§22-3-29. Experimental practices.

In order to encourage advances in surface mining and reclamation practices or to allow postmining land use for industrial, commercial, residential, agricultural or public use, including recreational facilities, the director may authorize departures, in individual cases and on an experimental basis, from the environmental protection performance standards promulgated under this article. Such departures may be authorized if the experimental practices are potentially more or at least as environmentally protective during and after surface-mining operations as those required by promulgated standards; the surface-mining operations approved for particular land use or other purposes are not larger or more numerous than necessary to determine the effectiveness and economic feasibility of the experimental practices; and the experimental practices do not reduce the protection afforded health or safety of the public below that provided by promulgated standards.