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Texas Laws | Natural Resources Code

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2607, ch. 871, art. I, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977. Amended by Acts 1979, 66th Leg., p. 849, ch. 379, Sec. 1, eff. June 6, 1979. (10574)

Amended by: (10575)

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1117 (H.B. 3837), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2007. (10576)

Sec. 131.003. PURPOSES. (10577)(Text)

It is declared to be the purpose of this chapter: (10578)

(1) to prevent the adverse effects to society and the environment resulting from unregulated surface mining operations as defined in this chapter; (10579)

(2) to assure that the rights of surface landowners and other persons with a legal interest in the land or appurtenances to the land are protected from unregulated surface mining operations; (10580)

(3) to assure that surface mining operations are not conducted where reclamation as required by this chapter is not possible; (10581)

(4) to assure that exploration and surface mining operations are conducted in a manner that will prevent unreasonable degradation of land and water resources; and (10582)

(5) to assure that reclamation of all explored land and surface-mined land is accomplished as contemporaneously as practicable with the exploration or surface mining, recognizing that the exploration for and extraction of minerals by responsible operations is an essential and beneficial economic activity. (10583)

Acts 1977, 65th Leg., p. 2608, ch. 871, art. I, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1977. (10584)

Amended by: (10585)

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1117 (H.B. 3837), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2007. (10586)

Sec. 131.004. DEFINITIONS. (10587)(Text)

In this chapter: (10588)

(1) "Minerals" means uranium and uranium ore. (10589)

(2) "Surface mining" means the mining of minerals by removing the overburden lying above the natural deposit of minerals and mining directly from the natural deposits that are exposed and those aspects of underground mining having significant effects on the surface; provided, this definition shall not be construed to include in situ mining activities associated with the removal of uranium or uranium ore. (10590)

(3) "Exploration activity" means the disturbance of the surface or subsurface for the purpose of or related to determining the location, quantity, or quality of a mineral deposit. (10591)

(4) "Affected land" or "land affected" means: (10592)

(A) the area from which any materials are to be or have been displaced in a surface mining operation; (10593)

(B) the area on which any materials that are displaced are to be or have been deposited; (10594)

(C) the haul roads and impoundment basins within the surface mining area; and (10595)

(D) other land whose natural state has been or will be disturbed as a result of the surface mining operations. (10596)

(5) "Surface mining operation" means those activities conducted at or near the mining site and concomitant with the surface mining, including extraction, storage, processing, and shipping of minerals and reclamation of the land affected. (10597)

(6) "Operator" means the individual or entity, including any public or governmental agency, that is to engage or that is engaged in a surface mining operation, including any individual or entity whose permit has expired or been suspended or revoked. (10598)

(7) "Overburden" means all materials displaced in a mining operation which are not, or will not be, removed from the affected area. (10599)

(8) "Reclamation" means the process of restoring an area affected by a surface mining operation to its original or other substantially beneficial condition, considering past and possible future uses of the area and the surrounding topography. (10600)

(9) "Topsoil" means the unconsolidated mineral matter naturally present on the surface of the earth which has been subjected to and influenced by genetic and environmental factors of parent material, climate, macroorganisms and microorganisms, and topography, all acting over a period of time, and which is necessary for the growth and regeneration of vegetation on the surface of the earth. (10601)

(10) "Surface mining permit" or "permit" means the written certification by the commission that the named operator may conduct the surface mining operations described in the certification during the term of the surface mining permit and in the manner established in the certification. These terms do not include: (10602)

(A) a discharge permit issued by the commission pursuant to Subchapter H of this chapter; or (10603)

(B) an exploration permit issued by the commission pursuant to Subchapter I of this chapter. (10604)

(11) "Person affected" means any person who is a resident of a county or any county adjacent or contiguous to the county in which a mining operation is or is proposed to be located, including any person who is doing business or owns land in the county or adjacent or contiguous county and any local government and who demonstrates that he has suffered or will suffer actual injury or economic damage. (10605)

(12) "Commission" means the Railroad Commission of Texas. (10606)

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