Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 45.1. Mines and Mining
Chapter 19. Virginia Coal Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1979
6/14/2021

§ 45.1-228. Purpose and policy of chapter.

A. It is the purpose and policy of this chapter to do the following:

1. Provide for the implementation and enforcement, by the Commonwealth, of the federal Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977, and the regulations of the United States Secretary of the Interior promulgated thereunder, and amendments thereto, as the same may be or become effective at any time or from time to time.

2. Promote the reclamation of coal-mined areas, and areas which have been affected by such mining, which were not adequately reclaimed, or abandoned, prior to the enactment of the federal Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977, and which, in their unreclaimed condition, continue to substantially degrade the quality of the environment, prevent or damage the beneficial use of land or water resources, or endanger the public health or safety;

3. Exercise the police power of the Commonwealth in a coordinated statewide program to effectively control present and future problems associated with coal surface mining and provide for the reclamation of disturbed lands to insure the protection of the public welfare and safety;

4. Authorize and enable the Department to submit, and obtain approval of, a permanent state regulatory program and abandoned mine reclamation program, pursuant to the federal Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977.

B. Nothing in this chapter is intended, nor shall be construed, to limit, impair, abridge, create, enlarge, or otherwise affect, substantially or procedurally, the rights of any person in any dispute involving property rights, including interests in water resources, or the right of any person to damage or other relief on account of injury to persons or property, including interests in water resources, and to maintain any action or other appropriate proceeding therefor, except as is otherwise specifically provided in this chapter; nor to affect the powers of the Commonwealth to initiate, prosecute and maintain actions to abate public nuisances.

1979, c. 290; 1984, c. 590.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of this section may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.