30 U.S.C. § 1232 - Reclamation fee

Cite as30 U.S.C. § 1232

(a) Payment; rate

All operators of coal mining operations subject to the provisions of this chapter shall pay to the Secretary of the Interior, for deposit in the fund, a reclamation fee of 28 cents per ton of coal produced by surface coal mining and 12 cents per ton of coal produced by underground mining or 10 per centum of the value of the coal at the mine, as determined by the Secretary, whichever is less, except that the reclamation fee for lignite coal shall be at a rate of 2 per centum of the value of the coal at the mine, or 8 cents per ton, whichever is less.

(b) Due date

Such fee shall be paid no later than thirty days after the end of each calendar quarter beginning with the first calendar quarter occurring after August 3, 1977, and ending September 30, 2021.

(c) Submission of statement

Together with such reclamation fee, all operators of coal mine operations shall submit a statement of the amount of coal produced during the calendar quarter, the method of coal removal and the type of coal, the accuracy of which shall be sworn to by the operator and notarized. Such statement shall include an identification of the permittee of the surface coal mining operation, any operator in addition to the permittee, the owner of the coal, the preparation plant, tripple,1 or loading point for the coal, and the person purchasing the coal from the operator. The report shall also specify the number of the permit required under section 1256 of this title and the mine safety and health identification number. Each quarterly report shall contain a notification of any changes in the information required by this subsection since the date of the preceding quarterly report. The information contained in the quarterly reports under this subsection shall be maintained by the Secretary in a computerized database.

(d) Penalty

(1) Any person, corporate officer, agent or director, on behalf of a coal mine operator, who knowingly makes any false statement, representation or certification, or knowingly fails to make any statement, representation or certification required in this section shall, upon conviction, be punished by a fine of not more than $10,000, or by imprisonment for not more than one year, or both.

(2) The Secretary shall conduct such audits of coal production and the payment of fees under this subchapter as may be necessary to ensure full compliance with the provisions of this subchapter. For purposes of performing such audits the Secretary (or any duly designated officer, employee, or representative of the Secretary) shall, at all reasonable times, upon request, have access to, and may copy, all books, papers, and other documents of any person subject to the provisions of this subchapter. The Secretary may at any time conduct audits of any surface coal mining and reclamation operation, including without limitation, tipples and preparation plants, as may be necessary in the judgment of the Secretary to ensure full and complete payment of the fees under this subchapter.

(e) Civil action to recover fee

Any portion of the reclamation fee not properly or promptly paid pursuant to this section shall be recoverable, with statutory interest, from coal mine operators, in any court of competent jurisdiction in any action at law to compel payment of debts.

(f) Cooperation from other agencies

All Federal and State agencies shall fully cooperate with the Secretary of the Interior in the enforcement of this section. Whenever the Secretary believes that any person has not paid the full amount of the fee payable under subsection (a) the Secretary shall notify the Federal agency responsible for ensuring compliance with the provisions of section 4121 of title 26.

(g) Allocation of funds

(1) Except as provided in subsection (h), moneys deposited into the fund shall be allocated by the Secretary to accomplish the purposes of this subchapter as follows:

(A) 50 percent of the reclamation fees collected annually in any State (other than fees collected with respect to Indian lands) shall be allocated annually by the Secretary to the State, subject to such State having each of the following:

(i) An approved abandoned mine reclamation program pursuant to section 1235 of this title.

(ii) Lands and waters which are eligible pursuant to section 1234 of this title (in the case of a State not certified under section 1240a(a) of this title) or pursuant to section 1240a(b) of this title (in the case of a State certified under section 1240a(a) of this title).

(B) 50 percent of the reclamation fees collected annually with respect to Indian lands shall be allocated annually by the Secretary to the Indian tribe having jurisdiction over such lands, subject to such tribe having each of the following:

(i) an 2 approved abandoned mine reclamation program pursuant to section 1235 of this title.

(ii) Lands and waters which are eligible pursuant to section 1234 of this title (in the case of an Indian tribe not certified under section 1240a(a) of this title) or pursuant to section 1240a(b) of this title (in the case of a tribe certified under section 1240a(a) of this title).

(C) The funds allocated by the Secretary under this paragraph to States and Indian tribes shall only be used for annual reclamation project construction and program administration grants.

(D) To the extent not expended within 3 years after the date of any grant award under this paragraph (except for grants awarded during fiscal years 2008, 2009, and 2010 to the extent not expended within 5 years), such grant shall be available for expenditure by the Secretary under paragraph (5).

(2) In making the grants referred to in paragraph (1)(C) and the grants referred to in paragraph (5), the Secretary shall ensure strict compliance by the States and Indian tribes with the priorities described in section 1233(a) of this title until a certification is made under section 1240a(a) of this title.

(3) Amounts available in the fund which are not allocated to States and Indian tribes under paragraph (1) or allocated under paragraph (5) are authorized to be expended by the Secretary for any of the following:

(A) For the purpose of section 1257(c) of this title, either directly or through grants to the States, subject to the limitation contained in section 1231(c)(9) of this title.

(B) For the purpose of section 1240 of this title (relating to emergencies).

(C) For the purpose of meeting the objectives of the fund set forth in section 1233(a) of this title for eligible lands and waters pursuant to section 1234 of this title in States and on Indian lands where the State or Indian tribe does not have an approved abandoned mine reclamation program pursuant to section 1235 of this title.

(D) For the administration of this subchapter by the Secretary.

(E) For the purpose of paragraph (8).

(4)

(A) Amounts available in the fund which are not allocated under paragraphs (1), (2), and (5) or expended under paragraph (3) in any fiscal year are authorized to be expended by the Secretary under this paragraph for the reclamation or drainage abatement of lands and waters within unreclaimed sites which are mined for coal or which were affected by such mining, wastebanks, coal processing or other coal mining processes and left in an inadequate reclamation status.

(B) Funds made available under this paragraph may be used for reclamation or drainage abatement at a site referred to in subparagraph (A) if the Secretary makes either of the following findings:

(i) A finding that the surface coal mining operation occurred during the period beginning on August 4, 1977, and ending on or before the date on which the Secretary approved a State program pursuant to section 1253 of this title for a State in which the site is located, and that any funds for reclamation or abatement which are available pursuant to a bond or other form of financial guarantee or from any other source are not sufficient to provide for adequate reclamation or abatement at the site.

(ii) A finding that the surface coal mining operation occurred during the period beginning on August 4, 1977, and ending on or before November 5, 1990, and that the surety of such mining operator became insolvent during such period, and as of November 5, 1990, funds immediately available from proceedings relating to such insolvency, or from any financial guarantee or other source are not sufficient to provide for adequate reclamation or abatement at the site.

(C) In determining which sites to reclaim pursuant to this paragraph, the Secretary shall follow the priorities stated in paragraphs (1) and (2) of section 1233(a) of this title. The Secretary shall ensure that priority is given to those sites which are in the immediate vicinity of a residential area or which have an adverse economic impact upon a local community.

(D) Amounts collected from the assessment of civil penalties under section 1268 of this title are authorized to be appropriated to carry out this paragraph.

(E) Any State may expend grants made available under paragraphs (1) and (5) for reclamation and abatement of any site referred to in subparagraph (A) if the State, with the concurrence of the Secretary, makes either of the findings referred to in clause (i) or (ii) of subparagraph (B) and if the State determines that the reclamation priority of the site is the same or more urgent than the reclamation priority for eligible lands and waters pursuant to section 1234 of this title under the priorities stated in paragraphs (1) and (2) of section 1233(a) of this title.

(F) For the purposes of the certification referred to in section 1240a(a) of this title, sites referred to in subparagraph (A) of this paragraph shall be considered as having the same priorities as those stated in section 1233(a) of this title for eligible lands and waters pursuant to section 1234 of this title. All sites referred to in subparagraph (A) of this paragraph within any State shall be reclaimed prior to such State making the certification referred to in section 1240a(a) of this title.

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