FIRST REGULAR SESSION
HOUSE BILL NO. 245
95TH GENERAL ASSEMBLY
INTRODUCED BY REPRESENTATIVES HODGES (Sponsor), SCHOEMEHL, ROORDA AND SCHIEFFER (Co-sponsors).
0176L.01I D. ADAM CRUMBLISS, Chief Clerk
To repeal section 444.772, RSMo, and to enact in lieu thereof one new section relating to the land reclamation commission.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the state of Missouri, as follows:
Section A. Section 444.772, RSMo, is repealed and one new section enacted in lieu thereof, to be known as section 444.772, to read as follows:
444.772. 1. Any operator desiring to engage in surface mining shall make written application to the director for a permit.
2. Application for permit shall be made on a form prescribed by the commission and shall include:
(1) The name of all persons with any interest in the land to be mined;
(2) The source of the applicant's legal right to mine the land affected by the permit;
(3) The permanent and temporary post office address of the applicant;
(4) Whether the applicant or any person associated with the applicant holds or has held any other permits pursuant to sections 444.500 to 444.790, and an identification of such permits;
(5) The written consent of the applicant and any other persons necessary to grant access to the commission or the director to the area of land affected under application from the date of application until the expiration of any permit granted under the application and thereafter for such time as is necessary to assure compliance with all provisions of sections 444.500 to 444.790 or any rule or regulation promulgated pursuant to them. Permit applications submitted by operators who mine an annual tonnage of less than ten thousand tons shall be required to include written consent from the operator to grant access to the commission or the director to the area of land affected;
(6) A description of the tract or tracts of land and the estimated number of acres thereof to be affected by the surface mining of the applicant for the next succeeding twelve months; and
(7) Such other information that the commission may require as such information applies to land reclamation.
3. The application for a permit shall be accompanied by a map in a scale and form specified by the commission by regulation.
4. The application shall be accompanied by a bond, security or certificate meeting the requirements of section 444.778, a geologic resources fee authorized under section 256.700, RSMo, and a permit fee approved by the commission not to exceed one thousand dollars. The commission may also require a fee for each site listed on a permit not to exceed four hundred dollars for each site. If mining operations are not conducted at a site for six months or more during any year, the fee for such site for that year shall be reduced by fifty percent. The commission may also require a fee for each acre bonded by the operator pursuant to section 444.778 not to exceed twenty dollars per acre. If such fee is assessed, the per-acre fee on all acres bonded by a single operator that exceed a total of two hundred acres shall be reduced by fifty percent. In no case shall the total fee for any permit be more than three thousand dollars. Permit and renewal fees shall be established by rule, except for the initial fees as set forth in this subsection, and shall be set at levels that recover the cost of administering and enforcing sections 444.760 to 444.790, making allowances for grants and other sources of funds. The director shall submit a report to the commission and the public each year that describes the number of employees and the activities performed the previous calendar year to administer sections 444.760 to 444.790. For any operator of a gravel mining operation where the annual tonnage of gravel mined by such operator is less than five thousand tons, the total cost of submitting an application shall be three hundred dollars. The issued permit shall be valid from the date of its issuance until the date specified in the mine plan unless sooner revoked or suspended as provided in sections 444.760 to 444.790. Beginning August 28, 2007, the fees shall be set at a permit fee of eight hundred dollars, a site fee of four hundred dollars, and an acre fee of ten dollars, with a maximum fee of three thousand dollars. Fees may be raised as allowed in this subsection after a regulation change that demonstrates the need for increased fees.
5. An operator desiring to have his or her permit amended to cover additional land may file an amended application with the commission. Upon receipt of the amended application, and such additional fee and bond as may be required pursuant to the provisions of sections 444.760 to 444.790, the director shall, if the applicant complies with all applicable regulatory requirements, issue an amendment to the original permit covering the additional land described in the amended application.
6. An operation may withdraw any land covered by a permit, excepting affected land, by notifying the commission thereof, in which case the penalty of the bond or security filed by the operator pursuant to the provisions of sections 444.760 to 444.790 shall be reduced proportionately.
7. Where mining or reclamation operations on acreage for which a permit has been issued have not been completed, the permit shall be renewed. The operator shall submit a permit renewal form furnished by the director for an additional permit year and pay a fee equal to an application fee calculated pursuant to subsection 4 of this section, but in no case shall the renewal fee for any operator be more than three thousand dollars. For any operator involved in any gravel mining operation where the annual tonnage of gravel mined by such operator is less than five thousand tons, the permit as to such acreage shall be renewed by applying on a permit renewal form furnished by the director for an additional permit year and payment of a fee of three hundred dollars. Upon receipt of the completed permit renewal form and fee from the operator, the director shall approve the renewal. With approval of the director and operator, the permit renewal may be extended for a portion of an additional year with a corresponding prorating of the renewal fee.
8. Where one operator succeeds another at any uncompleted operation, either by sale, assignment, lease or otherwise, the commission may release the first operator from all liability pursuant to sections 444.760 to 444.790 as to that particular operation if both operators have been issued a permit and have otherwise complied with the requirements of sections 444.760 to 444.790 and the successor operator assumes as part of his or her obligation pursuant to sections 444.760 to 444.790 all liability for the reclamation of the area of land affected by the former operator.
9. The application for a permit shall be accompanied by a plan of reclamation that meets the requirements of sections 444.760 to 444.790 and the rules and regulations promulgated pursuant thereto, and shall contain a verified statement by the operator setting forth the proposed method of operation, reclamation, and a conservation plan for the affected area including approximate dates and time of completion, and stating that the operation will meet the requirements of sections 444.760 to 444.790, and any rule or regulation promulgated pursuant to them.
10. At the time that a permit application is deemed complete by the director, the operator shall publish a notice of intent to operate a surface mine in any newspaper qualified pursuant to section 493.050, RSMo, to publish legal notices in any county where the land is located. If the director does not respond to a permit application within forty-five calendar days, the application shall be deemed to be complete. Notice in the newspaper shall be posted once a week for four consecutive weeks beginning no more than ten days after the application is deemed complete. The operator shall also send notice of intent to operate a surface mine by certified mail to the governing body of the counties or cities in which the proposed area is located, and to the last known addresses of all record landowners of contiguous real property or real property located adjacent to the proposed mine plan area. The notices shall include the name and address of the operator, a legal description consisting of county, section, township and range, the number of acres involved, a statement that the operator plans to mine a specified mineral during a specified time, and the address of the commission. The notices shall also contain a statement that any person with a direct, personal interest in one or more of the factors the commission may consider in issuing a permit may request a public meeting, a public hearing or file written comments to the director no later than fifteen days following the final public notice publication date.
11. The commission may approve a permit application or permit amendment whose operation or reclamation plan deviates from the requirements of sections 444.760 to 444.790 if it can be demonstrated by the operator that the conditions present at the surface mining location warrant an exception. The criteria accepted for consideration when evaluating the merits of an exception or variance to the requirements of sections 444.760 to 444.790 shall be established by regulations.
12. The commission may reject an application for a permit to reactive an inactive quarry if residential homes are located near the site listed on the permit application.
13. Fees imposed pursuant to this section shall become effective August 28, 2007, and shall expire on December 31, 2013. No other provisions of this section shall expire.