1514.06 Funds to reclaim land affected by surface or in-stream mining that the operator has failed to reclaim.

(A) All money that becomes the property of the state pursuant to sections 1514.05 and 1514.051 of the Revised Code, money collected under divisions (C)(1) and (2) of section 1514.071, and other money specified in section 1514.11 of the Revised Code shall be credited to the mining regulation and safety fund created in section 1513.30 of the Revised Code. The chief of the division of mineral resources management may expend such money for the purpose of reclaiming areas of land affected by surface or in-stream mining under a permit issued under this chapter that the operator has failed to reclaim.

(B) Expenditures of money from the fund for the purposes specified in division (A) of this section, except as otherwise provided by this section, shall be made pursuant to contracts entered into by the chief with persons who agree to furnish all of the materials, equipment, work, and labor, as specified and provided in the contracts, for the prices stipulated therein. With the approval of the director of natural resources, the chief may reclaim the land in the same manner as the chief required of the operator who failed to reclaim the land. Each contract awarded by the chief shall be awarded to the lowest responsive and responsible bidder, in accordance with section 9.312 of the Revised Code, after sealed bids are received, opened, and published at the time and place fixed by the chief. The chief shall publish notice of the time and place at which bids will be received, opened, and published, at least once at least ten days before the date of the opening of the bids, in a newspaper of general circulation in the county in which the area of land to be reclaimed under the contract is located. If, after so advertising for bids, no bids are received by the chief at the time and place fixed for receiving them, the chief may advertise again for bids, or, if the chief considers the public interest will be best served, the chief may enter into a contract for the reclamation of the area of land without further advertisement for bids. The chief may reject any or all bids received and again publish notice of the time and place at which bids for contracts will be received, opened, and published.

(C) With the approval of the director, the chief, without advertising for bids, may enter into a contract with the landowner, a surface or in-stream mine operator or coal mine operator mining under a current, valid permit issued under this chapter or Chapter 1513. of the Revised Code, or a contractor hired by a surety to complete reclamation, to carry out reclamation on land affected by surface or in-stream mining operations that an operator has failed to reclaim.

(D) With the approval of the director, the chief may carry out all or part of the reclamation work on land affected by surface or in-stream mining operations that the operator has failed to reclaim using the employees and equipment of any division of the department of natural resources.

(E) The chief shall require every contractor performing reclamation work under this section to pay workers at the greater of their regular rate of pay, as established by contract, agreement, or prior custom or practice, or the average wage rate paid in this state for the same or similar work, as determined by the chief under section 1513.02 of the Revised Code.

(F) Each contract entered into by the chief under this section shall provide only for the reclamation of land affected by the surface or in-stream mining operation or operations of one operator and not reclaimed by the operator as required by this chapter. If there is money in the fund derived from the performance bond deposited with the chief by one operator to ensure the reclamation of two or more areas of land affected by the surface or in-stream mining operation or operations of one operator and not reclaimed by the operator as required by this chapter, the chief may award a single contract for the reclamation of all such areas of land.

(G) The cost of the reclamation work done under this section on each area of land affected by surface or in-stream mining operations that an operator has failed to reclaim shall be paid out of the money in the fund derived from the performance bond that was deposited with the chief to ensure the reclamation of that area of land. The operator is liable for that expense in addition to any other liabilities imposed by law. At the request of the chief, the attorney general shall bring an action against the operator for the amount of the expenditures from the mining regulation and safety fund. Money so recovered shall be deposited in the state treasury to the credit of that fund .

Amended by 132nd General Assembly File No. TBD, HB 49, §101.01, eff. 9/29/2017.

Amended by 131st General Assembly File No. TBD, HB 64, §101.01, eff. 9/29/2015.

Effective Date: 03-15-2002; 04-06-2007