§22-2-8. Filling voids and sealing tunnels.

(a) The Legislature declares that voids, open and abandoned tunnels, shafts and entryways and subsidence resulting from any previous coal surface-mining operation are a hazard to the public welfare and safety and that surface impacts of any underground or surface-mining operation may degrade the environment. The director is authorized to fill the voids, seal the abandoned tunnels, shafts and entryways, and reclaim surface impacts of underground or surface mines and remove water and other matter from mines which the director determines could endanger life and property, are a hazard to the public welfare and safety or degrade the environment.

(b) In those instances where coal mine waste piles are being reworked for conservation purposes, the incremental costs of disposing of the wastes from such operations by filling voids and sealing tunnels may be eligible for funding, if the disposal of those wastes meets the purposes of this article.

(c) The director may acquire by purchase, donation, easement or otherwise such interest in land as he or she determines necessary to carry out the provisions of this section.