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      RS 30:906     


§906.  Mining permits

A.  No person shall engage in or carry out on lands within the State any surface coal mining operations unless such person has first obtained a permit issued by the commissioner pursuant to this Chapter.

B.  All permits issued pursuant to the requirements of this Chapter shall be issued for a term not to exceed five years.  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 commissioner 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.  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 commissioner 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 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.(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 913 and 914, unless it is established that and written findings by the commissioner 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 regulations issued pursuant to this Chapter.

(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 such operation will continue in full force and effect for any renewal requested in such application as well as any additional bond the commissioner might require pursuant to Section 909, or

(e)  Any additional revised or updated information required by the commissioner by regulation has not been provided.  Prior to the approval of any renewal of permit the commissioner 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 operations 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.

(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 twenty days prior to the expiration of the valid permit.  The commissioner shall issue regulations which provide for a procedure which will give the permittee sufficient time prior to the expiration of the present term of the permit to correct or commence to correct any condition which the commissioner finds will prevent issuance of a permit renewal.

E.  No person shall conduct any underground or auger coal mining operations if such operations would be subject to Public Law 95-87 until the state has implemented a program regulating such operations pursuant to Public Law 95-87* or the Department of Interior has implemented a federal program regulating such operations.  Any person desiring to conduct any such operations described shall notify the commissioner at least 36 months prior to the time such operations are planned to begin in order that the commissioner may initiate appropriate legislation and adopt such rules as are necessary to implement such program.

Acts 1978, No. 406, §1.  Amended by Acts 1979, No. 553, §1; Acts 1980, No. 121, §2, eff. June 27, 1980.

*30 U.S.C.A. §1201 et seq.

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