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      RS 30:904     


§904. Definitions

            (1) "Act" means the Louisiana Surface Mining and Reclamation Act.

            (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 Commissioner determines that they are in compliance with Section 815B(8) of this Chapter.

            (3) "Coal" includes all forms of coal, including lignite.

            (4) "Commissioner" means the Commissioner of Conservation of the State of Louisiana, or such other person or persons who may from time to time be designated by the Commissioner to administer and enforce the provisions of this Chapter.

            (5) "Department of Energy and Natural Resources" and "department" means the Department of Energy and Natural Resources of the state of Louisiana.

            (6) "Development operations" means all or any part of the process of removing, by power earth moving equipment, coal or overburden for the purpose of determining coal quality or quantity or coal mining feasibility; Provided, that if more than twenty-five thousand tons of coal or ten surface acres of overburden will be removed then such operations shall be considered coal mining operations.

            (7) "Development operations permit" means the certification by the Commissioner that the named person may conduct the development operations described in the certification during the term of the development operations permit and in the manner established in the certification.

            (8) Repealed by Acts 1985, No. 281, §2.

            (9) "Exploration operations" means the drilling of test holes or core holes for the purpose of or related to the determining of the location, quantity or quality of a coal deposit under a permit to be issued by the commissioner and any other coal exploration operations that will substantially disturb the surface and are not otherwise covered by this Act.

            (10) "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.

            (11) "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 surface coal mining methods within twelve consecutive calendar months in any one location.

            (12) "Permit" means a permit to conduct surface coal mining and reclamation operations issued by the commissioner, but does not include exploration and development permits.

            (13) "Permit applicant" or "applicant" means a person applying for a permit.

            (14) "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 909 of this Chapter and shall be readily identifiable by appropriate markers on the site.

            (15) "Permittee" means a person holding a permit.

            (16) "Person" means an individual, partnership, association, society, joint stock company, firm, company, corporation, or other business organization.

            (17) The term "prime farmland" shall have the same meaning as that prescribed by the United States 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.

            (18) "Public Law 95-87" means the Federal Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977.*

            (19) "Reclamation plan" means a plan submitted by an applicant for a permit which sets forth a plan for reclamation of the proposed surface coal mining operations pursuant to Section 908.

            (20) "Secretary of natural resources" or "secretary" means the secretary of natural resources of the Department of Energy and Natural Resources of the state of Louisiana.

            (21) "Secretary of the Interior" means the Secretary of the Interior of the Department of Interior of the United States.

            (22) "Surface coal mining and reclamation operations" means surface mining operations and all activities necessary and incident to the reclamation of such operations after the date of enactment of this Chapter.

            (23) "Surface coal mining operations" means

            (a) Activities conducted on the surface of lands in connection with a surface coal mine, the products of which enter commerce or the operations of which directly or indirectly affect 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 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 16 2/3 per centum of the tonnage of minerals removed for purposes of commercial use or sale or coal exploration or development subject to Section 912 of this Act, 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

            (24) "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 lock 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.

            Acts 1978, No. 406, §1. Acts 1983, No. 573, §1; Acts 1985, No. 281, §2; Acts 2023, No. 150, §5, eff. Jan. 10, 2024.

*30 U.S.C.A. §1201 et seq.

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