30 U.S. Code § 1237 - Acquisition and reclamation of land adversely affected by past coal mining practices
The Secretary, his agents, employees, or contractors or the State pursuant to an approved State program, shall have the right to enter upon any property for the purpose of conducting studies or exploratory work to determine the existence of adverse effects of past coal mining practices and to determine the feasibility of restoration, reclamation, abatement, control, or prevention of such adverse effects. Such entry shall be construed as an exercise of the police power for the protection of public health, safety, and general welfare and shall not be construed as an act of condemnation of property nor trespass thereon.
Title to all lands acquired pursuant to this section shall be in the name of the United States or, if acquired by a State pursuant to an approved program, title shall be in the name of the State. The price paid for land acquired under this section shall reflect the market value of the land as adversely affected by past coal mining practices.
States are encouraged as part of their approved State programs, to reclaim abandoned and unreclaimed mined lands within their boundaries and, if necessary, to acquire or to transfer such lands to the Secretary or the appropriate State regulatory authority under appropriate Federal regulations. The Secretary is authorized to make grants on a matching basis to States in such amounts as he deems appropriate for the purpose of carrying out the provisions of this subchapter but in no event shall any grant exceed 90 per centum of the cost of acquisition of the lands for which the grant is made. When a State has made any such land available to the Federal Government under this subchapter, such State shall have a preference right to purchase such lands after reclamation at fair market value less the State portion of the original acquisition price. Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph (1) of subsection (c), reclaimed land may be sold to the State or local government in which it is located at a price less than fair market value, which in no case shall be less than the cost to the United States of the purchase and reclamation of the land, as negotiated by the Secretary, to be used for a valid public purpose. If any land sold to a State or local government under this paragraph is not used for a valid public purpose as specified by the Secretary in the terms of the sales agreement then all right, title, and interest in such land shall revert to the United States. Money received from such sale shall be deposited in the fund.
The Secretary, in formulating regulations for making grants to the States to acquire land pursuant to this section, shall specify that acquired land meet the criteria provided for in subsections (c) and (d) of this section. The Secretary may provide by regulation that money derived from the lease, rental, or user charges of such acquired land and facilities thereon will be deposited in the fund.
In addition to the authority to acquire land under subsection (d) of this section the Secretary is authorized to use money in the fund to acquire land by purchase, donation, or condemnation, and to reclaim and transfer acquired land to any State or to a political subdivision thereof, or to any person, firm, association, or corporation, if he determines that such is an integral and necessary element of an economically feasible plan for the project to construct or rehabilitate housing for persons disabled as the result of employment in the mines or work incidental thereto, persons displaced by acquisition of land pursuant to this section, or persons dislocated as the result of adverse effects of coal mining practices which constitute an emergency as provided in section 1240 of this title or persons dislocated as the result of natural disasters or catastrophic failures from any cause. Such activities shall be accomplished under such terms and conditions as the Secretary shall require, which may include transfers of land with or without monetary consideration:
1990—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 101–508, § 6012(d)(4), (5), substituted a semicolon for the period at end of par. (4) and “then, upon giving notice” for “Then, upon giving notice” in concluding provisions.
Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 101–508, § 6012(d)(6), substituted “paragraph (1) of subsection (c)” for “paragraph (1), of this subsection”.
Subsec. (g)(2). Pub. L. 101–508, § 6012(d)(7), substituted “use or” for “use of” before “disposition”.
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