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 - 249
Anthony F. Abar, Director
Maryland Bureau of Mines
160 S. Water Street
Frostburg, Maryland 21532
TOPIC: INITIATION OF OPERATIONS
INQUIRY: SMCRA Sec. 506(c) and 30 CFR 773.19(e) require the permittee to commence operations within three years of the issuance of the permit, with extensions allowed under certain circumstances. Is there any information in the preambles to the federal regulations or in the legislative history of SMCRA that discusses why three years was selected as the running time for the permit?
SEARCH RESULTS: Using the COALEX Library and other material available in LEXIS a limited amount of material on point was identified. These are listed below. Copies are attached.
Section 406(c) in earlier versions. Becomes: 506(c) in SMCRA.
786.11(b) Permit terms. 43 FR at 41720 (September 18, 1978). Proposed rules.
Becomes: 786.25(b) Permit terms. 44 FR 14902 (March 13, 1979). Final rules.
1974 version of bill states that operations must be initiated within three years of issuance of permit. Extensions are not possible.
1977 version of SMCRA allows for extensions of time under certain circumstances.
SENATE REPORT No. 95, 95th Cong, 1st Sess 74 (May 10, 1977) (S. 7). Section-by-Section Analysis: Title IV; Section 406 Permits.
"To assure that no one will be locked into outdated reclamation requirements because permits are taken out and renewed without operations being undertaken, subsection (c) provides that permits will terminate if the permittee has not begun operations within 3 years of the issuance of the permit unless otherwise provided in the permit.
[Additional sections of House Report No. 218, 95th Cong, 1st Sess (April 22, 1977) are included for background.]
43 FR at 41720 (SEPTEMBER 18, 1978). Proposed rules. 786.11 Permit terms. [Excerpts.]
"Under Subsection 786.11(b), a permit would terminate if mining has not commenced within three years after issuance. The regulatory authority could extend the time period, if the opening of the operation were delayed by conditions beyond the control of the operator. Notice of such extensions are to be made to the public. For certain synthetic fuels facilities or major electric generating plants, surface coal mining operations would be deemed to have started at the time of the construction of those facilities. These provisions are required by Section 506(c) of the Act."
44 FR 14902 (MARCH 13, 1979). Permanent program preamble - Final rules. 786.25 Permit terms. [Excerpt.]
Included for background: refers to proposed rules, above.
48 FR 44344 (SEPTEMBER 28, 1983). Final rule. 773.19(e) Initiation of operations.
"Section 506(c) of the Act specifies that the 3-year period, as established in Section 773.19(e), begins with issuance of a permit although there can be reasonable extensions of time due to litigation, substantial economic loss, or conditions beyond the control, and without the fault or negligence of the permittee.
"This flexibility recognizes the longer start-up times required for coal liquefaction and gasification projects."
Research conducted by: Joyce Zweben Scall