30 CFR 810.2 - Objective.
The objective of this subchapter is to ensure that coal exploration and surface coal mining and reclamation operations are conducted in manners which are compatible with the environmental, social, and esthetic needs of the Nation. Accordingly, the performance standards and design requirements in this subchapter will provide for -
(a) Protection of the health, safety, and general welfare of mine workers and the public;
(b) Maximum use and conservation of the solid fuel resource being recovered so that reaffecting the land through future surface coal mining operations can be minimized;
(c) Prompt reclamation of all affected areas to conditions that are capable of supporting the premining land uses or higher or better land uses;
(d) Reclamation of land affected by surface coal mining operations as contemporaneously as practicable with mining operations;
(e) Minimizing, to the extent possible using the best technology currently available, disturbances and adverse impacts on fish, wildlife, and other related environmental values, and enhancement of such resources where practicable;
(f) Revegetation which achieves a prompt vegetative cover and recovery of productivity levels compatible with approved land uses;
(g) Minimum disturbance to the prevailing hydrologic balance at the mine-site and in associated off-site areas, and to the quality and quantity of water in surface and ground water systems;
(h) Protection of fragile and historic lands where surface coal mining operations could result in significant damage to important historic, cultural, scientific, or esthetic values and natural systems;
(i) Confinement of surface coal mining and reclamation operations including, but not limited to, the location of spoil disposal areas to lands within the permit area; and
(j) Striking a balance between protection of the environment and agricultural productivity and the Nation's need for coal as an essential source of energy.
(k) Protection of endangered and threatened species and their critical habitats as determined by the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.).