Not later than the end of the one hundred and eighty-day period immediately following August 3, 1977, the Secretary shall promulgate and publish in the Federal Register regulations covering implementation of an abandoned mine reclamation program incorporating the provisions of this subchapter and establishing procedures and requirements for preparation, submission, and approval of State programs consisting of the plan and annual submissions of projects.
If the Secretary determines that a State has developed and submitted a program for reclamation of abandoned mines and has the ability and necessary State legislation to implement the provisions of this subchapter, sections 1232 and 1240 of this title excepted, the Secretary shall approve such State program and shall grant to the State exclusive responsibility and authority to implement the provisions of the approved program: Provided, That the Secretary shall withdraw such approval and authorization if he determines upon the basis of information provided under this section that the State program is not in compliance with the procedures, guidelines, and requirements established under subsection (a).
Each State Reclamation Plan shall generally identify the areas to be reclaimed, the purposes for which the reclamation is proposed, the relationship of the lands to be reclaimed and the proposed reclamation to surrounding areas, the specific criteria for ranking and identifying projects to be funded, and the legal authority and programmatic capability to perform such work in conformance with the provisions of this subchapter.
The costs for each proposed project under this section shall include: actual construction costs, actual operation and maintenance costs of permanent facilities, planning and engineering costs, construction inspection costs, and other necessary administrative expenses.
Upon approval of State Reclamation Plan by the Secretary and of the surface mine regulatory program pursuant to section 1253 of this title, the Secretary shall grant, on an annual basis, funds to be expended in such State pursuant to section 1232(g) of this title and which are necessary to implement the State reclamation program as approved by the Secretary.
The Secretary shall require annual and other reports as may be necessary to be submitted by each State administering the approved State reclamation program with funds provided under this subchapter. Such reports shall include that information which the Secretary deems necessary to fulfill his responsibilities under this subchapter.
Indian tribes having within their jurisdiction eligible lands pursuant to section 1234 of this title or from which coal is produced, shall be considered as a “State” for the purposes of this subchapter except for purposes of subsection (c) of this section with respect to the Navajo, Hopi and Crow Indian Tribes.
No State shall be liable under any provision of Federal law for any costs or damages as a result of action taken or omitted in the course of carrying out a State abandoned mine reclamation plan approved under this section. This subsection shall not preclude liability for cost or damages as a result of gross negligence or intentional misconduct by the State. For purposes of the preceding sentence, reckless, willful, or wanton misconduct shall constitute gross negligence.