7 CFR 632.12 - Funding priorities.
(a) All eligible applications within a State are to be assigned a funding priority and subpriority. Assignment of a priority and subpriority establishes the order in which the proposed reclamation work will be selected and evaluated for funding. (See § 632.20(b) for additional selection criteria.) Applications for individual, joint, or special projects (See § 632.18) for areas of different priorities or subpriorities are to be assigned the highest applicable priority or subpriority. The funding priorities are as follows:
(1) Priority 1. Protection of public health, safety, general welfare, and property from extreme danger of adverse effects of coal-mining practices. Extreme danger means a condition that could be expected to cause substantial physical harm to persons, property, or the environment and to which persons or improvements on real property are exposed.
(2) Priority 2. Protection of public health, safety, and general welfare from the adverse effects of coal-mining practices that do not constitute an extreme danger.
(3) Priority 3. Restoration of the land and water resources and the environment where previously degraded by the adverse effects of coal-mining practices, including measures for the conservation and development of soil, water (excluding channelization), woodland, fish and wildlife, recreation resources, and agricultural productivity. First consideration in this priority is to be the reduction of offsite damage affecting the public. Second consideration is to be given to restoring to beneficial uses for the main benefit of the land user.
(b) Eligible and feasible applications for program assistance within each priority category (§ 632.12(a)) are to be funded in the following order:
(1) Individual persons or public entities who owned the eligible area before May 2, 1977, and who neither consented to nor exercised control over the mining operation.
(2) Individual persons who would actively use the area, if reclaimed, for agricultural or silvicultural purposes.
(3) All other participants.