American Geological Institute

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Legislative History and Digest of H.R. 2372

SURFACE MINING CONTROL AND RECLAMATION AMENDMENTS ACT OF 1995

TITLE: A bill to amend the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 to minimize duplication in regulatory programs and to give States exclusive responsibility under approved States program for permitting and enforcement of the provisions of that Act with respect to surface coal mining and reclamation operations, and for other purposes.

SPONSOR: Rep. Barbara Cubin (R-WY)

DATE INTRODUCED: 09/21/95

COSPONSORS:
As introduced - 09/21/95 Cremeans, Ney, Mollohan, Hansen, Hayworth, Thornberry, Allard, Calvert, Doolittle, Pombo, and Cooley.
10/19/95 Hostettler and Whitfield.
11/08/95 Cramer, Bachus, Lewis, R., Bunning, Burton, and Myers.
12/22/95 Young, D., Brewster, Largent, and English.

COMPLETE BILL TEXT:
The complete bill text is available on Thomas: The Library of Congress Web Site. In Thomas, click on Full Text of Legislation, then 104th Congress Bills, then Search by Bill Number, type in hr 2372 , hit RUN QUERY, and choose the most recent version.

DIGEST:

(AS INTRODUCED)

Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Amendments Act of 1995 - Amends the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 to: (1) repeal certain oversight functions of the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement; (2) provide for an approved State program for surface coal mining and reclamation operations which shall apply in that State in lieu of the Act; (3) declare the Act inapplicable to surface coal mining and reclamation operations within a State with an approved State program until such program has been amended, and the permittee has been provided reasonable time to conform operations to the amended program; and (4) declare that operations in compliance with a permit issued under the Act shall be deemed to be in compliance with its environmental protection standards and those of an approved State or Federal program pursuant to the Act.

Amends enforcement guidelines to grant a State regulatory authority sole enforcement responsibility for the Act and relevant State law, subject only to State administrative and judicial review. Confers enforcement responsibility for Federal water quality laws (including State law enacted pursuant thereto) upon the regulatory authority approved by the Federal Environmental Protection Agency.

Revises judicial review guidelines to: (1) repeal the provision that availability of judicial review of a State regulatory authority does not limit the operation of rights with respect to citizens' suits to compel compliance with Federal law; and (2) declare that an action by the Secretary of the Interior regarding inadequate State enforcement is subject to judicial review by the U.S. district court for the district which includes the capital of the State whose program is at issue.

Establishes a three-year statute of limitations for an enforcement proceeding under this Act.

Excludes public roads from the regulatory purview of the Act.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:

House Action(s)

Sep 21, 95:
Referred to the House Committee on Resources.
Sep 25, 95:
Executive Comment Requested from Interior.
Sep 25, 95:
Referred to the Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources.
Nov 9, 95:
Subcommittee Hearings Held.

(Source: Library of Congress)


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Last updated July 16, 1996 by Heidi Mohlman, AGI Government Affairs intern

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