3480.0-6 Responsibilities.§ 3480.0-6 Responsibilities.
(a) Responsibilities of other Federal Agencies - (1) Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement. The responsibility for administration of the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 (SMCRA) (30 U.S.C. 1201, et seq.) is vested in OSM.
(2) Mine Safety and Health Administration. The responsibility for enforcement of the Federal Coal Mine Health and Safety Act of 1969, as amended (83 Stat. 742), and the coal mine health and safety rules contained in Chapter I of this title are vested in the Mine Safety and Health Administration, Department of Labor.
(3) Bureau of Land Management. The responsibility for the issuance of exploration licenses for unleased Federal coal, the issuance of licenses to mine, and the issuance, readjustment, modification, termination, cancellation, and/or approval of transfers of Federal coal leases pursuant to MLA, as amended, is vested in the Bureau of Land Management.
(b) The BLM has the general responsibility to administer MLA with respect to coal mining, production, and resource recovery and protection operations on Federal coal leases and licenses, and to supervise exploration operations for Federal coal.
(c) Subject to the supervisory authority of the Secretary, the rules of this part shall be administered by BLM through the Director; Deputy Director for Energy and Mineral Resources; Chief, Division of Solid Mineral Operations; State Director and authorized officer.
(d) The authorized officer is empowered to oversee exploration, development, production, resource recovery and protection, diligent development, continued operation, preparation, handling, product verification, and abandonment operations subject to the rules of this part, and shall be responsible for the following:
(1) Exploration plans. Approve, disapprove, approve upon condition(s), or require modification to exploration plans for Federal coal.
(2) Resource recovery and protection plans. Recommend to the Assistant Secretary for Energy and Minerals the approval, disapproval, or approval upon condition(s) of resource recovery and protection plans.
(3) LMU applications. Approve, disapprove, or approve upon condition(s) LMU applications or modifications thereto; direct the establishment of LMU's in the interest of conservation of recoverable coal reserves and other resources; conduct public hearings on LMU applications, as appropriate, recommend amendments to Federal lease terms when determined necessary to ensure consistency with LMU stipulations; monitor and ensure compliance with LMU stipulations and the rules of this part; and require reports and information for the establishment of an LMU.
(4) Inspection of operations. Examine as frequently as necessary, but at least quarterly, federally leased or licensed lands where operations for exploration, development, production, preparation, and handling of coal are conducted or are to be conducted; inspect such operations for product verification, resource recovery and protection, MER, diligent development and continued operation; inspect such operations for the purpose of determining whether wasting or degradation of other resources or damage to formations and deposits or nonmineral resources affected by the operations is being avoided or minimized; and determine whether there is compliance with all provisions of applicable laws, rules, and orders, all terms and conditions of Federal leases and licenses, and all requirements of approved exploration or resource recovery and protection plans.
(5) Compliance. Require operators/lessees to conduct operations subject to the rules of this part in compliance with all provisions of applicable laws, rules, and orders, all terms and conditions of Federal leases and licenses under MLA requirements, and approved exploration or resource recovery and protection plans for requirements of production, development, resource recovery and protection, MER, diligent development and continued operation upon commencement of production.
(6) Waiver, suspension, or reduction of rentals, or reduction of royalties. Receive and act on applications for waiver, suspension, or reduction of rentals, and receive and act on applications for reduction of royalties, but not advance royalty, filed pursuant to the rules of this part.
(7) Extensions or suspensions. Receive and act on applications for extensions or suspensions filed in accordance with 43 CFR 3483.2 and, when appropriate, terminate extensions or suspensions that have been granted, provided that approval of an extension or a suspension shall not preclude the regulatory authority from requiring the operator/lessee to continue to comply with the reclamation requirements of 30 CFR Chapter VII, Subchapter K, or an approved State program.
(8) Cessation and abandonment. Upon receipt of notice of proposed abandonment or upon relinquishment of a Federal lease, in accordance with 43 CFR 3452.1-2, or Federal license, in accordance with 43 CFR 3410.3-1(d), the authorized officer shall conduct an inspection to determine whether the applicable exploration, development, production, resource recovery and protection, and abandonment requirements of the Federal lease or license have been met. Relinquishment or abandonment of a Federal lease shall not preclude the regulatory authority from requiring the operator/lessee to comply with the reclamation requirements of 30 CFR Chapter VII, Subchapter K, or an approved State program.
(9) Exploration drill holes. Prescribe or approve the methods for protecting coal-bearing formations from damage or contamination that might occur as a result of any holes drilled to, or through, the coal-bearing formations for any purpose under an approved exploration plan.
(10) Trespass. Report to the responsible officer of the surface managing agency, with a copy to the regulatory authority, any trespass on Federal lands that involves exploration activities or removal of unleased Federal coal, determine the quantity and quality of coal removed, and recommend the amount of trespass damages.
(11) Water and air quality. Inspect exploration operations to determine compliance with air and surface and ground water pollution control measures required by Federal statutes as implemented by the terms and conditions of applicable Federal leases, licenses or approved exploration plans, and promptly notify appropriate representatives of the regulatory authority and Federal Agencies in the event of any noncompliance.
(12) Implementation of rules. Issue General Mining Orders and other orders for enforcement, make determinations, and grant consents and approvals as necessary to implement or ensure compliance with the rules of this part. Any oral orders, approvals, or consents shall be promptly confirmed in writing.
(13) Lease bonds. (i) Determine whether the total amount of Federal lease bond with respect to operations under the rules of this part is adequate at all times to satisfy the reclamation requirements of the exploration plan.
(ii) Determine whether the total amount of any bond furnished with respect to operations subject to the rules of this part is at all times adequate to satisfy the requirements of the Federal lease or license relating to exploration, development, production, resource recovery and protection, and shall determine if the bond amount is adequate to satisfy any payments of rentals on producing Federal leases and payments of Federal royalties.
(iii) Notify the responsible officer of the surface managing agency of determinations under (c)(13) (i) and (ii) of this section.[47 FR 33179, July 30, 1982. Redesignated and amended at 48 FR 41589, 41590, Sept. 16, 1983]