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      RS 30:917     


§917.  Inspections and monitoring

A.  For the purpose of the administration and enforcement of any permit under this Chapter, or of determining whether any person is in violation of any requirement of this Chapter:

(1)  The commissioner shall require any permittee to (a) establish and maintain appropriate records, (b) make monthly reports to the commissioner, (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 the commissioner shall prescribe, and (e) provide such other information relative to surface coal mining and reclamation operations as the commissioner 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 commissioner 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 commissioner in order to assure their reliability and validity, and

(3)  The authorized representatives of the commissioner 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.

B.  The inspections by the commissioner 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.

C.  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.

D.  Each inspector, upon detection of each violation of any requirement of this Chapter or the regulations issued pursuant to this Chapter, shall forthwith inform the operator in writing, and shall report in writing any such violation to the commissioner.

E.  Copies of any records, reports, inspection materials, or information obtained under this Chapter by the commissioner shall be made immediately available to the public at central and sufficient locations in the parish of the area of mining so that they are conveniently available to residents in the areas of mining.

F.  After the State has assumed exclusive jurisdiction of surface coal mining operations as provided in section 503 of Public Law 95-87,1 and as long as the State retains such jurisdiction, then no employee of the Office of Conservation performing any function or duty under this Chapter shall have a direct or indirect financial interest in any surface coal mining operation.  Whoever knowingly violates the provisions of this Subsection shall, upon conviction, be punished by a fine of not more than $2,500.00, or by imprisonment of not more than one year, or by both.  The commissioner shall by regulation establish methods by which the provisions of this Subsection will be monitored and enforced by the commissioner, including appropriate provisions for the filing by such employees in the review of statements and supplements thereto concerning any financial interest which may be effected by this subsection.  This Subsection shall not be given effect (1) if the Secretary of the Interior does not require the inclusion of similar provisions in state laws as a condition for approval by the Secretary of the Interior of state programs of regulation of surface coal mining and reclamation operations pursuant to Section 503 of Public Law 95-87 or (2) if any such requirement of the Secretary of the Interior is declared invalid by final decree of a court of competent jurisdiction: Provided, that if similar provisions are required by the Secretary of the Interior to be included in state laws, the Secretary of Natural Resources and the commissioner may commence and prosecute an action in the appropriate federal court to have the regulation requiring inclusion declared invalid.

G.(1)  Any person who is or may be adversely affected by a surface coal mining operation may notify the commissioner or any representative of the commissioner 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 commissioner shall, by regulation, establish procedures for informal review of any refusal by a representative of the commissioner to issue a citation with respect to any such alleged violation.  The commissioner shall furnish such persons requesting the review a written statement of the reasons for the commissioner's final disposition of the case.

(2)  The commissioner shall also, by regulation, establish procedures to insure that adequate and complete inspections are made.  Any such person may notify the commissioner of any failure to make such inspections, after which the commissioner shall determine whether adequate and complete inspections have been made.  The commissioner shall furnish such persons a written statement of the reasons for the commissioner's determination that adequate and complete inspections have or have not been conducted.

Added by Acts 1978, No. 406, §1.

130 U.S.C.A. §1253.

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