1513.372 Immunity from liability.

(A) As used in this section:

(1) "Abandoned mine land" means land or water resources adversely affected by coal mining practices to which one of the following applies:

(a) The coal mining practices occurred prior to August 3, 1977, and there is no continuing reclamation responsibility under state or federal law.

(b) The coal mining practices occurred prior to April 10, 1972.

(c) The coal mining practices were conducted pursuant to a license that was issued prior to April 10, 1972.

(2) "Eligible landowner" means a landowner who provides access without charge or other consideration to abandoned mine land that is located on the landowner's property for the purpose of allowing the implementation of a reclamation project on the abandoned mine land. "Eligible landowner" does not include a person that is responsible under state or federal law to reclaim the land or address acid mine drainage existing or emanating from the abandoned mine land.

(3) "Landowner" means a person who holds a fee interest in real property.

(4) "Nonprofit organization" means a corporation, association, group, institution, society, or other organization that is exempt from federal income taxation under section 501(c)(3) of the "Internal Revenue Code of 1986," 100 Stat. 2085, 26 U.S.C. 501(c)(3) , as amended, that provides funding or services at no cost or at cost for a reclamation project.

(5) "Reclamation project" means an acid mine drainage abatement project that is conducted in compliance with this chapter and rules adopted under it on abandoned mine land that is located on property owned by an eligible landowner.

(6) "Reclamation project work area" means the portion of a parcel of real property on which a reclamation project is conducted and the roads providing ingress to and egress from the reclamation project.

(B) Except as provided in divisions (C) and (D) of this section, an eligible landowner or nonprofit organization is immune from liability as follows:

(1) For any injury to or damage suffered by a person working under the direct supervision of the division of mineral resources management while the person is within the reclamation project work area;

(2) For any injury to or damage suffered by a third party that arises out of or occurs as a result of an act or omission of the division during the construction, operation, and maintenance of the reclamation project;

(3) For any failure of an acid mine drainage abatement facility constructed or installed during a reclamation project that is supervised by the division;

(4) For the operation, maintenance, or repair of any acid mine drainage abatement facility constructed or installed during a reclamation project unless the eligible landowner negligently damages or destroys the acid mine drainage abatement facility or denies access to the division of mineral resources management that is responsible for the operation, maintenance, or repair of the acid mine drainage abatement facility.

(C) The eligible landowner shall notify the division of a known, latent, dangerous condition located at a reclamation project work area that is not the subject of the reclamation project. The immunity established in division (B) of this section does not apply to any injury, damage, or pollution resulting from the eligible landowner's failure to notify the division of such a known, latent, dangerous condition.

(D) The immunity established in division (B) of this section does not apply in both of the following circumstances:

(1) An injury to a person within the reclamation project work area that results from an eligible landowner's or nonprofit organization's acts or omissions that are reckless or constitute gross negligence or willful or wanton misconduct;

(2) An eligible landowner or nonprofit organization who engages in any unlawful activities with respect to a reclamation project.

(E) The chief of the division of mineral resources management shall adopt rules in accordance with Chapter 119. of the Revised Code that are necessary to implement this section.

Added by 128th General AssemblyFile No.47, SB 181, §1, eff. 9/13/2010.