SEC. 53-9-5. Purpose.
It is the purpose of this chapter:
(a) To assume for the state exclusive jurisdiction over the regulation of surface coal mining and reclamation operations within the state pursuant to section 503 of the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 which has been enacted by the congress of the United States as Public Law 95-87;
(b) To develop, implement and enforce a program which, at a minimum, will achieve the purposes of Public Law 95-87 and the regulations promulgated thereunder as both may be amended from time to time;
(c) To assure that the rights of surface landowners and other persons with a legal interest in the land or appurtenances thereto are fully protected from such operations;
(d) To assure that surface coal mining operations are not conducted where reclamation as required by this chapter is not feasible;
(e) To assure that surface coal mining operations are so conducted as to protect the environment;
(f) To assure that adequate procedures are undertaken to reclaim surface areas as contemporaneously as possible with the surface coal mining operations;
(g) To assure that appropriate procedures are provided for public participation in the development, revision and enforcement of regulations, standards, reclamation plans or programs established by the state under the provisions of this chapter;
(h) To assure that the coal supply essential to the energy requirements of the state and nation and to their economic and social well-being is provided, and strike a balance between protection of the environment and agricultural productivity and the need of the state and nation for coal as an essential source of energy; and
(i) To, wherever necessary, exercise the full reach of state constitutional powers to insure the protection of the public interest through effective control of surface coal mining operations.
SOURCES: Laws, 1979, ch. 477, Sec. 3, eff from and after July 1, 1979.