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      RS 30:907     


§907.  Application requirements

A.  Each application for a surface coal mining and reclamation permit pursuant to this Chapter shall be accompanied by a fee as determined by the commissioner, with such fee not to exceed the actual or anticipated cost of reviewing, administering and enforcing such permit.

B.  The permit application shall be submitted in a manner satisfactory to the commissioner 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)  The purchaser of record of the property under a real estate contract.

(e)  The operator if he is a person different than 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 area of the permit area or within the permit area but on which, at the time of filing the permit application, the applicant does not have the legal right to enter and commence surface coal mining operations.

(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 ten percentum 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 deposit in lieu of bond forfeited and, if so, a brief description 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, which advertisement shall include the ownership and a description of the exact location and boundaries of the proposed site sufficient so that the proposed operation may be readily located 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 is proposed, the engineering techniques proposed, and the equipment proposed to be used; if applicable a description of the alternative type and method of coal mining and reclamation operation that is proposed in the event the applicant is unable to obtain the legal right to enter and commence surface coal mining operations on any tracts of land within the proposed permit area.

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

(9)  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 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 commissioner the jurisdiction to adjudicate property title disputes.

(10)  The names of the watershed and location of the surface stream or tributary into which surface and pit drainage may 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 commissioner 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 commissioner, 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 the 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 commissioner show all boundaries of the land to be affected, the boundary lines and name of present owners of record of all surface areas abutting the permit areas, 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 crops 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 watertable; the location of spoil, waste, or refuge 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 sulphur 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 commissioner 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 farmlands, 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 farmlands, if any.

(17)  A description of the nature of cultural, historical, and archaeological resources listed or eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places and known archaeological features within the proposed mine plan and adjacent areas.  The description shall be based on all available information including but not limited to data of state and local archaeological, historical, and cultural preservation agencies.  Each plan shall describe the measures to be used to prevent adverse impact to any publicly owned parks or any places listed on the National Register of Historic Places that may be adversely affected by the proposed operation.  However, if joint agency approval is to be obtained or if there are valid existing rights in the public parks or historic places, the plan shall describe the measures to be used to minimize adverse impact to such public parks or historic places.  The office of conservation may require the applicant to protect historic or archaeological properties listed on or eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places through appropriate mitigation and treatment measures.  At the time of its issuance, a surface mining permit may require that appropriate mitigation and treatment be required to be taken after permit issuance, provided that the required measures are completed before the properties are affected by any mining operation.

(18)  A description of fish and wildlife resource information for the permit area and adjacent area.  The scope and level of detail for such information shall be determined by the office of conservation in consultation with state and federal agencies with responsibilities for fish and wildlife.  Site specific resource information necessary to address the respective species or habitats shall be required when the permit area or adjacent area is likely to include listed or proposed endangered or threatened species of plants or animals or their critical habitats listed by the secretary of the Interior under the Endangered Species Act (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.), or those species or habitats protected by state statutes, habitats of unusually high value for fish and wildlife such as important streams, wetlands, riparian areas, cliffs supporting raptors, areas offering special shelter or protection, migration routes, or reproduction and wintering areas, or other species or habitats identified through agency consultation as requiring special protection under state or federal law.

(19)  A description of how, to the extent possible using the best technology available, the operator will minimize disturbances and adverse impact on fish, wildlife, and related environmental values, including compliance with the Endangered Species Act (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.), during the surface coal mining and reclamation operations and how enhancement of these resources will be achieved where practicable.  This description shall apply, at a minimum, to species and habitats identified in Paragraph (18) of this Subsection and include protective measures that will be used during the active mining phase of operation.  Such measures may include the establishment of buffer zones, the selective location and special design of haul roads and power lines, the monitoring of surface water quality and quantity, and enhancement measures that will be used during the reclamation and post-mining phase of operation to develop aquatic and terrestrial habitats.  Such measures may also include restoration of streams and other wetlands, retention of ponds and impoundments, establishment of vegetation for wildlife food and cover, and the replacement of perches and nest boxes.  When the plan does not include enhancement measures, a statement shall be given explaining why enhancement is not practicable.

C.(1)  If the commissioner finds that the probable total annual production at all locations of any coal surface mining operator will not exceed three hundred thousand tons, the determination of probable hydrologic consequences, including the engineering analyses and designs necessary for the determination, required by Paragraph B(11) of this Section, cross-section maps and plans required by Paragraph B(14) of this Section, the drilling and statement of the result of test borings or core samplings required by Paragraph B(15) of this Section, the collection of archaeological and historical information and related plans required by Paragraph B(17) of this Section, the collection of site-specific resources information required by Paragraph B(18) of this Section, the production of protection and enhancement plans for fish and wildlife habitats required by Paragraph B(19) of this Section, and information and plans for any other environmental values required by the office of conservation and this Chapter, and pre-blast surveys required by R.S. 30:915(B)(15) shall, upon the written request of the operator, be performed by a qualified public or private laboratory designated by the commissioner and the cost of the preparation of such determination and statement shall be assumed by the commissioner.

(2)  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.  However, that information which pertains only to the analysis of the chemical and physical properties of the coal, except information regarding such mineral or elemental content which is potentially toxic in the environment, shall be kept confidential and not be made a matter of public record.

D.  Each applicant for a permit shall be required to submit to the commissioner as part of the permit application a reclamation plan which shall meet the requirements of this Chapter and the regulations issued pursuant to this Chapter.

E.  Each applicant for a permit shall file a copy of his application for public inspection with the clerk of court in each parish where the mining is proposed to occur, except for that information pertaining to the coal seam itself and that information which shall be kept confidential pursuant to this Chapter.

F.  Each applicant for a permit shall submit to the commissioner as part of the permit application a certificate issued by an insurance company authorized to do business in Louisiana 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 term of the permit, or any renewal, including the length of all reclamation operations.

G.  Each applicant for a surface coal mining and reclamation permit shall submit to the commissioner 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 915B(15).

Acts 1978, No. 406, §1; Acts 1999, No. 1002, §1.

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