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Title 30Chapter VIISubchapter R → Part 875


Title 30: Mineral Resources


PART 875—CERTIFICATION AND NONCOAL RECLAMATION


Contents
§875.1   Scope.
§875.5   Definitions.
§875.10   Information collection.
§875.11   Applicability.
§875.12   Eligible lands and water prior to certification.
§875.13   Certification of completion of coal sites.
§875.14   Eligible lands and water after certification.
§875.15   Reclamation priorities for noncoal program.
§875.16   Exclusion of certain noncoal reclamation sites.
§875.17   Land acquisition authority—noncoal.
§875.18   Lien requirements.
§875.19   Limited liability.
§875.20   Contractor eligibility.

Authority: 30 U.S.C. 1201 et seq.

Source: 47 FR 28596, June 30, 1982, unless otherwise noted.

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§875.1   Scope.

This part establishes land and water eligibility requirements and for noncoal reclamation.

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§875.5   Definitions.

As used in this part—

Reclamation plan or State reclamation plan means a plan that a State or Indian tribe submitted and that we approved under section 405 of SMCRA and part 884 of this chapter.

[73 FR 67640, Nov. 14, 2008]

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§875.10   Information collection.

In accordance with 44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq., the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has approved the information collection requirements of part 875 and assigned it control number 1029-0103. This information establishes procedures and requirements for State and Indian tribes to conduct noncoal reclamation under abandoned mine land funding. The information is needed to assure compliance with SMCRA and the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1990. Persons must respond to obtain a benefit. A Federal agency may not conduct or sponsor, and you are not required to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

[73 FR 67640, Nov. 14, 2008]

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§875.11   Applicability.

(a) If you are a State or Indian tribe that has not certified under section 411(a) of SMCRA, you must follow these noncoal reclamation requirements when you use State share funds under §872.16, Tribal share funds under §872.19, or historic coal funds under §872.23 to conduct reclamation projects on lands or water affected by mining of minerals and materials other than coal.

(b) If you are a State or Indian tribe that has certified under section 411(a) of the Act—

(1) You must use State share or Tribal share funds distributed to you under section 402(g)(1) of the Act before October 1, 2007, in accordance with this part; and

(2) You may use prior balance replacement funds distributed to you under section 411(h)(1) of the Act, certified in lieu funds distributed to you under section 411(h)(2) of the Act, or both, to—

(i) Maintain certification as required by §§875.13 and 875.14 of this part; or

(ii) Conduct a noncoal reclamation project in accordance with the requirements of this part.

[73 FR 67640, Nov. 14, 2008, as amended at 80 FR 6446, Feb. 5, 2015]

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§875.12   Eligible lands and water prior to certification.

Noncoal lands and water are eligible for reclamation if:

(a) They were mined or affected by mining processes;

(b) They were mined and left or abandoned in either an unreclaimed or inadequately reclaimed condition prior to August 3, 1977;

(c) There is no continuing responsibility for reclamation by the operator, permittee, or agent of the permittee under statutes of the State or Federal Government or by the State as a result of bond forfeiture. Bond forfeiture will render lands or water ineligible only if the amount forfeited is sufficient to pay the total cost of the necessary reclamation. In cases where the forfeited bond is insufficient to pay the total cost of reclamation, moneys sufficient to complete the reclamation may be sought under part 886 of this chapter;

(d) The reclamation has been requested by the Governor of the State or equivalent head of the Indian tribe; and

(e) The reclamation is necessary to protect the public health, safety, general welfare, and property from extreme danger of adverse effects of noncoal mining practices.

[59 FR 28172, May 31, 1994, as amended at 73 FR 67640, Nov. 14, 2008]

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§875.13   Certification of completion of coal sites.

(a) The Governor of a State, or the equivalent head of an Indian tribe, may submit to the Secretary a certification of completion of coal sites. The certification must express the finding that the State or Indian tribe has achieved all existing known coal-related reclamation objectives for eligible lands and waters under section 404 of SMCRA or has instituted the necessary processes to reclaim any remaining coal related problems. In addition to the above finding, the certification of completion must contain:

(1) A description of both the rationale and the process used to arrive at the above finding for the completion of all coal-related reclamation under section 403(a)(1) through (3).

(2) A brief summary and resolution of all relevant public comments concerning coal-related impacts, problems, and reclamation projects received by the State or Indian tribe prior to preparation of the certification of completion.

(3) A State or Indian tribe agreement to acknowledge and give top priority to any coal-related problem(s) that may be found or occur after submission of the certification of completion and during the life of the approved abandoned mine reclamation program.

(b) After review and verification of the information contained in the certification of completion, the Director shall provide notice in the Federal Register and opportunity for public comment. After receipt and evaluation of all public comments and a determination by the Director that the certification is correct, the Director shall concur with the certification and provide final notice of such concurrence in the Federal Register. This concurrence shall be based upon the State's or Indian tribes commitment to give top priority to any coal problem which may thereafter be found or occur.

(c) Following concurrence by the Director, a State or Indian tribe may implement a noncoal reclamation program pursuant to provisions in section 411 of SMCRA.

(d) The Director may, on his or her own initiative, make the certification referred to in paragraph (a) of this section on behalf of your State or Indian tribe if:

(1) Based upon information contained in the AML inventory, the Director determines that all coal reclamation projects meeting the priorities described in §874.13(a) of this chapter in the jurisdiction of your State or Indian tribe have been completed; and

(2) Before making any determination, the Director provides the public an opportunity to comment through a notice in the Federal Register.

[59 FR 28172, May 31, 1994, as amended at 73 FR 67640, Nov. 14, 2008]

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§875.14   Eligible lands and water after certification.

(a) Following certification, eligible noncoal lands, waters, and facilities are those—

(1) Which were mined or processed for minerals or which were affected by such mining or processing, and abandoned or left in an inadequate reclamation status before August 3, 1977. However, for Federal lands, waters, and facilities under the jurisdiction of the Forest Service, the eligibility date is August 28, 1974. For Federal lands, waters and facilities under the jurisdiction of the Bureau of Land Management, the eligibility date is November 26, 1980; and

(2) For which there is no continuing reclamation responsibility under State or other Federal laws.

(b) If eligible coal problems are found or occur after certification, you must submit to us a plan that describes the approach and funds that will be used to address those problems in a timely manner. You may address any eligible coal problems with the certified in lieu funds that you have already received or will receive from §872.32 of this chapter. You may also use the prior balance replacement funds received from §872.29 of this chapter to address coal problems subsequent to certification. Any coal reclamation projects that you do must conform to sections 401 through 410 of SMCRA and part 874 of this chapter.

[73 FR 67640, Nov. 14, 2008]

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§875.15   Reclamation priorities for noncoal program.

(a) This section applies to reclamation projects involving the restoration of lands and water adversely affected by past mineral mining; projects involving the protection, repair, replacement, construction, or enhancement of utilities (such as those relating to water supply, roads, and other such facilities serving the public adversely affected by mineral mining and processing practices); and the construction of public facilities in communities impacted by coal or other mineral mining and processing practices.

(b) Following certification pursuant to §875.13, the projects and construction of public facilities identified in paragraph (a) of this section shall reflect the following priorities in the order stated:

(1) The protection of public health, safety, general welfare and property from the extreme danger of adverse effects of mineral mining and processing practices;

(2) The protection of public health, safety, and general welfare from the adverse effects of mineral mining and processing practices; and

(3) The restoration of land and water resources and the environment previously degraded by the adverse effects of mineral mining and processing practices.

(c) Enhancement of facilities or utilities shall include upgrading necessary to meet local, State, or Federal public health or safety requirements. Enhancement shall not include, however, any service area expansion of a utility or facility not necessary to address a specific abandoned mine land problem.

(d) Notwithstanding the requirements specified in paragraph (b) of this section, where the Governor of a State or the equivalent head of an Indian tribe, after determining that there is a need for activities or construction of specific public facilities related to the coal or minerals industry in States or on Tribal lands impacted by coal or minerals development, submits a grant application as required by paragraph (e) of this section and the Director concurs in such need, as set forth in paragraph (f) of this section, the Director may grant funds made available under section 402(g)(1) of the Act, 30 U.S.C. 1232, to carry out such activities or construction.

(e) To qualify for funding pursuant to the authority in paragraph (d) of this section, a State or Indian tribe must submit a grant application that specifically sets forth:

(1) The need or urgency for the activity or the construction of the public facility;

(2) The expected impact the project will have on the coal or minerals industry in the State or Indian tribe;

(3) The availability of funding from other sources and, if other funding is provided, its percentage of the total costs involved;

(4) Documentation from other local, State, and Federal agencies with oversight for such utilities or facilities regarding what funding resources they have available and why this specific project is not being fully funded by their agency;

(5) The impact on the State or Indian tribe, the public, and the minerals industry if the activity or facility is not funded;

(6) The reason why this project should be selected before a priority project relating to the protection of the public health and safety or the environment from the damages caused by past mining activities; and

(7) An analysis and review of the procedures used by the State or Indian tribe to notify and involve the public in this funding request and a copy of all comments received and their resolution by the State or Indian tribe.

(f) After review of the information contained in the application, the Director will, if necessary to ensure adequate public notification, prepare a Federal Register notice regarding the State's or Indian Tribe's submission and provide for public comment. The Director will then:

(1) Evaluate any comments received;

(2) Determine whether the funding meets the requirements of this part;

(3) Determine whether the funding is in the best interest of the State or Indian tribe AML program;

(4) If the determinations under paragraphs (f)(2) and (f)(3) of this section are positive, approve the request for funding the activity or construction; and

(5) Approve funding under paragraph (f)(4) of this section only at a cost commensurate with its benefits towards achieving the purposes of the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977.

[59 FR 28173, May 31, 1994, as amended at 68 FR 9502, Feb. 27, 2003]

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§875.16   Exclusion of certain noncoal reclamation sites.

(a) You, the uncertified State or Indian tribe, may not use moneys from the Fund or from prior balance replacement funds provided under §872.29 of this chapter for the reclamation of sites and areas designated for remedial action under the Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Control Act of 1978 (42 U.S.C. 7901 et seq.) or that have been listed for remedial action under the Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation and Liability Act of 1980 (42 U.S.C. 9601 et seq.).

(b) You, the certified State or Indian tribe, may not reclaim sites and areas designated for remedial action under the Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Control Act of 1978 (42 U.S.C. 7901 et seq.) or that have been listed for remedial action under the Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation and Liability Act of 1980 (42 U.S.C. 9601 et seq.) using—

(1) Moneys distributed from the Fund under section 402(g)(1) of the Act.

(2) Prior balance replacement funds distributed to you under section 411(h)(1) of the Act where you are conducting reclamation under the provisions of this part.

(3) Certified in lieu funds distributed to you under section 411(h)(2) of the Act where you are conducting reclamation under the provisions of this part.

[73 FR 67640, Nov. 14, 2008, as amended at 80 FR 6446, Feb. 5, 2015]

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§875.17   Land acquisition authority—noncoal.

The requirements of parts 877 (Rights of Entry) and 879 (Acquisition, Management and Disposition of Lands and Water) of this chapter apply to a State's or Indian tribe's noncoal reclamation projects conducted under this part, except that, for purposes of this section, the term “noncoal” replaces all references to “coal” in parts 877 and 879 of this chapter.

[80 FR 6446, Feb. 5, 2015]

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§875.18   Lien requirements.

The lien requirements found in part 882—Reclamation on Private Land shall apply to a State's or Indian tribe's noncoal reclamation program under section 411 of the Act, except that for purposes of this section, references made to coal shall not apply. In lieu of the term coal, the word noncoal should be used.

[59 FR 28173, May 31, 1994]

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§875.19   Limited liability.

No State or Indian tribe conducting noncoal reclamation activities under the provisions of this part is liable under any provision of Federal law for any costs or damages as a result of action taken or omitted in the course of carrying out an approved State or Indian tribe abandoned mine reclamation plan. This section does not preclude liability for costs or damages as a result of gross negligence or intentional misconduct by the State or Indian tribe. For purposes of the preceding sentence, reckless, willful, or wanton misconduct will constitute gross negligence or intentional misconduct.

[80 FR 6446, Feb. 5, 2015]

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§875.20   Contractor eligibility.

Every successful bidder for any contract by an uncertified State or Indian tribe under this part, or for any contract by a certified State or Indian tribe to undertake a noncoal reclamation project under this part, must be eligible under §§773.12, 773.13, and 773.14 of this chapter at the time of contract award to receive a permit or be provisionally issued a permit to conduct surface coal mining operations. This section applies only to any contracts by a certified State or Indian tribe that are for coal reclamation or that are for a noncoal reclamation project under this part.

[80 FR 6446, Feb. 5, 2015]

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