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Introduced Version House Bill 2308 History

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hb2308 intr
H. B. 2308


(By Delegates Caputo, Manchin, Mahan,

Tucker, Perdue and Butcher)


[Introduced February 14, 2005; referred to the

Committee on the Judiciary then Finance.]




A BILL to amend and reenact §22-3-9 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, relating to mining extension permits; and requiring an applicant for a mining extension to provide a copy of the permit application to a representative of the miners at that mine.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:

That §22-3-9 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended and reenacted to read as follows:

ARTICLE 3. SURFACE COAL MINING AND RECLAMATION ACT.

§22-3-9. Permit application requirements and contents.

(a) The surface-mining permit application shall contain:
(1) The names and addresses of: (A) The permit applicant; (B) the owner of record of the property, surface and mineral, to be mined; (C) the holders of record of any leasehold interest in the property; (D) any purchaser of record of the property under a real estate contract; (E) the operator, if different from the applicant; and (F) if any of these are business entities other than a single proprietor, the names and addresses of the principals, officers and resident agent;
(2) The names and addresses of the owners of record of all surface and subsurface areas contiguous to any part of the proposed permit area: Provided,
That all residents living on property contiguous to the proposed permit area shall be notified by the applicant, by registered or certified mail, of such application on or before the first day of publication of the notice provided for in subdivision (6) of this subsection;
(3) A statement of any current surface-mining permits held by the applicant in the state and the permit number and each pending application;
(4) If the applicant is a partnership, corporation, association or other business entity, the following where applicable: The names and addresses of every officer, partner, resident agent, director or person performing a function similar to a director, together with the names and addresses of any person owning of record ten percent or more of any class of voting stock of the applicant; and a list of all names under which the applicant, officer, director, partner or principal shareholder previously operated a surface-mining operation in the United States within the five-year period preceding the date of submission of the application;
(5) A statement of whether the applicant, or any officer, partner, director, principal shareholder of the applicant, any subsidiary, affiliate or persons controlled by or under common control with the applicant, has ever been an officer, partner, director or principal shareholder in a company which has ever held a federal or state mining permit which in the five-year period prior to the date of submission of the application has been permanently suspended or revoked or has had a mining bond or similar security deposited in lieu of bond forfeited and, if so, a brief explanation of the facts involved;
(6) A copy of the applicant's advertisement to be published in a newspaper of general circulation in the locality of the proposed permit area at least once a week for four successive weeks. The advertisement shall contain in abbreviated form the information required by this section including the ownership and map of the tract location and boundaries of the proposed site so that the proposed operation is readily locatable by local residents, the location of the office of the division where the application is available for public inspection and stating that written protests will be accepted by the director until a certain date which is at least thirty days after the last publication of the applicant's advertisement;
(7) A description of the type and method of surface-mining operation that exists or is proposed, the engineering techniques used or proposed, and the equipment used or proposed to be used;
(8) The anticipated starting and termination dates of each phase of the surface-mining operation and the number of acres of land to be affected;
(9) A description of the legal documents upon which the applicant's legal right to enter and conduct surface-mining operations on the proposed permit area is based and whether that right is the subject of pending court litigation: Provided,
That nothing in this article may be construed as vesting in the director the jurisdiction to adjudicate property-rights disputes;
(10) The name of the watershed and location of the surface stream or tributary into which surface and pit drainage will be discharged;
(11) A determination of the probable hydrologic consequences of the mining and reclamation operations, both on and off the mine site, with respect to the hydrologic regime, quantity and quality of water in surface and groundwater systems, including the dissolved and suspended solids under seasonal flow conditions and the collection of sufficient data for the mine site and surrounding areas so that an assessment can be made by the director of the probable cumulative impacts of all anticipated mining in the area upon the hydrology of the area, and particularly upon water availability: Provided,
That this determination is not required until such time as hydrologic information on the general area prior to mining is made available from an appropriate federal or state agency or, if existing and in the possession of the applicant, from the applicant: Provided, however, That the permit application shall not be approved until the information is available and is incorporated into the application;
(12) Accurate maps to an appropriate scale clearly showing: (A) The land to be affected as of the date of application; (B) the area of land within the permit area upon which the applicant has the legal right to enter and conduct surface-mining operations; and (C) all types of information set forth on enlarged topographical maps of the United States geological survey of a scale of 1:24,000 or larger, including all man-made features and significant known archaeological sites existing on the date of application. In addition to other things specified by the director, the map shall show the boundary lines and names of present owners of record of all surface areas abutting the proposed permit area and the location of all structures within one thousand feet of the proposed permit area;
(13) Cross-section maps or plans of the proposed affected area, including the actual area to be mined, prepared by or under the direction of and certified by a person approved by the director, showing pertinent elevation and location of test borings or core samplings, where required by the director, and depicting the following information: (A) The nature and depth of the various strata or overburden; (B) the location of subsurface water, if encountered, and its quality; (C) the nature and thickness of any coal or rider seams above the seam to be mined; (D) the nature of the stratum immediately beneath the coal seam to be mined; (E) all mineral crop lines and the strike and dip of the coal to be mined, within the area of land to be affected; (F) existing or previous surface-mining limits; (G) the location and extent of known workings of any underground mines, including mine openings to the surface; (H) the location of any significant aquifers; (I) the estimated elevation of the water table; (J) the location of spoil, waste or refuse areas and topsoil preservation areas; (K) the location of all impoundments for waste or erosion control; (L) any settling or water treatment facility or drainage system; (M) constructed or natural drain ways and the location of any discharges to any surface body of water on the area of land to be affected or adjacent thereto; and (N) adequate profiles at appropriate cross sections of the anticipated final surface configuration that will be achieved pursuant to the operator's proposed reclamation plan;
(14) A statement of the result of test borings or core samples from the permit area, including: (A) Logs of the drill holes; (B) the thickness of the coal seam to be mined and analysis of the chemical and physical properties of the coal; (C) the sulfur content of any coal seam; (D) chemical analysis of potentially acid or toxic forming sections of the overburden; and (E) chemical analysis of the stratum lying immediately underneath the coal to be mined: Provided,
That the provisions of this subdivision may be waived by the director with respect to the specific application by a written determination that such requirements are unnecessary;
(15) For those lands in the permit application which a reconnaissance inspection suggests may be prime farmlands, a soil survey shall be made or obtained according to standards established by the secretary of agriculture in order to confirm the exact location of such prime farmlands;
(16) A reclamation plan as presented in section ten of this article;
(17) Information pertaining to coal seams, test borings, core samplings or soil samples as required by this section shall be made available to any person with an interest which is or may be adversely affected: Provided,
That information which pertains only to the analysis of the chemical and physical properties of the coal, except information regarding mineral or elemental content which is potentially toxic to the environment, shall be kept confidential and not made a matter of public record;
(18) When requested by the director, the climatological factors that are peculiar to the locality of the land to be affected, including the average seasonal precipitation, the average direction and velocity of prevailing winds, and the seasonal temperature ranges; and
(19) Other information that may be required by rules reasonably necessary to effectuate the purposes of this article.
(b) If the director finds that the probable total annual production at all locations of any coal surface-mining operator will not exceed three hundred thousand tons, the determination of probable hydrologic consequences including the engineering analyses and designs necessary as required by this article or rules promulgated thereunder; the development of cross-section maps and plans as required by this article or rules promulgated thereunder; the geologic drilling and statement of results of test borings and core samplings as required by this article or rules promulgated thereunder; preblast surveys required by this article or rules promulgated thereunder; the collection of site-specific resource information and production of protection and enhancement plans for fish and wildlife habitats and other environmental values required by this article or rules promulgated thereunder; and the collection of archaeological and historical information required by this article and rules promulgated thereunder and any other archaeological and historical information required by the federal department of the interior and the preparation of plans that may be necessitated thereby shall, upon the written request of the operator, be performed by a qualified public or private laboratory designated by the director and a reasonable cost of the preparation of such determination and statement shall be assumed by the division from funds provided by the United States Department of the Interior pursuant to the federal Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977, as amended.
(c) Before the first publication of the applicant's advertisement, each applicant for a surface-mining permit shall file, except for that information pertaining to the coal seam itself, a copy of the application for public inspection in the nearest office of the division as specified in the applicant's advertisement.
(d) Each applicant for a permit shall be required to submit to the director as a part of the permit application a certificate issued by an insurance company authorized to do business in this state covering the surface-mining operation for which the permit is sought, or evidence that the applicant has satisfied state self- insurance requirements. The policy shall provide for personal injury and property damage protection in an amount adequate to compensate any persons damaged as a result of surface coal mining and reclamation operations, including use of explosives, and entitled to compensation under the applicable provisions of state law. The policy shall be maintained in full force and effect during the terms of the permit or any renewal, including the length of all reclamation operations.
(e) Each applicant for a surface-mining permit shall submit to the director as part of the permit application a blasting plan where explosives are to be used, which shall outline the procedures and standards by which the operator will meet the provisions of the blasting performance standards.
(f) The applicant shall file as part of the permit application a schedule listing all notices of violation, bond forfeitures, permit revocations, cessation orders or permanent suspension orders resulting from a violation of the federal Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977, as amended, this article or any law or regulation of the United States or any department or agency of any state pertaining to air or environmental protection received by the applicant in connection with any surface-mining operation during the three-year period prior to the date of application, and indicating the final resolution of any notice of violation, forfeiture, revocation, cessation or permanent suspension.
(g) In addition to the other provisions of this section, an applicant for an extension of an existing permit shall provide a copy of the application
for extension to an authorized representative of the miners at the mine.
(g) (h) Within five working days of receipt of an application for a permit, the director shall notify the operator in writing, stating whether the application is administratively complete and whether the operator's advertisement may be published. If the application is not administratively complete, the director shall state in writing why the application is not administratively complete.



NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to require applicants for an extension of a mining permit to provide a copy of the permit application to a representative of the miners at the mine.

Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.
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