☰ Revisor of Missouri


Chapter 444

< > Effective - 28 Aug 1995 bottom

  444.800.  Citation of law — legislative intent declared — rules and regulations authorized, procedure. — 1.  This law, sections 444.800 to 444.940, may be known and cited as the "Surface Coal Mining Law".

  2.  The general assembly finds and declares that:

  (1)  Extraction of coal from the earth can be accomplished by various methods of mining, including surface mining;

  (2)  Coal mining operations presently contribute significantly to the state's energy requirements;

  (3)  Many surface mining operations result in disturbances of surface areas that burden and adversely affect the public welfare by destroying or diminishing the utility of land for commercial, industrial, residential, recreational, agricultural, and forestry purposes, by causing erosion and landslides, by contributing to floods, by polluting the water, by destroying fish and wildlife habitats, by impairing natural beauty, by damaging the property of citizens, by creating hazards dangerous to life and property by degrading the quality of life in local communities, and by counteracting governmental programs and efforts to conserve soil, water, and other natural resources;

  (4)  The expansion of coal mining to meet energy needs makes even more urgent the establishment of appropriate standards to minimize damage to the environment and to productivity of the soil and to protect the health and safety of the public; and

  (5)  Surface mining and reclamation technology are now developed so that effective and reasonable regulation of surface coal mining operations is an appropriate and necessary means to minimize so far as practicable the adverse social, economic, and environmental effects of such mining operations.

  3.  Therefore, it is the purpose of this law to:

  (1)  Provide such regulation and control of surface coal mining as to minimize or prevent its injurious effects on the people and resources of the state;

  (2)  Assure that the rights of surface landowners and other persons with a legal interest in the land or appurtenances thereto are fully protected from such operations;

  (3)  Assure that surface coal mining operations are not conducted where reclamation is not feasible;

  (4)  Assure that surface coal mining operations are so conducted as to protect the environment;

  (5)  Assure that adequate procedures are undertaken to reclaim surface areas as contemporaneously as possible with the surface coal mining operations;

  (6)  Assure that the coal supply essential to the state's energy requirements, and to its economic and social well-being is provided and strike a balance between protection of the environment and agricultural productivity and the need for coal as an essential source of energy;

  (7)  Promote the reclamation of mined areas left without adequate reclamation prior to August 3, 1977, and which continue, in their unreclaimed condition, to substantially degrade the quality of the environment, prevent or damage the beneficial use of land or water resources, or endanger the health or safety of the public;

  (8)  Assure that appropriate procedures are provided for the public participation in the development, revision, and enforcement of regulations, standards, reclamation plans, or programs.

  4.  To that end, the commission is directed to rigidly enforce this law and to adopt whatever rules and regulations necessary to accomplish these purposes, but such rules and regulations shall be no more stringent than the comparable federal regulations promulgated by the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement under P.L. 95-87, the Federal Surface Coal Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977, unless it can be affirmatively shown that such more stringent rule or regulation is essential to the proper administration and enforcement of this law.


(L. 1979 H.B. 459, A.L. 1987 H.B. 669, A.L. 1995 S.B. 3)

---- end of effective  28 Aug 1995 ----

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