§ 880-X-10A-.02. Objective
The objective of this Chapter is to ensure that coal exploration and surface coal mining and reclamation operations are conducted in manners which are compatible with the environmental, economic, and social needs of the State of Alabama. Accordingly, the performance standards in this Chapter shall provide for --
(a) Protection of the general welfare, health, and safety of the public;
(b) Maximum use and conservation of the coal resources being recovered so that reaffecting the land through future surface mining is minimized;
(c) Prompt reclamation of all affected areas to conditions that are capable of supporting the premining land uses or higher or better land uses;
(d) Reclamation of land affected by surface coal mining operations as contemporaneously as practicable with mining operations;
(e) Minimizing, to the extent possible using the best technology currently available, disturbance and adverse impacts on fish, wild life, and other related environmental values, and enhancement of such resources where practicable;
(f) Revegetation which achieves a prompt vegetative cover and recovery of productivity levels compatible with approved land uses;
(g) Minimum disturbance to the prevailing hydrologic balance at the minesite and in associated off-site areas, and to the quality and quantity of water in surface and ground water systems;
(h) Protection of fragile and historic lands where surface coal mining operations could result in significant damage to important historic, cultural, scientific, or aesthetic values and natural systems;
(i) Confinement of surface coal mining and reclamation operations including, but not limited to, the location of spoil disposal areas to lands within the permit area;
(j) Striking a balance between protection of the environment and agricultural productivity and the Nation's need for coal as an essential source of energy; and
(k) Protection of endangered and threatened species and their critical habitats as determined by the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. § 1531, et seq.).
Statutory Authority: Code of Ala. 1975, §§ 9-16-71, 73, 74, 75, 76, 80, 87, 90, 91, 92.
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