Section 9-16-92

Inspections; authority to inspect records, equipment, premises; etc.; violations; maintenance of records, etc., by permittee; authority to enter upon all lands of the state.

(a) For the purpose of developing or assisting in the development, administration, and enforcement of this article or in the administration and enforcement of any permit under this article, or of determining whether any person is in violation of any requirement of this article:

(1) The regulatory authority shall require any permittee to (i) establish and maintain appropriate records, (ii) make monthly reports to the regulatory authority, (iii) install, use, and maintain any necessary monitoring equipment or methods, (iv) evaluate results in accordance with such methods, at such locations, intervals, and in such manner as the regulatory authority shall prescribe, and (v) provide such other information relative to surface coal mining and reclamation operations as the regulatory authority deems reasonable and necessary;

(2) For those surface coal mining and reclamation operations which remove or disturb strata that serve as aquifers which significantly insure the hydrologic balance of water use either on or off the mining site, the regulatory authority shall specify those:

a. Monitoring sites to record the quantity and quality of surface drainage above and below the minesite as well as in the potential zone of influence;

b. Monitoring sites to record level, amount, and samples of ground water and aquifers potentially affected by the mining and also directly below the lowermost (deepest) coal seam to be mined;

c. Records of well logs and borehole data to be maintained; and

d. Monitoring sites to record precipitation.

The monitoring data collection and analysis required by this section shall be conducted according to standards and procedures set forth by the regulatory authority in order to assure their reliability and validity; and

(3) The authorized representatives of the regulatory authority, without advance notice and upon presentation of appropriate credentials, (i) shall have the right of entry to, upon or through any surface coal mining and reclamation operations or any premises in which any records required to be maintained under subdivision (1) of this subsection are located; and (ii) may at reasonable times, and without delay, have access to and copy any records, inspect any monitoring equipment or method of operation required under this article.

(4) In order to carry out the provisions of this article, it shall be lawful for any person or persons who are commission members, employees of the regulatory authority or any law enforcement officer who accompanies an authorized representative of the regulatory authority in the performance of his functions or duties under this article, to enter upon and cross all lands in the state, provided that in so doing no damage is done to private property.

(b) The inspections by the regulatory authority shall (1) occur on an irregular basis averaging not less than one partial inspection per month and one complete inspection per calendar quarter for the surface coal mining and reclamation operation covered by each permit; (2) occur without prior notice to the permittee or his agents or employees except for necessary onsite meetings with the permittee; and (3) include the filing of inspection reports adequate to enforce the requirements of and to carry out the terms and purposes of this article.

(c) Each permittee shall conspicuously maintain at the entrances to the surface coal mining and reclamation operations a clearly visible sign which sets forth the name, business address, and phone number of the permittee and the permit number of the surface coal mining and reclamation operations.

(d) Each inspector, upon detection of each violation of any requirement of this article, shall forthwith inform the operator in writing, and shall report in writing any such violation to the regulatory authority.

(e) Copies of any records, reports, inspection materials, or information obtained under this article by the regulatory authority shall be made immediately available to the public at central and sufficient locations in the county, multicounty, and state area of mining so that they are conveniently available to residents in the areas of mining.

(f)(1) Any person who is or may be adversely affected by a surface mining operation may notify the regulatory authority or any representative of the regulatory authority responsible for conducting the inspection, in writing, of any violation of this article which he has reason to believe exists at the surface mining site. The regulatory authority shall, by regulation, establish procedures for informal review of any refusal by a representative of the regulatory authority to issue a citation with respect to any such alleged violation. The regulatory authority shall furnish such persons requesting the review a written statement of the reasons for the regulatory authority's final disposition of the case.

(2) The regulatory authority shall also, by regulation, establish procedures to insure that adequate and complete inspections are made. Any such person may notify the regulatory authority of any failure to make such inspections, after which the regulatory authority shall determine whether adequate and complete inspections have been made. The regulatory authority shall furnish such persons a written statement of the reasons for the regulatory authority's determination that adequate and complete inspections have or have not been conducted.

(Acts 1981, No. 81-435, p. 682, §24; Acts 1983, No. 83-774, p. 1415, §8.)