Section 9-16-125

Reclamation program.

(a) The Department of Industrial Relations, State Programs Division, shall establish and maintain a state reclamation program for abandoned mines which complies with Title IV of Public Law 95-87. The state reclamation program plan shall generally identify the areas to be reclaimed, the purposes for which the reclamation is proposed, the relationship of the lands to be reclaimed and the proposed reclamation to surrounding areas, the specific criteria for ranking and identifying projects to be funded, and the legal authority and programmatic capability to perform such work in conformance with the provisions of the federal act.

(b) The director shall annually submit to the secretary, an application for the support of the state program and implementation of specific reclamation projects. Such requests shall include, but shall not be limited to:

(1) A general description of each proposed project;

(2) A priority evaluation of each proposed project;

(3) A statement of the estimated benefits in such terms as: number of acres restored, miles of stream improved, acres of surface lands protected from subsidence, population protected from subsidence, air pollution, hazards of mine and coal refuse disposal area fires;

(4) An estimate of the cost for each proposed project;

(5) In the case of proposed research and demonstration projects, a description of the specific techniques to be evaluated or objective to be attained;

(6) An identification of lands or interest therein to be acquired and the estimated cost;

(7) In each year after the first in which a plan is filed, an inventory of each project funded under the previous year's grant; which inventory shall include details of financial expenditures on such project together with a brief description of each such project; including project locations, landowner's name, acreage, type of reclamation performed.

(c) The costs for each proposed project shall include: actual construction costs, actual operation and maintenance costs of permanent facilities, planning and engineering costs, construction inspection costs, and other necessary administrative expenses.

(d) The director shall make such reports on operations of the reclamation program as required by the secretary or by Congress.

(e) The director shall at all times accept and consider comments regarding annual grant applications and the eligibility, priority ranking and selection of lands for reclamation. At least 30 days prior to the submission of each annual grant application to the Secretary of Interior, the director shall provide for a public hearing prior to the proposed submission date of the grant application and shall publish a notice in a newspaper of general circulation in the state which states that a hearing will be held, generally outlines the grant application and solicits comments regarding the application. A listing and identification of all projects included in the grant application shall be mailed to all persons who have requested written notification of the annual grant application and shall be available to any person upon request. At the public hearing for review of an annual grant application, any person may appear before the director and be heard on the record. The director may receive documentary or other evidence for inclusion in the record. The director shall fix a time for the closing of the record and may in his discretion receive such other comments or evidence as he deems appropriate after the public hearing and before the closing of the record. A copy of the record shall be included with the grant application to the Secretary of Interior.

(Acts 1981, No. 81-210, p. 254, §6.)