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Indiana Code Title 14. Natural and Cultural Resources § 14-34-10-4

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Sec. 4. (a) The director may, under procedures established by rule, permit surface coal mining operations if:

(1) an industrial, a commercial, an agricultural, a residential, a recreational, or a public facility is proposed for the postmining use of the affected land;  and

(2) the mining operation will remove an entire coal seam running through the upper fraction of a ridge or hill, except as provided in subsection (c)(1), by:

(A) removing all of the overburden;  and

(B) creating a level plateau or a gently rolling contour;

(i) with no highwalls remaining;  and

(ii) capable of supporting the postmining uses listed in subdivision (1);

without regard to the requirement to restore the affected land to the approximate original contour as set forth in section 2(b)(4), 3(b)(2), or 3(b)(3) of this chapter.

(b) The director may permit the proposed uses under subsection (a) only if the following conditions are met:

(1) After consultation with the appropriate land use planning agencies, if any, the proposed postmining land use is considered an equal or a better economic or public use of the affected land compared with the premining use.

(2) The applicant presents specific plans for the proposed postmining land use and appropriate assurances that the use meets the following conditions:

(A) The use is compatible with adjacent land uses.

(B) The use is obtainable according to data regarding expected need and market.

(C) The use is assured of investment in necessary public facilities.

(D) The use is supported by commitments from public agencies where appropriate.

(E) The use is practicable with respect to private financial capability for completion of the proposed use.

(F) The use is planned according to a schedule attached to the reclamation plan so as to integrate the mining operation and reclamation with the postmining land use.

(G) The use is designed by an engineer licensed under IC 25-31 and in conformance with professional standards established to assure the stability, drainage, and configuration necessary for the intended use of the site.

(3) The proposed use is consistent with adjacent land uses and existing state and local land use plans and programs.

(4) The governing body of the unit of general purpose government in which the land is located and a state or federal agency that the director determines to have an interest in the proposed use is provided an opportunity of not more than sixty (60) days to review and comment on the proposed use.

(5) All other requirements of this article are met.

(c) With respect to a permit granted under subsection (a) and in addition to other requirements the commission establishes by rule, the director shall require the following:

(1) The toe of the lowest coal seam and the overburden associated with the seam are retained in place as a barrier to slides and erosion.

(2) The reclaimed area is stable.

(3) The resulting plateau or rolling contour drains inward from the outslopes except at specified points.

(4) No damage is done to natural watercourses.

(5) Spoil is placed on the hilltop bench as is necessary to achieve the planned postmining land use and the operator places all excess spoil material not retained on the hilltop in accordance with section 2(b)(25) of this chapter.

(6) The operator ensures stability of the spoil retained on the hilltop and meets all other requirements of this article.

(d) The director shall review all permits issued under this section not more than three (3) years from the date of issuance unless the applicant affirmatively demonstrates that the proposed development is proceeding in accordance with the terms of the approved schedule and reclamation plan.

Cite this article: - Indiana Code Title 14. Natural and Cultural Resources § 14-34-10-4 - last updated June 08, 2021 |

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