§902. Declaration of policy
The legislature finds and declares that:
A. The extraction of lignite and other forms of coal by surface mining operations is a basic and essential activity making an important contribution to the economic wellbeing of the state and nation.
B. Proper reclamation of surface mined lands is necessary to prevent unreasonable degradation of land and water resources that would be detrimental to the general welfare, health, safety, and property rights of the citizens of this state.
C. Surface mining takes place in diverse areas where the geologic, topographic, climatic, biological, and social conditions are significantly different and that reclamation operations and the specifications therefor must vary accordingly.
D. Regulation of surface mining is in the public interest and will benefit the public health, safety, welfare and economy of the state of Louisiana and will prevent the destruction or diminishing of the utility of land for commercial, industrial, residential, recreational, agricultural, and forestry purposes by preventing unreasonable erosion, landslides, floods, water pollution, destruction of fish and wildlife habitat and impairment of natural beauty, and will benefit governmental programs and efforts to conserve soil, water, and other natural resources.
E. Reclamation of surface mined land as provided by this Act will allow the mining of valuable lignite and other forms of coal in a manner designed for the protection and subsequent beneficial use of these lands.
F. The Congress of the United States has enacted Public Law 95-87,1 the "Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977", which provides for the establishment of a nationwide program to regulate surface coal mining and reclamation and which vests exclusive authority in the Department of the Interior over the regulation of surface coal mining and reclamation within the United States.
G. Section 503 of Public Law 95-872 provides that each state may assume and retain exclusive jurisdiction over the regulation of surface coal mining and reclamation operations within such state by obtaining approval of a state program of regulation which demonstrates that the state has the capability of carrying out the provisions and meeting the purposes of Public Law 95-87.
H. Section 503 of Public Law 95-87 further provides that a state wishing to assume exclusive jurisdiction over the regulation of surface coal mining and reclamation operations within the state must have a state law which provides for the regulation of surface coal mining and reclamation operations in accordance with the requirements of Public Law 95-87.
I. The State of Louisiana, to accomplish the purposes for which the Louisiana Surface Mining and Reclamation Act was adopted, wishes to assume exclusive jurisdiction over the regulation of surface coal mining and reclamation operations within the state pursuant to Public Law 95-87.
Added by Acts 1976, No. 141, §1. Amended by Acts 1978, No. 406, §1.
130 U.S.C.A. §1201 et seq.
230 U.S.C.A. §1253.