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Introduced Version Senate Bill 375 History

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sb375 intr
Senate Bill No. 375

(By Senators Tomblin (Mr. President) and Caruth,

By Request of the Executive)

____________

[Introduced February 25, 2009; referred to the Committee on Economic Development.]

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A BILL to amend and reenact §5B-2A-3 and §5B-2A-9 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended; and to amend and reenact §22-3-10 of said code, all relating to the Office of Coalfield Community Development and master land use plans; defining terms; requiring state, local, county or regional development or redevelopment authorities to develop master land use plans; requiring the Office of Coalfield Community Development to assist with the development of master land use plans; providing for review and approval of master land use plans; and requiring the post-mining land use proposed in reclamation plans to comport with associated master land use plans.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That §5B-2A-3 and §5B-2A-9 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended and reenacted; and that §22-3-10 of said code be amended and reenacted, all to read as follows:
CHAPTER 5B. ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT ACT OF 1985.

ARTICLE 2A. OFFICE OF COAL FIELD COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT.
§5B-2A-3. Definitions
.
(a) For the purpose of this article, the following terms have the meanings ascribed to them:
(1) "Department" means the Department of Environmental Protection established in article one, chapter twenty-two of this code;
(2) "Office" means the Office of Coalfield Community Development;
(3) "Renewable and alternative energy" means energy produced or generated from natural or replenishable resources other than traditional fossil fuels or nuclear resources and includes, without limitation, solar energy, wind power, hydropower, geothermal energy, biomass energy, biologically derived fuels, energy produced with advanced coal technologies (e.g. carbon dioxide sequestration and storage and ultrasupercritical technologies), coal bed methane, fuel produced by a coal gasification or liquefaction facility, synthetic gas, waste coal, tire-derived fuel, pumped storage hydroelectric power or similar energy sources.
(b) Unless used in a context that clearly requires a different meaning or as otherwise defined herein, terms used in this article shall have the definitions set forth in this section.
§5B-2A-9. Securing developable land and infrastructure.
(a) The office shall determine the land and infrastructure needs in the general area of the surface mining operations.
(b) For the purposes of this section, the term "general area" shall mean the county or counties in which the mining operations are being conducted or any adjacent county.
(c) To assist the office the operator shall be required to prepare and submit to the office the information set forth in this subsection as follows:
(1) A map of the area for which a permit under article three, chapter twenty-two of this code is being sought or has been obtained;
(2) The names of the surface and mineral owners of the property to be mined pursuant to the permit; and
(3) A statement of the post-mining land use for all land which may be affected by the mining operations.
(d) In making a determination of the land and infrastructure needs in the general area of the mining operations, the office shall consider at least the following:
(1) The availability of developable land in the general area;
(2) The needs of the general area for developable land;
(3) The availability of infrastructure, including, but not limited to, access roads, water service, wastewater service and other utilities;
(4) The amount of land to be mined and the amount of valley to be filled;
(5) The amount, nature and cost to develop and maintain the community assets identified in section eight of this article; and
(6) The availability of federal, state and local grants and low-interest loans to finance all or a portion of the acquisition and construction of the identified land and infrastructure needs of the general area.
(e) In making a determination of the land and infrastructure needs in the general area of the surface mining operations, the office shall give significant weight to developable land on or near existing or planned multilane highways.
(f) The office may secure developable land and infrastructure for a development office or county through the preparation of a master land use plan for inclusion into a reclamation plan prepared pursuant to the provisions of section ten, article three, chapter twenty-two of this code. No provision of this section may be construed to modify requirements of article three of said chapter. Participation in a master land use plan is voluntary.
(1) State, local, county or regional development or redevelopment authorities may shall determine land and infrastructure needs within their jurisdictions through the development of a master land use plan which incorporates post-mining land use needs that include renewable and alternative energy uses, industrial uses, commercial uses, agricultural uses, public facility uses or recreational facility uses;
(2) Upon the request of a state, local, county or regional development or redevelopment authority, the office shall assist such authority with the development of a master land use plan.
(2) A master land use plan must be reviewed by the office of coalfield community development and approved by the Division of Environmental Protection pursuant to section ten, article three, chapter twenty-two of this code before the master land use plan can be implemented.
(3) (A) The Department of Environmental Protection and the Office of Coalfield Community Development shall review master land use plans existing as of July 1, 2009. If the office determines that a master land use plan complies with the requirements of this article and the rules promulgated pursuant to this article, the office shall approve the plan on or before July 1, 2010.
(B) Master land use plans developed after July 1, 2009, shall be submitted to the department and the office for review. The office shall determine whether to approve a master land use plan submitted pursuant to this subdivision within three months of submission. The office shall approve the plan if it complies with the requirements of this article and the rules promulgated pursuant to this article.
(C) The office shall review a master land use plan approved under this section every three years. No later than six months before the review of a master land use plan, the state, local, county or regional development or redevelopment authority shall submit an updated master land use plan to the department and the office for review. The office shall approve the master land use plan if the updated plan complies with the requirements of this article and the rules promulgated pursuant to this article.
(D) If the office does not approve a master land use plan, the state, local, county or regional development or redevelopment authority may submit a supplemental master land use plan to the office for approval.
(3) (4) The required infrastructure component standards needed to accomplish the designated post-mining land uses identified in subdivision (1) of this subsection shall be developed by the relevant state, local, county or regional development or redevelopment authority. These standards must be in place before the respective state, local, county or regional development or redevelopment authority can accept ownership of property donated pursuant to a master land use plan. Acceptance of ownership of such property by a state, local, county or regional development or redevelopment authority may not occur unless it is determined that: (a) The property use is compatible with adjacent land uses; (b) the use satisfies the relevant development or redevelopment authority's anticipated need and market use; (c) the property has in place necessary infrastructure components needed to achieve the anticipated use; (d) the use is supported by all other appropriate public agencies; (e) the property is eligible for bond release in accordance with section twenty-three, article three, chapter twenty-two of this code; and (f) the use is feasible. Required infrastructure component standards require approval of the relevant county commission or commissions before such standards are accepted. County commission approval may be rendered only after a reasonable public comment period.
(4) (5) The provisions of this subsection shall not take effect until legislative rules are promulgated pursuant to paragraph (C), subdivision (1), subsection (c), section twenty- three, article three, chapter twenty-two of this code governing bond releases which assure sound future maintenance by the local or regional economic development, redevelopment or planning agencies.
CHAPTER 22. ENVIRONMENTAL RESOURCES.

ARTICLE 3. SURFACE COAL MINING AND RECLAMATION ACT.
§22-3-10. Reclamation plan requirements
.
(a) Each reclamation plan submitted as part of a surface- mining permit application shall include, in the degree of detail necessary to demonstrate that reclamation required by this article can be accomplished, a statement of:
(1) The identification of the lands subject to surface mining over the estimated life of these operations and the size, sequence and timing of the operations for which it is anticipated that individual permits for mining will be sought;
(2) The condition of the land to be covered by the permit prior to any mining, including: (A) The uses existing at the time of the application and, if the land has a history of previous mining, the uses which preceded any mining; (B) the capability of the land prior to any mining to support a variety of uses, giving consideration to soil and foundation characteristics, topography and vegetation cover and, if applicable, a soil survey prepared pursuant to subdivision (15), subsection (a), section nine of this article; and (C) the best information available on the productivity of the land prior to mining, including appropriate classification as prime farmlands and the average yield of food, fiber, forage or wood products from the lands obtained under high levels of management;
(3) The use which is proposed to be made of the land following reclamation, including a discussion of the utility and capacity of the reclaimed land to support a variety of alternative uses and the relationship of the use to existing land use policies and plans and the comments of any owner of the surface, other state agencies and local governments which would have to initiate, implement, approve or authorize the proposed use of the land following reclamation. The post-mining land use proposed in any The reclamation plan may submitted after January 1, 2011, shall include a comport with the land use that is specified in the approved master land use plan for the area as provided in section nine, article two-a, chapter five-b of this code. which includes a post-mining land use consistent with the reclamation and post-mining land use requirements of this article; By complying with a master land use plan that has been approved in accordance with article two-a, chapter five-b of this code, a post-mining land use satisfies the requirements for an alternative post-mining land use and satisfies the variance requirements set forth in subsection (c), section three, article three, chapter twenty-two of this code, if applicable to the proposed use.
(4) A detailed description of how the proposed post-mining land use is to be achieved and the necessary support activities which may be needed to achieve the proposed land use;
(5) The engineering techniques proposed to be used in mining and reclamation and a description of the major equipment; a plan for the control of surface water drainage and of water accumulation; a plan where appropriate, for backfilling, soil stabilization and compacting, grading, revegetation and a plan for soil reconstruction, replacement and stabilization pursuant to the performance standards in subdivision (7), subsection (b), section thirteen of this article for those food, forage and forest lands identified therein; and a statement as to how the operator plans to comply with each of the applicable requirements set out in section thirteen or fourteen of this article;
(6) A detailed estimated timetable for the accomplishment of each major step in the reclamation plan;
(7) The consideration which has been given to conducting surface mining operations in a manner consistent with surface owner plans and applicable state and local land use plans and programs;
(8) The steps to be taken to comply with applicable air and water quality laws and rules and any applicable health and safety standards;
(9) The consideration which has been given to developing the reclamation plan in a manner consistent with local physical environmental and climatological conditions;
(10) All lands, interests in lands or options on the interests held by the applicant or pending bids on interests in lands by the applicant, which lands are contiguous to the area to be covered by the permit;
(11) A detailed description of the measures to be taken during the surface mining and reclamation process to assure the protection of: (A) The quality of surface and groundwater systems, both on-land off-site, from adverse effects of the surface mining operation; (B) the rights of present users to the water; and (C) the quantity of surface and groundwater systems, both on- and off-site, from adverse effects of the surface mining operation or to provide alternative sources of water where the protection of quantity cannot be assured;
(12) The results of tests borings which the applicant has made at the area to be covered by the permit or other equivalent information and data in a form satisfactory to the director, including the location of subsurface water and an analysis of the chemical properties, including acid forming properties of the mineral and overburden: Provided, That information which pertains only to the analysis of the chemical and physical properties of the coal, except information regarding the mineral or elemental contents which are potentially toxic in the environment, shall be kept confidential and not made a matter of public record;
(13) The consideration which has been given to maximize the utilization and conservation of the solid fuel resource being recovered so that reaffecting the land in the future can be minimized; and
(14) Any other requirements as the director may prescribe by rule.
(b) Any surface mining permit application filed after the effective date of this subsection may contain, in addition to the requirements of subsection (a) of this section, a master land use plan, prepared in accordance with article two-a, chapter five-b of this code, as to the post-mining land use. A reclamation plan approved but not implemented or pending approval as of the effective date of this section may be amended to provide for a revised reclamation plan consistent provide for a post-mining land use that comports with the provisions of this subsection a master land use plan that has been approved in accordance with article two-a, chapter five-b of this code.
(c) The reclamation plan shall be available to the public for review except for those portions thereof specifically exempted in subsection (a) of this section.

NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to require state, local, county or regional development or redevelopment authorities to develop a master land use plans, to require the Office of Coalfield Community Development to, upon request, assist with the development of a master land use plan, to require the Office of Coalfield Community Development to review master land use plans, and to require the post-mining land use proposed in a reclamation plan to comport with the land use set forth in the associated master land use plan.

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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