☰ Revisor of Missouri


Chapter 444

< > Effective - 28 Aug 1993 bottom

  444.875.  Release of all or part of performance bond, procedure — objections may be filed. — 1.  The permittee may file a request with the commission for the release of all or part of a performance bond or deposit.  Within thirty days after any application for bond release has been filed, the operator shall submit a copy of an advertisement placed at least once a week for four successive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation in the locality of the surface coal mining operation.  Such advertisement shall be considered part of any bond release application and shall contain a notification of the precise location of the land affected, the number of acres, the permit and the date approved, the amount of the bond filed and the portion sought to be released, and the type and appropriate dates of reclamation work performed, and a description of the results achieved as they relate to the operator's approved reclamation plan.  In addition, as part of any bond release application, the applicant shall submit copies of letters which he has sent to adjoining property owners, local governmental bodies, planning agencies, sewage and water treatment authorities, and water companies in the locality in which the surface coal mining and reclamation activities took place, notifying them of his intention to seek release from the bond.  At the time of final or phase III bond release submittal, the operator shall include evidence that an affidavit has been recorded with the recorder of deeds in the county where the mined land is located, generally describing the parcel or parcels of land where operations such as underground mining, auger mining, covering of slurry ponds, or other underground activities occurred which could impact or limit future use of that land.  This requirement shall be applicable to mined land where phase I reclamation was completed on or after September 1, 1992.

  2.  Upon receipt of the notification and request, the commission shall cause to be conducted within thirty days an inspection and evaluation of the reclamation work involved.  Such evaluation shall consider, among other things, the degree of difficulty to complete any remaining reclamation, whether pollution of surface and subsurface water is occurring, the probability of continuance or future occurrence of such pollution, and the estimated cost of abating such pollution.  The commission shall notify the permittee in writing of its decision to release or not to release all or part of the performance bond or deposit within sixty days from the filing of the request, if no public hearing is held pursuant to subsection 6 of this section, and if there has been a public hearing held pursuant to subsection 6 of this section, within thirty days thereafter.

  3.  The commission may release in whole or in part said bond or deposit if satisfied the reclamation covered by the bond or deposit or portion thereof has been accomplished according to the following schedule:

  (1)  When the operator completes the backfilling, regrading, and drainage control of a bonded area in accordance with his approved reclamation plan, the release of not more than sixty percentum of the bond or deposit for the applicable permit area;

  (2)  After revegetation has been established on the regraded mined lands in accordance with the approved reclamation plan, the release of a portion of the bond or deposit may be approved.  When determining the amount of bond to be released after successful revegetation has been established, the commission shall retain that amount of bond for the revegetated area which would be sufficient for a third party to cover the cost of reestablishing revegetation for the period specified for operator responsibility in section 444.855 for reestablishing revegetation.  No part of the bond or deposit shall be released under this subdivision so long as the lands to which the release would be applicable are contributing suspended solids to streamflow or runoff outside the permit area in excess of the requirements set by subdivision (10) of subsection 2 of section 444.855 or until soil productivity for prime farm lands has returned to equivalent levels of yield as nonmined land of the same soil type in the surrounding area under equivalent management practices as determined from the soil survey performed pursuant to subdivision (16) of subsection 2 of section 444.820.  Where a silt dam is to be retained as a permanent impoundment pursuant to subdivision (8) of subsection 2 of section 444.855, the portion of bond may be released under this subdivision so long as provisions for sound future maintenance by the operator or the landowner have been made with the commission;

  (3)  When the operator has completed successfully all surface coal mining and reclamation activities, the release of the remaining portion of the bond, but not before the expiration of the period specified for operator responsibility in section 444.855; provided, however, that no bond shall be fully released until all reclamation requirements are fully met.

  4.  If the commission disapproves the application for release of the bond or portion thereof, the commission shall notify the permittee, in writing, stating the reasons for disapproval and recommending corrective actions necessary to secure said release and allowing opportunity for a public hearing unless a hearing has been held.

  5.  When any application for total or partial bond release is filed, the commission shall notify the county and/or municipality in which a surface coal mining operation is located by certified mail within thirty days from the date the application is filed.

  6.  Any person with a valid legal interest which might be adversely affected by release of the bond or the responsible officer or head of any federal, state, or local governmental agency which has jurisdiction by law or special expertise with respect to any environmental, social, or economic impact involved in the operation, or is authorized to develop and enforce environmental standards with respect to such operations shall have the right to file written objections to the proposed release from bond within sixty days after the application was filed.  If written objections are filed, and a hearing requested, the commission shall inform all the interested parties of the time and place of the hearing, and the date, time, and location of such public hearing shall be advertised by the commission in a newspaper of general circulation in the locality for two consecutive weeks, and the commission shall hold a public hearing in the locality of the surface coal mining operation proposed for bond release or in Cole County, at the option of the objector, within ninety days after the application has been filed.

  7.  For the purpose of such hearing the commission shall have the authority and is hereby empowered to administer oaths, subpoena witnesses or written or printed materials, compel the attendance of witnesses, or production of the materials, and take evidence including, but not limited to, inspections of the land affected and other surface coal mining operations carried on by the applicant in the general vicinity.  A verbatim record of each public hearing shall be made, and a transcript made available on the motion of any party or by order of the commission.  The chairman may designate one commission member as hearing officer, or may appoint a member in good standing of the Missouri bar as hearing officer to hold the hearing and make recommendations to the commission, but the commission shall make the final decision thereon and any member participating in the decision shall review the record before making decision.


(L. 1979 H.B. 459, A.L. 1993 H.B. 312 & 257)

---- end of effective  28 Aug 1993 ----

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