land to be covered by the permit prior to any mining including:

(A) the uses existing at the time of the application, and if the land has a history of previous mining, the uses which preceded any mining; and

(B) the capability of the land prior to any mining to support a variety of uses giving consideration to soil and foundation characteristics, topography, and vegetative cover, and, if applicable, a soil survey prepared pursuant to section 1257(b)(16) of this title; and

(C) the productivity of the land prior to mining, including appropriate classification as prime farm lands, as well as the average yield of food, fiber, forage, or wood products from such lands obtained under high levels of management;


(3) the use which is proposed to be made of the land following reclamation, including a discussion of the utility and capacity of the reclaimed land to support a variety of alternative uses and the relationship of such use to existing land use policies and plans, and the comments of any owner of the surface, State and local governments or agencies thereof which would have to initiate, implement, approve or authorize the proposed use of the land following reclamation;

(4) a detailed description of how the proposed postmining land use is to be achieved and the necessary support activities which may be needed to achieve the proposed land use;

(5) the engineering techniques proposed to be used in mining and reclamation and a description of the major equipment; a plan for the control of surface water drainage and of water accumulation; a plan, where appropriate, for backfilling, soil stabilization, and compacting, grading, and appropriate revegetation; a plan for soil reconstruction, replacement, and stabilization, pursuant to the performance standards in section 1265(b)(7)(A), (B), (C), and (D) of this title, for those food, forage, and forest lands identified in section 1265(b)(7) of this title; an estimate of the cost per acre of the reclamation, including a statement as to how the permittee plans to comply with each of the requirements set out in section 1265 of this title;

(6) the consideration which has been given to maximize the utilization and conservation of the solid fuel resource being recovered so that reaffecting the land in the future can be minimized;

(7) a detailed estimated timetable for the accomplishment of each major step in the reclamation plan;

(8) the consideration which has been given to making the surface mining and reclamation operations consistent with surface owner plans, and applicable State and local land use plans and programs;

(9) the steps to be taken to comply with applicable air and water quality laws and regulations and any applicable health and safety standards;

(10) the consideration which has been given to developing the reclamation plan in a manner consistent with local physical environmental, and climatological conditions;

(11) all lands, interests in lands, or options on such interests held by the applicant or pending bids on interests in lands by the applicant, which lands are contiguous to the area to be covered by the permit;

(12) the results of test boring which the applicant has made at the area to be covered by the permit, or other equivalent information and data in a form satisfactory to the regulatory authority, including the location of subsurface water, and an analysis of the chemical properties including acid forming properties of the mineral and overburden: Provided, That information which pertains only to the analysis of the chemical and physical properties of the coal (excepting information regarding such mineral or elemental contents which is potentially toxic in the environment) shall be kept confidential and not made a matter of public record;

(13) a detailed description of the measures to be taken during the mining and reclamation process to assure the protection of:

(A) the quality of surface and ground water systems, both on- and off-site, from adverse effects of the mining and reclamation process;

(B) the rights of present users to such water; and

(C) the quantity of surface and ground water systems, both on- and off-site, from adverse effects of the mining and reclamation process or to provide alternative sources of water where such protection of quantity cannot be assured;


(14) such other requirements as the regulatory authority shall prescribe by regulations.


(b) Any information required by this section which is not on public file pursuant to State law shall be held in confidence by the regulatory authority.

(Pub. L. 95–87, title V, §508, Aug. 3, 1977, 91 Stat. 478.)

§1259. Performance bonds

(a) Filing with regulatory authority; scope; number and amount

After a surface coal mining and reclamation permit application has been approved but before such a permit is issued, the applicant shall file with the regulatory authority, on a form prescribed and furnished by the regulatory authority, a bond for performance payable, as appropriate, to the United States or to the State, and conditional upon faithful performance of all the requirements of this chapter and the permit. The bond shall cover that area of land within the permit area upon which the operator will initiate and conduct surface coal mining and reclamation operations within the initial term of the permit. As succeeding increments of surface coal mining and reclamation operations are to be initiated and conducted within the permit area, the permittee shall file with the regulatory authority an additional bond or bonds to cover such increments in accordance with this section. The amount of the bond required for each bonded area shall depend upon the reclamation requirements of the approved permit; shall reflect the probable difficulty of reclamation giving consideration to such factors as topography, geology of the site, hydrology, and revegetation potential, and shall be determined by the regulatory authority. The amount of the bond shall be sufficient to assure the completion of the reclamation plan if the work had to be performed by the regulatory authority in the event of forfeiture and in no case shall the bond for the entire area under one permit be less than $10,000.

(b) Liability period; execution

Liability under the bond shall be for the duration of the surface coal mining and reclamation operation and for a period coincident with operator's responsibility for revegetation requirements in section 1265 of this title. The bond shall be executed by the operator and a corporate surety licensed to do business in the State where such operation is located, except that the operator may elect to deposit cash, negotiable bonds of the United States Government or such State, or negotiable certificates of deposit of any bank organized or transacting business in the United States. The cash deposit or market value of such securities shall be equal to or greater than the amount of the bond required for the bonded area.

(c) Bond of applicant without separate surety; alternate system

The regulatory authority may accept the bond of the applicant itself without separate surety when the applicant demonstrates to the satisfaction of the regulatory authority the existence of a suitable agent to receive service of process and a history of financial solvency and continuous operation sufficient for authorization to self-insure or bond such amount or in lieu of the establishment of a bonding program, as set forth in this section, the Secretary may approve as part of a State or Federal program an alternative system that will achieve the objectives and purposes of the bonding program pursuant to this section.

(d) Deposit of cash or securities

Cash or securities so deposited shall be deposited upon the same terms as the terms upon which surety bonds may be deposited. Such securities shall be security for the repayment of such negotiable certificate of deposit.

(e) Adjustments

The amount of the bond or deposit required and the terms of each acceptance of the applicant's bond shall be adjusted by the regulatory authority from time to time as affected land acreages are increased or decreased or where the cost of future reclamation changes.

(Pub. L. 95–87, title V, §509, Aug. 3, 1977, 91 Stat. 479.)

§1260. Permit approval or denial

(a) Basis for decision; notification of applicant and local government officials; burden of proof

Upon the basis of a complete mining application and reclamation plan or a revision or renewal thereof, as required by this chapter and pursuant to an approved State program or Federal program under the provisions of this chapter, including public notification and an opportunity for a public hearing as required by section 1263 of this title, the regulatory authority shall grant, require modification of, or deny the application for a permit in a reasonable time set by the regulatory authority and notify the applicant in writing. The applicant for a permit, or revision of a permit, shall have the burden of establishing that his application is in compliance with all the requirements of the applicable State or Federal program. Within ten days after the granting of a permit, the regulatory authority shall notify the local governmental officials in the local political subdivision in which the area of land to be affected is located that a permit has been issued and shall describe the location of the land.

(b) Requirements for approval

No permit or revision application shall be approved unless the application affirmatively demonstrates and the regulatory authority finds in writing on the basis of the information set forth in the application or from information otherwise available which will be documented in the approval, and made available to the applicant, that—

(1) the permit application is accurate and complete and that all the requirements of this chapter and the State or Federal program have been complied with;

(2) the applicant has demonstrated that reclamation as required by this chapter and the State or Federal program can be accomplished under the reclamation plan contained in the permit application;

(3) the assessment of the probable cumulative impact of all anticipated mining in the area on the hydrologic balance specified in section 1257(b) of this title has been made by the regulatory authority and the proposed operation thereof has been designed to prevent material damage to hydrologic balance outside permit area;

(4) the area proposed to be mined is not included within an area designated unsuitable for surface coal mining pursuant to section 1272 of this title or is not within an area under study for such designation in an administrative proceeding commenced pursuant to section 1272(a)(4)(D) or section 1272(c) of this title (unless in such an area as to which an administrative proceeding has commenced pursuant to section 1272(a)(4)(D) of this title, the operator making the permit application demonstrates that, prior to January 1, 1977, he has made substantial legal and financial commitments in relation to the operation for which he is applying for a permit);

(5) the proposed surface coal mining operation, if located west of the one hundredth meridian west longitude, would—

(A) not interrupt, discontinue, or preclude farming on alluvial valley floors that are irrigated or naturally subirrigated, but, excluding undeveloped range lands which are not significant to farming on said alluvial valley floors and those lands as to which the regulatory authority finds that if the farming that will be interrupted, discontinued, or precluded is of such small acreage as to be of negligible impact on the farm's agricultural production, or

(B) not materially damage the quantity or quality of water in surface or underground water systems that supply these valley floors in (A) of subsection (b)(5) of this section:


Provided, That this paragraph (5) shall not affect those surface coal mining operations which in the year preceding August 3, 1977, (I) produced coal in commercial quantities, and were located within or adjacent to alluvial valley floors or (II) had obtained specific permit approval by the State regulatory authority to conduct surface coal mining operations within said alluvial valley floors.


With respect to such surface mining operations which would have been within the purview of the foregoing proviso but for the fact that no coal was so produced in commercial quantities and no such specific permit approval was so received, the Secretary, if he determines that substantial financial and legal commitments were made by an operator prior to January 1, 1977, in connection with any such operation, is authorized, in accordance with such regulations as the Secretary may prescribe, to enter into an agreement with that operator pursuant to which the Secretary may, notwithstanding any other provision of law, lease other Federal coal deposits to such operator in exchange for the relinquishment by such operator of his Federal lease covering coal deposits involving such mining operations, or pursuant to section 1716 of title 43, convey to the fee holder of any such coal deposits involving such mining operations the fee title to other available Federal coal deposits in exchange for the fee title to such deposits so involving such mining operations. It is the policy of the Congress that the Secretary shall develop and carry out a coal exchange program to acquire private fee coal precluded from being mined by the restrictions of this paragraph (5) in exchange for Federal coal which is not so precluded. Such exchanges shall be made under section 1716 of title 43;

(6) in cases where the private mineral estate has been severed from the private surface estate, the applicant has submitted to the regulatory authority—

(A) the written consent of the surface owner to the extraction of coal by surface mining methods; or

(B) a conveyance that expressly grants or reserves the right to extract the coal by surface mining methods; or

(C) if the conveyance does not expressly grant the right to extract coal by surface mining methods, the surface-subsurface legal relationship shall be determined in accordance with State law: Provided, That nothing in this chapter shall be construed to authorize the regulatory authority to adjudicate property rights disputes.

(c) Schedule of violations

The applicant shall file with his permit application a schedule listing any and all notices of violations of this chapter and any law, rule, or regulation of the United States, or of any department or agency in the United States pertaining to air or water environmental protection incurred by the applicant in connection with any surface coal mining operation during the three-year period prior to the date of application. The schedule shall also indicate the final resolution of any such notice of violation. Where the schedule or other information available to the regulatory authority indicates that any surface coal mining operation owned or controlled by the applicant is currently in violation of this chapter or such other laws referred to 1 this subsection, the permit shall not be issued until the applicant submits proof that such violation has been corrected or is in the process of being corrected to the satisfaction of the regulatory authority, department, or agency which has jurisdiction over such violation and no permit shall be issued to an applicant after a finding by the regulatory authority, after opportunity for hearing, that the applicant, or the operator specified in the application, controls or has controlled mining operations with a demonstrated pattern of willful violations of this chapter of such nature and duration with such resulting irreparable damage to the environment as to indicate an intent not to comply with the provisions of this chapter.

(d) Prime farmland mining permit

(1) In addition to finding the application in compliance with subsection (b) of this section, if the area proposed to be mined contains prime farmland pursuant to section 1257(b)(16) of this title, the regulatory authority shall, after consultation with the Secretary of Agriculture, and pursuant to regulations issued hereunder by the Secretary of 2 Interior with the concurrence of the Secretary of Agriculture, grant a permit to mine on prime farmland if the regulatory authority finds in writing that the operator has the technological capability to restore such mined area, within a reasonable time, to equivalent or higher levels of yield as non-mined prime farmland in the surrounding area under equivalent levels of management and can meet the soil reconstruction standards in section 1265(b)(7) of this title. Except for compliance with subsection (b) of this section, the requirements of this paragraph (1) shall apply to all permits issued after August 3, 1977.

(2) Nothing in this subsection shall apply to any permit issued prior to August 3, 1977, or to any revisions or renewals thereof, or to any existing surface mining operations for which a permit was issued prior to August 3, 1977.

(e) Modification of prohibition

After October 24, 1992, the prohibition of subsection (c) of this section shall not apply to a permit application due to any violation resulting from an unanticipated event or condition at a surface coal mining operation on lands eligible for remining under a permit held by the person making such application. As used in this subsection, the term “violation” has the same meaning as such term has under subsection (c) of this section.

(Pub. L. 95–87, title V, §510, Aug. 3, 1977, 91 Stat. 480; Pub. L. 102–486, title XXV, §2503(a), Oct. 24, 1992, 106 Stat. 3102; Pub. L. 109–432, div. C, title II, §208, Dec. 20, 2006, 120 Stat. 3019.)

Amendments

2006—Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 109–432 struck out at end “The authority of this subsection and section 1265(b)(20)(B) of this title shall terminate on September 30, 2004.”

1992—Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 102–486 added subsec. (e).

1 So in original. Probably should be followed by “in”.

2 So in original. Probably should be “of the”.

§1261. Revision of permits

(a) Application and revised reclamation plan; requirements; extensions to area covered

(1) During the term of the permit the permittee may submit an application for a revision of the permit, together with a revised reclamation plan, to the regulatory authority.

(2) An application for a revision of a permit shall not be approved unless the regulatory authority finds that reclamation as required by this chapter and the State or Federal program can be accomplished under the revised reclamation plan. The revision shall be approved or disapproved within a period of time established by the State or Federal program. The regulatory authority shall establish guidelines for a determination of the scale or extent of a revision request for which all permit application information requirements and procedures, including notice and hearings, shall apply: Provided, That any revisions which propose significant alterations in the reclamation plan shall, at a minimum, be subject to notice and hearing requirements.

(3) Any extensions to the area covered by the permit except incidental boundary revisions must be made by application for another permit.

(b) Transfer, assignment, or sale of rights under permit

No transfer, assignment, or sale of the rights granted under any permit issued pursuant to this chapter shall be made without the written approval of the regulatory authority.

(c) Review of outstanding permits

The regulatory authority shall within a time limit prescribed in regulations promulgated by the regulatory authority, review outstanding permits and may require reasonable revision or modification of the permit provisions during the term of such permit: Provided, That such revision or modification shall be based upon a written finding and subject to notice and hearing requirements established by the State or Federal program.

(Pub. L. 95–87, title V, §511, Aug. 3, 1977, 91 Stat. 483.)

§1262. Coal exploration permits

(a) Regulations; contents

Each State or Federal program shall include a requirement that coal exploration operations which substantially disturb the natural land surface be conducted in accordance with exploration regulations issued by the regulatory authority. Such regulations shall include, at a minimum (1) the requirement that prior to conducting any exploration under this section, any person must file with the regulatory authority notice of intention to explore and such notice shall include a description of the exploration area and the period of supposed exploration and (2) provisions for reclamation in accordance with the performance standards in section 1265 of this title of all lands disturbed in exploration, including excavations, roads, drill holes, and the removal of necessary facilities and equipment.

(b) Confidential information

Information submitted to the regulatory authority pursuant to this subsection as confidential concerning trade secrets or privileged commercial or financial information which relates to the competitive rights of the person or entity intended to explore the described area shall not be available for public examination.

(c) Penalties

Any person who conducts any coal exploration activities which substantially disturb the natural land surface in violation of this section or regulations issued pursuant thereto shall be subject to the provisions of section 1268 of this title.

(d) Limitation on removal of coal

No operator shall remove more than two hundred and fifty tons of coal pursuant to an exploration permit without the specific written approval of the regulatory authority.

(e) Law governing exploration of Federal lands

Coal exploration on Federal lands shall be governed by section 4 of the Federal Coal Leasing Amendments Act of 1975 (90 Stat. 1085).

(Pub. L. 95–87, title V, §512, Aug. 3, 1977, 91 Stat. 483.)

References in Text

Section 4 of the Federal Coal Leasing Amendments Act of 1975 (90 Stat. 1085), referred to in subsec. (e), is section 4 of Pub. L. 94–377, Aug. 4, 1976, 90 Stat. 1085, redesignated the Federal Coal Leasing Amendments Act of 1976, which amended section 201(b) of this title.

§1263. Public notice and public hearings

(a) Submittal of advertisement to regulatory authority; notification of local governmental bodies

At the time of submission of an application for a surface coal mining and reclamation permit, or revision of an existing permit, pursuant to the provisions of this chapter or an approved State program, the applicant shall submit to the regulatory authority a copy of his advertisement of the ownership, precise location, and boundaries of the land to be affected. At the time of submission such advertisement shall be placed by the applicant in a local newspaper of general circulation in the locality of the proposed surface mine at least once a week for four consecutive weeks. The regulatory authority shall notify various local governmental bodies, planning agencies, and sewage and water treatment authorities, of 1 water companies in the locality in which the proposed surface mining will take place, notifying them of the operator's intention to surface mine a particularly described tract of land and indicating the application's permit number and where a copy of the proposed mining and reclamation plan may be inspected. These local bodies, agencies, authorities, or companies may submit written comments within a reasonable period established by the regulatory authority on the mining applications with respect to the effect of the proposed operation on the environment which are within their area of responsibility. Such comments shall immediately be transmitted to the applicant by the regulatory authority and shall be made available to the public at the same locations as are the mining applications.

(b) Objections to permit applications; informal conference; record

Any person having an interest which is or may be adversely affected or the officer or head of any Federal, State, or local governmental agency or authority shall have the right to file written objections to the proposed initial or revised application for a permit for surface coal mining and reclamation operation with the regulatory authority within thirty days after the last publication of the above notice. Such objections shall immediately be transmitted to the applicant by the regulatory authority and shall be made available to the public. If written objections are filed and an informal conference requested, the regulatory authority shall then hold an informal conference in the locality of the proposed mining, if requested within a reasonable time of the receipt of such objections or request. The date, time and location of such informal conference shall be advertised by the regulatory authority in a newspaper of general circulation in the locality at least two weeks prior to the scheduled conference date. The regulatory authority may arrange with the applicant upon request by any party to the administrative proceeding access to the proposed mining area for the purpose of gathering information relevant to the proceeding. An electronic or stenographic record shall be made of the conference proceeding, unless waived by all parties. Such record shall be maintained and shall be accessible to the parties until final release of the applicant's performance bond. In the event all parties requesting the informal conference stipulate agreement prior to the requested informal conference and withdraw their request, such informal conference need not be held.

(c) Prior Federal coal lease hearing as evidence

Where the lands included in an application for a permit are the subject of a Federal coal lease in connection with which hearings were held and determinations were made under section 201(a)(3)(A), (B) and (C) of this title, such hearings shall be deemed as to the matters covered to satisfy the requirements of this section and section 1264 of this title and such determinations shall be deemed to be a part of the record and conclusive for purposes of sections 1260, 1264 of this title and this section.

(Pub. L. 95–87, title V, §513, Aug. 3, 1977, 91 Stat. 484.)

1 So in original. Probably should be “or”.

§1264. Decisions of regulatory authority and appeals

(a) Issuance of findings within 60 days after informal conference

If an informal conference has been held pursuant to section 1263(b) of this title, the regulatory authority shall issue and furnish the applicant for a permit and persons who are parties to the administrative proceedings with the written finding of the regulatory authority, granting or denying the permit in whole or in part and stating the reasons therefor, within the sixty days of said hearings.

(b) Decision without informal conference; notification within a reasonable time

If there has been no informal conference held pursuant to section 1263(b) of this title, the regulatory authority shall notify the applicant for a permit within a reasonable time as determined by the regulatory authority and set forth in regulations, taking into account the time needed for proper investigation of the site, the complexity of the permit application, and whether or not written objection to the application has been filed, whether the application has been approved or disapproved in whole or part.

(c) Request for rehearing on reasons for final determination; time; issuance of decision

If the application is approved, the permit shall be issued. If the application is disapproved, specific reasons therefor must be set forth in the notification. Within thirty days after the applicant is notified of the final decision of the regulatory authority on the permit application, the applicant or any person with an interest which is or may be adversely affected may request a hearing on the reasons for the final determination. The regulatory authority shall hold a hearing within thirty days of such request and provide notification to all interested parties at the time that the applicant is so notified. If the Secretary is the regulatory authority the hearing shall be of record and governed by section 554 of title 5. Where the regulatory authority is the State, such hearing shall be of record, adjudicatory in nature and no person who presided at a conference under section 1263(b) of this title shall either preside at the hearing or participate in this decision thereon or in any administrative appeal therefrom. Within thirty days after the hearing the regulatory authority shall issue and furnish the applicant, and all persons who participated in the hearing, with the written decision of the regulatory authority granting or denying the permit in whole or in part and stating the reasons therefor.

(d) Temporary relief

Where a hearing is requested pursuant to subsection (c) of this section, the Secretary, where the Secretary is the regulatory authority, or the State hearing authority may, under such conditions as it may prescribe, grant such temporary relief as it deems appropriate pending final determination of the proceedings if—

(1) all parties to the proceedings have been notified and given an opportunity to be heard on a request for temporary relief;

(2) the person requesting such relief shows that there is a substantial likelihood that he will prevail on the merits of the final determination of the proceeding; and

(3) such relief will not adversely affect the public health or safety or cause significant imminent environmental harm to land, air, or water resources.

(e) Power of regulatory authority with respect to rehearing

For the purpose of such hearing, the regulatory authority may administer oaths, subpoena witnesses, or written or printed materials, compel attendance of the witness, or production of the materials, and take evidence including but not limited to site inspections of the land to be affected and other surface coal mining operations carried on by the applicant in the general vicinity of the proposed operation. A verbatim record of each public hearing required by this chapter shall be made, and a transcript made available on the motion of any party or by order of the regulatory authority.

(f) Right to appeal in accordance with section 1276 of this title

Any applicant or any person with an interest which is or may be adversely affected who has participated in the administrative proceedings as an objector, and who is aggrieved by the decision of the regulatory authority, or if the regulatory authority fails to act within the time limits specified in this chapter shall have the right to appeal in accordance with section 1276 of this title.

(Pub. L. 95–87, title V, §514, Aug. 3, 1977, 91 Stat. 485.)

§1265. Environmental protection performance standards

(a) Permit requirement

Any permit issued under any approved State or Federal program pursuant to this chapter to conduct surface coal mining operations shall require that such surface coal mining operations will meet all applicable performance standards of this chapter, and such other requirements as the regulatory authority shall promulgate.

(b) General standards

General performance standards shall be applicable to all surface coal mining and reclamation operations and shall require the operation as a minimum to—

(1) conduct surface coal mining operations so as to maximize the utilization and conservation of the solid fuel resource being recovered so that reaffecting the land in the future through surface coal mining can be minimized;

(2) restore the land affected to a condition capable of supporting the uses which it was capable of supporting prior to any mining, or higher or better uses of which there is reasonable likelihood, so long as such use or uses do not present any actual or probable hazard to public health or safety or pose any actual or probable threat of water diminution or pollution, and the permit applicants’ declared proposed land use following reclamation is not deemed to be impractical or unreasonable, inconsistent with applicable land use policies and plans, involves unreasonable delay in implementation, or is violative of Federal, State, or local law;

(3) except as provided in subsection (c) of this section with respect to all surface coal mining operations backfill, compact (where advisable to insure stability or to prevent leaching of toxic materials), and grade in order to restore the approximate original contour of the land with all highwalls, spoil piles, and depressions eliminated (unless small depressions are needed in order to retain moisture to assist revegetation or as otherwise authorized pursuant to this chapter): Provided, however, That in surface coal mining which is carried out at the same location over a substantial period of time where the operation transects the coal deposit, and the thickness of the coal deposits relative to the volume of the overburden is large and where the operator demonstrates that the overburden and other spoil and waste materials at a particular point in the permit area or otherwise available from the entire permit area is insufficient, giving due consideration to volumetric expansion, to restore the approximate original contour, the operator, at a minimum, shall backfill, grade, and compact (where advisable) using all available overburden and other spoil and waste materials to attain the lowest practicable grade but not more than the angle of repose, to provide adequate drainage and to cover all acid-forming and other toxic materials, in order to achieve an ecologically sound land use compatible with the surrounding region: And provided further, That in surface coal mining where the volume of overburden is large relative to the thickness of the coal deposit and where the operator demonstrates that due to volumetric expansion the amount of overburden and other spoil and waste materials removed in the course of the mining operation is more than sufficient to restore the approximate original contour, the operator shall after restoring the approximate contour, backfill, grade, and compact (where advisable) the excess overburden and other spoil and waste materials to attain the lowest grade but not more than the angle of repose, and to cover all acid-forming and other toxic materials, in order to achieve an ecologically sound land use compatible with the surrounding region and that such overburden or spoil shall be shaped and graded in such a way as to prevent slides, erosion, and water pollution and is revegetated in accordance with the requirements of this chapter;

(4) stabilize and protect all surface areas including spoil piles affected by the surface coal mining and reclamation operation to effectively control erosion and attendant air and water pollution;

(5) remove the topsoil from the land in a separate layer, replace it on the backfill area, or if not utilized immediately, segregate it in a separate pile from other spoil and when the topsoil is not replaced on a backfill area within a time short enough to avoid deterioration of the topsoil, maintain a successful cover by quick growing plant or other means thereafter so that the topsoil is preserved from wind and water erosion, remains free of any contamination by other acid or toxic material, and is in a usable condition for sustaining vegetation when restored during reclamation, except if topsoil is of insufficient quantity or of poor quality for sustaining vegetation, or if other strata can be shown to be more suitable for vegetation requirements, then the operator shall remove, segregate, and preserve in a like manner such other strata which is best able to support vegetation;

(6) restore the topsoil or the best available subsoil which is best able to support vegetation;

(7) for all prime farm lands as identified in section 1257(b)(16) of this title to be mined and reclaimed, specifications for soil removal, storage, replacement, and reconstruction shall be established by the Secretary of Agriculture, and the operator shall, as a minimum, be required to—

(A) segregate the A horizon of the natural soil, except where it can be shown that other available soil materials will create a final soil having a greater productive capacity; and if not utilized immediately, stockpile this material separately from other spoil, and provide needed protection from wind and water erosion or contamination by other acid or toxic material;

(B) segregate the B horizon of the natural soil, or underlying C horizons or other strata, or a combination of such horizons or other strata that are shown to be both texturally and chemically suitable for plant growth and that can be shown to be equally or more favorable for plant growth than the B horizon, in sufficient quantities to create in the regraded final soil a root zone of comparable depth and quality to that which existed in the natural soil; and if not utilized immediately, stockpile this material separately from other spoil, and provide needed protection from wind and water erosion or contamination by other acid or toxic material;

(C) replace and regrade the root zone material described in (B) above with proper compaction and uniform depth over the regraded spoil material; and

(D) redistribute and grade in a uniform manner the surface soil horizon described in subparagraph (A);


(8) create, if authorized in the approved mining and reclamation plan and permit, permanent impoundments of water on mining sites as part of reclamation activities only when it is adequately demonstrated that—

(A) the size of the impoundment is adequate for its intended purposes;

(B) the impoundment dam construction will be so designed as to achieve necessary stability with an adequate margin of safety compatible with that of structures constructed under Public Law 83–566 (16 U.S.C. 1006);

(C) the quality of impounded water will be suitable on a permanent basis for its intended use and that discharges from the impoundment will not degrade the water quality below water quality standards established pursuant to applicable Federal and State law in the receiving stream;

(D) the level of water will be reasonably stable;

(E) final grading will provide adequate safety and access for proposed water users; and

(F) such water impoundments will not result in the diminution of the quality or quantity of water utilized by adjacent or surrounding landowners for agricultural, industrial 1 recreational, or domestic uses;


(9) conducting 2 any augering operation associated with surface mining in a manner to maximize recoverability of mineral reserves remaining after the operation and reclamation are complete; and seal all auger holes with an impervious and noncombustible material in order to prevent drainage except where the regulatory authority determines that the resulting impoundment of water in such auger holes may create a hazard to the environment or the public health or safety: Provided, That the permitting authority may prohibit augering if necessary to maximize the utilization, recoverability or conservation of the solid fuel resources or to protect against adverse water quality impacts;

(10) minimize the disturbances to the prevailing hydrologic balance at the mine-site and in associated offsite areas and to the quality and quantity of water in surface and ground water systems both during and after surface coal mining operations and during reclamation by—

(A) avoiding acid or other toxic mine drainage by such measures as, but not limited to—

(i) preventing or removing water from contact with toxic producing deposits;

(ii) treating drainage to reduce toxic content which adversely affects downstream water upon being released to water courses;

(iii) casing, sealing, or otherwise managing boreholes, shafts, and wells and keep 3 acid or other toxic drainage from entering ground and surface waters;


(B)(i) conducting surface coal mining operations so as to prevent, to the extent possible using the best technology currently available, additional contributions of suspended solids to streamflow, or runoff outside the permit area, but in no event shall contributions be in excess of requirements set by applicable State or Federal law;

(ii) constructing any siltation structures pursuant to subparagraph (B)(i) of this subsection prior to commencement of surface coal mining operations, such structures to be certified by a qualified registered engineer or a qualified registered professional land surveyor in any State which authorizes land surveyors to prepare and certify such maps or plans to be constructed as designed and as approved in the reclamation plan;

(C) cleaning out and removing temporary or large settling ponds or other siltation structures from drainways after disturbed areas are revegetated and stabilized; and depositing the silt and debris at a site and in a manner approved by the regulatory authority;

(D) restoring recharge capacity of the mined area to approximate premining conditions;

(E) avoiding channel deepening or enlargement in operations requiring the discharge of water from mines;

(F) preserving throughout the mining and reclamation process the essential hydrologic functions of alluvial valley floors in the arid and semiarid areas of the country; and

(G) such other actions as the regulatory authority may prescribe;


(11) with respect to surface disposal of mine wastes, tailings, coal processing wastes, and other wastes in areas other than the mine working or excavations, stabilize all waste piles in designated areas through construction in compacted layers including the use of incombustible and impervious materials if necessary and assure the final contour of the waste pile will be compatible with natural surroundings and that the site can and will be stabilized and revegetated according to the provisions of this chapter;

(12) refrain from surface coal mining within five hundred feet from active and abandoned underground mines in order to prevent breakthroughs and to protect health or safety of miners: Provided, That the regulatory authority shall permit an operator to mine near, through or partially through an abandoned underground mine or closer to an active underground mine if (A) the nature, timing, and sequencing of the approximate coincidence of specific surface mine activities with specific underground mine activities are jointly approved by the regulatory authorities concerned with surface mine regulation and the health and safety of underground miners, and (B) such operations will result in improved resource recovery, abatement of water pollution, or elimination of hazards to the health and safety of the public;

(13) design, locate, construct, operate, maintain, enlarge, modify, and remove or abandon, in accordance with the standards and criteria developed pursuant to subsection (f) of this section, all existing and new coal mine waste piles consisting of mine wastes, tailings, coal processing wastes, or other liquid and solid wastes, and used either temporarily or permanently as dams or embankments;

(14) insure that all debris, acid-forming materials, toxic materials, or materials constituting a fire hazard are treated or buried and compacted or otherwise disposed of in a manner designed to prevent contamination of ground or surface waters and that contingency plans are developed to prevent sustained combustion;

(15) insure that explosives are used only in accordance with existing State and Federal law and the regulations promulgated by the regulatory authority, which shall include provisions to—

(A) provide adequate advance written notice to local governments and residents who might be affected by the use of such explosives by publication of the planned blasting schedule in a newspaper of general circulation in the locality and by mailing a copy of the proposed blasting schedule to every resident living within one-half mile of the proposed blasting site and by providing daily notice to resident/occupiers in such areas prior to any blasting;

(B) maintain for a period of at least three years and make available for public inspection upon request a log detailing the location of the blasts, the pattern and depth of the drill holes, the amount of explosives used per hole, and the order and length of delay in the blasts;

(C) limit the type of explosives and detonating equipment, the size, the timing and frequency of blasts based upon the physical conditions of the site so as to prevent (i) injury to persons, (ii) damage to public and private property outside the permit area, (iii) adverse impacts on any underground mine, and (iv) change in the course, channel, or availability of ground or surface water outside the permit area;

(D) require that all blasting operations be conducted by trained and competent persons as certified by the regulatory authority;

(E) provide that upon the request of a resident or owner of a man-made dwelling or structure within one-half mile of any portion of the permitted area the applicant or permittee shall conduct a pre-blasting survey of such structures and submit the survey to the regulatory authority and a copy to the resident or owner making the request. The area of the survey shall be decided by the regulatory authority and shall include such provisions as the Secretary shall promulgate.4


(16) insure that all reclamation efforts proceed in an environmentally sound manner and as contemporaneously as practicable with the surface coal mining operations: Provided, however, That where the applicant proposes to combine surface mining operations with underground mining operations to assure maximum practical recovery of the mineral resources, the regulatory authority may grant a variance for specific areas within the reclamation plan from the requirement that reclamation efforts proceed as contemporaneously as practicable to permit underground mining operations prior to reclamation:

(A) if the regulatory authority finds in writing that:

(i) the applicant has presented, as part of the permit application, specific, feasible plans for the proposed underground mining operations;

(ii) the proposed underground mining operations are necessary or desirable to assure maximum practical recovery of the mineral resource and will avoid multiple disturbance of the surface;

(iii) the applicant has satisfactorily demonstrated that the plan for the underground mining operations conforms to requirements for underground mining in the jurisdiction and that permits necessary for the underground mining operations have been issued by the appropriate authority;

(iv) the areas proposed for the variance have been shown by the applicant to be necessary for the implementing of the proposed underground mining operations;

(v) no substantial adverse environmental damage, either on-site or off-site, will result from the delay in completion of reclamation as required by this chapter;

(vi) provisions for the off-site storage of spoil will comply with paragraph (22);


(B) if the Secretary has promulgated specific regulations to govern the granting of such variances in accordance with the provisions of this subsection and section 1251 of this title, and has imposed such additional requirements as he deems necessary;

(C) if variances granted under the provisions of this subsection are to be reviewed by the regulatory authority not more than three years from the date of issuance of the permit; and

(D) if liability under the bond filed by the applicant with the regulatory authority pursuant to section 1259(b) of this title shall be for the duration of the underground mining operations and until the requirements of this subsection and section 1269 of this title have been fully complied with.4


(17) insure that the construction, maintenance, and postmining conditions of access roads into and across the site of operations will control or prevent erosion and siltation, pollution of water, damage to fish or wildlife or their habitat, or public or private property;

(18) refrain from the construction of roads or other access ways up a stream bed or drainage channel or in such proximity to such channel so as to seriously alter the normal flow of water;

(19) establish on the regraded areas, and all other lands affected, a diverse, effective, and permanent vegetative cover of the same seasonal variety native to the area of land to be affected and capable of self-regeneration and plant succession at least equal in extent of cover to the natural vegetation of the area; except, that introduced species may be used in the revegetation process where desirable and necessary to achieve the approved postmining land use plan;

(20)(A) assume the responsibility for successful revegetation, as required by paragraph (19) above, for a period of five full years after the last year of augmented seeding, fertilizing, irrigation, or other work in order to assure compliance with paragraph (19) above, except in those areas or regions of the country where the annual average precipitation is twenty-six inches or less, then the operator's assumption of responsibility and liability will extend for a period of ten full years after the last year of augmented seeding, fertilizing, irrigation, or other work: Provided, That when the regulatory authority approves a long-term intensive agricultural postmining land use, the applicable five- or ten-year period of responsibility for revegetation shall commence at the date of initial planting for such long-term intensive agricultural postmining land use: Provided further, That when the regulatory authority issues a written finding approving a long-term, intensive, agricultural postmining land use as part of the mining and reclamation plan, the authority may grant exception to the provisions of paragraph (19) above;

(B) on lands eligible for remining assume the responsibility for successful revegetation for a period of two full years after the last year of augmented seeding, fertilizing, irrigation, or other work in order to assure compliance with the applicable standards, except in those areas or regions of the country where the annual average precipitation is twenty-six inches or less, then the operator's assumption of responsibility and liability will be extended for a period of five full years after the last year of augmented seeding, fertilizing, irrigation, or other work in order to assure compliance with the applicable standards.4

(21) protect offsite areas from slides or damage occurring during the surface coal mining and reclamation operations, and not deposit spoil material or locate any part of the operations or waste accumulations outside the permit area;

(22) place all excess spoil material resulting from coal surface mining and reclamation activities in such a manner that—

(A) spoil is transported and placed in a controlled manner in position for concurrent compaction and in such a way to assure mass stability and to prevent mass movement;

(B) the areas of disposal are within the bonded permit areas and all organic matter shall be removed immediately prior to spoil placement;

(C) appropriate surface and internal drainage systems and diversion ditches are used so as to prevent spoil erosion and movement;

(D) the disposal area does not contain springs, natural water courses or wet weather seeps unless lateral drains are constructed from the wet areas to the main underdrains in such a manner that filtration of the water into the spoil pile will be prevented;

(E) if placed on a slope, the spoil is placed upon the most moderate slope among those upon which, in the judgment of the regulatory authority, the spoil could be placed in compliance with all the requirements of this chapter, and shall be placed, where possible, upon, or above, a natural terrace, bench, or berm, if such placement provides additional stability and prevents mass movement;

(F) where the toe of the spoil rests on a downslope, a rock toe buttress, of sufficient size to prevent mass movement, is constructed;

(G) the final configuration is compatible with the natural drainage pattern and surroundings and suitable for intended uses;

(H) design of the spoil disposal area is certified by a qualified registered professional engineer in conformance with professional standards; and

(I) all other provisions of this chapter are met.4


(23) meet such other criteria as are necessary to achieve reclamation in accordance with the purposes of this chapter, taking into consideration the physical, climatological, and other characteristics of the site; and 5

(24) to the extent possible using the best technology currently available, minimize disturbances and adverse impacts of the operation on fish, wildlife, and related environmental values, and achieve enhancement of such resources where practicable;

(25) provide for an undisturbed natural barrier beginning at the elevation of the lowest coal seam to be mined and extending from the outslope for such distance as the regulatory authority shall determine shall be retained in place as a barrier to slides and erosion.

(c) Procedures; exception to original contour restoration requirements

(1) Each State program may and each Federal program shall include procedures pursuant to which the regulatory authority may permit surface mining operations for the purposes set forth in paragraph (3) of this subsection.

(2) Where an applicant meets the requirements of paragraphs (3) and (4) of this subsection a permit without regard to the requirement to restore to approximate original contour set forth in subsection (b)(3) or (d)(2) and (3) of this section may be granted for the surface mining of coal where the mining operation will remove an entire coal seam or seams running through the upper fraction of a mountain, ridge, or hill (except as provided in subsection (c)(4)(A) hereof) by removing all of the overburden and creating a level plateau or a gently rolling contour with no highwalls remaining, and capable of supporting postmining uses in accord with the requirements of this subsection.

(3) In cases where an industrial, commercial, agricultural, residential or public facility (including recreational facilities) use is proposed or 6 the postmining use of the affected land, the regulatory authority may grant a permit for a surface mining operation of the nature described in subsection (c)(2) of this section where—

(A) after consultation with the appropriate land use planning agencies, if any, the proposed postmining land use is deemed to constitute an equal or better economic or public use of the affected land, as compared with premining use;

(B) the applicant presents specific plans for the proposed postmining land use and appropriate assurances that such use will be—

(i) compatible with adjacent land uses;

(ii) obtainable according to data regarding expected need and market;

(iii) assured of investment in necessary public facilities;

(iv) supported by commitments from public agencies where appropriate;

(v) practicable with respect to private financial capability for completion of the proposed use;

(vi) planned pursuant to a schedule attached to the reclamation plan so as to integrate the mining operation and reclamation with the postmining land use; and

(vii) designed by a registered engineer in conformance with professional standards established to assure the stability, drainage, and configuration necessary for the intended use of the site;


(C) the proposed use would be consistent with adjacent land uses, and existing State and local land use plans and programs;

(D) the regulatory authority provides the governing body of the unit of general-purpose government in which the land is located and any State or Federal agency which the regulatory agency, in its discretion, determines to have an interest in the proposed use, an opportunity of not more than sixty days to review and comment on the proposed use;

(E) all other requirements of this chapter will be met.


(4) In granting any permit pursuant to this subsection the regulatory authority shall require that—

(A) the toe of the lowest coal seam and the overburden associated with it are retained in place as a barrier to slides and erosion;

(B) the reclaimed area is stable;

(C) the resulting plateau or rolling contour drains inward from the outslopes except at specified points;

(D) no damage will be done to natural watercourses;

(E) spoil will be placed on the mountaintop bench as is necessary to achieve the planned postmining land use: Provided, That all excess spoil material not retained on the mountaintop shall be placed in accordance with the provisions of subsection (b)(22) of this section;

(F) insure stability of the spoil retained on the mountaintop and meet the other requirements of this chapter; 7


(5) The regulatory authority shall promulgate specific regulations to govern the granting of permits in accord with the provisions of this subsection, and may impose such additional requirements as he deems to be necessary.

(6) All permits granted under the provisions of this subsection shall be reviewed not more than three years from the date of issuance of the permit, unless the applicant affirmatively demonstrates that the proposed development is proceeding in accordance with the terms of the approved schedule and reclamation plan.

(d) Steep-slope surface coal mining standards

The following performance standards shall be applicable to steep-slope surface coal mining and shall be in addition to those general performance standards required by this section: Provided, however, That the provisions of this subsection (d) shall not apply to those situations in which an operator is mining on flat or gently rolling terrain, on which an occasional steep slope is encountered through which the mining operation is to proceed, leaving a plain or predominantly flat area or where an operator is in compliance with provisions of subsection (c) hereof:

(1) Insure that when performing surface coal mining on steep slopes, no debris, abandoned or disabled equipment, spoil material, or waste mineral matter be placed on the downslope below the bench or mining cut: Provided, That spoil material in excess of that required for the reconstruction of the approximate original contour under the provisions of subsection (b)(3) or (d)(2) of this section shall be permanently stored pursuant to subsection (b)(22) of this section.

(2) Complete backfilling with spoil material shall be required to cover completely the highwall and return the site to the appropriate original contour, which material will maintain stability following mining and reclamation.

(3) The operator may not disturb land above the top of the highwall unless the regulatory authority finds that such disturbance will facilitate compliance with the environmental protection standards of this section: Provided, however, That the land disturbed above the highwall shall be limited to that amount necessary to facilitate said compliance.

(4) For the purposes of this subsection (d), the term “steep slope” is any slope above twenty degrees or such lesser slope as may be defined by the regulatory authority after consideration of soil, climate, and other characteristics of a region or State.

(e) Variances to original contour restoration requirements

(1) Each State program may and each Federal program shall include procedures pursuant to which the regulatory authority may permit variances for the purposes set forth in paragraph (3) of this subsection, provided that the watershed control of the area is improved; and further provided complete backfilling with spoil material shall be required to cover completely the highwall which material will maintain stability following mining and reclamation.

(2) Where an applicant meets the requirements of paragraphs (3) and (4) of this subsection a variance from the requirement to restore to approximate original contour set forth in subsection (d)(2) of this section may be granted for the surface mining of coal where the owner of the surface knowingly requests in writing, as a part of the permit application that such a variance be granted so as to render the land, after reclamation, suitable for an industrial, commercial, residential, or public use (including recreational facilities) in accord with the further provisions of (3) and (4) of this subsection.

(3)(A) After consultation with the appropriate land use planning agencies, if any, the potential use of the affected land is deemed to constitute an equal or better economic or public use;

(B) is designed and certified by a qualified registered professional engineer in conformance with professional standards established to assure the stability, drainage, and configuration necessary for the intended use of the site; and

(C) after approval of the appropriate State environmental agencies, the watershed of the affected land is deemed to be improved.

(4) In granting a variance pursuant to this subsection the regulatory authority shall require that only such amount of spoil will be placed off the mine bench as is necessary to achieve the planned postmining land use, insure stability of the spoil retained on the bench, meet all other requirements of this chapter, and all spoil placement off the mine bench must comply with subsection (b)(22) of this section.

(5) The regulatory authority shall promulgate specific regulations to govern the granting of variances in accord with the provisions of this subsection, and may impose such additional requirements as he deems to be necessary.

(6) All exceptions granted under the provisions of this subsection shall be reviewed not more than three years from the date of issuance of the permit, unless the permittee affirmatively demonstrates that the proposed development is proceeding in accordance with the terms of the reclamation plan.

(f) Standards and criteria for coal mine waste piles

The Secretary, with the written concurrence of the Chief of Engineers, shall establish within one hundred and thirty-five days from August 3, 1977, standards and criteria regulating the design, location, construction, operation, maintenance, enlargement, modification, removal, and abandonment of new and existing coal mine waste piles referred to in subsection (b)(13) of this section and section 1266(b)(5) of this title. Such standards and criteria shall conform to the standards and criteria used by the Chief of Engineers to insure that flood control structures are safe and effectively perform their intended function. In addition to engineering and other technical specifications the standards and criteria developed pursuant to this subsection must include provisions for: review and approval of plans and specifications prior to construction, enlargement, modification, removal, or abandonment; performance of periodic inspections during construction; issuance of certificates of approval upon completion of construction; performance of periodic safety inspections; and issuance of notices for required remedial or maintenance work.

(Pub. L. 95–87, title V, §515, Aug. 3, 1977, 91 Stat. 486; Pub. L. 99–500, §101(h) [title I, §123], Oct. 18, 1986, 100 Stat. 1783–242, 1783–267, and Pub. L. 99–591, §101(h) [title I, §123], Oct. 30, 1986, 100 Stat. 3341–242, 3341–267; Pub. L. 102–486, title XXV, §2503(b), Oct. 24, 1992, 106 Stat. 3102.)

References in Text

Public Law 83–566, referred to in subsec. (b)(8)(B), is act Aug. 4, 1954, ch. 656, 68 Stat. 666, as amended, known as the Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention Act, which is classified generally to chapter 18 (§1001 et seq.) of Title 16, Conservation. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 1001 of Title 16 and Tables.

Codification

Pub. L. 99–591 is a corrected version of Pub. L. 99–500.

Amendments

1992—Subsec. (b)(20). Pub. L. 102–486 designated existing provisions as subpar. (A) and added subpar. (B).

1986—Subsec. (b)(10)(B)(ii). Pub. L. 99–500 and Pub. L. 99–591 inserted “or a qualified registered professional land surveyor in any State which authorizes land surveyors to prepare and certify such maps or plans”.

1 So in original. Probably should be followed by a comma.

2 So in original. Probably should be “conduct”.

3 So in original. Probably should be “keeping”.

4 So in original. The period probably should be a semicolon.

5 So in original. The word “and” probably should appear at end of par. (24).

6 So in original. Probably should be “for”.

7 So in original. The semicolon probably should be a period.

§1266. Surface effects of underground coal mining operations

(a) Rules and regulations

The Secretary shall promulgate rules and regulations directed toward the surface effects of underground coal mining operations, embodying the following requirements and in accordance with the procedures established under section 1251 of this title: Provided, however, That in adopting any rules and regulations the Secretary shall consider the distinct difference between surface coal mining and underground coal mining. Such rules and regulations shall not conflict with nor supersede any provision of the Federal Coal Mine Health and Safety Act of 1969 [30 U.S.C. 801 et seq.] nor any regulation issued pursuant thereto, and shall not be promulgated until the Secretary has obtained the written concurrence of the head of the department which administers such Act.

(b) Permit requirements

Each permit issued under any approved State or Federal program pursuant to this chapter and relating to underground coal mining shall require the operator to—

(1) adopt measures consistent with known technology in order to prevent subsidence causing material damage to the extent technologically and economically feasible, maximize mine stability, and maintain the value and reasonably foreseeable use of such surface lands, except in those instances where the mining technology used requires planned subsidence in a predictable and controlled manner: Provided, That nothing in this subsection shall be construed to prohibit the standard method of room and pillar mining;

(2) seal all portals, entryways, drifts, shafts, or other openings between the surface and underground mine working when no longer needed for the conduct of the mining operations;

(3) fill or seal exploratory holes no longer necessary for mining, maximizing to the extent technologically and economically feasible return of mine and processing waste, tailings, and any other waste incident to the mining operation, to the mine workings or excavations;

(4) with respect to surface disposal of mine wastes, tailings, coal processing wastes, and other wastes in areas other than the mine workings or excavations, stabilize all waste piles created by the permittee from current operations through construction in compacted layers including the use of incombustible and impervious materials if necessary and assure that the leachate will not degrade below water quality standards established pursuant to applicable Federal and State law surface or ground waters and that the final contour of the waste accumulation will be compatible with natural surroundings and that the site is stabilized and revegetated according to the provisions of this section;

(5) design, locate, construct, operate, maintain, enlarge, modify, and remove, or abandon, in accordance with the standards and criteria developed pursuant to section 1265(f) of this title, all existing and new coal mine waste piles consisting of mine wastes, tailings, coal processing wastes, or other liquid and solid wastes and used either temporarily or permanently as dams or embankments;

(6) establish on regraded areas and all other lands affected, a diverse and permanent vegetative cover capable of self-regeneration and plant succession and at least equal in extent of cover to the natural vegetation of the area;

(7) protect offsite areas from damages which may result from such mining operations;

(8) eliminate fire hazards and otherwise eliminate conditions which constitute a hazard to health and safety of the public;

(9) minimize the disturbances of the prevailing hydrologic balance at the minesite and in associated offsite areas and to the quantity of water in surface ground water systems both during and after coal mining operations and during reclamation by—

(A) avoiding acid or other toxic mine drainage by such measures as, but not limited to—

(i) preventing or removing water from contact with toxic producing deposits;

(ii) treating drainage to reduce toxic content which adversely affects downstream water upon being released to water courses;

(iii) casing, sealing, or otherwise managing boreholes, shafts, and wells to keep acid or other toxic drainage from entering ground and surface waters; and


(B) conducting surface coal mining operations so as to prevent, to the extent possible using the best technology currently available, additional contributions of suspended solids to streamflow or runoff outside the permit area (but in no event shall such contributions be in excess of requirements set by applicable State or Federal law), and avoiding channel deepening or enlargement in operations requiring the discharge of water from mines;


(10) with respect to other surface impacts not specified in this subsection including the construction of new roads or the improvement or use of existing roads to gain access to the site of such activities and for haulage, repair areas, storage areas, processing areas, shipping areas, and other areas upon which are sited structures, facilities, or other property or materials on the surface, resulting from or incident to such activities, operate in accordance with the standards established under section 1265 of this title for such effects which result from surface coal mining operations: Provided, That the Secretary shall make such modifications in the requirements imposed by this paragraph as are necessary to accommodate the distinct difference between surface and underground coal mining;

(11) to the extent possible using the best technology currently available, minimize disturbances and adverse impacts of the operation on fish, wildlife, and related environmental values, and achieve enhancement of such resources where practicable;

(12) locate openings for all new drift mines working acid-producing or iron-producing coal seams in such a manner as to prevent a gravity discharge of water from the mine.

(c) Suspension of underground coal mining operations in urbanized areas

In order to protect the stability of the land, the regulatory authority shall suspend underground coal mining under urbanized areas, cities, towns, and communities and adjacent to industrial or commercial buildings, major impoundments, or permanent streams if he finds imminent danger to inhabitants of the urbanized areas, cities, towns, and communities.

(d) Applicability of this subchapter to surface operations and surface impacts incident to underground coal mining operations

The provisions of this subchapter relating to State and Federal programs, permits, bonds, inspections and enforcement, public review, and administrative and judicial review shall be applicable to surface operations and surface impacts incident to an underground coal mine with such modifications to the permit application requirements, permit approval or denial procedures, and bond requirements as are necessary to accommodate the distinct difference between surface and underground coal mining. The Secretary shall promulgate such modifications in accordance with the rulemaking procedure established in section 1251 of this title.

(Pub. L. 95–87, title V, §516, Aug. 3, 1977, 91 Stat. 495.)

References in Text

The Federal Coal Mine Health and Safety Act of 1969, referred to in subsec. (a), is Pub. L. 91–173, Dec. 30, 1969, 83 Stat. 742, as amended, which was redesignated the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977 by Pub. L. 95–164, title I, §101, Nov. 9, 1977, 91 Stat. 1290, and is classified principally to chapter 22 (§801 et seq.) of this title. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 801 of this title and Tables.

§1267. Inspections and monitoring

(a) Inspections of surface coal mining and reclamation operations

The Secretary shall cause to be made such inspections of any surface coal mining and reclamation operations as are necessary to evaluate the administration of approved State programs, or to develop or enforce any Federal program, and for such purposes authorized representatives of the Secretary shall have a right of entry to, upon, or through any surface coal mining and reclamation operations.

(b) Records and reports; monitoring systems; evaluation of results

For the purpose of developing or assisting in the development, administration, and enforcement of any approved State or Federal program under this chapter or in the administration and enforcement of any permit under this chapter, or of determining whether any person is in violation of any requirement of any such State or Federal program or any other requirement of this chapter—

(1) the regulatory authority shall require any permittee to (A) establish and maintain appropriate records, (B) make monthly reports to the regulatory authority, (C) install, use, and maintain any necessary monitoring equipment or methods, (D) evaluate results in accordance with such methods, at such locations, intervals, and in such manner as a regulatory authority shall prescribe, and (E) provide such other information relative to surface coal mining and reclamation operations as the regulatory authority deems reasonable and necessary;

(2) for those surface coal mining and reclamation operations which remove or disturb strata that serve as aquifers which significantly insure the hydrologic balance of water use either on or off the mining site, the regulatory authority shall specify those—

(A) monitoring sites to record the quantity and quality of surface drainage above and below the minesite as well as in the potential zone of influence;

(B) monitoring sites to record level, amount, and samples of ground water and aquifers potentially affected by the mining and also directly below the lowermost (deepest) coal seam to be mined;

(C) records of well logs and borehole data to be maintained; and

(D) monitoring sites to record precipitation.


The monitoring data collection and analysis required by this section shall be conducted according to standards and procedures set forth by the regulatory authority in order to assure their reliability and validity; and

(3) the authorized representatives of the regulatory authority, without advance notice and upon presentation of appropriate credentials (A) shall have the right of entry to, upon, or through any surface coal mining and reclamation operations or any premises in which any records required to be maintained under paragraph (1) of this subsection are located; and (B) may at reasonable times, and without delay, have access to and copy any records, inspect any monitoring equipment or method of operation required under this chapter.

(c) Inspection intervals

The inspections by the regulatory authority shall (1) occur on an irregular basis averaging not less than one partial inspection per month and one complete inspection per calendar quarter for the surface coal mining and reclamation operation covered by each permit; (2) occur without prior notice to the permittee or his agents or employees except for necessary onsite meetings with the permittee; and (3) include the filing of inspection reports adequate to enforce the requirements of and to carry out the terms and purposes of this chapter.

(d) Maintenance of sign

Each permittee shall conspicuously maintain at the entrances to the surface coal mining and reclamation operations a clearly visible sign which sets forth the name, business address, and phone number of the permittee and the permit number of the surface coal mining and reclamation operations.

(e) Violations

Each inspector, upon detection of each violation of any requirement of any State or Federal program or of this chapter, shall forthwith inform the operator in writing, and shall report in writing any such violation to the regulatory authority.

(f) Availability of information to public

Copies of any records, reports, inspection materials, or information obtained under this subchapter by the regulatory authority shall be made immediately available to the public at central and sufficient locations in the county, multicounty, and State area of mining so that they are conveniently available to residents in the areas of mining.

(g) Conflict of interest; penalty; publication of regulations; report to Congress

No employee of the State regulatory authority performing any function or duty under this chapter shall have a direct or indirect financial interest in any underground or surface coal mining operation. Whoever knowingly violates the provisions of this subsection shall, upon conviction, be punished by a fine of not more than $2,500, or by imprisonment of not more than one year, or by both. The Secretary shall (1) within sixty days after August 3, 1977, publish in the Federal Register, in accordance with section 553 of title 5, regulations to establish methods by which the provisions of this subsection will be monitored and enforced by the Secretary and such State regulatory authority, including appropriate provisions for the filing by such employees and the review of statements and supplements thereto concerning any financial interest which may be affected by this subsection, and (2) report to the Congress as part of the Annual Report (section 1296 of this title) on actions taken and not taken during the preceding year under this subsection.

(h) Review; procedures for inspections

(1) Any person who is or may be adversely affected by a surface mining operation may notify the Secretary or any representative of the Secretary responsible for conducting the inspection, in writing, of any violation of this chapter which he has reason to believe exists at the surface mining site. The Secretary shall, by regulation, establish procedures for informal review of any refusal by a representative of the Secretary to issue a citation with respect to any such alleged violation. The Secretary shall furnish such persons requesting the review a written statement of the reasons for the Secretary's final disposition of the case.

(2) The Secretary shall also, by regulation, establish procedures to insure that adequate and complete inspections are made. Any such person may notify the Secretary of any failure to make such inspections, after which the Secretary shall determine whether adequate and complete inspections have been made. The Secretary shall furnish such persons a written statement of the reasons for the Secretary's determination that adequate and complete inspections have or have not been conducted.

(Pub. L. 95–87, title V, §517, Aug. 3, 1977, 91 Stat. 498.)

Termination of Reporting Requirements

For termination, effective May 15, 2000, of provisions in subsec. (g) of this section relating to requirement to report to Congress on actions taken and not taken under subsec. (g), see section 3003 of Pub. L. 104–66, as amended, set out as a note under section 1113 of Title 31, Money and Finance, and page 109 of House Document No. 103–7.

§1268. Penalties

(a) Civil penalties for violations of permit conditions and provisions of this subchapter

In the enforcement of a Federal program or Federal lands program, or during Federal enforcement pursuant to section 1252 of this title or during Federal enforcement of a State program pursuant to section 1271 of this title, any permittee who violates any permit condition or who violates any other provision of this subchapter, may be assessed a civil penalty by the Secretary, except that if such violation leads to the issuance of a cessation order under section 1271 of this title, the civil penalty shall be assessed. Such penalty shall not exceed $5,000 for each violation. Each day of continuing violation may be deemed a separate violation for purposes of penalty assessments. In determining the amount of the penalty, consideration shall be given to the permittee's history of previous violations at the particular surface coal mining operation; the seriousness of the violation, including any irreparable harm to the environment and any hazard to the health or safety of the public; whether the permittee was negligent; and the demonstrated good faith of the permittee charged in attempting to achieve rapid compliance after notification of the violation.

(b) Hearing

A civil penalty shall be assessed by the Secretary only after the person charged with a violation described under subsection (a) of this section has been given an opportunity for a public hearing. Where such a public hearing has been held, the Secretary shall make findings of fact, and he shall issue a written decision as to the occurrence of the violation and the amount of the penalty which is warranted, incorporating, when appropriate, an order therein requiring that the penalty be paid. When appropriate, the Secretary shall consolidate such hearings with other proceedings under section 1271 of this title. Any hearing under this section shall be of record and shall be subject to section 554 of title 5. Where the person charged with such a violation fails to avail himself of the opportunity for a public hearing, a civil penalty shall be assessed by the Secretary after the Secretary has determined that a violation did occur, and the amount of the penalty which is warranted, and has issued an order requiring that the penalty be paid.

(c) Notice of violation; action required of violator; waiver of legal rights

Upon the issuance of a notice or order charging that a violation of this chapter has occurred, the Secretary shall inform the operator within thirty days of the proposed amount of said penalty. The person charged with the penalty shall then have thirty days to pay the proposed penalty in full or, if the person wishes to contest either the amount of the penalty or the fact of the violation, forward the proposed amount to the Secretary for placement in an escrow account. If through administrative or judicial review of the proposed penalty, it is determined that no violation occurred, or that the amount of the penalty should be reduced, the Secretary shall within thirty days remit the appropriate amount to the person, with interest at the rate of 6 percent, or at the prevailing Department of the Treasury rate, whichever is greater. Failure to forward the money to the Secretary within thirty days shall result in a waiver of all legal rights to contest the violation or the amount of the penalty.

(d) Civil action to recover civil penalties

Civil penalties owed under this chapter, may be recovered in a civil action brought by the Attorney General at the request of the Secretary in any appropriate district court of the United States.

(e) Willful violations

Any person who willfully and knowingly violates a condition of a permit issued pursuant to a Federal program, a Federal lands program or Federal enforcement pursuant to section 1252 of this title or during Federal enforcement of a State program pursuant to section 1271 of this title or fails or refuses to comply with any order issued under section 1271 or section 1276 of this title, or any order incorporated in a final decision issued by the Secretary under this chapter, except an order incorporated in a decision issued under subsection (b) of this section or section 1294 of this title, shall, upon conviction, be punished by a fine of not more than $10,000, or by imprisonment for not more than one year or both.

(f) Corporate violations

Whenever a corporate permittee violates a condition of a permit issued pursuant to a Federal program, a Federal lands program or Federal enforcement pursuant to section 1252 of this title or Federal enforcement of a State program pursuant to section 1271 of this title or fails or refuses to comply with any order issued under section 1271 of this title, or any order incorporated in a final decision issued by the Secretary under this chapter except an order incorporated in a decision issued under subsection (b) of this section or section 1293 of this title, any director, officer, or agent of such corporation who willfully and knowingly authorized, ordered, or carried out such violation, failure, or refusal shall be subject to the same civil penalties, fines, and imprisonment that may be imposed upon a person under subsections (a) and (e) of this section.

(g) False statements, representations, or certifications

Whoever knowingly makes any false statement, representation, or certification, or knowingly fails to make any statement, representation, or certification in any application, record, report, plant, or other document filed or required to be maintained pursuant to a Federal program or a Federal lands program or any order of decision issued by the Secretary under this chapter, shall, upon conviction, be punished by a fine of not more than $10,000, or by imprisonment for not more than one year or both.

(h) Failure to correct violation

Any operator who fails to correct a violation for which a citation has been issued under section 1271(a) of this title within the period permitted for its correction (which period shall not end until the entry of a final order by the Secretary, in the case of any review proceedings under section 1275 of this title initiated by the operator wherein the Secretary orders, after an expedited hearing, the suspension of the abatement requirements of the citation after determining that the operator will suffer irreparable loss or damage from the application of those requirements, or until the entry of an order of the court, in the case of any review proceedings under section 1276 of this title initiated by the operator wherein the court orders the suspension of the abatement requirements of the citation), shall be assessed a civil penalty of not less than $750 for each day during which such failure or violation continues.

(i) Effect on additional enforcement right or procedure available under State law

As a condition of approval of any State program submitted pursuant to section 1253 of this title, the civil and criminal penalty provisions thereof shall, at a minimum, incorporate penalties no less stringent than those set forth in this section, and shall contain the same or similar procedural requirements relating thereto. Nothing herein shall be construed so as to eliminate any additional enforcement right or procedures which are available under State law to a State regulatory authority but which are not specifically enumerated herein.

(Pub. L. 95–87, title V, §518, Aug. 3, 1977, 91 Stat. 499.)

§1269. Release of performance bonds or deposits

(a) Filing of request; submittal of copy of advertisement; notification by letter of intent to seek release

The permittee may file a request with the regulatory authority for the release of all or part of a performance bond or deposit. Within thirty days after any application for bond or deposit release has been filed with the regulatory authority, the operator shall submit a copy of an advertisement placed at least once a week for four successive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation in the locality of the surface coal mining operation. Such advertisement shall be considered part of any bond release application and shall contain a notification of the precise location of the land affected, the number of acres, the permit and the date approved, the amount of the bond filed and the portion sought to be released, and the type and appropriate dates of reclamation work performed, and a description of the results achieved as they relate to the operator's approved reclamation plan. In addition, as part of any bond release application, the applicant shall submit copies of letters which he has sent to adjoining property owners, local governmental bodies, planning agencies, and sewage and water treatment authorities, or water companies in the locality in which the surface coal mining and reclamation activities took place, notifying them of his intention to seek release from the bond.

(b) Inspection and evaluation; notification of decision

Upon receipt of the notification and request, the regulatory authority shall within thirty days conduct an inspection and evaluation of the reclamation work involved. Such evaluation shall consider, among other things, the degree of difficulty to complete any remaining reclamation, whether pollution of surface and subsurface water is occurring, the probability of continuance of future occurrence of such pollution, and the estimated cost of abating such pollution. The regulatory authority shall notify the permittee in writing of its decision to release or not to release all or part of the performance bond or deposit within sixty days from the filing of the request, if no public hearing is held pursuant to subsection (f) of this section, and if there has been a public hearing held pursuant to subsection (f) of this section, within thirty days thereafter.

(c) Requirements for release

The regulatory authority may release in whole or in part said bond or deposit if the authority is satisfied the reclamation covered by the bond or deposit or portion thereof has been accomplished as required by this chapter according to the following schedule:

(1) When the operator completes the backfilling, regrading, and drainage control of a bonded area in accordance with his approved reclamation plan, the release of 60 per centum of the bond or collateral for the applicable permit area.

(2) After revegetation has been established on the regraded mined lands in accordance with the approved reclamation plan. When determining the amount of bond to be released after successful revegetation has been established, the regulatory authority shall retain that amount of bond for the revegetated area which would be sufficient for a third party to cover the cost of reestablishing revegetation and for the period specified for operator responsibility in section 1265 of this title of reestablishing revegetation. No part of the bond or deposit shall be released under this paragraph so long as the lands to which the release would be applicable are contributing suspended solids to streamflow or runoff outside the permit area in excess of the requirements set by section 1265(b)(10) of this title or until soil productivity for prime farm lands has returned to equivalent levels of yield as nonmined land of the same soil type in the surrounding area under equivalent management practices as determined from the soil survey performed pursuant to section 1257(b)(16) of this title. Where a silt dam is to be retained as a permanent impoundment pursuant to section 1265(b)(8) of this title, the portion of bond may be released under this paragraph so long as provisions for sound future maintenance by the operator or the landowner have been made with the regulatory authority.

(3) When the operator has completed successfully all surface coal mining and reclamation activities, the release of the remaining portion of the bond, but not before the expiration of the period specified for operator responsibility in section 1265 of this title: Provided, however, That no bond shall be fully released until all reclamation requirements of this chapter are fully met.

(d) Notice of disapproval

If the regulatory authority disapproves the application for release of the bond or portion thereof, the authority shall notify the permittee, in writing, stating the reasons for disapproval and recommending corrective actions necessary to secure said release and allowing opportunity for a public hearing.

(e) Notice to municipality

When any application for total or partial bond release is filed with the regulatory authority, the regulatory authority shall notify the municipality in which a surface coal mining operation is located by certified mail at least thirty days prior to the release of all or a portion of the bond.

(f) Objections to release; hearing

Any person with a valid legal interest which might be adversely affected by release of the bond or the responsible officer or head of any Federal, State, or local governmental agency which has jurisdiction by law or special expertise with respect to any environmental, social, or economic impact involved in the operation, or is authorized to develop and enforce environmental standards with respect to such operations shall have the right to file written objections to the proposed release from bond to the regulatory authority within thirty days after the last publication of the above notice. If written objections are filed, and a hearing requested, the regulatory authority shall inform all the interested parties, of the time and place of the hearing, and hold a public hearing in the locality of the surface coal mining operation proposed for bond release within thirty days of the request for such hearing. The date, time, and location of such public hearings shall be advertised by the regulatory authority in a newspaper of general circulation in the locality for two consecutive weeks, and shall hold a public hearing in the locality of the surface coal mining operation proposed for bond release or at the State capital at the option of the objector, within thirty days of the request for such hearing.

(g) Informal conference

Without prejudice to the rights of the objectors, the applicant, or the responsibilities of the regulatory authority pursuant to this section, the regulatory authority may establish an informal conference as provided in section 1263 of this title to resolve such written objections.

(h) Power of regulatory authority with respect to informal conference

For the purpose of such hearing the regulatory authority shall have the authority and is hereby empowered to administer oaths, subpena witnesses, or written or printed materials, compel the attendance of witnesses, or production of the materials, and take evidence including but not limited to inspections of the land affected and other surface coal mining operations carried on by the applicant in the general vicinity. A verbatim record of each public hearing required by this chapter shall be made, and a transcript made available on the motion of any party or by order of the regulatory authority.

(Pub. L. 95–87, title V, §519, Aug. 3, 1977, 91 Stat. 501.)

§1270. Citizens suits

(a) Civil action to compel compliance with this chapter

Except as provided in subsection (b) of this section, any person having an interest which is or may be adversely affected may commence a civil action on his own behalf to compel compliance with this chapter—

(1) against the United States or any other governmental instrumentality or agency to the extent permitted by the eleventh amendment to the Constitution which is alleged to be in violation of the provisions of this chapter or of any rule, regulation, order or permit issued pursuant thereto, or against any other person who is alleged to be in violation of any rule, regulation, order or permit issued pursuant to this subchapter; or

(2) against the Secretary or the appropriate State regulatory authority to the extent permitted by the eleventh amendment to the Constitution where there is alleged a failure of the Secretary or the appropriate State regulatory authority to perform any act or duty under this chapter which is not discretionary with the Secretary or with the appropriate State regulatory authority.


The district courts shall have jurisdiction, without regard to the amount in controversy or the citizenship of the parties.

(b) Limitation on bringing of action

No action may be commenced—

(1) under subsection (a)(1) of this section—

(A) prior to sixty days after the plaintiff has given notice in writing of the violation (i) to the Secretary, (ii) to the State in which the violation occurs, and (iii) to any alleged violator; or

(B) if the Secretary or the State has commenced and is diligently prosecuting a civil action in a court of the United States or a State to require compliance with the provisions of this chapter, or any rule, regulation, order, or permit issued pursuant to this chapter, but in any such action in a court of the United States any person may intervene as a matter of right; or


(2) under subsection (a)(2) of this section prior to sixty days after the plaintiff has given notice in writing of such action to the Secretary, in such manner as the Secretary shall by regulation prescribe, or to the appropriate State regulatory authority, except that such action may be brought immediately after such notification in the case where the violation or order complained of constitutes an imminent threat to the health or safety of the plaintiff or would immediately affect a legal interest of the plaintiff.

(c) Venue; intervention

(1) Any action respecting a violation of this chapter or the regulations thereunder may be brought only in the judicial district in which the surface coal mining operation complained of is located.

(2) In such action under this section, the Secretary, or the State regulatory authority, if not a party, may intervene as a matter of right.

(d) Costs; filing of bonds

The court, in issuing any final order in any action brought pursuant to subsection (a) of this section, may award costs of litigation (including attorney and expert witness fees) to any party, whenever the court determines such award is appropriate. The court may, if a temporary restraining order or preliminary injunction is sought require the filing of a bond or equivalent security in accordance with the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.

(e) Effect on other enforcement methods

Nothing in this section shall restrict any right which any person (or class of persons) may have under any statute or common law to seek enforcement of any of the provisions of this chapter and the regulations thereunder, or to seek any other relief (including relief against the Secretary or the appropriate State regulatory authority).

(f) Action for damages

Any person who is injured in his person or property through the violation by any operator of any rule, regulation, order, or permit issued pursuant to this chapter may bring an action for damages (including reasonable attorney and expert witness fees) only in the judicial district in which the surface coal mining operation complained of is located. Nothing in this subsection shall affect the rights established by or limits imposed under State Workmen's Compensation laws.

(Pub. L. 95–87, title V, §520, Aug. 3, 1977, 91 Stat. 503.)

References in Text

The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, referred to in subsec. (d), are set out in the Appendix to Title 28, Judiciary and Judicial Procedure.

§1271. Enforcement

(a) Notice of violation; Federal inspection; waiver of notification period; cessation order; affirmative obligation on operator; suspension or revocation of permits; contents of notices and orders

(1) Whenever, on the basis of any information available to him, including receipt of information from any person, the Secretary has reason to believe that any person is in violation of any requirement of this chapter or any permit condition required by this chapter, the Secretary shall notify the State regulatory authority, if one exists, in the State in which such violation exists. If no such State authority exists or the State regulatory authority fails within ten days after notification to take appropriate action to cause said violation to be corrected or to show good cause for such failure and transmit notification of its action to the Secretary, the Secretary shall immediately order Federal inspection of the surface coal mining operation at which the alleged violation is occurring unless the information available to the Secretary is a result of a previous Federal inspection of such surface coal mining operation. The ten-day notification period shall be waived when the person informing the Secretary provides adequate proof that an imminent danger of significant environmental harm exists and that the State has failed to take appropriate action. When the Federal inspection results from information provided to the Secretary by any person, the Secretary shall notify such person when the Federal inspection is proposed to be carried out and such person shall be allowed to accompany the inspector during the inspection.

(2) When, on the basis of any Federal inspection, the Secretary or his authorized representative determines that any condition or practices exist, or that any permittee is in violation of any requirement of this chapter or any permit condition required by this chapter, which condition, practice, or violation also creates an imminent danger to the health or safety of the public, or is causing, or can reasonably be expected to cause significant, imminent environmental harm to land, air, or water resources, the Secretary or his authorized representative shall immediately order a cessation of surface coal mining and reclamation operations or the portion thereof relevant to the condition, practice, or violation. Such cessation order shall remain in effect until the Secretary or his authorized representative determines that the condition, practice, or violation has been abated, or until modified, vacated, or terminated by the Secretary or his authorized representative pursuant to paragraph (5) of this subsection. Where the Secretary finds that the ordered cessation of surface coal mining and reclamation operations, or any portion thereof, will not completely abate the imminent danger to health or safety of the public or the significant imminent environmental harm to land, air, or water resources, the Secretary shall, in addition to the cessation order, impose affirmative obligations on the operator requiring him to take whatever steps the Secretary deems necessary to abate the imminent danger or the significant environmental harm.

(3) When, on the basis of a Federal inspection which is carried out during the enforcement of a Federal program or a Federal lands program, Federal inspection pursuant to section 1252, or section 1254(b) of this title, or during Federal enforcement of a State program in accordance with subsection (b) of this section, the Secretary or his authorized representative determines that any permittee is in violation of any requirement of this chapter or any permit condition required by this chapter; but such violation does not create an imminent danger to the health or safety of the public, or cannot be reasonably expected to cause significant, imminent environmental harm to land, air, or water resources, the Secretary or authorized representative shall issue a notice to the permittee or his agent fixing a reasonable time but not more than ninety days for the abatement of the violation and providing opportunity for public hearing.

If, upon expiration of the period of time as originally fixed or subsequently extended, for good cause shown and upon the written finding of the Secretary or his authorized representative, the Secretary or his authorized representative finds that the violation has not been abated, he shall immediately order a cessation of surface coal mining and reclamation operations or the portion thereof relevant to the violation. Such cessation order shall remain in effect until the Secretary or his authorized representative determines that the violation has been abated, or until modified, vacated, or terminated by the Secretary or his authorized representative pursuant to paragraph (5) of this subsection. In the order of cessation issued by the Secretary under this subsection, the Secretary shall determine the steps necessary to abate the violation in the most expeditious manner possible, and shall include the necessary measures in the order.

(4) When, on the basis of a Federal inspection which is carried out during the enforcement of a Federal program or a Federal lands program, Federal inspection pursuant to section 1252 or section 1254 of this title or during Federal enforcement of a State program in accordance with subsection (b) of this section, the Secretary or his authorized representative determines that a pattern of violations of any requirements of this chapter or any permit conditions required by this chapter exists or has existed, and if the Secretary or his authorized representative also find that such violations are caused by the unwarranted failure of the permittee to comply with any requirements of this chapter or any permit conditions, or that such violations are willfully caused by the permittee, the Secretary or his authorized representative shall forthwith issue an order to the permittee to show cause as to why the permit should not be suspended or revoked and shall provide opportunity for a public hearing. If a hearing is requested the Secretary shall inform all interested parties of the time and place of the hearing. Upon the permittee's failure to show cause as to why the permit should not be suspended or revoked, the Secretary or his authorized representative shall forthwith suspend or revoke the permit.

(5) Notices and orders issued pursuant to this section shall set forth with reasonable specificity the nature of the violation and the remedial action required, the period of time established for abatement, and a reasonable description of the portion of the surface coal mining and reclamation operation to which the notice or order applies. Each notice or order issued under this section shall be given promptly to the permittee or his agent by the Secretary or his authorized representative who issues such notice or order, and all such notices and orders shall be in writing and shall be signed by such authorized representatives. Any notice or order issued pursuant to this section may be modified, vacated, or terminated by the Secretary or his authorized representative. A copy of any such order or notice shall be sent to the State regulatory authority in the State in which the violation occurs: Provided, That any notice or order issued pursuant to this section which requires cessation of mining by the operator shall expire within thirty days of actual notice to the operator unless a public hearing is held at the site or within such reasonable proximity to the site that any viewings of the site can be conducted during the course of public hearing.

(b) Inadequate State enforcement; notice and hearing

Whenever on the basis of information available to him, the Secretary has reason to believe that violations of all or any part of an approved State program result from a failure of the State to enforce such State program or any part thereof effectively, he shall after public notice and notice to the State, hold a hearing thereon in the State within thirty days of such notice. If as a result of said hearing the Secretary finds that there are violations and such violations result from a failure of the State to enforce all or any part of the State program effectively, and if he further finds that the State has not adequately demonstrated its capability and intent to enforce such State program, he shall give public notice of such finding. During the period beginning with such public notice and ending when such State satisfies the Secretary that it will enforce this chapter, the Secretary shall enforce, in the manner provided by this chapter, any permit condition required under this chapter, shall issue new or revised permits in accordance with requirements of this chapter, and may issue such notices and orders as are necessary for compliance therewith: Provided, That in the case of a State permittee who has met his obligations under such permit and who did not willfully secure the issuance of such permit through fraud or collusion, the Secretary shall give the permittee a reasonable time to conform ongoing surface mining and reclamation to the requirements of this chapter before suspending or revoking the State permit.

(c) Civil action for relief

The Secretary may request the Attorney General to institute a civil action for relief, including a permanent or temporary injunction, restraining order, or any other appropriate order in the district court of the United States for the district in which the surface coal mining and reclamation operation is located or in which the permittee thereof has his principal office, whenever such permittee or his agent (A) violates or fails or refuses to comply with any order or decision issued by the Secretary under this chapter, or (B) interferes with, hinders, or delays the Secretary or his authorized representatives in carrying out the provisions of this chapter, or (C) refuses to admit such authorized representative to the mine, or (D) refuses to permit inspection of the mine by such authorized representative, or (E) refuses to furnish any information or report requested by the Secretary in furtherance of the provisions of this chapter, or (F) refuses to permit access to, and copying of, such records as the Secretary determines necessary in carrying out the provisions of this chapter. Such court shall have jurisdiction to provide such relief as may be appropriate. Temporary restraining orders shall be issued in accordance with rule 65 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, as amended. Any relief granted by the court to enforce an order under clause (A) of this section shall continue in effect until the completion or final termination of all proceedings for review of such order under this subchapter, unless, prior thereto, the district court granting such relief sets it aside or modifies it.

(d) Sanctions; effect on additional enforcement rights under State law

As a condition of approval of any State program submitted pursuant to section 1253 of this title, the enforcement provisions thereof shall, at a minimum, incorporate sanctions no less stringent than those set forth in this section, and shall contain the same or similar procedural requirements relating thereto. Nothing herein shall be construed so as to eliminate any additional enforcement rights or procedures which are available under State law to a State regulatory authority but which are not specifically enumerated herein.

(Pub. L. 95–87, title V, §521, Aug. 3, 1977, 91 Stat. 504.)

References in Text

Rule 65 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, referred to in subsec. (c), is set out in the Appendix to Title 28, Judiciary and Judicial Procedure.

§1272. Designating areas unsuitable for surface coal mining

(a) Establishment of State planning process; standards; State process requirements; integration with present and future land use planning and regulation processes; savings provisions

(1) To be eligible to assume primary regulatory authority pursuant to section 1253 of this title, each State shall establish a planning process enabling objective decisions based upon competent and scientifically sound data and information as to which, if any, land areas of a State are unsuitable for all or certain types of surface coal mining operations pursuant to the standards set forth in paragraphs (2) and (3) of this subsection but such designation shall not prevent the mineral exploration pursuant to the chapter of any area so designated.

(2) Upon petition pursuant to subsection (c) of this section, the State regulatory authority shall designate an area as unsuitable for all or certain types of surface coal mining operations if the State regulatory authority determines that reclamation pursuant to the requirements of this chapter is not technologically and economically feasible.

(3) Upon petition pursuant to subsection (c) of this section, a surface area may be designated unsuitable for certain types of surface coal mining operations if such operations will—

(A) be incompatible with existing State or local land use plans or programs; or

(B) affect fragile or historic lands in which such operations could result in significant damage to important historic, cultural, scientific, and esthetic values and natural systems; or

(C) affect renewable resource lands in which such operations could result in a substantial loss or reduction of long-range productivity of water supply or of food or fiber products, and such lands to include aquifers and aquifer recharge areas; or

(D) affect natural hazard lands in which such operations could substantially endanger life and property, such lands to include areas subject to frequent flooding and areas of unstable geology.


(4) To comply with this section, a State must demonstrate it has developed or is developing a process which includes—

(A) a State agency responsible for surface coal mining lands review;

(B) a data base and an inventory system which will permit proper evaluation of the capacity of different land areas of the State to support and permit reclamation of surface coal mining operations;

(C) a method or methods for implementing land use planning decisions concerning surface coal mining operations; and

(D) proper notice, opportunities for public participation, including a public hearing prior to making any designation or redesignation, pursuant to this section.


(5) Determinations of the unsuitability of land for surface coal mining, as provided for in this section, shall be integrated as closely as possible with present and future land use planning and regulation processes at the Federal, State, and local levels.

(6) The requirements of this section shall not apply to lands on which surface coal mining operations are being conducted on August 3, 1977, or under a permit issued pursuant to this chapter, or where substantial legal and financial commitments in such operation were in existence prior to January 4, 1977.

(b) Review of Federal lands

The Secretary shall conduct a review of the Federal lands to determine, pursuant to the standards set forth in paragraphs (2) and (3) of subsection (a) of this section, whether there are areas on Federal lands which are unsuitable for all or certain types of surface coal mining operations: Provided, however, That the Secretary may permit surface coal mining on Federal lands prior to the completion of this review. When the Secretary determines an area on Federal lands to be unsuitable for all or certain types of surface coal mining operations, he shall withdraw such area or condition any mineral leasing or mineral entries in a manner so as to limit surface coal mining operations on such area. Where a Federal program has been implemented in a State pursuant to section 1254 of this title, the Secretary shall implement a process for designation of areas unsuitable for surface coal mining for non-Federal lands within such State and such process shall incorporate the standards and procedures of this section. Prior to designating Federal lands unsuitable for such mining, the Secretary shall consult with the appropriate State and local agencies.

(c) Petition; intervention; decision

Any person having an interest which is or may be adversely affected shall have the right to petition the regulatory authority to have an area designated as unsuitable for surface coal mining operations, or to have such a designation terminated. Such a petition shall contain allegations of facts with supporting evidence which would tend to establish the allegations. Within ten months after receipt of the petition the regulatory authority shall hold a public hearing in the locality of the affected area, after appropriate notice and publication of the date, time, and location of such hearing. After a person having an interest which is or may be adversely affected has filed a petition and before the hearing, as required by this subsection, any person may intervene by filing allegations of facts with supporting evidence which would tend to establish the allegations. Within sixty days after such hearing, the regulatory authority shall issue and furnish to the petitioner and any other party to the hearing, a written decision regarding the petition, and the reasons therefore.1 In the event that all the petitioners stipulate agreement prior to the requested hearing, and withdraw their request, such hearing need not be held.

(d) Statement

Prior to designating any land areas as unsuitable for surface coal mining operations, the regulatory authority shall prepare a detailed statement on (i) the potential coal resources of the area, (ii) the demand for coal resources, and (iii) the impact of such designation on the environment, the economy, and the supply of coal.

(e) Prohibition on certain Federal public and private surface coal mining operations

After August 3, 1977, and subject to valid existing rights no surface coal mining operations except those which exist on August 3, 1977, shall be permitted—

(1) on any lands within the boundaries of units of the National Park System, the National Wildlife Refuge Systems, the National System of Trails, the National Wilderness Preservation System, the Wild and Scenic Rivers System, including study rivers designated under section 1276(a) of title 16 and National Recreation Areas designated by Act of Congress;

(2) on any Federal lands within the boundaries of any national forest: Provided, however, That surface coal mining operations may be permitted on such lands if the Secretary finds that there are no significant recreational, timber, economic, or other values which may be incompatible with such surface mining operations and—

(A) surface operations and impacts are incident to an underground coal mine; or

(B) where the Secretary of Agriculture determines, with respect to lands which do not have significant forest cover within those national forests west of the 100th meridian, that surface mining is in compliance with the Multiple-Use Sustained-Yield Act of 1960 [16 U.S.C. 528–531], the Federal Coal Leasing Amendments Act of 1975, the National Forest Management Act of 1976, and the provisions of this chapter: And provided further, That no surface coal mining operations may be permitted within the boundaries of the Custer National Forest;


(3) which will adversely affect any publicly owned park or places included in the National Register of Historic Sites unless approved jointly by the regulatory authority and the Federal, State, or local agency with jurisdiction over the park or the historic site;

(4) within one hundred feet of the outside right-of-way line of any public road, except where mine access roads or haulage roads join such right-of-way line and except that the regulatory authority may permit such roads to be relocated or the area affected to lie within one hundred feet of such road, if after public notice and opportunity for public hearing in the locality a written finding is made that the interests of the public and the landowners affected thereby will be protected; or

(5) within three hundred feet from any occupied dwelling, unless waived by the owner thereof, nor within three hundred feet of any public building, school, church, community, or institutional building, public park, or within one hundred feet of a cemetery.

(Pub. L. 95–87, title V, §522, Aug. 3, 1977, 91 Stat. 507.)

References in Text

The Multiple-Use Sustained-Yield Act of 1960, referred to in subsec. (e)(2)(B), is Pub. L. 86–517, June 12, 1960, 74 Stat. 215, as amended, which is classified generally to sections 528 to 531 of Title 16, Conservation. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 528 of Title 16 and Tables.

The Federal Coal Leasing Amendments Act of 1975, referred to in subsec. (e)(2)(B), is Pub. L. 94–377, Aug. 4, 1976, 90 Stat. 1083, which was redesignated the Federal Coal Leasing Amendments Act of 1976 by Pub. L. 95–554, §8, Oct. 30, 1978, 92 Stat. 2075, and which enacted sections 202a, 208–1, and 208–2 of this title, amended sections 184, 191, 201, 203, 207, 209, and 352 of this title, repealed sections 201–1 and 204 of this title, and enacted provisions set out as notes under sections 181, 184, 201, 201–1, 203, and 204 of this title. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title of 1976 Amendment note set out under section 181 of this title and Tables.

The National Forest Management Act of 1976, referred to in subsec. (e)(2)(B), is Pub. L. 94–588, Oct. 22, 1976, 90 Stat. 2949, as amended, which enacted sections 472a, 521b, 1600, and 1611 to 1614 of Title 16, Conservation, amended sections 500, 515, 516, 518, 576b, 581h, and 1601 to 1610 of Title 16, repealed sections 476, 513, and 514 of Title 16, enacted provisions set out as notes under sections 476, 513, 528, 594–2, and 1600 of Title 16. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title of 1976 Amendment note set out under section 1600 of Title 16 and Tables.

1 So in original. Probably should be “therefor.”

§1273. Federal lands

(a) Promulgation and implementation of Federal lands program

No later than one year after August 3, 1977, the Secretary shall promulgate and implement a Federal lands program which shall be applicable to all surface coal mining and reclamation operations taking place pursuant to any Federal law on any Federal lands: Provided, That except as provided in section 1300 of this title the provisions of this chapter shall not be applicable to Indian lands. The Federal lands program shall, at a minimum, incorporate all of the requirements of this chapter and shall take into consideration the diverse physical, climatological, and other unique characteristics of the Federal lands in question. Where Federal lands in a State with an approved State program are involved, the Federal lands program shall, at a minimum, include the requirements of the approved State program: Provided, That the Secretary shall retain his duties under sections 201(a), (2)(B) 1 and 201(a)(3) of this title, and shall continue to be responsible for designation of Federal lands as unsuitable for mining in accordance with section 1272(b) of this title.

(b) Incorporation of requirements into any lease, permit, or contract issued by Secretary which may involve surface coal mining and reclamation operations

The requirements of this chapter and the Federal lands program or an approved State program for State regulation of surface coal mining on Federal lands under subsection (c) of this section, whichever is applicable, shall be incorporated by reference or otherwise in any Federal mineral lease, permit, or contract issued by the Secretary which may involve surface coal mining and reclamation operations. Incorporation of such requirements shall not, however, limit in any way the authority of the Secretary to subsequently issue new regulations, revise the Federal lands program to deal with changing conditions or changed technology, and to require any surface mining and reclamation operations to conform with the requirements of this chapter and the regulations issued pursuant to this chapter.

(c) State cooperative agreements

Any State with an approved State program may elect to enter into a cooperative agreement with the Secretary to provide for State regulation of surface coal mining and reclamation operations on Federal lands within the State, provided the Secretary determines in writing that such State has the necessary personnel and funding to fully implement such a cooperative agreement in accordance with the provision of this chapter. States with cooperative agreements existing on August 3, 1977, may elect to continue regulation on Federal lands within the State, prior to approval by the Secretary of their State program, or imposition of a Federal program, provided that such existing cooperative agreement is modified to fully comply with the initial regulatory procedures set forth in section 1252 of this title. Nothing in this subsection shall be construed as authorizing the Secretary to delegate to the States his duty to approve mining plans on Federal lands, to designate certain Federal lands as unsuitable for surface coal mining pursuant to section 1272 of this title, or to regulate other activities taking place on Federal lands.

(d) Development of program to assure no unreasonable denial to any class of coal purchasers

The Secretary shall develop a program to assure that with respect to the granting of permits, leases, or contracts for coal owned by the United States, that no class of purchasers of the mined coal shall be unreasonably denied purchase thereof.

(Pub. L. 95–87, title V, §523, Aug. 3, 1977, 91 Stat. 510.)

1 So in original. Probably should be “201(a)(2)(B)”.

§1274. Public agencies, public utilities, and public corporations

Any agency, unit, or instrumentality of Federal, State, or local government, including any publicly owned utility or publicly owned corporation of Federal, State, or local government, which proposes to engage in surface coal mining operations which are subject to the requirements of this chapter shall comply with the provisions of this subchapter.

(Pub. L. 95–87, title V, §524, Aug. 3, 1977, 91 Stat. 511.)

§1275. Review by Secretary

(a) Application for review of order or notice; investigation; hearing; notice

(1) A permittee issued a notice or order by the Secretary pursuant to the provisions of paragraphs (2) and (3) of subsection (a) of section 1271 of this title, or pursuant to a Federal program or the Federal lands program or any person having an interest which is or may be adversely affected by such notice or order or by any modification, vacation, or termination of such notice or order, may apply to the Secretary for review of the notice or order within thirty days of receipt thereof or within thirty days of its modification, vacation, or termination. Upon receipt of such application, the Secretary shall cause such investigation to be made as he deems appropriate. Such investigation shall provide an opportunity for a public hearing, at the request of the applicant or the person having an interest which is or may be adversely affected, to enable the applicant or such person to present information relating to the issuance and continuance of such notice or order or the modification, vacation, or termination thereof. The filing of an application for review under this subsection shall not operate as a stay of any order or notice.

(2) The permittee and other interested persons shall be given written notice of the time and place of the hearing at least five days prior thereto. Any such hearing shall be of record and shall be subject to section 554 of title 5.

(b) Findings of fact; issuance of decision

Upon receiving the report of such investigation, the Secretary shall make findings of fact, and shall issue a written decision, incorporating therein an order vacating, affirming, modifying, or terminating the notice or order, or the modification, vacation, or termination of such notice or order complained of and incorporate his findings therein. Where the application for review concerns an order for cessation of surface coal mining and reclamation operations issued pursuant to the provisions of paragraph (2) or (3) of subsection (a) of section 1271 of this title, the Secretary shall issue the written decision within thirty days of the receipt of the application for review, unless temporary relief has been granted by the Secretary pursuant to subsection (c) of this section or by the court pursuant to subsection (c) of section 1276 of this title.

(c) Temporary relief; issuance of order or decision granting or denying relief

Pending completion of the investigation and hearing required by this section, the applicant may file with the Secretary a written request that the Secretary grant temporary relief from any notice or order issued under section 1271 of this title, a Federal program or the Federal lands program together with a detailed statement giving reasons for granting such relief. The Secretary shall issue an order or decision granting or denying such relief expeditiously: Provided, That where the applicant requests relief from an order for cessation of coal mining and reclamation operations issued pursuant to paragraph (2) or (3) of subsection (a) of section 1271 of this title, the order or decision on such a request shall be issued within five days of its receipt. The Secretary may grant such relief, under such conditions as he may prescribe, if—

(1) a hearing has been held in the locality of the permit area on the request for temporary relief in which all parties were given an opportunity to be heard;

(2) the applicant shows that there is substantial likelihood that the findings of the Secretary will be favorable to him; and

(3) such relief will not adversely affect the health or safety of the public or cause significant, imminent environmental harm to land, air, or water resources.

(d) Notice and hearing with respect to section 1271 order to show cause

Following the issuance of an order to show cause as to why a permit should not be suspended or revoked pursuant to section 1271 of this title, the Secretary shall hold a public hearing after giving written notice of the time, place, and date thereof. Any such hearing shall be of record and shall be subject to section 554 of title 5. Within sixty days following the public hearing, the Secretary shall issue and furnish to the permittee and all other parties to the hearing a written decision, and the reasons therefor, concerning suspension or revocation of the permit. If the Secretary revokes the permit, the permittee shall immediately cease surface coal mining operations on the permit area and shall complete reclamation within a period specified by the Secretary, or the Secretary shall declare as forfeited the performance bonds for the operation.

(e) Costs

Whenever an order is issued under this section, or as a result of any administrative proceeding under this chapter, at the request of any person, a sum equal to the aggregate amount of all costs and expenses (including attorney fees) as determined by the Secretary to have been reasonably incurred by such person for or in connection with his participation in such proceedings, including any judicial review of agency actions, may be assessed against either party as the court, resulting from judicial review or the Secretary, resulting from administrative proceedings, deems proper.

(Pub. L. 95–87, title V, §525, Aug. 3, 1977, 91 Stat. 511.)

§1276. Judicial review

(a) Review by United States District Court; venue; filing of petition; time

(1) Any action of the Secretary to approve or disapprove a State program or to prepare or promulgate a Federal program pursuant to this chapter shall be subject to judicial review by the United States District Court for the District which includes the capital of the State whose program is at issue. Any action by the Secretary promulgating national rules or regulations including standards pursuant to sections 1251, 1265, 1266, and 1273 of this title shall be subject to judicial review in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia Circuit. Any other action constituting rulemaking by the Secretary shall be subject to judicial review only by the United States District Court for the District in which the surface coal mining operation is located. Any action subject to judicial review under this subsection shall be affirmed unless the court concludes that such action is arbitrary, capricious, or otherwise inconsistent with law. A petition for review of any action subject to judicial review under this subsection shall be filed in the appropriate Court within sixty days from the date of such action, or after such date if the petition is based solely on grounds arising after the sixtieth day. Any such petition may be made by any person who participated in the administrative proceedings and who is aggrieved by the action of the Secretary.

(2) Any order or decision issued by the Secretary in a civil penalty proceeding or any other proceeding required to be conducted pursuant to section 554 of title 5 shall be subject to judicial review on or before 30 days from the date of such order or decision in accordance with subsection (b) of this section in the United States District Court for the district in which the surface coal mining operation is located. In the case of a proceeding to review an order or decision issued by the Secretary under the penalty section of this chapter, the court shall have jurisdiction to enter an order requiring payment of any civil penalty assessment enforced by its judgment. This availability of review established in this subsection shall not be construed to limit the operations of rights established in section 1270 of this title.

(b) Evidence; conclusiveness of findings; orders

The court shall hear such petition or complaint solely on the record made before the Secretary. Except as provided in subsection (a) of this section, the findings of the Secretary if supported by substantial evidence on the record considered as a whole, shall be conclusive. The court may affirm, vacate, or modify any order or decision or may remand the proceedings to the Secretary for such further action as it may direct.

(c) Temporary relief; prerequisites

In the case of a proceeding to review any order or decision issued by the Secretary under this chapter, including an order or decision issued pursuant to subsection (c) or (d) of section 1275 of this title pertaining to any order issued under paragraph (2), (3), or (4) of subsection (a) of section 1271 of this title for cessation of coal mining and reclamation operations, the court may, under such conditions as it may prescribe, grant such temporary relief as it deems appropriate pending final determination of the proceedings if—

(1) all parties to the proceedings have been notified and given an opportunity to be heard on a request for temporary relief;

(2) the person requesting such relief shows that there is a substantial likelihood that he will prevail on the merits of the final determination of the proceeding; and

(3) such relief will not adversely affect the public health or safety or cause significant imminent environmental harm to land, air, or water resources.

(d) Stay of action, order, or decision of Secretary

The commencement of a proceeding under this section shall not, unless specifically ordered by the court, operate as a stay of the action, order, or decision of the Secretary.

(e) Action of State regulatory authority

Action of the State regulatory authority pursuant to an approved State program shall be subject to judicial review by a court of competent jurisdiction in accordance with State law, but the availability of such review shall not be construed to limit the operation of the rights established in section 1270 of this title except as provided therein.

(Pub. L. 95–87, title V, §526, Aug. 3, 1977, 91 Stat. 512.)

§1277. Special bituminous coal mines

(a) Issuance of separate regulations; criteria

The regulatory authority is authorized to issue separate regulations for those special bituminous coal surface mines located west of the 100th meridian west longitude which meet the following criteria:

(1) the excavation of the specific mine pit takes place on the same relatively limited site for an extended period of time;

(2) the excavation of the specific mine pit follows a coal seam having an inclination of fifteen degrees or more from the horizontal, and continues in the same area proceeding downward with lateral expansion of the pit necessary to maintain stability or as necessary to accommodate the orderly expansion of the total mining operation;

(3) the excavation of the specific mine pit involves the mining of more than one coal seam and mining has been initiated on the deepest coal seam contemplated to be mined in the current operation;

(4) the amount of material removed is large in proportion to the surface area disturbed;

(5) there is no practicable alternative method of mining the coal involved;

(6) there is no practicable method to reclaim the land in the manner required by this chapter; and

(7) the specific mine pit has been actually producing coal since January 1, 1972, in such manner as to meet the criteria set forth in this section, and, because of past duration of mining, is substantially committed to a mode of operation which warrants exceptions to some provisions of this subchapter.

(b) New bituminous coal surface mines

Such separate regulations shall also contain a distinct part to cover and pertain to new bituminous coal surface mines which may be developed after August 3, 1977, on lands immediately adjacent to lands upon which are located special bituminous mines existing on January 1, 1972. Such new mines shall meet the criteria of subsection (a) of this section except for paragraphs (3) and (7), and all requirements of State law, notwithstanding in whole or part the regulations issued pursuant to subsection (c) of this section. In the event of an amendment or revision to the State's regulatory program, regulations, or decisions made thereunder governing such mines, the Secretary shall issue such additional regulations as necessary to meet the purposes of this chapter.

(c) Scope of alternative regulations

Such alternative regulations may pertain only to the standards governing onsite handling of spoils, elimination of depressions capable of collecting water, creation of impoundments, and regrading to the approximate original contour and shall specify that remaining highwalls are stable. All other performance standards in this subchapter shall apply to such mines.

(Pub. L. 95–87, title V, §527, Aug. 3, 1977, 91 Stat. 513.)

§1278. Surface mining operations not subject to this chapter

The provisions of this chapter shall not apply to any of the following activities:

(1) the extraction of coal by a landowner for his own noncommercial use from land owned or leased by him; and

(2) the extraction of coal as an incidental part of Federal, State or local government-financed highway or other construction under regulations established by the regulatory authority.

(Pub. L. 95–87, title V, §528, Aug. 3, 1977, 91 Stat. 514; Pub. L. 100–34, title II, §201(a), May 7, 1987, 101 Stat. 300.)

Amendments

1987—Pub. L. 100–34 inserted “and” after “him;” in par. (1), redesignated par. (3) as (2), and struck out former par. (2) which read as follows: “the extraction of coal for commercial purposes where the surface mining operation affects two acres or less; and”.

Effective Date of 1987 Amendment

Section 201(b)–(e) of Pub. L. 100–34 provided that:

“(b) Effective Date for New Operations.—The amendments made by this section [amending this section] shall take effect on the date 30 days after the enactment of this Act [May 7, 1987] with respect to each operator commencing surface coal mining operations on or after such date.

“(c) Effective Date for Existing Operations.—The amendments made by this section shall take effect on the date 6 months after the enactment of this Act with respect to each operator commencing surface coal mining operations pursuant to an authorization under State law before the date 30 days after the enactment of this Act. Nothing in this Act [amending this section and section 1232 of this title] shall preclude reclamation activities pursuant to State law or regulations at the site of any surface coal mine which was exempt from the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 [30 U.S.C. 1201 et seq.] under section 528(2) of that Act [30 U.S.C. 1278(2)], as in effect before the enactment of this Act.

“(d) Effect on State Law.—To the extent that any provision of a State law, or of a State regulation, adopted pursuant to the exception under section 528(2) of the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 as in effect before the enactment of this Act, is inconsistent with the amendments made by this section, such provision shall be of no further force and effect after the effective date of such amendments.

“(e) Definition.—For purposes of this section, the term ‘surface coal mining operations’ has the meaning provided by section 701(28) of the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 [30 U.S.C. 1291(28)].”

§1279. Anthracite coal mines

(a) The Secretary is authorized to and shall issue separate regulations according to time schedules established in this chapter for anthracite coal surface mines, if such mines are regulated by environmental protection standards of the State in which they are located. Such alternative regulations shall adopt, in each instance, the environmental protection provisions of the State regulatory program in existence on August 3, 1977, in lieu of sections 1265 and 1266 of this title. Provisions of sections 1259 and 1269 of this title are applicable except for specified bond limits and period of revegetation responsibility. All other provisions of this chapter apply and the regulation issued by the Secretary of Interior for each State anthracite regulatory program shall so reflect: Provided, however, That upon amendment of a State's regulatory program for anthracite mining or regulations thereunder in force in lieu of the above-cited sections of this chapter, the Secretary shall issue such additional regulations as necessary to meet the purposes of this chapter.

(b) Omitted.

(Pub. L. 95–87, title V, §529, Aug. 3, 1977, 91 Stat. 514.)

Codification

Subsec. (b) of this section, which required the Secretary of the Interior to report to Congress biennially on the effectiveness of State anthracite regulatory programs operating in conjunction with this chapter with respect to protecting the environment, terminated, effective May 15, 2000, pursuant to section 3003 of Pub. L. 104–66, as amended, set out as a note under section 1113 of Title 31, Money and Finance. See, also, page 109 of House Document No. 103–7.

SUBCHAPTER VI—DESIGNATION OF LANDS UNSUITABLE FOR NONCOAL MINING

§1281. Designation procedures

(a) Review of Federal land areas for unsuitability for noncoal mining

With respect to Federal lands within any State, the Secretary of Interior may, and if so requested by the Governor of such State shall, review any area within such lands to assess whether it may be unsuitable for mining operations for minerals or materials other than coal, pursuant to the criteria and procedures of this section.

(b) Criteria considered in determining designations

An area of Federal land may be designated under this section as unsuitable for mining operations if (1) such area consists of Federal land of a predominantly urban or suburban character, used primarily for residential or related purposes, the mineral estate of which remains in the public domain, or (2) such area consists of Federal land where mining operations would have an adverse impact on lands used primarily for residential or related purposes.

(c) Petition for exclusion; contents; hearing; temporary land withdrawal

Any person having an interest which is or may be adversely affected shall have the right to petition the Secretary to seek exclusion of an area from mining operations pursuant to this section or the redesignation of an area or part thereof as suitable for such operations. Such petition shall contain allegations of fact with supporting evidence which would tend to substantiate the allegations. The petitioner shall be granted a hearing within a reasonable time and finding with reasons therefor upon the matter of their petition. In any instance where a Governor requests the Secretary to review an area, or where the Secretary finds the national interest so requires, the Secretary may temporarily withdraw the area to be reviewed from mineral entry or leasing pending such review: Provided, however, That such temporary withdrawal be ended as promptly as practicable and in no event shall exceed two years.

(d) Limitation on designations; rights preservation; regulations

In no event is a land area to be designated unsuitable for mining operations under this section on which mining operations are being conducted prior to the holding of a hearing on such petition in accordance with subsection (c) of this section. Valid existing rights shall be preserved and not affected by such designation. Designation of an area as unsuitable for mining operations under this section shall not prevent subsequent mineral exploration of such area, except that such exploration shall require the prior written consent of the holder of the surface estate, which consent shall be filed with the Secretary. The Secretary may promulgate, with respect to any designated area, regulations to minimize any adverse effects of such exploration.

(e) Statement

Prior to any designation pursuant to this section, the Secretary shall prepare a detailed statement on (i) the potential mineral resources of the area, (ii) the demand for such mineral resources, and (iii) the impact of such designation or the absence of such designation on the environment, economy, and the supply of such mineral resources.

(f) Area withdrawal

When the Secretary designates an area of Federal lands as unsuitable for all or certain types of mining operations for minerals and materials other than coal pursuant to this section he may withdraw such area from mineral entry or leasing, or condition such entry or leasing so as to limit such mining operations in accordance with his determination, if the Secretary also determines, based on his analysis pursuant to subsection (e) of this section, that the benefits resulting from such designation would be greater than the benefits to the regional or national economy which could result from mineral development of such area.

(g) Right to appeal

Any party with a valid legal interest who has appeared in the proceedings in connection with the Secretary's determination pursuant to this section and who is aggrieved by the Secretary's decision (or by his failure to act within a reasonable time) shall have the right of appeal for review by the United States district court for the district in which the pertinent area is located.

(Pub. L. 95–87, title VI, §601, Aug. 3, 1977, 91 Stat. 515.)

SUBCHAPTER VII—ADMINISTRATIVE AND MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS

§1291. Definitions

For the purposes of this chapter—

(1) “alluvial valley floors” means the unconsolidated stream laid deposits holding streams where water availability is sufficient for subirrigation or flood irrigation agricultural activities but does not include upland areas which are generally overlain by a thin veneer of colluvial deposits composed chiefly of debris from sheet erosion, deposits by unconcentrated runoff or slope wash, together with talus, other mass movement accumulation and windblown deposits;

(2) “approximate original contour” means that surface configuration achieved by backfilling and grading of the mined area so that the reclaimed area, including any terracing or access roads, closely resembles the general surface configuration of the land prior to mining and blends into and complements the drainage pattern of the surrounding terrain, with all highwalls and spoil piles eliminated; water impoundments may be permitted where the regulatory authority determines that they are in compliance with section 1265(b)(8) of this title;

(3) “commerce” means trade, traffic, commerce, transportation, transmission, or communication among the several States, or between a State and any other place outside thereof, or between points in the same State which directly or indirectly affect interstate commerce;

(4) “Federal lands” means any land, including mineral interests, owned by the United States without regard to how the United States acquired ownership of the land and without regard to the agency having responsibility for management thereof, except Indian lands: Provided, That for the purposes of this chapter lands or mineral interests east of the one hundredth meridian west longitude owned by the United States and entrusted to or managed by the Tennessee Valley Authority shall not be subject to sections 1304 (Surface Owner Protection) and 1305 (Federal Lessee Protection) of this title.1

(5) “Federal lands program” means a program established by the Secretary pursuant to section 1273 of this title to regulate surface coal mining and reclamation operations on Federal lands;

(6) “Federal program” means a program established by the Secretary pursuant to section 1254 of this title to regulate surface coal mining and reclamation operations on lands within a State in accordance with the requirements of this chapter;

(7) “fund” means the Abandoned Mine Reclamation Fund established pursuant to section 1231 of this title;

(8) “imminent danger to the health and safety of the public” means the existence of any condition or practice, or any violation of a permit or other requirement of this chapter in a surface coal mining and reclamation operation, which condition, practice, or violation could reasonably be expected to cause substantial physical harm to persons outside the permit area before such condition, practice, or violation can be abated. A reasonable expectation of death or serious injury before abatement exists if a rational person, subjected to the same conditions or practices giving rise to the peril, would not expose himself or herself to the danger during the time necessary for abatement;

(9) “Indian lands” means all lands, including mineral interests, within the exterior boundaries of any Federal Indian reservation, notwithstanding the issuance of any patent, and including rights-of-way, and all lands including mineral interests held in trust for or supervised by an Indian tribe;

(10) “Indian tribe” means any Indian tribe, band, group, or community having a governing body recognized by the Secretary;

(11) “lands within any State” or “lands within such State” means all lands within a State other than Federal lands and Indian lands;

(12) “Office” means the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement established pursuant to subchapter II;

(13) “operator” means any person, partnership, or corporation engaged in coal mining who removes or intends to remove more than two hundred and fifty tons of coal from the earth by coal mining within twelve consecutive calendar months in any one location;

(14) “other minerals” means clay, stone, sand, gravel, metalliferous and nonmetalliferous ores, and any other solid material or substances of commercial value excavated in solid form from natural deposits on or in the earth, exclusive of coal and those minerals which occur naturally in liquid or gaseous form;

(15) “permit” means a permit to conduct surface coal mining and reclamation operations issued by the State regulatory authority pursuant to a State program or by the Secretary pursuant to a Federal program;

(16) “permit applicant” or “applicant” means a person applying for a permit;

(17) “permit area” means the area of land indicated on the approved map submitted by the operator with his application, which area of land shall be covered by the operator's bond as required by section 1259 of this title and shall be readily identifiable by appropriate markers on the site;

(18) “permittee” means a person holding a permit;

(19) “person” means an individual, partnership, association, society, joint stock company, firm, company, corporation, or other business organization;

(20) the term “prime farmland” shall have the same meaning as that previously prescribed by the Secretary of Agriculture on the basis of such factors as moisture availability, temperature regime, chemical balance, permeability, surface layer composition, susceptibility to flooding, and erosion characteristics, and which historically have been used for intensive agricultural purposes, and as published in the Federal Register.1

(21) “reclamation plan” means a plan submitted by an applicant for a permit under a State program or Federal program which sets forth a plan for reclamation of the proposed surface coal mining operations pursuant to section 1258 of this title;

(22) “regulatory authority” means the State regulatory authority where the State is administering this chapter under an approved State program or the Secretary where the Secretary is administering this chapter under a Federal program;

(23) “Secretary” means the Secretary of the Interior, except where otherwise described;

(24) “State” means a State of the United States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, American Samoa, and Guam;

(25) “State program” means a program established by a State pursuant to section 1253 of this title to regulate surface coal mining and reclamation operations, on lands within such State in accord with the requirements of this chapter and regulations issued by the Secretary pursuant to this chapter;

(26) “State regulatory authority” means the department or agency in each State which has primary responsibility at the State level for administering this chapter;

(27) “surface coal mining and reclamation operations” means surface mining operations and all activities necessary and incident to the reclamation of such operations after August 3, 1977;

(28) “surface coal mining operations” means—

(A) activities conducted on the surface of lands in connection with a surface coal mine or subject to the requirements of section 1266 of this title surface operations and surface impacts incident to an underground coal mine, the products of which enter commerce or the operations of which directly or indirectly affect interstate commerce. Such activities include excavation for the purpose of obtaining coal including such common methods as contour, strip, auger, mountaintop removal, box cut, open pit, and area mining, the uses of explosives and blasting, and in situ distillation or retorting, leaching or other chemical or physical processing, and the cleaning, concentrating, or other processing or preparation, loading of coal for interstate commerce at or near the mine site: Provided, however, That such activities do not include the extraction of coal incidental to the extraction of other minerals where coal does not exceed 162/3 per centum of the tonnage of minerals removed for purposes of commercial use or sale or coal explorations subject to section 1262 of this title; and

(B) the areas upon which such activities occur or where such activities disturb the natural land surface. Such areas shall also include any adjacent land the use of which is incidental to any such activities, all lands affected by the construction of new roads or the improvement or use of existing roads to gain access to the site of such activities and for haulage, and excavations, workings, impoundments, dams, ventilation shafts, entryways, refuse banks, dumps, stockpiles, overburden piles, spoil banks, culm banks, tailings, holes or depressions, repair areas, storage areas, processing areas, shipping areas and other areas upon which are sited structures, facilities, or other property or materials on the surface, resulting from or incident to such activities; and 2


(29) “unwarranted failure to comply” means the failure of a permittee to prevent the occurrence of any violation of his permit or any requirement of this chapter due to indifference, lack of diligence, or lack of reasonable care, or the failure to abate any violation of such permit or the chapter due to indifference, lack of diligence, or lack of reasonable care;

(30) “lignite coal” means consolidated lignitic coal having less than 8,300 British thermal units per pound, moist and mineral matter free;

(31) the term “coal laboratory”, as used in subchapter VIII, means a university coal research laboratory established and operated pursuant to a designation made under section 1311 of this title;

(32) the term “institution of higher education” as used in subchapters VIII and IX, means any such institution as defined by section 1001 3 of title 20;

(33) the term “unanticipated event or condition” as used in section 1260(e) of this title means an event or condition encountered in a remining operation that was not contemplated by the applicable surface coal mining and reclamation permit; and

(34) the term “lands eligible for remining” means those lands that would otherwise be eligible for expenditures under section 1234 of this title or under section 1232(g)(4) of this title.

(Pub. L. 95–87, title VII, §701, Aug. 5, 1977, 91 Stat. 516; Pub. L. 102–486, title XXV, §2503(c), Oct. 24, 1992, 106 Stat. 3103; Pub. L. 105–244, title I, §102(a)(10), Oct. 7, 1998, 112 Stat. 1620.)

References in Text

This chapter, referred to in text, was in the original “this Act”, meaning Pub. L. 95–87, Aug. 3, 1977, 91 Stat. 445, which enacted this chapter and amended section 1114 of Title 18, Crimes and Criminal Procedure. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 1201 of this title and Tables.

Section 1001 of title 20, referred to in par. (32), was in the original “section 101 of the Higher Education Act of 1968” and was translated as reading “section 101 of the Higher Education Act of 1965”, meaning section 101 of Pub. L. 89–329, to reflect the probable intent of Congress because section 101 was added to the Higher Education Act of 1965 by Pub. L. 105–244.

Amendments

1998—Par. (32). Pub. L. 105–244 substituted “section 1001” for “section 1141(a)”.

1992—Pars. (33), (34). Pub. L. 102–486 added pars. (33) and (34).

Effective Date of 1998 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 105–244 effective Oct. 1, 1998, except as otherwise provided in Pub. L. 105–244, see section 3 of Pub. L. 105–244, set out as a note under section 1001 of Title 20, Education.

1 So in original. The period probably should be a semicolon.

2 So in original. The word “and” probably should not appear.

3 See References in Text note below.

§1292. Other Federal laws

(a) Construction of chapter as superseding, amending, modifying, or repealing certain laws

Nothing in this chapter shall be construed as superseding, amending, modifying, or repealing the Mining and Minerals Policy Act of 1970 (30 U.S.C. 21a), the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321–47), or any of the following Acts or with any rule or regulation promulgated thereunder, including, but not limited to—

(1) The Federal Metal and Nonmetallic Mine Safety Act (30 U.S.C. 721–740).

(2) The Federal Coal Mine Health and Safety Act of 1969 (83 Stat. 742) [30 U.S.C. 801 et seq.].

(3) The Federal Water Pollution Control Act (79 Stat. 903), as amended [33 U.S.C. 1251 et seq.], the State laws enacted pursuant thereto, or other Federal laws relating to preservation of water quality.

(4) The Clean Air Act, as amended [42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.].

(5) The Solid Waste Disposal Act [42 U.S.C. 6901 et seq.].

(6) The Refuse Act of 1899 (33 U.S.C. 407).

(7) The Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act of 1934 (16 U.S.C. 661–666c).

(8) The Mineral Leasing Act of 1920, as amended (30 U.S.C. 181 et seq.).

(b) Effect on authority of Secretary or heads of other Federal agencies

Nothing in this chapter shall affect in any way the authority of the Secretary or the heads of other Federal agencies under other provisions of law to include in any lease, license, permit, contract, or other instrument such conditions as may be appropriate to regulate surface coal mining and reclamation operations on land under their jurisdiction.

(c) Cooperation

To the greatest extent practicable each Federal agency shall cooperate with the Secretary and the States in carrying out the provisions of this chapter.

(d) Major Federal action

Approval of the State programs, pursuant to section 1253(b) of this title, promulgation of Federal programs, pursuant to section 1254 of this title, and implementation of the Federal lands programs, pursuant to section 1273 of this title, shall not constitute a major action within the meaning of section 102(2)(C) of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4332). Adoption of regulations under section 1251(b) of this title shall constitute a major action within the meaning of section 102(2)(C) of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4332).

(Pub. L. 95–87, title VII, §702, Aug. 3, 1977, 91 Stat. 519.)

References In Text

The Mining and Minerals Policy Act of 1970 (30 U.S.C. 21a), referred to in subsec. (a), is Pub. L. 91–631, Dec. 31, 1970, 84 Stat. 1876, which enacted section 21a of this title and provisions set out as a note under section 21a of this title. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 21a of this title and Tables.

The National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321–47), referred to in subsec. (a), is Pub. L. 91–190, Jan. 1, 1970, 83 Stat. 852, as amended, which is classified generally to chapter 55 (§4321 et seq.) of Title 42, The Public Health and Welfare. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 4321 of Title 42 and Tables.

The Federal Metal and Nonmetallic Mine Safety Act (30 U.S.C. 721–740), referred to in subsec. (a)(1), is Pub. L. 89–577, Sept. 16, 1966, 80 Stat. 772, which was classified generally to chapter 21 (§721 et seq.) of this title and was repealed by Pub. L. 95–164, title III, §306(a), Nov. 9, 1977, 91 Stat. 1322.

The Federal Coal Mine Health and Safety Act of 1969 (83 Stat. 742), referred to in subsec. (a)(2), is Pub. L. 91–173, Dec. 30, 1969, 83 Stat. 742, as amended, which was redesignated the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977 by Pub. L. 95–164, title I, §101, Nov. 9, 1977, 91 Stat. 1290, and is classified principally to chapter 22 (§801 et seq.) of this title. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 801 of this title and Tables.

The Federal Water Pollution Control Act (79 Stat. 903), referred to in subsec. (a)(3), is act June 30, 1948, ch. 758, 62 Stat. 1155, as amended generally by Pub. L. 92–500, §2, Oct. 18, 1972, 86 Stat. 816, which is classified generally to chapter 26 (§1251 et seq.) of Title 33, Navigation and Navigable Waters. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 1251 of Title 33 and Tables.

The Clean Air Act, referred to in subsec. (a)(4), is act July 14, 1955, ch. 360, 69 Stat. 322, as amended, which is classified generally to chapter 85 (§7401 et seq.) of Title 42, The Public Health and Welfare. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 7401 of Title 42 and Tables.

The Solid Waste Disposal Act (42 U.S.C. 3251–3259), referred to in subsec. (a)(5), is title II of Pub. L. 89–272, Oct. 20, 1965, 79 Stat. 997, as amended generally by Pub. L. 94–580, §2, Oct. 21, 1976, 90 Stat. 2795, which is classified generally to chapter 82 (§6901 et seq.) of Title 42. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 6901 of Title 42 and Tables.

The Refuse Act of 1899 (33 U.S.C. 407), referred to in subsec. (a)(6), probably means act Mar. 3, 1899, ch. 425, §13, 30 Stat. 1152, which enacted section 407 of Title 33, Navigation and Navigable Waters.

The Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act of 1934 (16 U.S.C. 661–666c), referred to in subsec. (a)(7), is act Mar. 10, 1934, ch. 55, 48 Stat. 401, as amended, known as the Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act, which is classified generally to sections 661 to 666c of Title 16, Conservation. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 661 of Title 16 and Tables.

The Mineral Leasing Act of 1920, as amended (30 U.S.C. 181 et seq.), referred to in subsec. (a)(8), is act Feb. 25, 1920, ch. 85, 41 Stat. 437, as amended, known as the Mineral Leasing Act, which is classified generally to chapter 3A (§181 et seq.) of this title. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 181 of this title and Tables.

§1293. Employee protection

(a) Retaliatory practices prohibited

No person shall discharge, or in any other way discriminate against, or cause to be fired or discriminated against, any employee or any authorized representative of employees by reason of the fact that such employee or representative has filed, instituted, or caused to be filed or instituted any proceeding under this chapter, or has testified or is about to testify in any proceeding resulting from the administration or enforcement of the provisions of this chapter.

(b) Review by Secretary; investigation; notice; hearing; findings of fact; judicial review

Any employee or a representative of employees who believes that he has been fired or otherwise discriminated against by any person in violation of subsection (a) of this section may, within thirty days after such alleged violation occurs, apply to the Secretary for a review of such firing or alleged discrimination. A copy of the application shall be sent to the person or operator who will be the respondent. Upon receipt of such application, the Secretary shall cause such investigation to be made as he deems appropriate. Such investigation shall provide an opportunity for a public hearing at the request of any party to such review to enable the parties to present information relating to the alleged violation. The parties shall be given written notice of the time and place of the hearing at least five days prior to the hearing. Any such hearing shall be of record and shall be subject to section 554 of title 5. Upon receiving the report of such investigation the Secretary shall make findings of fact. If he finds that a violation did occur, he shall issue a decision incorporating therein his findings and an order requiring the party committing the violation to take such affirmative action to abate the violation as the Secretary deems appropriate, including, but not limited to, the rehiring or reinstatement of the employee or representative of employees to his former position with compensation. If he finds that there was no violation, he will issue a finding. Orders issued by the Secretary under this subsection shall be subject to judicial review in the same manner as orders and decisions of the Secretary are subject to judicial review under this chapter.

(c) Costs

Whenever an order is issued under this section to abate any violation, at the request of the applicant a sum equal to the aggregate amount of all costs and expenses (including attorneys’ fees) to have been reasonably incurred by the applicant for, or in connection with, the institution and prosecution of such proceedings, shall be assessed against the persons committing the violation.

(Pub. L. 95–87, title VII, §703, Aug. 3, 1977, 91 Stat. 520.)

§1294. Penalty

Any person who shall, except as permitted by law, willfully resist, prevent, impede, or interfere with the Secretary or any of his agents in the performance of duties pursuant to this chapter shall be punished by a fine of not more than $5,000 or by imprisonment for not more than one year, or both.

(Pub. L. 95–87, title VII, §704, Aug. 3, 1977, 91 Stat. 520.)

Codification

Section 704 of Pub. L. 95–87 also amended section 1114 of Title 18, Crimes and Criminal Procedure.

§1295. Grants to States

(a) Assisting any State in development, administration, and enforcement of State programs under this chapter

The Secretary is authorized to make annual grants to any State for the purpose of assisting such State in developing, administering, and enforcing State programs under this chapter. Except as provided in subsection (c) of this section, such grants shall not exceed 80 per centum of the total costs incurred during the first year, 60 per centum of total costs incurred during the second year, and 50 per centum of the total costs incurred during each year thereafter.

(b) Assisting any State in development, administration, and enforcement of its State programs

The Secretary is authorized to cooperate with and provide assistance to any State for the purpose of assisting it in the development, administration, and enforcement of its State programs. Such cooperation and assistance shall include—

(1) technical assistance and training including provision of necessary curricular and instruction materials, in the development, administration, and enforcement of the State programs; and

(2) assistance in preparing and maintaining a continuing inventory of information on surface coal mining and reclamation operations for each State for the purposes of evaluating the effectiveness of the State programs. Such assistance shall include all Federal departments and agencies making available data relevant to surface coal mining and reclamation operations and to the development, administration, and enforcement of State programs concerning such operations.

(c) Increases in annual grants

If, in accordance with section 1273(d) of this title, a State elects to regulate surface coal mining and reclamation operations on Federal lands, the Secretary may increase the amount of the annual grants under subsection (a) of this section by an amount which he determines is approximately equal to the amount the Federal Government would have expended for such regulation if the State had not made such election.

(Pub. L. 95–87, title VII, §705, Aug. 3, 1977, 91 Stat. 520.)

§1296. Annual report to President and Congress

The Secretary shall submit annually to the President and the Congress a report concerning activities conducted by him, the Federal Government, and the States pursuant to this chapter. Among other matters, the Secretary shall include in such report recommendations for additional administrative or legislative action as he deems necessary and desirable to accomplish the purposes of this chapter.

(Pub. L. 95–87, title VII, §706, Aug. 3, 1977, 91 Stat. 521.)

Termination of Reporting Requirements

For termination, effective May 15, 2000, of provisions in this section relating to requirement to submit a report annually to Congress, see section 3003 of Pub. L. 104–66, as amended, set out as a note under section 1113 of Title 31, Money and Finance, and page 109 of House Document No. 103–7.

§1297. Separability

If any provision of this chapter or the applicability thereof to any person or circumstances is held invalid, the remainder of this chapter and the application of such provision to other persons or circumstances shall not be affected thereby.

(Pub. L. 95–87, title VII, §707, Aug. 3, 1977, 91 Stat. 521.)

§1298. Alaskan surface coal mine study

(a) Contract with National Academy of Sciences-National Academy of Engineering

The Secretary is directed to contract to such extent or in such amounts as are provided in advance in appropriation Acts with the National Academy of Sciences-National Academy of Engineering for an in-depth study of surface coal mining conditions in the State of Alaska in order to determine which, if any, of the provisions of this chapter should be modified with respect to surface coal mining operations in Alaska.

(b) Report to President and Congress

The Secretary shall report on the findings of the study to the President and Congress no later than two years after August 3, 1977.

(c) Draft of legislation

The Secretary shall include in his report a draft of legislation to implement any changes recommended to this chapter.

(d) Modification of applicability of environmental protection provisions of this chapter to surface coal mining operations in Alaska; publication in Federal Register; hearing

Until one year after the Secretary has made this report to the President and Congress, or three years after August 3, 1977, whichever comes first, the Secretary is authorized to modify the applicability of any environmental protection provision of this chapter, or any regulation issued pursuant thereto, to any surface coal mining operation in Alaska from which coal has been mined during the year preceding August 3, 1977, if he determines that it is necessary to insure the continued operation of such surface coal mining operation. The Secretary may exercise this authority only after he has (1) published notice of proposed modification in the Federal Register and in a newspaper of general circulation in the area of Alaska in which the affected surface coal mining operation is located, and (2) held a public hearing on the proposed modification in Alaska.

(e) Interim regulations

In order to allow new mines in Alaska to continue orderly development, the Secretary is authorized to issue interim regulations pursuant to section 1251(b) of this title including those modifications to the environmental standards as required based on the special physical, hydrological and climatic conditions in Alaska but with the purpose of protecting the environment to an extent equivalent to those standards for the other coal regions.

(f) Authorization of appropriations

There is authorized to be appropriated for the purpose of this section $250,000: Provided, That no new budget authority is authorized to be appropriated for fiscal year 1977.

(Pub. L. 95–87, title VII, §708, Aug. 3, 1977, 91 Stat. 521.)

§1299. Study of reclamation standards for surface mining of other minerals

(a) Contract with National Academy of Sciences-National Academy of Engineering; requirements

The Chairman of the Council on Environmental Quality is directed to contract to such extent or in such amounts as are provided in appropriation Acts with the National Academy of Sciences-National Academy of Engineering, other Government agencies or private groups as appropriate, for an in-depth study of current and developing technology for surface and open pit mining and reclamation for minerals other than coal designed to assist in the establishment of effective and reasonable regulation of surface and open pit mining and reclamation for minerals other than coal. The study shall—

(1) assess the degree to which the requirements of this chapter can be met by such technology and the costs involved;

(2) identify areas where the requirements of this chapter cannot be met by current and developing technology;

(3) in those instances describe requirements most comparable to those of this chapter which could be met, the costs involved, and the differences in reclamation results between these requirements and those of this chapter; and

(4) discuss alternative regulatory mechanisms designed to insure the achievement of the most beneficial postmining land use for areas affected by surface and open pit mining.

(b) Submittal of study with legislative recommendation to President and Congress

The study together with specific legislative recommendations shall be submitted to the President and the Congress no later than eighteen months after August 3, 1977: Provided, That, with respect to surface or open pit mining for sand and gravel the study shall be submitted no later than twelve months after August 3, 1977: Provided further, That with respect to mining for oil shale and tar sands that a preliminary report shall be submitted no later than twelve months after August 3, 1977.

(c) Authorization of appropriations

There are authorized to be appropriated for the purpose of this section $500,000: Provided, That no new budget authority is authorized to be appropriated for fiscal year 1977.

(Pub. L. 95–87, title VII, §709, Aug. 3, 1977, 91 Stat. 522.)

§1300. Indian lands

(a) Study of regulation of surface mining; consultation with tribe; proposed legislation

The Secretary is directed to study the question of the regulation of surface mining on Indian lands which will achieve the purpose of this chapter and recognize the special jurisdictional status of these lands. In carrying out this study the Secretary shall consult with Indian tribes. The study report shall include proposed legislation designed to allow Indian tribes to elect to assume full regulatory authority over the administration and enforcement of regulation of surface mining of coal on Indian lands.

(b) Submittal of study to Congress

The study report required by subsection (a) of this section together with drafts of proposed legislation and the view of each Indian tribe which would be affected shall be submitted to the Congress as soon as possible but not later than January 1, 1978.

(c) Compliance with interim environmental protection standards of this chapter

On and after one hundred and thirty-five days from August 3, 1977, all surface coal mining operations on Indian lands shall comply with requirements at least as stringent as those imposed by subsections (b)(2), (b)(3), (b)(5), (b)(10), (b)(13), (b)(19), and (d) of section 1265 of this title and the Secretary shall incorporate the requirements of such provisions in all existing and new leases issued for coal on Indian lands.

(d) Compliance with permanent environmental protection standards of this chapter

On and after thirty months from August 3, 1977, all surface coal mining operations on Indian lands shall comply with requirements at least as stringent as those imposed by sections 1257, 1258, 1259, 1260, 1265, 1266, 1267, and 1269 of this title and the Secretary shall incorporate the requirements of such provisions in all existing and new leases issued for coal on Indian lands.

(e) Inclusion and enforcement of terms and conditions of leases

With respect to leases issued after August 3, 1977, the Secretary shall include and enforce terms and conditions in addition to those required by subsections (c) and (d) of this section as may be requested by the Indian tribe in such leases.

(f) Approval of changes in terms and conditions of leases

Any change required by subsection (c) or (d) of this section in the terms and conditions of any coal lease on Indian lands existing on August 3, 1977, shall require the approval of the Secretary.

(g) Participation of tribes

The Secretary shall provide for adequate participation by the various Indian tribes affected in the study authorized in this section and not more than $700,000 of the funds authorized in section 1302(a) of this title shall be reserved for this purpose.

(h) Jurisdictional status

The Secretary shall analyze and make recommendations regarding the jurisdictional status of Indian Lands 1 outside the exterior boundaries of Indian reservations: Provided, That nothing in this chapter shall change the existing jurisdictional status of Indian Lands.1

(i) Grants

The Secretary shall make grants to the Navajo, Hopi, Northern Cheyenne, and Crow tribes to assist such tribes in developing regulations and programs for regulating surface coal mining and reclamation operations on Indian lands. Grants made under this subsection shall be used to establish an office of surface mining regulation for each such tribe. Each such office shall—

(1) develop tribal regulations and program policies with respect to surface mining;

(2) assist the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement established by section 1211 of this title in the inspection and enforcement of surface mining activities on Indian lands, including, but not limited to, permitting, mine plan review, and bond release; and

(3) sponsor employment training and education in the area of mining and mineral resources.

(j) Tribal regulatory authority

(1) Tribal regulatory programs

(A) In general

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, an Indian tribe may apply for, and obtain the approval of, a tribal program under section 1253 of this title regulating in whole or in part surface coal mining and reclamation operations on reservation land under the jurisdiction of the Indian tribe using the procedures of section 1254(e) of this title.

(B) References to State

For purposes of this subsection and the implementation and administration of a tribal program under subchapter V, any reference to a “State” in this chapter shall be considered to be a reference to a “tribe”.

(2) Conflicts of interest

(A) In general

The fact that an individual is a member of an Indian tribe does not in itself constitute a violation of section 1211(f) of this title.

(B) Employees of tribal regulatory authority

Any employee of a tribal regulatory authority shall not be eligible for a per capita distribution of any proceeds from coal mining operations conducted on Indian reservation lands under this chapter.

(3) Sovereign immunity

To receive primary regulatory authority under section 1254(e) of this title, an Indian tribe shall waive sovereign immunity for purposes of section 1270 of this title and paragraph (4).

(4) Judicial review

(A) Civil actions

(i) In general

After exhausting all tribal remedies with respect to a civil action arising under a tribal program approved under section 1254(e) of this title, an interested party may file a petition for judicial review of the civil action in the United States circuit court for the circuit in which the surface coal mining operation named in the petition is located.

(ii) Scope of review

(I) Questions of law

The United States circuit court shall review de novo any questions of law under clause (i).

(II) Findings of fact

The United States circuit court shall review findings of fact under clause (i) using a clearly erroneous standard.

(B) Criminal actions

Any criminal action brought under section 1268 of this title with respect to surface coal mining or reclamation operations on Indian reservation lands shall be brought in—

(i) the United States District Court for the District of Columbia; or

(ii) the United States district court in which the criminal activity is alleged to have occurred.

(5) Grants

(A) In general

Except as provided in subparagraph (B), grants for developing, administering, and enforcing tribal programs approved in accordance with section 1254(e) of this title shall be provided to an Indian tribe in accordance with section 1295 of this title.

(B) Exception

Notwithstanding subparagraph (A), the Federal share of the costs of developing, administering, and enforcing an approved tribal program shall be 100 percent.

(6) Report

Not later than 18 months after the date on which a tribal program is approved under subsection (e) of section 1254 of this title, the Secretary shall submit to the appropriate committees of Congress a report, developed in cooperation with the applicable Indian tribe, on the tribal program that includes a recommendation of the Secretary on whether primary regulatory authority under that subsection should be expanded to include additional Indian lands.

(Pub. L. 95–87, title VII, §710, Aug. 3, 1977, 91 Stat. 523; Pub. L. 102–486, title XXV, §2514, Oct. 24, 1992, 106 Stat. 3112; Pub. L. 109–432, div. C, title II, §209, Dec. 20, 2006, 120 Stat. 3019.)

Amendments

2006—Subsec. (i). Pub. L. 109–432, §209(b), struck out “, except that nothing in this subsection may be construed as providing such tribes with the authorities set forth under section 1253 of this title” after “Indian lands” in introductory provisions.

Subsec. (j). Pub. L. 109–432, §209(a), added subsec. (j).

1992—Subsec. (i). Pub. L. 102–486 added subsec. (i).

1 So in original. Probably should be “lands”.

§1301. Environmental practices

In order to encourage advances in mining and reclamation practices or to allow post-mining land use for industrial, commercial, residential, or public use (including recreational facilities), the regulatory authority with approval by the Secretary may authorize departures in individual cases on an experimental basis from the environmental protection performance standards promulgated under sections 1265 and 1266 of this title. Such departures may be authorized if (i) the experimental practices are potentially more or at least as environmentally protective, during and after mining operations, as those required by promulgated standards; (ii) the mining operations approved for particular land-use or other purposes are not larger or more numerous than necessary to determine the effectiveness and economic feasibility of the experimental practices; and (iii) the experimental practices do not reduce the protection afforded public health and safety below that provided by promulgated standards.

(Pub. L. 95–87, title VII, §711, Aug. 3, 1977, 91 Stat. 523.)

§1302. Authorization of appropriations

There is authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary for the purposes of this chapter the following sums; and all such funds appropriated shall remain available until expended:

(a) For the implementation and funding of sections 1252, 1273, and 1300 of this title, there are authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary of the Interior the sum of $10,000,000 for the fiscal year ending September 30, 1978, $25,000,000 for each of the two succeeding fiscal years, and in such fiscal years such additional amounts as may be necessary for increases in salary, pay, retirement, other employee benefits authorized by law, and other nondiscretionary costs.

(b) For the implementation and funding of section 1257(c) of this title, see the provisions of section 1231(c)(9) of this title.

(c) For the implementation and funding of section 1295 of this title and for the administrative and other purposes of this chapter, except as otherwise provided for in this chapter, authorization is provided for the sum of $20,000,000 for the fiscal year ending September 30, 1978, and $30,000,000 for each of the two succeeding fiscal years and such funds that are required thereafter.

(d) In order that the implementation of the requirements of this chapter may be initiated in a timely and orderly manner, the Secretary is authorized, subject to the approval of the appropriation Committees of the House and of the Senate, to utilize not to exceed $2,000,000 of the appropriations otherwise available to him for the fiscal year ending September 30, 1977, for the administration and other purposes of this chapter.

(Pub. L. 95–87, title VII, §712, Aug. 3, 1977, 91 Stat. 524; Pub. L. 95–343, §1, Aug. 11, 1978, 92 Stat. 473; Pub. L. 101–508, title VI, §6012(b), Nov. 5, 1990, 104 Stat. 1388–298; Pub. L. 109–432, div. C, title II, §201(b), Dec. 20, 2006, 120 Stat. 3008.)

Amendments

2006—Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 109–432 substituted “1231(c)(9)” for “1231(c)(11)”.

1990—Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 101–508 amended subsec. (b) generally. Prior to amendment, subsec. (b) read as follows: “For the implementation and funding of section 1257(c) of this title there are authorized to be appropriated sums reserved by section 1231(b)(1) of this title for the purposes of section 1257(c) of this title and such additional sums as may be necessary (i) for the fiscal year ending September 30, 1978, to provide an amount not to exceed $10,000,000 to carry out the purposes of section 1257(c) of this title and (ii) for the fiscal years ending September 30, 1979, and September 30, 1980, to provide an amount not to exceed $25,000,000 to carry out the purposes of section 1257(c) of this title.”

1978—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 95–343, §1(1), increased authorization from $10,000,000 to $25,000,000 for each of the two succeeding fiscal years, and inserted provisions authorizing such necessary additional amounts for increases in salary, etc.

Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 95–343, §1(2), substituted provisions authorizing appropriations of not to exceed $10,000,000 for fiscal year ending Sept. 30, 1978, and not to exceed $25,000,000 for each of fiscal years ending Sept. 30, 1979, and 1980, for provisions authorizing appropriations of not to exceed $10,000,000 and such additional amounts as are necessary for fiscal year ending Sept. 30, 1978, and for each fiscal year for a period of fifteen fiscal years thereafter.

Effective Date of 1990 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 101–508, effective Oct. 1, 1991, see section 6014 of Pub. L. 101–508 set out as a note under section 1231 of this title.

Crediting Performance Bond Forfeitures

Pub. L. 105–277, div. A, §101(e) [title I], Oct. 21, 1998, 112 Stat. 2681–231, 2681–244, provided in part that: “Notwithstanding 31 U.S.C. 3302, an additional amount shall be credited to this account, to remain available until expended, from performance bond forfeitures in fiscal year 1999 and thereafter.”

Cost-Based Fees for Products of Mine Map Repository

Pub. L. 105–277, div. A, §101(e) [title I], Oct. 21, 1998, 112 Stat. 2681–231, 2681–244, provided in part that: “Beginning in fiscal year 1999 and thereafter, cost-based fees for the products of the Mine Map Repository shall be established (and revised as needed) in Federal Register Notices, and shall be collected and credited to this account, to be available until expended for the costs of administering this program.”

§1303. Coordination of regulatory and inspection activities

(a) The President shall, to the extent appropriate, and in keeping with the particular enforcement requirements of each Act referred to herein, insure the coordination of regulatory and inspection activities among the departments, agencies, and instrumentalities to which such activities are assigned by this chapter, by the Clean Air Act [42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.], by the Water Pollution Control Act [33 U.S.C. 1251 et seq.], by the Department of Energy Organization Act [42 U.S.C. 7101 et seq.], and by existing or subsequently enacted Federal mine safety and health laws, except that no such coordination shall be required with respect to mine safety and health inspections, advance notice of which is or may be prohibited by existing or subsequently enacted Federal mine safety and health laws.

(b) The President may execute the coordination required by this section by means of an Executive order, or by any other mechanism he determines to be appropriate.

(Pub. L. 95–87, title VII, §713, Aug. 3, 1977, 91 Stat. 524.)

References in Text

The Clean Air Act, referred to in subsec. (a), is act July 14, 1955, ch. 360, 69 Stat. 322, as amended, which is classified generally to chapter 85 (§7401 et seq.) of Title 42, The Public Health and Welfare. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 7401 of Title 42 and Tables.

The Water Pollution Control Act, referred to in subsec. (a), probably means act June 30, 1948, ch. 758, 62 Stat. 1155, known as the Federal Water Pollution Control Act, as amended generally by Pub. L. 92–500, §2, Oct. 18, 1972, 86 Stat. 816, which is classified generally to chapter 26 (§1251 et seq.) of Title 33, Navigation and Navigable Waters. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 1251 of Title 33 and Tables.

The Department of Energy Organization Act, referred to in subsec. (a), is Pub. L. 95–91, Aug. 4, 1977, 91 Stat. 565, as amended, which is classified principally to chapter 84 (§7101 et seq.) of Title 42, The Public Health and Welfare. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 7101 of Title 42 and Tables.

§1304. Surface owner protection

(a) Applicability

The provisions of this section shall apply where coal owned by the United States under land the surface rights to which are owned by a surface owner as defined in this section is to be mined by methods other than underground mining techniques.

(b) Lease of coal deposits governed by section 201 of this title

Any coal deposits subject to this section shall be offered for lease pursuant to section 201(a) of this title.

(c) Consent to lease by surface owner

The Secretary shall not enter into any lease of Federal coal deposits until the surface owner has given written consent to enter and commence surface mining operations and the Secretary has obtained evidence of such consent. Valid written consent given by any surface owner prior to August 3, 1977, shall be deemed sufficient for the purposes of complying with this section.

(d) Preferences

In order to minimize disturbance to surface owners from surface coal mining of Federal coal deposits and to assist in the preparation of comprehensive land-use plans required by section 201(a) of this title, the Secretary shall consult with any surface owner whose land is proposed to be included in a leasing tract and shall ask the surface owner to state his preference for or against the offering of the deposit under his land for lease. The Secretary shall, in his discretion but to the maximum extent practicable, refrain from leasing coal deposits for development by methods other than underground mining techniques in those areas where a significant number of surface owners have stated a preference against the offering of the deposits for lease.

(e) “Surface owner” defined

For the purpose of this section the term “surface owner” means the natural person or persons (or corporation, the majority stock of which is held by a person or persons who meet the other requirements of this section) who—

(1) hold legal or equitable title to the land surface;

(2) have their principal place of residence on the land; or personally conduct farming or ranching operations upon a farm or ranch unit to be affected by surface coal mining operations; or receive directly a significant portion of their income, if any, from such farming or ranching operations; and

(3) have met the conditions of paragraphs (1) and (2) for a period of at least three years prior to the granting of the consent.


In computing the three-year period the Secretary may include periods during which title was owned by a relative of such person by blood or marriage during which period such relative would have met the requirements of this subsection.

(f) Exception

This section shall not apply to Indian lands.

(g) Effect on property rights of United States or any other landowner

Nothing in this section shall be construed as increasing or diminishing any property rights by the United States or by any other landowner.

(Pub. L. 95–87, title VII, §714, Aug. 3, 1977, 91 Stat. 524.)

§1305. Federal lessee protection

In those instances where the coal proposed to be mined by surface coal mining operations is owned by the Federal Government and the surface is subject to a lease or a permit issued by the Federal Government, the application for a permit shall include either:

(1) the written consent of the permittee or lessee of the surface lands involved to enter and commence surface coal mining operations on such land, or in lieu thereof;

(2) evidence of the execution of a bond or undertaking to the United States or the State, whichever is applicable, for the use and benefit of the permittee or lessee of the surface lands involved to secure payment of any damages to the surface estate which the operations will cause to the crops, or to the tangible improvements of the permittee or lessee of the surface lands as may be determined by the parties involved, or as determined and fixed in an action brought against the operator or upon the bond in a court of competent jurisdiction. This bond is in addition to the performance bond required for reclamation under this chapter.

(Pub. L. 95–87, title VII, §715, Aug. 3, 1977, 91 Stat. 525.)

§1306. Effect on rights of owner of coal in Alaska to conduct surface mining operations

Nothing in this chapter shall be construed as increasing or diminishing the rights of any owner of coal in Alaska to conduct or authorize surface coal mining operations for coal which has been or is hereafter conveyed out of Federal ownership to the State of Alaska or pursuant to the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act [43 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.]: Provided, That such surface coal mining operations meet the requirements of this chapter.

(Pub. L. 95–87, title VII, §716, Aug. 3, 1977, 91 Stat. 526.)

References in Text

The Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, referred to in text, is Pub. L. 92–203, Dec. 18, 1971, 85 Stat. 688, as amended, which is classified generally to chapter 33 (§1601 et seq.) of Title 43, Public Lands. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 1601 of Title 43 and Tables.

§1307. Water rights and replacement

(a) Nothing in this chapter shall be construed as affecting in any way the right of any person to enforce or protect, under applicable law, his interest in water resources affected by a surface coal mining operation.

(b) The operator of a surface coal mine shall replace the water supply of an owner of interest in real property who obtains all or part of his supply of water for domestic, agricultural, industrial, or other legitimate use from an underground or surface source where such supply has been affected by contamination, diminution, or interruption proximately resulting from such surface coal mine operation.

(Pub. L. 95–87, title VII, §717, Aug. 3, 1977, 91 Stat. 526.)

§1308. Advance appropriations

Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, no authority to make payments under this chapter shall be effective except to such extent or in such amounts as are provided in advance in appropriation Acts.

(Pub. L. 95–87, title VII, §718, Aug. 3, 1977, 91 Stat. 526.)

§1308a. Use of civil penalty funds to reclaim lands

In fiscal year 2009 and thereafter, the Secretary of the Interior, pursuant to regulations, may use directly or through grants to States, moneys collected for civil penalties assessed under section 1268 of this title, to reclaim lands adversely affected by coal mining practices after August 3, 1977, to remain available until expended.

(Pub. L. 111–8, div. E, title I, Mar. 11, 2009, 123 Stat. 712.)

Codification

Section was enacted as part of the Department of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2009, and also as part of the Omnibus Appropriations Act, 2009, and not as part of the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 which comprises this chapter.

§1309. Certification and training of blasters

In accordance with this chapter, the Secretary of the Interior (or the approved State regulatory authority as provided for in section 1253 of this title) shall promulgate regulations requiring the training, examination, and certification of persons engaging in or directly responsible for blasting or use of explosives in surface coal mining operations.

(Pub. L. 95–87, title VII, §719, Aug. 3, 1977, 91 Stat. 526.)

§1309a. Subsidence

(a) Requirements

Underground coal mining operations conducted after October 24, 1992, shall comply with each of the following requirements:

(1) Promptly repair, or compensate for, material damage resulting from subsidence caused to any occupied residential dwelling and structures related thereto, or non-commercial building due to underground coal mining operations. Repair of damage shall include rehabilitation, restoration, or replacement of the damaged occupied residential dwelling and structures related thereto, or non-commercial building. Compensation shall be provided to the owner of the damaged occupied residential dwelling and structures related thereto or non-commercial building and shall be in the full amount of the diminution in value resulting from the subsidence. Compensation may be accomplished by the purchase, prior to mining, of a noncancellable premium-prepaid insurance policy.

(2) Promptly replace any drinking, domestic, or residential water supply from a well or spring in existence prior to the application for a surface coal mining and reclamation permit, which has been affected by contamination, diminution, or interruption resulting from underground coal mining operations.


Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit or interrupt underground coal mining operations.

(b) Regulations

Within one year after October 24, 1992, the Secretary shall, after providing notice and opportunity for public comment, promulgate final regulations to implement subsection (a) of this section.

(Pub. L. 95–87, title VII, §720, as added Pub. L. 102–486, title XXV, §2504(a)(1), Oct. 24, 1992, 106 Stat. 3104.)

Review of Existing Requirements and Report to Congress

Section 2504(a)(2) of Pub. L. 102–486 directed Secretary of the Interior to review existing requirements related to underground coal mine subsidence and natural gas and petroleum pipeline safety, submit a report detailing results of review to Committee on Energy and Natural Resources of Senate and Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs of House of Representatives within 18 months of Oct. 24, 1992, and, where appropriate, to commence a rulemaking to address any deficiencies in existing law determined in the review regarding notification, coordination and mitigation.

§1309b. Research

The Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement is authorized to conduct studies, research and demonstration projects relating to the implementation of, and compliance with, subchapter V of this chapter, and provide technical assistance to states 1 for that purpose. Prior to approving any such studies, research or demonstration projects the Director, Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, shall first consult with the Director, Bureau of Mines, and obtain a determination from such Director that the Bureau of Mines is not already conducting like or similar studies, research or demonstration projects. Studies, research and demonstration projects for the purposes of subchapter IV of this chapter shall only be conducted in accordance with section 1231(c)(6) 2 of this title.

(Pub. L. 95–87, title VII, §721, as added Pub. L. 102–486, title XXV, §2504(c)(3), Oct. 24, 1992, 106 Stat. 3105.)

References in Text

Section 1231(c)(6) of this title, referred to in text, was repealed and paragraph (8) of section 1231(c) was redesignated (6) by Pub. L. 109–432, div. C, title II, §201(a)(1), Dec. 20, 2006, 120 Stat. 3006.

Change of Name

Bureau of Mines redesignated United States Bureau of Mines by section 10(b) of Pub. L. 102–285, set out as a note under section 1 of this title. For provisions relating to closure and transfer of functions of the United States Bureau of Mines, see Transfer of Functions note set out under section 1 of this title.

1 So in original. Probably should be capitalized.

2 See References in Text note below.

SUBCHAPTER VIII—UNIVERSITY COAL RESEARCH LABORATORIES

§1311. Establishment of university coal research laboratories

(a) Designation by Secretary of Energy

The Secretary of Energy, after consultation with the National Academy of Engineering, shall designate thirteen institutions of higher education at which university coal research laboratories will be established and operated. Ten such designations shall be made as provided in subsection (e) of this section and the remaining three shall be made in fiscal year 1980.

(b) Criteria

In making designations under this section, the Secretary of Energy shall consider the following criteria:

(1) Those ten institutions of higher education designated as provided in subsection (e) of this section shall be located in a State with abundant coal reserves.

(2) The institution of higher education shall have experience in coal research, expertise in several areas of coal research, and potential or currently active, outstanding programs in coal research.

(3) The institution of higher education has the capacity to establish and operate the coal laboratories to be assisted under this subchapter.

(c) Location of coal laboratories

Not more than one coal laboratory established pursuant to this subchapter shall be located in a single State and at least one coal laboratory shall be established within each of the major coal provinces recognized by the United States Bureau of Mines, including Alaska.

(d) Period for submission of applications for designation; contents

The Secretary of Energy shall establish a period, not in excess of ninety days after August 3, 1977, for the submission of applications for designation under this section. Any institution of higher education desiring to be designated under this subchapter shall submit an application to the Secretary of Energy in such form, at such time, and containing or accompanied by such information as the Secretary of Energy may reasonably require. Each application shall—

(1) describe the facilities to be established for coal energy resources and conversion research and research on related environmental problems including facilities for interdisciplinary academic research projects by the combined efforts of specialists such as mining engineers, mineral engineers, geochemists, mineralogists, mineral economists, fuel scientists, combustion engineers, mineral preparation engineers, coal petrographers, geologists, chemical engineers, civil engineers, mechanical engineers, and ecologists;

(2) set forth a program for the establishment of a test laboratory for coal characterization which, in addition, may be used as a site for the exchange of coal research activities by representatives of private industry engaged in coal research and characterization;

(3) set forth a program for providing research and development activities for students engaged in advanced study in any discipline which is related to the development of adequate energy supplies in the United States. The research laboratory shall be associated with an ongoing educational and research program on extraction and utilization of coal.

(e) Time limit

The Secretary of Energy shall designate the ten institutions of higher education under this section not later than ninety days after the date on which such applications are to be submitted.

(Pub. L. 95–87, title VIII, §801, Aug. 3, 1977, 91 Stat. 526; Pub. L. 95–617, title VI, §604(a), (c), Nov. 9, 1978, 92 Stat. 3166, 3167; Pub. L. 102–285, §10(b), May 18, 1992, 106 Stat. 172.)

Amendments

1978—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 95–617, §604(a), substituted “The Secretary of Energy” for “The Administrator, Energy Research and Development Administration (hereafter referred to as ‘Administrator’ in this subchapter)” and “shall designate thirteen institutions” for “is authorized and directed to designate ten institutions” and inserted provision that ten such designations be made as provided in subsection (e) of this section and the remaining three be made in fiscal year 1980.

Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 95–617, §604(a), (c), substituted in provisions preceding par. (1) “Secretary of Energy” for “Administrator” and in par. (1) “Those ten institutions of higher education designated as provided in subsection (e) of this section” for “The institution of higher education”.

Subsecs. (d), (e). Pub. L. 95–617, §604(c), substituted “Secretary of Energy” for “Administrator” wherever appearing.

Change of Name

“United States Bureau of Mines” substituted for “Bureau of Mines” in subsec. (c) pursuant to section 10(b) of Pub. L. 102–285, set out as a note under section 1 of this title. For provisions relating to closure and transfer of functions of the United States Bureau of Mines, see Transfer of Functions note set out under section 1 of this title.

§1312. Financial assistance

(a) The Secretary of Energy is authorized to make grants to any institution of higher education designated under section 1311 of this title to pay the Federal share of the cost of establishing (including the construction of such facilities as may be necessary) and maintaining a coal laboratory.

(b) Each institution of higher education designated pursuant to section 1311 of this title shall submit an application to the Secretary of Energy. Each such application shall—

(1) set forth the program to be conducted at the coal laboratory which includes the purposes set forth in section 1311(d) of this title;

(2) provide assurances that the university will pay from non-Federal sources the remaining costs of carrying out the program set forth;

(3) provide such fiscal control and fund accounting procedures as may be necessary to assure the proper disbursement of and accounting for Federal funds received under this subchapter;

(4) provide for making an annual report which shall include a description of the activities conducted at the coal laboratory and an evaluation of the success of such activities, and such other necessary reports in such form and containing such information as the Secretary of Energy may require, and for keeping such records and affording such access thereto as may be necessary to assure the correctness and verification of such reports; and

(5) set forth such policies and procedures as will insure that Federal funds made available under this section for any fiscal year will be so used as to supplement and, to the extent practical, increase the level of funds that would, in the absence of such Federal funds, be made available for the purposes of the activities described in subsections (d)(1), (2), and (3) of section 1311 of this title, and in no case supplant such funds.

(Pub. L. 95–87, title VIII, §802, Aug. 3, 1977, 91 Stat. 527; Pub. L. 95–617, title VI, §604(c), Nov. 9, 1978, 92 Stat. 3167.)

Amendments

1978—Pub. L. 95–617 substituted “Secretary of Energy” for “Administrator” wherever appearing.

§1313. Limitation on payments

(a) No institutions of higher education may receive more than $4,000,000 for the construction of its coal research laboratory, including initially installed fixed equipment, nor may it receive more than $1,500,000 for initially installed movable equipment, nor may it receive more than $500,000 for new program startup expenses.

(b) No institution of higher education may receive more than $1,500,000 per year from the Federal Government for operating expenses.

(Pub. L. 95–87, title VIII, §803, Aug. 3, 1977, 91 Stat. 528.)

§1314. Payments; Federal share of operating expenses

(a) From the amounts appropriated pursuant to section 1316 of this title, the Secretary of Energy shall pay to each institution of higher education having an application approved under this subchapter an amount equal to the Federal share of the cost of carrying out that application. Such payments may be in installments, by way of reimbursement, or by way of advance with necessary adjustments on account of underpayments or overpayments.

(b) The Federal share of operating expenses for any fiscal year shall not exceed 50 per centum of the cost of the operation of a coal research laboratory.

(Pub. L. 95–87, title VIII, §804, Aug. 3, 1977, 91 Stat. 528; Pub. L. 95–617, title VI, §604(c), Nov. 9, 1978, 92 Stat. 3167.)

Amendments

1978—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 95–617 substituted “Secretary of Energy” for “Administrator” wherever appearing.

§1315. Advisory Council on Coal Research

(a) Establishment; members

There is established an Advisory Council on Coal Research which shall be composed of—

(1) the Secretary of Energy, who shall be Chairman;

(2) the Director of the United States Bureau of Mines of the Department of the Interior;

(3) the President of the National Academy of Sciences;

(4) the President of the National Academy of Engineering;

(5) the Director of the United States Geological Survey; and

(6) six members appointed by the Secretary of Energy from among individuals who, by virtue of experience or training, are knowledgeable in the field of coal research and mining, and who are representatives of institutions of higher education, industrial users of coal and coal-derived fuels, the coal industry, mine workers, nonindustrial consumer groups, and institutions concerned with the preservation of the environment.

(b) Furnishing advice to Secretary of Energy

The Advisory Council shall advise the Secretary of Energy with respect to the general administration of this subchapter, and furnish such additional advice as he may request.

(c) Annual report to President; transmittal to Congress

The Advisory Council shall make an annual report of its findings and recommendations (including recommendations for changes in the provisions of this subchapter) to the President not later than December 31 of each calendar year. The President shall transmit each such report to the Congress.

(d) Compensation and travel expenses

(1) Members of the Council who are not regular officers or employees of the United States Government shall, while serving on business of the Council, be entitled to receive compensation at rates fixed by the Secretary of Energy but not exceeding the daily rate prescribed for GS-18 of the General Schedule under section 5332 of title 5 and while so serving away from their homes or regular places of business, they may be allowed travel expenses, including per diem in lieu of subsistence, as authorized by section 5703 of title 5 for persons in the Government service employed intermittently.

(2) Members of the Council who are officers or employees of the Government shall be reimbursed for travel, subsistence, and other necessary expenses incurred by them in carrying out their duties on the Council.

(e) Alternate members

Whenever a member of the Council appointed under clauses (1) through (5) is unable to attend a meeting, that member shall appoint an appropriate alternate to represent him for that meeting.

(Pub. L. 95–87, title VIII, §805, Aug. 3, 1977, 91 Stat. 528; Pub. L. 95–617, title VI, §604(c), Nov. 9, 1978, 92 Stat. 3167; Pub. L. 102–285, §10(b), May 18, 1992, 106 Stat. 172.)

Amendments

1978—Pub. L. 95–617 substituted “Secretary of Energy” for “Administrator” wherever appearing.

Change of Name

“United States Bureau of Mines” substituted for “Bureau of Mines” in subsec. (a)(2) pursuant to section 10(b) of Pub. L. 102–285, set out as a note under section 1 of this title. For provisions relating to closure and transfer of functions of the United States Bureau of Mines, see Transfer of Functions note set out under section 1 of this title.

Termination of Reporting Requirements

For termination, effective May 15, 2000, of provisions in subsec. (c) of this section relating to requirement that the President transmit each annual report to Congress, see section 3003 of Pub. L. 104–66, as amended, set out as a note under section 1113 of Title 31, Money and Finance, and page 153 of House Document No. 103–7.

Termination of Advisory Committees

Advisory committees established after Jan. 5, 1973, to terminate not later than the expiration of the 2-year period beginning on the date of their establishment, unless, in the case of a committee established by the President or an officer of the Federal Government, such committee is renewed by appropriate action prior to the expiration of such 2-year period, or in the case of a committee established by the Congress, its duration is otherwise provided for by law. See section 14 of Pub. L. 92–463, Oct. 6, 1972, 86 Stat. 776, set out in the Appendix to Title 5, Government Organization and Employees.

References in Other Laws to GS–16, 17, or 18 Pay Rates

References in laws to the rates of pay for GS–16, 17, or 18, or to maximum rates of pay under the General Schedule, to be considered references to rates payable under specified sections of Title 5, Government Organization and Employees, see section 529 [title I, §101(c)(1)] of Pub. L. 101–509, set out in a note under section 5376 of Title 5.

§1316. Authorization of appropriations

(a) For the ten institutions referred to in the last sentence of section 1311(a) of this title, there are authorized to be appropriated not to exceed $30,000,000 for the fiscal year ending September 30, 1979 (including the cost of construction, equipment, and startup expenses), and not to exceed $7,500,000 for the fiscal year 1980 and for each fiscal year thereafter through the fiscal year ending before October 1, 1984, to carry out the provisions of this subchapter.

(b) For the three remaining institutions referred to in the last sentence of section 1311(a) of this title, there are authorized to be appropriated not to exceed $6,500,000 for the fiscal year 1980 (including the cost of construction, equipment, and startup expenses), and not to exceed $2,000,000 for each fiscal year after fiscal year 1980 ending before October 1, 1984, to carry out the provisions of this subchapter.

(Pub. L. 95–87, title VIII, §806, Aug. 3, 1977, 91 Stat. 529; Pub. L. 95–617, title VI, §604(b), Nov. 9, 1978, 92 Stat. 3166.)

Amendments

1978—Pub. L. 95–617 designated existing provisions as subsec. (a), inserted reference to ten institutions referred to in last sentence of section 1311(a) of this title and substituted provisions authorizing appropriations for each fiscal year thereafter through the fiscal year ending before October 1, 1984, for provisions authorizing appropriations each fiscal year thereafter through the fiscal year ending June 30, 1983, and added subsec. (b).

SUBCHAPTER IX—ENERGY RESOURCE GRADUATE FELLOWSHIPS

§1321. Fellowship awards

(a) Graduate study and research in areas of applied science and engineering relating to production, conservation, and utilization of fuels and energy

The Secretary of Energy is authorized to award under the provisions of this subchapter not to exceed one thousand fellowships for the fiscal year ending September 30, 1979, and each of the five succeeding fiscal years. Fellowships shall be awarded under the provisions of this subchapter for graduate study and research in those areas of applied science and engineering that are related to the production, conservation, and utilization of fuels and energy. Fellowships shall be awarded to students in programs leading to master's degrees. Such fellowships may be awarded for graduate study and research at any institution of higher education, library, archive, or any other research center approved by the Secretary of Energy after consultation with the Secretary of Education.

(b) Term

Such fellowships shall be awarded for such periods as the Secretary of Energy may determine, but not to exceed two years.

(c) Replacement awards

In addition to the number of fellowships authorized to be awarded by subsection (a) of this section, the Secretary of Energy is authorized to award fellowships equal to the number previously awarded during any fiscal year under this subchapter but vacated prior to the end of the period for which they were awarded; except that each fellowship awarded under this subsection shall be for such period of graduate work or research, not in excess of the remainder of the period for which the fellowship which it replaces was awarded as the Secretary of Energy may determine.

(Pub. L. 95–87, title IX, §901, Aug. 3, 1977, 91 Stat. 529; Pub. L. 95–91, title III, §301(a), title VII, §§703, 707, Aug. 4, 1977, 91 Stat. 577, 606, 607; Pub. L. 96–88, title III, §301(a)(1), title V, §507, Oct. 17, 1979, 93 Stat. 677, 692.)

Codification

In subsec. (a), the words “(hereafter referred to as ‘Administrator’ in this subchapter),” which followed “Secretary of Energy” the first time it appears were omitted in view of the substitution of “Secretary of Energy” for “Administrator ERDA” and “Administrator” wherever such terms appear in this subchapter and the fact that the term “Secretary” is defined for the purposes of this chapter by section 1291(23) of this title as meaning the Secretary of the Interior. See Transfer of Functions note set out below.

Transfer of Functions

“Secretary of Energy” substituted in text for “Administrator ERDA” and “Administrator”, meaning Administrator of Energy Research and Development Administration, pursuant to sections 301(a), 703, and 707 of Pub. L. 95–91, which are classified to sections 7151(a), 7293, 7297 of Title 42, The Public Health and Welfare, and which terminated Energy Research and Development Administration and transferred its functions and functions of Administrator thereof (with certain exceptions) to Secretary of Energy.

“Secretary of Education” substituted for “Commissioner of Education” in subsec. (a), pursuant to sections 301(a)(1) and 507 of Pub. L. 96–88, which are classified to sections 3441(a)(1) and 3507 of Title 20, Education, and which transferred all functions of Commissioner of Education to Secretary of Education.

§1322. Fellowship recipients

Recipients of fellowships under this subchapter shall be—

(a) persons who have been accepted by an institution of higher education for graduate study leading to an advanced degree or for a professional degree, and

(b) persons who plan a career in the field of energy resources, production, or utilization.

(Pub. L. 95–87, title IX, §902, Aug. 3, 1977, 91 Stat. 530.)

§1323. Distribution of fellowships

In awarding fellowships under the provisions of this subchapter, the Secretary of Energy shall endeavor to provide equitable distribution of such fellowships throughout the Nation, except that the Secretary of Energy shall give special attention to institutions of higher education, libraries, archives, or other research centers which have a demonstrated capacity to offer courses of study or research in the field of energy resources and conservation and conversion and related disciplines. In carrying out his responsibilities under this section, the Secretary of Energy shall take into consideration the projected need for highly trained engineers and scientists in the field of energy sources.

(Pub. L. 95–87, title IX, §903, Aug. 3, 1977, 91 Stat. 530; Pub. L. 95–91, title III, §301(a), title VII, §§703, 707, Aug. 4, 1977, 91 Stat. 577, 606, 607.)

Transfer of Functions

“Secretary of Energy” substituted in text for “Administrator”, meaning Administrator of Energy Research and Development Administration, pursuant to sections 301(a), 703, and 707 of Pub. L. 95–91, which are classified to sections 7151(a), 7293, 7297 of Title 42, The Public Health and Welfare, and which terminated Energy Research and Development Administration and transferred its functions and functions of Administrator thereof (with certain exceptions) to Secretary of Energy.

§1324. Stipends and allowances

(a) Each person awarded a fellowship under this subchapter shall receive a stipend of not more than $10,000 for each academic year of study. An additional amount of $500 for each such calendar year of study shall be paid to such person on account of each of his dependents.

(b) In addition to the amount paid to such person pursuant to subsection (a) of this section there shall be paid to the institution of higher education at which each such person is pursuing his course of study, 100 per centum of the amount paid to such person less the amount paid on account of such person's dependents, to such person less any amount charged such person for tuition.

(Pub. L. 95–87, title IX, §904, Aug. 3, 1977, 91 Stat. 530.)

§1325. Limitation on fellowships

No fellowship shall be awarded under this subchapter for study at a school or department of divinity. For the purpose of this section, the term “school or department of divinity” means an institution or department or branch of an institution, whose program is specifically for the education of students to prepare them to become ministers of religion or to enter upon some other religious vocation or to prepare them to teach theological subjects.

(Pub. L. 95–87, title IX, §905, Aug. 3, 1977, 91 Stat. 530.)

§1326. Fellowship conditions

(a) A person awarded a fellowship under the provisions of this subchapter shall continue to receive the payments provided in section 1324(a) of this title only during such periods as the Secretary of Energy finds that he is maintaining satisfactory proficiency in, and devoting essentially full time to, study or research in the field in which such fellowship was awarded, in an institution of higher education, and is not engaging in gainful employment other than part-time employment in teaching, research, or similar activities, approved by the Secretary of Energy.

(b) The Secretary of Energy shall require reports containing such information in such forms and to be filed at such times as he determines necessary from each person awarded a fellowship under the provisions of this subchapter. Such reports shall be accompanied by a certificate from an appropriate official at the institution of higher education, library, archive, or other research center approved by the Secretary of Energy, stating that such person is making satisfactory progress in, and is devoting essentially full time to the research for which the fellowship was awarded.

(Pub. L. 95–87, title IX, §906, Aug. 3, 1977, 91 Stat. 530; Pub. L. 95–91, title III, §301(a), title VII, §§703, 707, Aug. 4, 1977, 91 Stat. 577, 606, 607.)

Transfer of Functions

“Secretary of Energy” substituted in text for “Administrator”, meaning Administrator of Energy Research and Development Administration, pursuant to sections 301(a), 703, and 707 of Pub. L. 95–91, which are classified to sections 7151(a), 7293, 7297 of Title 42, The Public Health and Welfare, and which terminated Energy Research and Development Administration and transferred its functions and functions of Administrator thereof (with certain exceptions) to Secretary of Energy.

§1327. Authorization of appropriations

There are authorized to be appropriated $11,000,000 for the fiscal year ending September 30, 1979, and for each of the five succeeding fiscal years. For payments for the initial awarding of fellowships awarded under this subchapter, there are authorized to be appropriated for the fiscal year ending September 30, 1979, and for each of the five succeeding fiscal years, such sums as may be necessary in order that fellowships already awarded might be completed.

(Pub. L. 95–87, title IX, §907, Aug. 3, 1977, 91 Stat. 531.)

§1328. Research, development projects, etc., relating to alternative coal mining technologies

(a) Authority of Secretary of the Interior to conduct, promote, etc.

The Secretary of the Interior is authorized to conduct and promote the coordination and acceleration of, research, studies, surveys, experiments, demonstration projects, and training relating to—

(1) the development and application of coal mining technologies which provide alternatives to surface disturbance and which maximize the recovery of available coal resources, including the improvement of present underground mining methods, methods for the return of underground mining wastes to the mine void, methods for the underground mining of thick coal seams and very deep seams; and

(2) safety and health in the application of such technologies, methods, and means.

(b) Contracts and grants

In conducting the activities authorized by this section, the Secretary of the Interior may enter into contracts with and make grants to qualified institutions, agencies, organizations, and persons.

(c) Authorization of appropriations

There are authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary of the Interior, to carry out the purposes of this section, $35,000,000 for each fiscal year beginning with the fiscal year 1979, and for each year thereafter for the next four years.

(d) Publication in Federal Register; report to Congress

At least sixty days before any funds are obligated for any research studies, surveys, experiments or demonstration projects to be conducted or financed under this chapter in any fiscal year, the Secretary of the Interior in consultation with the heads of other Federal agencies having the authority to conduct or finance such projects, shall determine and publish such determinations in the Federal Register that such projects are not being conducted or financed by any other Federal agency. On December 31 of each calendar year, the Secretary shall report to the Congress on the research studies, surveys, experiments or demonstration projects, conducted or financed under this chapter, including, but not limited to, a statement of the nature and purpose of each project, the Federal cost thereof, the identity and affiliation of the persons engaged in such projects, the expected completion date of the projects and the relationship of the projects to other such projects of a similar nature.

(e) Availability of information to public

Subject to the patent provisions of section 306(d) of this Act,1 all information and data resulting from any research studies, surveys, experiments, or demonstration projects conducted or financed under this chapter shall be promptly made available to the public.

(Pub. L. 95–87, title IX, §908, Aug. 3, 1977, 91 Stat. 531; Pub. L. 95–91, title III, §301(a), title VII, §§703, 707, Aug. 4, 1977, 91 Stat. 577, 606, 607; Pub. L. 97–257, title I, §100, Sept. 10, 1982, 96 Stat. 841.)

References in Text

Section 306(d) of this Act, referred to in subsec. (e), was classified to section 1226(d) of this title and was omitted from the Code pursuant to the replacement of subchapter III (§1221 et seq.) of this chapter by Pub. L. 98–409. See section 1226(c) of this title.

Termination of Reporting Requirements

For termination, effective May 15, 2000, of provisions in subsec. (d) of this section relating to requirement that on December 31 of each calendar year, the Secretary report to Congress on research studies, surveys, experiments or demonstration projects, conducted or financed under this chapter, see section 3003 of Pub. L. 104–66, as amended, set out as a note under section 1113 of Title 31, Money and Finance, and page 109 of House Document No. 103–7.

Transfer of Functions

“Secretary of the Interior” substituted for “Secretary of Energy” in subsecs. (a) to (d) pursuant to section 100 of Pub. L. 97–257, which is set out as a note under section 7152 of Title 42, The Public Health and Welfare, and which transferred to, and vested in, Secretary of the Interior all functions vested in, or delegated to, Secretary of Energy and Department of Energy under this section.

Previously, “Secretary of Energy” was substituted for “Administrator”, meaning Administrator of Energy Research and Development Administration, in subsecs. (a) to (d) pursuant to sections 301(a), 703, and 707 of Pub. L. 95–91, which are classified to sections 7151(a), 7293, 7297 of Title 42, and which terminated Energy Research and Development Administration and transferred its functions and functions of Administrator thereof (with certain exceptions) to Secretary of Energy.

1 See References in Text note below.