3931.20 Reclamation.§ 3931.20 Reclamation.
(a) The operator or lessee must restore the disturbed lands to their pre-mining or pre-exploration use or to a higher use agreed to by the BLM and the lessee.
(b) The operator must reclaim the area disturbed by taking reasonable measures to prevent or control onsite and offsite damage to lands and resources.
(c) Reclamation includes, but is not limited to:
(1) Measures to control erosion, landslides, and water runoff;
(2) Measures to isolate, remove, or control toxic materials;
(3) Reshaping the area disturbed, application of the topsoil, and re-vegetation of disturbed areas, where reasonably practicable; and
(4) Rehabilitation of fisheries and wildlife habitat.
(d) The operator or lessee must substantially fill in, fence, protect, or close all surface openings, subsidence holes, surface excavations, or workings which are a hazard to people or animals. These protected areas must be maintained in a secure condition during the term of the lease or exploration license. During reclamation, but before abandonment of operations, all openings, including water discharge points, must be closed to the BLM's satisfaction. For in situ operations, all drilled holes must be plugged and abandoned, as required by the approved plan.
(e) The operator or lessee must reclaim or protect surface areas no longer needed for operations as contemporaneously as possible as required by the approved plan.