For the purpose of promoting local or regional economic or community development, the chief of the division of mineral resources management, with the approval of the director of natural resources, may enter into a written agreement, which may be in the form of a contract, with a political subdivision, community improvement corporation incorporated under Chapter 1724. of the Revised Code, or other nonprofit corporation incorporated under Chapter 1702. of the Revised Code that owns any unreclaimed land affected by mining before April 10, 1972, or pursuant to a license issued before April 10, 1972, under which the state or its agents may enter upon the land to reclaim it at state expense with moneys from the unreclaimed lands fund created by section 1513.30 of the Revised Code for the purpose of commercial or industrial site development if the land is owned by a political subdivision or corporation or the development of recreational facilities if the land is owned by a political subdivision. The agreement may include provisions pertaining to liability for damages and any other provisions necessary or desirable to achieve the purposes of this section.
For the purpose of selecting lands to be reclaimed for commercial, industrial, or, if the lands are owned by a political subdivision, recreational site development, the chief shall consult with the owners of unreclaimed lands and with local officials, civic and professional organizations, and interested individuals and shall consider the feasibility, cost, and public benefits of reclaiming particular lands and the availability of federal or other assistance for the reclamation. The chief shall select for reclamation under this section only lands that lie within the boundaries of a project area approved by the council on unreclaimed strip mined lands.
Before entering into the agreement, the chief shall prepare or approve a detailed plan with topographic maps indicating the reclamation improvements to be made, an itemized estimate of the project's cost, a description of the project's benefits, and such other information as the chief considers appropriate. The plan shall include only reclamation work that is necessary to render the unreclaimed land suitable for commercial, industrial, or, if the land is owned by a political subdivision, recreational site development and will substantially reduce or eliminate the damage, if any, to adjacent property that is or may be caused by the condition of the unreclaimed land. The plan may include improvements recommended by the owner, but may not include any improvements that the chief finds are not necessary to prepare the unreclaimed land for commercial, industrial, or, if the land is owned by a political subdivision, recreational site development, or if the condition of the unreclaimed land so requires, are not necessary to establish vegetative cover or substantially reduce or eliminate erosion, sedimentation, landslides, pollution, accumulation or discharge of acid water, flooding, or damage to adjacent property.
With the approval of the director and upon entering into an agreement with the owner, the chief may carry out the plan of reclamation or any part thereof with the employees or equipment of the department, or the chief may carry out the plan or any part thereof by contracting therefor in accordance with the procedures prescribed in section 1513.27 of the Revised Code. The chief shall keep an itemized record of the state's expense in carrying out the plan.
Expenditure of not more than twenty per cent of the moneys credited to the unreclaimed lands fund during the preceding fiscal year may be approved by the council on unreclaimed strip mined lands during a fiscal year for conducting reclamation projects under this section and for making grants under section 1513.31 of the Revised Code, provided that such expenditures are primarily for the pollution abatement purposes of section 1513.30 of the Revised Code.
Effective Date: 06-14-2000