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Title 30: Mineral Resources
§879.11 Land eligible for acquisition.
(a)(1) We may acquire land adversely affected by past coal mining practices with moneys from the Fund.
(2) You, an uncertified State or Indian tribe or a certified State or Indian tribe conducting noncoal reclamation projects under part 875 of this chapter, may acquire land adversely affected by past coal mining practices with moneys from the Fund or with prior balance replacement funds and certified in lieu funds provided under §§872.29 and 872.32 of this chapter, provided that we first approve the acquisition in writing.
(3) Before acquiring land under paragraph (a)(1) of this section or approving land acquisition under paragraph (a)(2) of this section, we must make a finding that the land acquisition is necessary for successful reclamation and that—
(i) The acquired land will serve recreation, historic, conservation, and reclamation purposes or provide open space benefits after restoration, reclamation, abatement, control, or prevention of the adverse effects of past coal mining practices; and
(ii) Permanent facilities will be constructed on the land for the restoration, reclamation, abatement, control, or prevention of the adverse effects of past coal mining practices. For the purposes of this paragraph, “permanent facility” means any structure that is built, installed, or established to serve a particular purpose or any manipulation or modification of the site that is designed to remain after the reclamation activity is completed, such as a relocated stream channel or diversion ditch.
(b) You, an uncertified State or Indian tribe or a certified State or Indian tribe conducting noncoal reclamation projects under part 875 of this chapter, if approved in advance by us, may acquire coal refuse disposal sites, including the coal refuse, with moneys from the Fund and with prior balance replacement funds and certified in lieu funds provided under §§872.29 and 872.32 of this chapter. We, OSMRE, also may use moneys from the Fund to acquire coal refuse disposal sites, including the coal refuse.
(1) Before the approval of the acquisition, the reclamation program seeking to acquire the site will make a finding in writing that the acquisition is necessary for successful reclamation and will serve the purposes of the reclamation program.
(2) Where an emergency situation exists and a written finding as set forth in §877.14 of this chapter has been made, we may acquire lands where public ownership is necessary and will prevent recurrence of the adverse effects of past coal mining practices.
(c) Land adversely affected by past coal mining practices may be acquired by us if the acquisition is an integral and necessary element of an economically feasible plan or project to construct or rehabilitate housing which meets the specific requirements in section 407(h) of SMCRA.
(d) Land or interests in land needed to fill voids, seal abandoned tunnels, shafts, and entryways or reclaim surface impacts of underground or surface mines may be acquired by the OSM, State, or Indian tribe if OSM finds that acquisition is necessary under part 875 of this chapter.
(e) The OSM, State, or Indian tribe which acquires land under this part shall acquire only such interests in the land as are necessary for the reclamation work planned or the postreclamation use of the land. Interests in improvements on the land, mineral rights, or associated water rights may be acquired if—
(1) The customary practices and laws of the State in which the land is located will not allow severance of such interests from the surface estate; or
(2) Such interests are necessary for the reclamation work planned or for the postreclamation use of the land; and
(3) Adequate written assurances cannot be obtained from the owner of the severed interest that future use will not be in conflict with the reclamation to be accomplished.
[47 FR 28597, June 30, 1982, as amended at 73 FR 67641, Nov. 14, 2008; 80 FR 6446, Feb. 5, 2015]