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SECTION 23-2722
Interstate mining compact
Environmental Conservation (ENV) CHAPTER 43-B, ARTICLE 23, TITLE 27
§ 23-2722. Interstate mining compact.

The "interstate mining compact" is hereby enacted into law and entered
into by this state with all other states legally joining therein in the
form substantially as follows:

THE INTERSTATE MINING COMPACT

ARTICLE I

POLICIES AND PURPOSES

There is created the "interstate mining compact".

1.1 The party states find that:

(a) Mining and the contributions thereof to the economy and well-being
of every state are of basic significance.

(b) The effects of mining on the availability of land, water and other
resources for other uses present special problems which properly can be
approached only with due consideration for the rights and interests of
those engaged in mining, those using or proposing to use these resources
for other purposes, and the public.

(c) Measures for the reduction of the adverse effects of mining on
land, water and other resources may be costly and the devising of means
to deal with them are of both public and private concern.

(d) Such variables as soil structure and composition, physiography,
climatic conditions, and the needs of the public make impracticable the
application to all mining areas of a single standard for the
conservation, adaption, or restoration of mined land, or the development
of mineral and other natural resources, but justifiable requirements of
law and practice relating to the effects of mining on land, water, and
other resources may be reduced in equity or effectiveness unless they
pertain similarly from state to state for all mining operations
similarly situated.

(e) The states are in a position and have the responsibility to assure
that mining shall be conducted in accordance with sound conservation
principles, and with due regard for local conditions.

1.2 The purposes of this compact are to:

(a) Advance the protection and restoration of land, water and other
resources affected by mining.

(b) Assist in the reduction or elimination or counteracting of
pollution or deterioration of land, water and air attributable to
mining.

(c) Encourage, with due recognition of relevant regional, physical,
and other differences, programs in each of the party states which will
achieve comparable results in protecting, conserving, and improving the
usefulness of natural resources, to the end that the most desirable
conduct of mining and related operations may be universally facilitated.

(d) Assist the party states in their efforts to facilitate the use of
land and other resources affected by mining, so that such use may be
consistent with sound land use, public health, and public safety, and to
this end to study and recommend, wherever desirable, techniques for the
improvement, restoration or protection of such land and other resources.

(e) Assist in achieving and maintaining an efficient and productive
mining industry and in increasing economic and other benefits
attributable to mining.

ARTICLE II

DEFINITIONS

As used in this compact, unless the context clearly requires a
different construction:

2.1 "Mining" means the breaking of the surface soil in order to
facilitate or accomplish the extraction or removal of minerals, ores, or
other solid matter, any activity or process constituting all or part of
a process for the extraction or removal of minerals, ores, and other
solid matter from its original location, and the preparation, washing,
cleaning, or other treatment of minerals, ores, or other solid matter so
as to make them suitable for commercial, industrial, or construction
use; but shall not include those aspects of deep mining not having
significant effect on the surface, and shall not include excavation or
grading when conducted solely in aid of on site farming or construction.

2.2 "State" means a state of the United States, the District of
Columbia, and the commonwealth of Puerto Rico, or a territory or
possession of the United States.

ARTICLE III

THE COMMISSION

3.1 There is created the "interstate mining commission". The
commission consists of one voting member from each state. The governor
of each party state shall notify the commission in writing of the member
and any alternates. An alternate may act on behalf of the member only in
the member's absence. The method for selection and the expenses of each
commission member shall be the responsibility of the member's respective
state.

3.2 Each commission member is entitled to one vote. No action of the
commission is binding unless a majority of the total membership cast
their votes in the affirmative.

3.3 The commission shall elect annually from among its members a
chairperson. The commission shall adopt and publish, in convenient form,
by-laws, and policies which are not inconsistent with this compact,
including procedure in regard to notice, conduct and recording of
meetings; access by the public to records; provision of information to
the public; conduct of adjudicatory hearings; and issuance of decisions.

3.4 The commission shall meet at least once annually and shall also
meet upon the call of the chairperson or a commission member.

3.5 All meetings of the commission shall be open to the public with
reasonable advance notice. The commission may, by majority vote, close a
meeting to the public for the purpose of considering sensitive personnel
or legal strategy matters; however, all commission actions and decisions
shall be made in open meetings and appropriately recorded.

3.6 The commission may establish advisory committees for the purpose
of advising the commission on any matters pertaining to mining.

3.7 The office of the commission shall be in a party state. The
commission may appoint or contract for and compensate such limited staff
necessary to carry out its duties and functions. The staff shall serve
at the commission's pleasure with the exception that staff hired as the
result of securing federal funds shall be hired and governed under
applicable federal statutes and regulations. In selecting any staff, the
commission shall assure that the staff has adequate experience and
formal training to carry out the functions assigned to it by the
commission.

3.8 The commission shall:

(a) Receive and act on the petition of a non-party state to become an
eligible state.

(b) Submit an annual report to, and otherwise communicate with, the
governors and the appropriate officers of the legislative bodies of the
commission.

(c) Hear, negotiate, and, as necessary, resolve by final decision
disputes which may arise between the party states regarding this
compact.

ARTICLE IV

BUDGET

4.1 The commission shall submit to each party state a budget of its
estimated expenditures for such period as may be required by the laws of
that party state for presentation to the legislature thereof.

4.2 Each of the commission's budgets of estimated expenditures shall
contain specific recommendations of the amount or amounts to be
appropriated by each of the party states. The total amount of
appropriations requested under any such budget shall be apportioned
among the party states as follows: one-half in equal shares, and the
remainder in proportion to the value of minerals, ores, and other solid
matter mined. In determining such values, the commission shall employ
such available public source or sources of information as, in its
judgment, present the most equitable and accurate comparisons among the
party states. Each of the commission's budgets of estimated expenditures
and requests for appropriations shall indicate the source or sources
used in obtaining information concerning value of minerals, ores, and
other solid matter mined.

4.3 The commission shall keep accurate accounts of all receipts and
disbursements. The receipts and disbursements of the commission shall be
subject to the audit and accounting procedures established under its
by-laws. All receipts and disbursements of funds handled by the
commission shall be audited yearly by a qualified public accountant and
the report of the audit shall be included in and become part of the
annual report of the commission.

4.4 The commission may accept for any of its purposes and functions
and may utilize and dispose of any donations, grants of money,
equipment, supplies, materials and services from any state or the United
States (or any subdivision or agency thereof), or interstate agency, or
from any institution, person, firm or corporation. The nature, amount
and condition, if any, attendant upon any donation or grant accepted or
received by the commission, together with the identity of the donor,
grantor or lender, shall be detailed in the annual report of the
commission.

4.5 The commission is a legal entity separate and distinct from the
party states and is liable for its actions as a separate and distinct
legal entity. Liabilities of the commission are not liabilities of the
party state. Members of the commission are not personally liable for
actions taken by them in their official capacity.

(a) Nothing in this compact alters liability for any act, omission,
course of conduct or liability resulting from any casual or other
relationships.

(b) Any person aggrieved by a final decision of the commission may
obtain judicial review of such decision in any court of jurisdiction by
filing in such court a petition for review within sixty days after the
commission's final decision.

ARTICLE V

POWERS

5.1 In addition to any other powers conferred upon the interstate
mining commission, such commission shall have power to:

(a) Study mining operations, processes and techniques for the purpose
of gaining knowledge concerning the effects of such operation, processes
and techniques on land, soil, water, air, plant and animal life,
recreation, and patterns of community or regional development or change.

(b) Study the conservation, adaption, improvement and restoration of
land and related resources affected by mining.

(c) Make recommendations concerning any aspect or aspects of law or
practice and governmental administration dealing with matters within the
purview of this compact.

(d) Gather and disseminate information relating to any of the matters
within the purview of this compact.

(e) Cooperate with the federal government and any public or private
entities having interest in any subject coming within the purview of
this compact.

(f) Consult, upon the request of a party state and within resources
available therefor, with the officials of such state in respect to any
problems within the purview of this compact.

(g) Study and make recommendations with respect to any practice,
process, techniques, or course of action that may improve the efficiency
of mining or the economic yield from mining operations.

(h) Study and make recommendations relating to the safeguarding of
access to resources which are or may become the subject of mining
operations to the end that the needs of the economy for the products of
mining may not be adversely affected by unplanned or inappropriate use
of land and other resources containing minerals or otherwise connected
with actual or potential mining sites.

ARTICLE VI

STATE PROGRAMS

6.1 Each party state agrees that within a reasonable time, it will
formulate and establish an effective program for the conservation and
use of mined land, by the establishment of standards, enactment of laws,
or the continuing of the same in force, to accomplish:

(a) The protection of the public and the protection of adjoining, and
other, landowners from damage to their lands and the structures and
other property thereon resulting from the conduct of mining operations
or the abandonment or neglect of land and property formerly used in the
conduct of such operations.

(b) The conduct of mining and the handling of refuse and other mining
wastes in ways that will reduce adverse effects on the economic,
residential, recreational or aesthetic value and utility of land and
water.

(c) The institution and maintenance of suitable programs of adaption,
restoration, and rehabilitation of mined lands.

(d) The prevention, abatement and control of water, air and soil
pollution resulting from mining, present, past and future.

ARTICLE VII

ENTRY INTO FORCE AND WITHDRAWAL

7.1 This compact shall enter into force when enacted into law by any
four or more states. Thereafter, this compact shall become effective as
to any other state upon its enactment thereof.

7.2 Any party state may withdraw from this compact by enacting a
statute repealing the same, but no such withdrawal shall take effect
until one year after the withdrawing party state has given notice in
writing of the withdrawal to all other party states. No withdrawal shall
affect any liability already incurred by or chargeable to a party state
prior to the time of such withdrawal.

ARTICLE VIII

EFFECT ON OTHER LAWS

8.1 Nothing within this compact shall be construed to limit, repeal or
supersede any other law of any party state.

ARTICLE IX

SEVERABILITY AND CONSTRUCTION

9.1 The provisions of this compact shall be severable and if any
phrase, clause, sentence or provision of this compact is declared by a
court of competent jurisdiction to be contrary to the constitution of
any participating state or of the United States or the applicability
thereof to any government, agency, person or circumstance is held
invalid, the validity of the remainder of this compact and the
applicability thereof to any government, agency, person or circumstance
shall not be affected thereby. If any provision of this compact shall be
held contrary to the constitution of any state participating therein,
the compact shall remain in full force and effect as to the state
affected as to all severable matters.

9.2 The governor shall appoint one member and one alternate member to
represent New York's interests on the interstate mining commission.