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 INQUIRY REPORT - 315
Olga Brunning, Esquire
Department of Natural Resources
580 Taylor Avenue, Room C-4
Annapolis, Maryland 21401
TOPIC: SOAP - 507(c)
INQUIRY: Please supply a copy of the final rules for 30 CFR Part 795 - Small Operator Assistance Program (SOAP) which implement the latest amendments passed by Congress. Of particular interest is information on the services covered by the program (services paid for by OSM).
SEARCH RESULTS: LEXIS was used to identify the preamble and federal regulations printed in the Federal Register that implement the SOAP amendments which were part of the most recent AML reauthorization act. A summary of the changes to the SOAP are listed below. The full text of the Federal Register notice is attached.
59 FR 28136 (MAY 31, 1994). Final rule. Abandoned Mine Land Reclamation Fund Reauthorization Implementation. Part 795 Small Operator Assistance Program (SOAP).
28139. III. Final Rules and Disposition of Comments. Part 795 SOAP. General
"The initial authorization for the SOAP at Section 507(c) of SMCRA provided certain technical permitting services for hydrology and overburden and geology for operators annually producing 100,000 tons or less of coal from all locations. These technical services are directly linked to the permitting requirements associated with the determination of probable hydrologic consequences (PHC) and the statement of results of test borings.
"The Abandoned Mine Land Act of 1990 amended Section 507(c) by raising the annual coal production cap from 100,000 to 300,000 tons at all locations for eligibility for the technical permitting services provided under the program.
"The Energy Policy Act of 1992, Public Law 102-486, further amended Section 507(c) by adding enhancements to the program's basic services in order to provide a more complete permitting package. These enhancements include: Engineering analyses and designs necessary for the PHC; cross-section maps required by the permitting provisions of SMCRA; collection of archaeological and historical information; collection of site-specific resource information and production of protection and enhancement plans for fish and wildlife habitat and other environmental values; and pre-blast surveys. Furthermore, geologic drilling for the collection of samples associated with the requirements for the statement of the results of test borings is authorized. The Energy Policy Act also reduced the operator's liability period for reimbursement of costs from up to five years or the length of the permit, whichever is shorter, as specified in OSM regulations, to 12 months starting with the date the operator is issued the permit."
Research conducted by: Joyce Zweben Scall