Summary: S.1401 — 104th Congress (1995-1996)All Information (Except Text)

There is one summary for S.1401. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Introduced in Senate (11/08/1995)

Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Amendments Act of 1995 - Amends the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 to: (1) repeal certain oversight functions of the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement; (2) provide for an approved State program for surface coal mining and reclamation operations which shall apply in that State in lieu of the Act; (3) declare the Act inapplicable to surface coal mining and reclamation operations within a State with an approved State program until such program has been amended, and the permittee has been provided reasonable time to conform operations to the amended program; and (4) declare that operations in compliance with a permit issued under the Act shall be deemed to be in compliance with its environmental protection standards and those of an approved State or Federal program pursuant to the Act.

Amends enforcement guidelines to grant a State regulatory authority sole enforcement responsibility for the Act and relevant State law, subject only to State administrative and judicial review. Confers enforcement responsibility for Federal water quality laws (including State law enacted pursuant thereto) upon the regulatory authority approved by the Environmental Protection Agency.

Revises judicial review guidelines to: (1) repeal the provision construing the availability of judicial review of a State regulatory authority as not limiting the operation of rights with respect to citizens' suits to compel compliance with Federal law; and (2) declare that an action by the Secretary of the Interior regarding inadequate State enforcement is subject to judicial review by the U.S. district court for the district which includes the capital of the State whose program is at issue.

Establishes a three-year statute of limitations for an enforcement proceeding under this Act.

Redefines surface coal mining operations to exclude public roads from the regulatory purview of the Act.