The Secretary is directed to study the question of the regulation of surface mining on Indian lands which will achieve the purpose of this chapter and recognize the special jurisdictional status of these lands. In carrying out this study the Secretary shall consult with Indian tribes. The study report shall include proposed legislation designed to allow Indian tribes to elect to assume full regulatory authority over the administration and enforcement of regulation of surface mining of coal on Indian lands.
The study report required by subsection (a) together with drafts of proposed legislation and the view of each Indian tribe which would be affected shall be submitted to the Congress as soon as possible but not later than January 1, 1978.
On and after one hundred and thirty-five days from August 3, 1977, all surface coal mining operations on Indian lands shall comply with requirements at least as stringent as those imposed by subsections (b)(2), (b)(3), (b)(5), (b)(10), (b)(13), (b)(19), and (d) of section 1265 of this title and the Secretary shall incorporate the requirements of such provisions in all existing and new leases issued for coal on Indian lands.
On and after thirty months from August 3, 1977, all surface coal mining operations on Indian lands shall comply with requirements at least as stringent as those imposed by sections 1257, 1258, 1259, 1260, 1265, 1266, 1267, and 1269 of this title and the Secretary shall incorporate the requirements of such provisions in all existing and new leases issued for coal on Indian lands.
Notwithstanding any other provision of law, an Indian tribe may apply for, and obtain the approval of, a tribal program under section 1253 of this title regulating in whole or in part surface coal mining and reclamation operations on reservation land under the jurisdiction of the Indian tribe using the procedures of section 1254(e) of this title.
For purposes of this subsection and the implementation and administration of a tribal program under subchapter V, any reference to a “State” in this chapter shall be considered to be a reference to a “tribe”.
Any employee of a tribal regulatory authority shall not be eligible for a per capita distribution of any proceeds from coal mining operations conducted on Indian reservation lands under this chapter.
After exhausting all tribal remedies with respect to a civil action arising under a tribal program approved under section 1254(e) of this title, an interested party may file a petition for judicial review of the civil action in the United States circuit court for the circuit in which the surface coal mining operation named in the petition is located.
Not later than 18 months after the date on which a tribal program is approved under subsection (e) of section 1254 of this title, the Secretary shall submit to the appropriate committees of Congress a report, developed in cooperation with the applicable Indian tribe, on the tribal program that includes a recommendation of the Secretary on whether primary regulatory authority under that subsection should be expanded to include additional Indian lands.