Citations Affected: IC 14-8; IC 14-34.
Synopsis: Coal mine reclamation permit bonds. Authorizes the
director of the department of natural resources to: (1) initiate an
application for the release of a reclamation plan performance bond; and
(2) require operators to withdraw from the surface coal mine
reclamation bond pool under certain circumstances. Allows a mine
operator to withdraw from the bond pool upon replacing bond pool
liability with bonds acceptable under the surface coal mining and
reclamation bonding law. Requires certain findings and documentation
for certain mine land reclamation projects funded by a governmental
Effective: July 1, 2004.
January 13, 2004, read first time and referred to Committee on Agriculture, Natural
Resources and Rural Development.
January 29, 2004, amended, reported _ Do Pass.
A BILL FOR AN ACT to amend the Indiana Code concerning
natural and cultural resources.
operation is located notifying the entities of the bond release
(2) Within thirty (30) days after filing the bond release application, submit a copy of an advertisement placed at least one (1) time a week for four (4) successive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation in the county in which the surface coal mining and reclamation operation is located. The advertisement must contain the following:
(A) A notification of the precise location of the land affected.
(B) The number of acres.
(C) The permit and the date of approval.
(D) The amount of the bond filed and the part sought to be released.
(E) The type and appropriate dates of reclamation work performed.
(F) A description of the results achieved relating to the operator's approved reclamation plan.
(b) The director may initiate an application for the release of a bond. If a bond release application is initiated by the director, the department shall perform the notification and certification requirements otherwise imposed on the permittee under this section and section 8 of this chapter.
section, "mining" includes contract mining.
(b) As used in this section, "operator" includes a predecessor in interest, subsidiaries, and affiliates as approved by the director.
(c) Participation in the bond pool is open to each operator applying for a permit under this article who, after May 3, 1978, has a five (5) year history of mining within Indiana and who meets the following conditions:
(1) Is not subject to an outstanding cessation order issued under:
(A) IC 13-4.1-11-5 (before its repeal); or
(B) IC 14-34-15-6.
(2) Does not owe a civil penalty under:
(A) IC 13-4.1-12 (before its repeal);
(B) IC 14-34-16; or
(C) the federal Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 (30 U.S.C. 1201 through 1328).
(3) Does not:
(A) owe a fee:
(i) under IC 13-4.1 (before its repeal);
(ii) under this article; or
(iii) collected under the federal Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 (30 U.S.C. 1201 through 1328); or
(B) have a history of delinquency in the payment of fees or civil penalties.
(4) Has never been suspended under:
(A) IC 13-4.1-6.5-6 (before its repeal); or
(B) section 6 of this chapter.
(d) Participation in the bond pool is:
(1) optional for each permit application;
(2) subject to approval by the director; and
(3) not effective until the entrance fee has been paid in full.
(e) The director may, based on all available information, disapprove an application that may create an unreasonable risk to the bond pool.
(f) This chapter does not preclude compliance with IC 14-34-6 instead of participation in the bond pool before commencement of participation in the bond pool.
(g) Commencement of participation in the bond pool for the applicable permit constitutes an irrevocable commitment to participate in the bond pool for the applicable permit for the duration of the surface coal mining operations covered under the permit, unless the operator has replaced all bond pool liability with bonds acceptable under IC 14-34-6-1.
(h) An operator may apply for participation in the bond pool on a
bond increment area under an existing permit. Commencement of
participation in the bond pool for the bond increment area, within an
existing permit, constitutes an irrevocable commitment to participate
in the bond pool for the duration of that surface coal mining permit,
unless the operator has replaced all bond pool liability with bonds
acceptable under IC 14-34-6-1.
reclamation project under IC 14-34-1-2 or 312 IAC 25-2-3
(A) at least fifty percent (50%) funded by funds appropriated from a governmental entity that finances the construction through either the entity's budget or general revenue bonds; or
(B) less than fifty percent (50%) funded by funds appropriated from a governmental entity that finances the construction through either the entity's budget or general revenue bonds if the construction is an approved reclamation project under Title IV of the federal Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 (30 U.S.C. 1201 through 30 U.S.C. 1328) and this chapter.
(2) When the level of funding for the construction will be less than fifty percent (50%) of the total cost because of planned coal extraction.
(b) The department must make the following determinations:
(1) The likelihood that coal will be mined under a surface coal mining and reclamation operations permit issued under this article. The determination must consider available information, including the following:
(A) Coal reserves from existing mine maps or other sources.
(B) Existing environmental conditions.
(C) All prior mining activity on or adjacent to the site.
(D) Current and historical coal production in the area.
(E) Any known or anticipated interest in mining the site.
(2) The likelihood that nearby mining activities at the site might create new environmental problems or adversely affect existing environmental problems at the site.
(3) The likelihood that nearby mining activities at the site might adversely affect nearby mining activities.
(c) If a decision is made to proceed with the reclamation project, the department must make the following determinations:
(1) The limits on any coal refuse, coal waste, or other coal deposits that can be extracted under the exemption under IC 14-34-1-2 and 312 IAC 25-2-3.
(2) The delineation of the boundaries of the abandoned mine lands reclamation project.
(d) The following documentation must be included in the abandoned mine lands reclamation case file:
(1) Determinations made under subsections (b) and (c).