3904.40 Long-term water treatment trust funds.§ 3904.40 Long-term water treatment trust funds.
(a) The BLM may require the operator or lessee to establish a trust fund or other funding mechanism to ensure the continuation of long-term treatment to achieve water quality standards and for other long-term, post-mining maintenance requirements. The funding must be adequate to provide for the construction, long-term operation, maintenance, or replacement of any treatment facilities and infrastructure, for as long as the treatment and facilities are needed after mine closure. The BLM may identify the need for a trust fund or other funding mechanism during plan review or later.
(b) In determining whether a trust fund will be required, the BLM will consider the following factors:
(1) The anticipated post-mining obligations (PMO) that are identified in the environmental document or approved POD;
(2) Whether there is a reasonable degree of certainty that the treatment will be required based on accepted scientific evidence or models;
(3) The determination that the financial responsibility for those obligations rests with the operator; and
(4) Whether it is feasible, practical, or desirable to require separate or expanded reclamation bonds for those anticipated long-term PMOs.