H.R.15860 - Strip Mining Abolition Act93rd Congress (1973-1974)
|Sponsor:||Rep. Hechler, Ken [D-WV-4] (Introduced 07/11/1974)|
|Committees:||House - Interior and Insular Affairs|
|Latest Action:||07/11/1974 Referred to House Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs.|
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Summary: H.R.15860 — 93rd Congress (1973-1974)All Bill Information (Except Text)
Introduced in House (07/11/1974)
Strip Mining Abolition Act - Requires public participation in the development and enforcement of regulations and standards promulgated and permits issued under this Act pertaining to strip mining.
Empowers the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency to: (1) investigate and inspect to insure compliance with this Act; (2) hold public hearings; (3) issue cease-and-desist orders; and (4) order the revocation, suspension or modification of permits.
Title I: Environmental Protection Coal Mining Limitations - Prohibits development of any new or previously mined and abandoned site for coal surface mining and, within 6 months, contour surface coal mining.
Allows continuation of non-contour coal mining if a permit is obtained containing provisions for a reduction of mining production in three years to 50 percent of the 1973 level.
Prohibits surface coal mining after 6 months unless a permit is obtained containing provisions for land stabilization and postmining land use. Prohibits the issuance of permits for mining within 300 feet of dwellings of public buildings or that will interrupt watercourses.
Sets forth requirements for permit applications, including submission of ownership statements, mining maps, a hydrologic effect statement, and results of test borings and core samplings.
Sets forth requirements for mining and stabilization plans (required or permit applicants), including identification of the entire mining area over the time of the operations, a statement of land uses prior to mining, a detailed description of mining and land stabilization methods, and a time schedule of operations.
Requires public liability insurance on such operations for resulting personal and property damage.
Requires surface coal mining operators to: (1) restore land to a condition capable of supporting prior uses; (2) carry on stabilization along with mining operations; (3) preserve topsoil; (4) restore the original contour of the land; (5) revegetate the land; (6) maintain hydrologic balance in the area; and (7) meet certain requirements in the use of explosives.
Requires underground mine operators to: (1) backfill mine wastes in mine voids for mines opened after enactment of this Act where possible; (2) provide for adequate ground support; (3) seal all portals; and (4) refrain from use of water impoundments.
Allows local, State, and Federal agencies to file objections to surface mining and stabilization plans and request and receive hearings at which the permit applicant must establish that his plans comply with applicable law.
Requires the Administrator to make a decision within 30 days of such hearings of issuing a permit.
Requires permit applicants whose permits have been approved to file a performance bond sufficient to assure stabilization in the event of forfeiture. Allows release of such bond upon satisfactory completion of mining and stablization work.
Prohibits suspension or revocation of a permit without notice of violations to the permittee and 10 days to take corrective action, and after a public hearing (if requested), unless a significant threat to public health, private or public property, land or air exists.
Provides for a written statement of reasons of any such action to a permittee and the right to appeal to United States district courts.
Requires mine operators to keep specified records and use monitoring equipment. Requires inspection of surface mining sites once a month without notice and public disclosure of reports on such inspections.
Provides that the Attorney General, at the Administrators request, may institute civil action to enforce this Act.
Requires civil penalties for violations of permits or of this Act.
Allows citizen suits against any alleged violators of the Act.
Authorizes necessary appropriations to carry out this title.
Prohibits Government procurement from mines in violation of this Act.
States that where the surface owner is not the owner of the mineral estate proposed to be surface mined, the permit application shall include the written consent of the owner of such surface land, including lessees.
Title II: Abandoned Mine Stabilization - Creates the Abandoned Coal Mine Stabilization Fund and authorizes appropriations to it of $100,000,000 and such other sums thereafter as Congress may appropriate.
Directs the fund to be used for acquisition and stabilization of mined lands, acquistion and filling of voids and sealing of tunnels and shafts, and for use by the Secretary of Agriculture to combat erosion caused by mining effects.
Limits the use of the fund to lands affected by mining prior to enactment of this Act.
Provides for the condemation of land when the Chief of the Corps of Engineers cannot otherwise acquire land for stabilization purposes.
Authorizes bidding for stabilization work contracts, with preference to be given to former employees.
Authorizes matching grants to States which require and transfer land to the Chief of the Corps for such purposes, of surface coal mines.
Provides for resale of such stabilized land.