Maine Revised Statutes

§490. Reclamation

(CONTAINS TEXT WITH VARYING EFFECTIVE DATES)
(WHOLE SECTION TEXT EFFECTIVE UNTIL 6/1/14)
1. Requirement.  Mining activities must include provisions for safety and reclamation of the land area affected or otherwise comply with an approval issued pursuant to this chapter. These provisions must include a plan for the maintenance of the mine site during mining and for a period after termination of mining, including the methods and annual estimated costs for gas monitoring; leachate pumping, transportation, monitoring and treatment; ground water monitoring, collection and analysis; such revegetation as the department determines necessary; and activities necessary for prevention of soil erosion and for protection of ground and surface waters.
[ 1995, c. 700, §11 (AMD) .]
2. Bonds.  The department may require a bond payable to the State with sureties satisfactory to the department or such other security as the department may determine will adequately secure compliance with this chapter, conditioned upon the faithful performance of the requirements set forth in this chapter and of the rules of the board. Other security may include a security deposit with the State, an escrow account and agreement, insurance or an irrevocable trust. In determining the amount of the bond or the security, the department shall take into consideration the character and nature of the overburden, the future suitable use of the land involved and the cost of grading and reclamation to be required. All proceeds of forfeited bonds or other security must be expended by the department for the reclamation of the area for which the bond was posted, and any remainder returned to the operator.
[ RR 1993, c. 1, §121 (COR) .]
2-A. Metallic ore mines.  Security is required of a person engaged in the mining of metallic ores in order to ensure compliance with reclamation, closure and postclosure care maintenance requirements of the permit and the cleanup and corrective action costs of permitted or accidental releases.
[ 1993, c. 383, §28 (AMD); 1993, c. 383, §42 (AFF) .]
3. Time schedules.  It is the duty of a person engaged in a mining activity to commence the reclamation of the area of land affected by the mining activity as soon as possible after the beginning of the mining activity of that area in accordance with plans previously approved by the department. If it appears that planting to provide vegetative cover of an affected area may not be successful, the department may authorize the deferring of the planting until the soil has become suitable for those purposes and a yearly report must be filed with the commissioner indicating the soil conditions until a successful planting or seeding has been completed.
[ 1989, c. 890, Pt. A, §40 (AFF); 1989, c. 890, Pt. B, §103 (AMD) .]
4. Gifts and funds for reclamation.
[ 1989, c. 890, Pt. A, §40 (AFF); 1989, c. 890, Pt. B, §103 (RP) .]
4-A. Acquisition of property.  The department may acquire, by purchase, lease, condemnation, donation or otherwise any real property or any interest in real property that the board determines, by 2/3 majority vote, is necessary to conduct remedial action under this section. There may be no cause of action to compel the department to acquire any interest in real property under this section. Upon completion of reclamation work, the land may be sold or conveyed or remain property of the State. The department may accept funds from private or other sources, which shall be used for reclamation purposes, whether in conjunction with appropriated funds of the State or otherwise.
[ 1989, c. 890, Pt. A, §40 (AFF); 1989, c. 890, Pt. B, §103 (NEW) .]
5. Cooperation with others.  The department shall cooperate with the federal, state and local governments, with natural resource and conservation organizations, and with any public or private entities having interests in any subject within the purview of this chapter.
The department is designated the public agency of the State for the purpose of cooperating with appropriate departments and agencies of the Federal Government concerning reclamation of lands in connection with development and mining of minerals in the State, and for the purpose of cooperating and consulting with federal agencies in carrying out this chapter. For these purposes, the department may accept federal funds which may be made available pursuant to federal law, and may accept such technical and financial assistance from the Federal Government as the department determines advisable and proper for purposes of this chapter.
The department is further designated the public agency of the State for the purposes of meeting requirements of the Federal Government with respect to the administration of these federal funds, not inconsistent with this chapter.
[ 1989, c. 890, Pt. A, §40 (AFF); 1989, c. 890, Pt. B, §103 (AMD) .]
6. Fees.  All fees collected and other funds received by the department pursuant to this section must be placed in a reclamation fund to carry out the purposes of this chapter. This fund does not lapse.
[ 1989, c. 890, Pt. A, §40 (AFF); 1989, c. 890, Pt. B, §103 (AMD) .]
7. Definition.  For the purpose of this section, "reclamation" when applied to a metallic ore mine, includes continued maintenance of land affected by mining for a period after termination of mining activity.
[ 1989, c. 890, Pt. A, §40 (AFF); 1989, c. 890, Pt. B, §103 (AMD) .]
8. Rules.  The board may adopt or amend rules to carry out this section, including rules relating to operational or maintenance plans; standards for determining the reclamation period; annual revisions of those plans; limits, terms and conditions on bonds or other security; proof of financial responsibility of a person engaged in mining activity or the affiliated person who guarantees performance; estimation of reclamation costs; reports on reclamation activities; or the manner of determining when the bond or other security may be discharged.
[ 1981, c. 711, §15 (NEW) .]
9. Enforcement.  If, after an opportunity for a hearing, the commissioner determines that the owner of a mine site or the person who was engaged in mining at the mine site has violated this section, the commissioner shall direct the department staff or contractors under the supervision of the commissioner to enter on the property and carry out the necessary reclamation. The person engaged in mining or any affiliated person who guarantees performance at the mine site is liable for the reasonable expenses of this necessary reclamation. The commissioner may use the bond or other security to meet the reasonable expenses of reclamation.
[ 1989, c. 890, Pt. A, §40 (AFF); 1989, c. 890, Pt. B, §103 (AMD) .]
SECTION HISTORY
1979, c. 466, §14 (NEW). 1981, c. 711, §§11-16 (AMD). 1983, c. 574, §3 (AMD). 1989, c. 890, §§A40,B103 (AMD). RR 1993, c. 1, §121 (COR). 1993, c. 383, §28 (AMD). 1993, c. 383, §42 (AFF). 1995, c. 700, §11 (AMD). 2011, c. 653, §33 (AFF). 2011, c. 653, §22 (RP).

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