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Title 30Chapter VIISubchapter R → Part 879


Title 30: Mineral Resources


PART 879—ACQUISITION, MANAGEMENT, AND DISPOSITION OF LANDS AND WATER


Contents
§879.1   Scope.
§879.5   Definitions.
§879.11   Land eligible for acquisition.
§879.12   Procedures for acquisition.
§879.13   Acceptance of gifts of land.
§879.14   Management of acquired land.
§879.15   Disposition of reclaimed land.

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

Source: 47 FR 28597, June 30, 1982, unless otherwise noted.

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§879.1   Scope.

This part establishes procedures for acquisition of eligible land and water resources for emergency abatement activities and reclamation purposes by you, a State or Indian tribe, with an approved reclamation program that has not certified completion of coal reclamation or a certified State or Indian tribe conducting noncoal reclamation activities under part 875 of this chapter, or by us. It also provides procedures for the management and disposition of lands acquired by the State, the Indian tribe, or us. For certified States or Indian tribes conducting noncoal reclamation projects under the provisions of part 875, the term “noncoal” replaces all references to “coal” in this part.

[80 FR 6446, Feb. 5, 2015]

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§879.5   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 67641, Nov. 14, 2008]

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§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]

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§879.12   Procedures for acquisition.

(a) An appraisal of all land or interest in land to be acquired shall be obtained by the OSM, State, or Indian tribe. The appraisal shall state the fair market value of the land as adversely affected by past mining.

(b) When practical, acquisition shall be by purchase from a willing seller. The amount paid for land or interests in land acquired shall reflect the fair market value of the land or interests in land as adversely affected by past mining.

(c) When necessary, land or interests in land may be acquired by condemnation. Condemnation procedures shall not be started until all reasonable efforts have been made to purchase the land or interests in lands from a willing seller.

(d) The OSM, State, or Indian tribe which acquires land under this part shall comply, at a minimum, with the Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Property Acquisition Policies Act of 1970, 42 U.S.C. 4601, et seq., and 41 CFR part 114-50.

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§879.13   Acceptance of gifts of land.

(a) The OSM, State, or Indian tribe under an approved reclamation plan may accept donations of title to land or interests in land if the land proposed for donation meets the requirements set out in §879.11.

(b) Offers to make a gift of land or interest in land to the U.S. Government shall be in writing and comply with U.S. Department of the Interior regulations for land donations. The States and Indian tribes may use procedures provided by applicable State or Indian tribal law.

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§879.14   Management of acquired land.

Land acquired under this part may be used for any lawful purpose that is consistent with the necessary reclamation activities. Procedures for collection of user charges or the waiver of such charges by the OSM, State, or Indian tribe shall provide that all user fees collected shall be deposited in the appropriate Abandoned Mine Reclamation Fund.

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§879.15   Disposition of reclaimed land.

(a) Prior to the disposition of any land acquired under this part, OSM, State, or Indian tribe shall publish a notice of proposed land disposition, hold public hearings, if required, and make written findings in accordance with the authority contained in section 407(g)(2) of the Act.

(b) OSM may transfer administrative responsibility for land acquired by OSM to any Federal Department or Agency, with or without cost to that Department or Agency. OSM may transfer title for land acquired by OSM to any State or Indian tribe or to any agency or political subdivision of a State or Indian tribe, with or without cost to that entity, for the purposes set out in paragraphs (e) or (f) of this section. The agreement under which a transfer is made shall specify—

(1) The purposes for which the land may be used, which shall be consistent with the authorization under which the land was acquired; and

(2) That the title of administrative responsibility for the land shall revert to OSM, State, or Indian tribe if, at any time in the future, OSM finds that the land is not used for the purposes specified.

(c) OSM may accept title for abandoned and unreclaimed land to be reclaimed and administered by OSM. If a State or Indian tribe transfers land to OSM under this section, that State or Indian tribe shall have a preference right to purchase such land from OSM after reclamation is completed. The price to be paid by the State or Indian tribe shall be the fair market value of the land in its reclaimed condition less any portion of the land acquisition price paid by the State or Indian tribe.

(d) OSM may sell land acquired and reclaimed under this part, except that acquired for housing under §879.11(c), to the State or local government at less than fair market value but in no case less than purchase price plus reclamation cost provided such land is used for a valid public purpose.

(e) OSM may transfer or sell land acquired for housing under §879.11(c), with or without monetary consideration, to any State or political subdivision of a State, to an Indian tribe, or to any firm, association, or corporation. The conditions of transfer or sale shall be in accordance with section 407(h) of the Act.

(f) OSM may transfer title for land acquired for housing under §879.11(c) by grants or commitments for grants, or may advance money under such terms and conditions as required, to—

(1) Any State or Indian tribe; or

(2) A department, agency, or instrumentality of a State; or

(3) Any public body or nonprofit organization designated by a State.

(g)(1) OSM may sell or authorize the States or Indian tribes to sell land acquired under this part by public sale if—

(i) Such land is suitable for industrial, commercial, residential, or recreational development;

(ii) Such development is consistent with local, State, of Federal land use plans for the area in which the land is located; and

(iii) Retention by OSM, State, or Indian tribe, or disposal under other paragraphs of this section is not in the public interest.

(2) Disposal procedures will be in accordance with section 407(g) of the Act and applicable State or Indian tribal requirements.

(3) States may transfer title or administrative responsibility for land to cities, municipalities, or quasi-governmental bodies, provided that the State provide for the reverter of the title or administrative responsibility if the land is no longer used for the purposes originally proposed.

(h) You must return all moneys received from disposal of land under this part to us. We will handle all moneys received under this paragraph as unused funds in accordance with §§885.19 and 886.20 of this chapter.

[47 FR 28597, June 30, 1982, as amended at 73 FR 67642, Nov. 14, 2008; 80 FR 6447, Feb. 5, 2015]

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