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 - 325
Office of the Attorney General
Division of Environmental Protection Building
10 McJunkin Road
Nitro, West Virginia 25143-2506
TOPIC: DEFINITION OF "STRUCTURE" ON ABANDONED MINE SITES
INQUIRY: Please locate any materials that define what constitutes a "structure" on abandoned mine lands or describes the state's rights and duties regarding "structures" remaining on abandoned sites the state is reclaiming. What are the ramifications for reclamation if the "structures" were used as collateral on a loan to lease the property?
SEARCH RESULTS: The COALEX Library and other materials in LEXIS were used to research this inquiry. No materials were identified that address the specific issue of "structures" on abandoned sites which are used as collateral on loans. The only significant material identified defining what constitutes a "structure" on abandoned mine sites comes from the Final Guidelines for Reclamation Programs and Projects published in the March 6, 1980 Federal Register (45 FR 14810).
The 1980 Guidelines, excerpts from other relevant Federal Register preambles, including the AML Fund Reauthorization Implementation, and a related MSHA case are attached.
45 FR 14810 (MARCH 6, 1980). Abandoned Mine Land Reclamation Program. Final Guidelines for Reclamation Programs and Projects.
"1. Abandoned Property - Real and personal property, associated with past mining activities, that has been forsaken or deserted by an owner. This includes real estate, structures, and equipment.
"a. Abandoned Structures - Abandoned permanent improvements or fixtures firmly attached to the land and considered as part of real property. Abandoned structures include but are not limited to coal tipples, coal washers, storage and grading facilities, loading docks, rail spurs, concrete foundations, dams, reservoirs, and bridges. Other items such as crushers, elevators, bins, loaders, conveyors and similar equipment are within this definition if firmly affixed to the land."
The Guidelines also address such issues as: "Consent requirements and responsibility", "Written consent versus police power" and "Environmental evaluation requirements".
Research conducted by: Joyce Zweben Scall