SEC. 53-9-3. Legislative findings and declarations.
The Legislature finds and declares that:
(a) The State of Mississippi, instead of the federal government, should regulate surface coal mining in this state because the terrain, climate, biologic, chemical and other physical conditions of the state differ from those of other states subject to regulation of mining operations;
(b) Extraction of coal from the earth can be accomplished by various methods of mining, including surface mining;
(c) Coal mining operations presently contribute significantly to the energy requirements of the state and nation, and surface coal mining constitutes one (1) method of extraction of the resource;
(d) Many surface mining operations result in disturbances of surface areas that burden and adversely affect commerce and the public welfare by destroying or diminishing the utility of land for commercial, industrial, residential, recreational, agricultural and forestry purposes, by causing erosion and landslides, by contributing to floods, by polluting water, by destroying fish and wildlife habitats, by impairing natural beauty, by damaging the property of citizens, by creating hazards dangerous to life and property, by degrading the quality of life in local communities, and by counteracting governmental programs and efforts to conserve soil, water and other natural resources;
(e) The expansion of coal mining to meet the energy needs of the state and nation makes even more urgent the establishment of appropriate standards to minimize damage to the environment and to productivity of the soil and to protect the health and safety of the public;
(f) Surface mining and reclamation technology are now developed so that effective and reasonable regulation of surface coal mining operations by the state in accordance with the requirements of this chapter is an appropriate and necessary means to minimize, so far as practicable, the adverse social, economic and environmental effects of those mining operations;
(g) Surface mining and reclamation standards are essential to insure the ability of the state to improve and maintain adequate standards on coal mining operations within its borders;
(h) The impacts from unreclaimed land disturbed by surface coal mining operations impose social and economic costs on residents in nearby and adjoining areas, as well as impair environmental quality;
(i) Surface coal mining operations contribute to the economic well-being, security and general welfare of the state and nation and should be conducted in an environmentally sound manner; * * *
(j) This chapter is necessary to prevent or mitigate adverse environmental effects of surface coal mining operations; and
(k) The provisions of the 2001 amendments to this chapter are to provide for and implement a state program for abandoned mine reclamation which complies with the provisions of Subchapter IV of the federal Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977, 30 USCS 1231 through 1243.
SOURCES: Laws, 1979, ch. 477, § 2; Laws, 1997, ch. 306, § 4; Laws, 2001, ch. 426, § 1, SB 2969, eff from and after July 1, 2001.
PREVIOUS VERSIONS: Pre-2001
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