43 CFR 3436.0-2 - Objective.
(a) The objective of this subpart is to provide relief to persons holding leases for Federal coal deposits or fee title to coal deposits which underlie or are near alluvial valley floors and which cannot be mined through surface mining operations under section 510(b)(5) of the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act, through the exchange of lands, or interests therein, pursuant to the authority granted by the statutory provision.
(b) The Secretary shall exercise the authority to dispose of Federal coal deposits by lease to meet this objective when he/she determines that the exchange would serve the public interest. In determining whether such an exchange will serve the public interest, the Secretary will consider a wide variety of factors, including better Federal land management and the needs of State and local people, including needs for lands for the economy, community expansion, recreation areas, food, fiber, minerals and fish and wildlife. Unless consideration of the above factors would show otherwise, it will be assumed that an exchange will serve the public interest if substantial financial and legal commitments have been made toward development of the offered coal resource.