(a) Inspections of surface coal mining and reclamation operations
The Secretary shall cause to be made such inspections of any surface coal mining and reclamation operations as are necessary to evaluate the administration of approved State programs, or to develop or enforce any Federal program, and for such purposes authorized representatives of the Secretary shall have a right of entry to, upon, or through any surface coal mining and reclamation operations.
(b) Records and reports; monitoring systems; evaluation of results
For the purpose of developing or assisting in the development, administration, and enforcement of any approved State or Federal program under this chapter or in the administration and enforcement of any permit under this chapter, or of determining whether any person is in violation of any requirement of any such State or Federal program or any other requirement of this chapter—
(1)the regulatory authority shall require any permittee to
(A) establish and maintain appropriate records,
(B) make monthly reports to the regulatory authority,
(C) install, use, and maintain any necessary monitoring equipment or methods,
(D) evaluate results in accordance with such methods, at such locations, intervals, and in such manner as a regulatory authority shall prescribe, and
(E) provide such other information relative to surface coal mining and reclamation operations as the regulatory authority deems reasonable and necessary;
(2)for those surface coal mining and reclamation operations which remove or disturb strata that serve as aquifers which significantly insure the hydrologic balance of water use either on or off the mining site, the regulatory authority shall specify those—
(A)monitoring sites to record the quantity and quality of surface drainage above and below the minesite as well as in the potential zone of influence;
(B)monitoring sites to record level, amount, and samples of ground water and aquifers potentially affected by the mining and also directly below the lowermost (deepest) coal seam to be mined;
(C)records of well logs and borehole data to be maintained; and
(D)monitoring sites to record precipitation.
The monitoring data collection and analysis required by this section shall be conducted according to standards and procedures set forth by the regulatory authority in order to assure their reliability and validity; and
(3)the authorized representatives of the regulatory authority, without advance notice and upon presentation of appropriate credentials
(A) shall have the right of entry to, upon, or through any surface coal mining and reclamation operations or any premises in which any records required to be maintained under paragraph (1) of this subsection are located; and
(B) may at reasonable times, and without delay, have access to and copy any records, inspect any monitoring equipment or method of operation required under this chapter.
(c) Inspection intervals
The inspections by the regulatory authority shall
(1) occur on an irregular basis averaging not less than one partial inspection per month and one complete inspection per calendar quarter for the surface coal mining and reclamation operation covered by each permit;
(2) occur without prior notice to the permittee or his agents or employees except for necessary onsite meetings with the permittee; and
(3) include the filing of inspection reports adequate to enforce the requirements of and to carry out the terms and purposes of this chapter.
(d) Maintenance of sign
Each permittee shall conspicuously maintain at the entrances to the surface coal mining and reclamation operations a clearly visible sign which sets forth the name, business address, and phone number of the permittee and the permit number of the surface coal mining and reclamation operations.
Each inspector, upon detection of each violation of any requirement of any State or Federal program or of this chapter, shall forthwith inform the operator in writing, and shall report in writing any such violation to the regulatory authority.
(f) Availability of information to public
Copies of any records, reports, inspection materials, or information obtained under this subchapter by the regulatory authority shall be made immediately available to the public at central and sufficient locations in the county, multicounty, and State area of mining so that they are conveniently available to residents in the areas of mining.
(g) Conflict of interest; penalty; publication of regulations; report to Congress
No employee of the State regulatory authority performing any function or duty under this chapter shall have a direct or indirect financial interest in any underground or surface coal mining operation. Whoever knowingly violates the provisions of this subsection shall, upon conviction, be punished by a fine of not more than $2,500, or by imprisonment of not more than one year, or by both. The Secretary shall
(1) within sixty days after August 3, 1977, publish in the Federal Register, in accordance with section
553 of title
5, regulations to establish methods by which the provisions of this subsection will be monitored and enforced by the Secretary and such State regulatory authority, including appropriate provisions for the filing by such employees and the review of statements and supplements thereto concerning any financial interest which may be affected by this subsection, and
(2) report to the Congress as part of the Annual Report (section
1296 of this title) on actions taken and not taken during the preceding year under this subsection.
(h) Review; procedures for inspections
(1)Any person who is or may be adversely affected by a surface mining operation may notify the Secretary or any representative of the Secretary responsible for conducting the inspection, in writing, of any violation of this chapter which he has reason to believe exists at the surface mining site. The Secretary shall, by regulation, establish procedures for informal review of any refusal by a representative of the Secretary to issue a citation with respect to any such alleged violation. The Secretary shall furnish such persons requesting the review a written statement of the reasons for the Secretary’s final disposition of the case.
(2)The Secretary shall also, by regulation, establish procedures to insure that adequate and complete inspections are made. Any such person may notify the Secretary of any failure to make such inspections, after which the Secretary shall determine whether adequate and complete inspections have been made. The Secretary shall furnish such persons a written statement of the reasons for the Secretary’s determination that adequate and complete inspections have or have not been conducted.
For termination, effective May 15, 2000, of provisions in subsec. (g) of this section relating to requirement to report to Congress on actions taken and not taken under subsec. (g), see section 3003 ofPub. L. 104–66, as amended, set out as a note under section
1113 of Title
31, Money and Finance, and page 109 of House Document No. 103–7.
The table below lists the classification updates, since Jan. 3, 2012, for this section. Updates to a broader range of sections may be found at the update page for containing chapter, title, etc.
The most recent Classification Table update that we have noticed was Tuesday, August 13, 2013
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