OFFICE OF SURFACE MINING RECLAMATION AND ENFORCEMENT
Library of COALEX Research Reports
COALEX Research Reports are the products of research and analysis conducted on specific issues relating to the regulation of Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977. The research is conducted in response to requests for information from State Regulatory Authorities, under a cooperative agreement between the Office of Surface Mining (OSM) and the Interstate Mining Compact Commission (IMCC).
COALEX refers to the Library of Surface Mining Materials maintained by OSM in LEXIS-NEXIS and is a major source for the research.
Each Report includes a list of resources which were sent as attachments to the individual who requested the research. To obtain a copy of the attachments or to obtain any additional information, contact Joyce Zweben Scall by phone at 202-686-9138 or by email at JZScall@aol.com.
COALEX STATE COMPARISON REPORT - 140
March 30, 1990
Division of Reclamation
Ohio Department of Natural Resources
4383 Fountain Square Court
Columbus, Ohio 43224
TOPIC: STATE SURFACE COAL MINE REGULATIONS PRE-SMCRA
INQUIRY: Which states had statutes and rules in force to regulate surface coal mining prior to the passage of the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977? Please locate any information available on pre-SMCRA laws and regulations.
SEARCH RESULTS: Using the COALEX Library, a 1977 Committee Print was identified which contains the results of a survey conducted by the Congressional Research Service of the Library of Congress. The survey compared the proposed federal legislation with existing state laws and regulations. A brief description of the survey and its findings is provided below. A copy of the Committee Print is attached.
"State Surface Mining Laws: A Survey, A Comparison with the Proposed Federal Legislation, and Background Information", Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, Publication No 95-25, 95th Cong, 1st Sess (June 1977).
In November, 1976, a questionnaire was sent out by the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources (formerly the Interior and Insular Affairs Committee) to 39 states that had surface mining laws for coal or other minerals. The purpose of survey was to: "gather information concerning State laws and regulations governing surface effects of coal mining, together with information regarding enforcement of those laws, as compared with the requirements of the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1976 (H.R. 13950 - 94th Congress)." [NOTE: HR 13950 was replaced by HR 2.] Committee Print, p. 29.
Copies of proposed sections 515 and 516 were enclosed with the questionnaire.
The results of the survey, reported as the Committee Print, were "designed to assist the Committee in determining whether or not Federal legislation to regulate surface mining [was] necessary and, if it [was], what that legislation might contain." Committee Print, p. 4.
SUMMARY OF THE FINDINGS
The amount of detail provided in responses to the questionnaire differed widely; however, the results "suggest[ed]" that "most requirements of the State laws [were] far less stringent than the proposed Federal regulations in H.R. 13950 would be" and enforcement was "extremely lenient or even non-existent".
Some of the findings are as follows:
Committee Print, pp. 25-28.
RESULTS OF THE SURVEY
According to the survey, the following states had laws in existence in 1977 to regulate surface mining of coal:
The following states had laws regulating underground mining but not surface mining of coal:
These states had laws regulating other minerals, ores, etc. but not coal:
These states reported that they had no surface mining statutes:
Specific comparisons between the state regulations and the proposed federal statute are discussed in the Print. A table version of the findings is also a part of the Print. The table, entitled "matrix", is included as part of the attachment; however, it was reproduced from the computer database and is difficult to read.
Research conducted by: Joyce Zweben Scall