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Title XXIX OWNERSHIP AND CONVEYANCE OF PROPERTY

Chapter 444

Effective - 28 Aug 1979 bottom

  444.890.  Commission to designate areas unsuitable for surface mining — review required — excepted lands — procedure. — 1.  (1)  The commission shall establish a planning process enabling objective decisions based upon competent and scientifically sound data and information as to which, if any, land areas are unsuitable for all or certain types of surface coal mining operations pursuant to the standards set forth in subdivisions (2) and (3) of this subsection but such designation shall not prevent the mineral exploration of any area so designated.

  (2)  Upon petition pursuant to subsection 2 of this section, the commission shall designate an area as unsuitable for all or certain types of surface coal mining operations if the commission determines that reclamation is not technologically and economically feasible.

  (3)  Upon petition pursuant to subsection 2 of this section, a surface area may be designated unsuitable for certain types of surface coal mining operations if such operations will:

  (a)  Be incompatible with existing state or local land use plans or programs; or

  (b)  Affect fragile or historic lands in which such operations could result in significant damage to important historic, cultural, scientific, and esthetic values and natural systems; or

  (c)  Affect renewable resource lands in which such operations could result in a substantial loss or reduction of long-range productivity of water supply or of food or fiber products, and such lands to include aquifers and aquifer recharge areas; or

  (d)  Affect natural hazard lands in which such operations could substantially endanger life and property, such lands to include areas subject to frequent flooding and areas of unstable geology;

  (4)  To provide for surface coal mining lands review, the commission shall:

  (a)  Develop a data base and an inventory system which will permit proper evaluation of the capacity of different land areas of the state to support and permit reclamation of surface coal mining operations;

  (b)  Develop a method or methods for implementing land use planning decisions, concerning surface coal mining operations; and

  (c)  Provide proper notice and opportunities for public participation, including a public hearing prior to making any designation or redesignation, pursuant to this section.

  (5)  Determinations of the unsuitability of land for surface coal mining shall be integrated as closely as possible with present and future land use planning and regulation processes at the federal, state, and local levels.

  (6)  The requirements of this section shall not apply to lands on which surface coal mining operations are being conducted on September 28, 1979, or under a permit issued pursuant to this law, or where substantial legal and financial commitments in such operation were in existence prior to January 4, 1977.

  2.  Any person having an interest which is or may be adversely affected shall have the right to petition the commission to have an area designated as unsuitable for surface coal mining operations, or to have such a designation terminated.  Such a petition shall contain allegations of facts with supporting evidence which would tend to establish the allegations.  Within ten months after receipt of the petition the commission shall hold a public hearing in the locality of the affected area, after appropriate notice and publication of the date, time, and location of such hearing.  After a person having an interest which is or may be adversely affected has filed a petition and before the hearing, any person may intervene by filing allegations of facts with supporting evidence which would tend to establish the allegations.  Within sixty days after such hearing, the commission shall issue and furnish to the petitioner, and any other party to the hearing, a written decision regarding the petition, and the reasons therefor.  In the event that all the petitioners stipulate agreement prior to the requested hearing, and withdraw their request, such hearing need not be held.

  3.  Prior to designating any land areas as unsuitable for surface coal mining operations, the commission shall prepare a detailed statement on

  (1)  The potential coal resources of the area;

  (2)  The demand for coal resources; and

  (3)  The impact of such designation on the environment, the economy, and the supply of coal.

  4.  After September 28, 1979, and subject to valid existing rights, no surface coal mining operations except those which exist on September 28, 1979, shall be permitted:

  (1)  On any lands within the boundaries of units of the National Park System, the National Wildlife Refuge Systems, the National System of Trails, the National Wilderness Preservation System, the Wild and Scenic Rivers System, including study rivers designated under section 5(a) of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act and National Recreation Areas designated by Act of Congress;

  (2)  On any federal lands within the boundaries of any national forest unless permitted by the United States Secretary of the Interior;

  (3)  Which will adversely affect any publicly owned park or places included in the National Register of Historic Sites unless approved jointly by the commission and the federal, state, or local agency with jurisdiction over the park or the historic site;

  (4)  Within one hundred feet of the outside right-of-way line of any public road, except where mine access roads or haulage roads join such right-of-way line and except that the commission may permit such roads to be relocated or the area affected to lie within one hundred feet of such road, if after public notice and opportunity for public hearing in the locality a written finding is made that the interests of the public and the landowners affected thereby will be protected; or

  (5)  Within three hundred feet from any occupied dwelling, unless waived by the owner thereof, nor within three hundred feet of any public building, school, church, community, or institutional building, public park, or within one hundred feet of a cemetery.

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(L. 1979 H.B. 459)


---- end of effective   28 Aug 1979 ----

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