30 USC CHAPTER 3A, SUBCHAPTER II: COAL
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TEXT OF PART V OF SUBTITLE A (3001 ET SEQ.), EFFECTIVE JANUARY 1, 2022, CURRENTLY SET OUT AS A PREVIEW

30 USC CHAPTER 3A, SUBCHAPTER II: COAL
From Title 30—MINERAL LANDS AND MININGCHAPTER 3A—LEASES AND PROSPECTING PERMITS

SUBCHAPTER II—COAL

§201. Leases and exploration

(a) Leases

(1) The Secretary of the Interior is authorized to divide any lands subject to this chapter which have been classified for coal leasing into leasing tracts of such size as he finds appropriate and in the public interest and which will permit the mining of all coal which can be economically extracted in such tract and thereafter he shall, in his discretion, upon the request of any qualified applicant or on his own motion, from time to time, offer such lands for leasing and shall award leases thereon by competitive bidding: Provided, That notwithstanding the competitive bidding requirement of this section, the Secretary may, subject to such conditions which he deems appropriate, negotiate the sale at fair market value of coal the removal of which is necessary and incidental to the exercise of a right-of-way permit issued pursuant to title V of the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 [43 U.S.C. 1761 et seq.]. No less than 50 per centum of the total acreage offered for lease by the Secretary in any one year shall be leased under a system of deferred bonus payment. Upon default or cancellation of any coal lease for which bonus payments are due, any unpaid remainder of the bid shall be immediately payable to the United States. A reasonable number of leasing tracts shall be reserved and offered for lease in accordance with this section to public bodies, including Federal agencies, rural electric cooperatives, or nonprofit corporations controlled by any of such entities: Provided, That the coal so offered for lease shall be for use by such entity or entities in implementing a definite plan to produce energy for their own use or for sale to their members or customers (except for short-term sales to others). No bid shall be accepted which is less than the fair market value, as determined by the Secretary, of the coal subject to the lease. Prior to his determination of the fair market value of the coal subject to the lease, the Secretary shall give opportunity for and consideration to public comments on the fair market value. Nothing in this section shall be construed to require the Secretary to make public his judgment as to the fair market value of the coal to be leased, or the comments he receives thereon prior to the issuance of the lease. He is authorized, in awarding leases for coal lands improved and occupied or claimed in good faith, prior to February 25, 1920, to consider and recognize equitable rights of such occupants or claimants.

(2)(A) The Secretary shall not issue a lease or leases under the terms of this chapter to any person, association, corporation, or any subsidiary, affiliate, or persons controlled by or under common control with such person, association, or corporation, where any such entity holds a lease or leases issued by the United States to coal deposits and has held such lease or leases for a period of ten years when such entity is not, except as provided for in section 207(b) of this title, producing coal from the lease deposits in commercial quantities. In computing the ten-year period referred to in the preceding sentence, periods of time prior to August 4, 1976, shall not be counted.

(B) Any lease proposal which permits surface coal mining within the boundaries of a National Forest which the Secretary proposes to issue under this chapter shall be submitted to the Governor of each State within which the coal deposits subject to such lease are located. No such lease may be issued under this chapter before the expiration of the sixty-day period beginning on the date of such submission. If any Governor to whom a proposed lease was submitted under this subparagraph objects to the issuance of such lease, such lease shall not be issued before the expiration of the six-month period beginning on the date the Secretary is notified by the Governor of such objection. During such six-month period, the Governor may submit to the Secretary a statement of reasons why such lease should not be issued and the Secretary shall, on the basis of such statement, reconsider the issuance of such lease.

(3)(A)(i) No lease sale shall be held unless the lands containing the coal deposits have been included in a comprehensive land-use plan and such sale is compatible with such plan. The Secretary of the Interior shall prepare such land-use plans on lands under his responsibility where such plans have not been previously prepared. The Secretary of the Interior shall inform the Secretary of Agriculture of substantial development interest in coal leasing on lands within the National Forest System. Upon receipt of such notification from the Secretary of the Interior, the Secretary of Agriculture shall prepare a comprehensive land-use plan for such areas where such plans have not been previously prepared. The plan of the Secretary of Agriculture shall take into consideration the proposed coal development in these lands: Provided, That where the Secretary of the Interior finds that because of non-Federal interest in the surface or because the coal resources are insufficient to justify the preparation costs of a Federal comprehensive land-use plan, the lease sale can be held if the lands containing the coal deposits have been included in either a comprehensive land-use plan prepared by the State within which the lands are located or a land use analysis prepared by the Secretary of the Interior.

(ii) In preparing such land-use plans, the Secretary of the Interior or, in the case of lands within the National Forest System, the Secretary of Agriculture, or in the case of a finding by the Secretary of the Interior that because of non-Federal interests in the surface or insufficient Federal coal, no Federal comprehensive land-use plans can be appropriately prepared, the responsible State entity shall consult with appropriate State agencies and local governments and the general public and shall provide an opportunity for public hearing on proposed plans prior to their adoption, if requested by any person having an interest which is, or may be, adversely affected by the adoption of such plans.

(iii) Leases covering lands the surface of which is under the jurisdiction of any Federal agency other than the Department of the Interior may be issued only upon consent of the other Federal agency and upon such conditions as it may prescribe with respect to the use and protection of the nonmineral interests in those lands.

(B) Each land-use plan prepared by the Secretary (or in the case of lands within the National Forest System, the Secretary of Agriculture pursuant to subparagraph (A)(i)) shall include an assessment of the amount of coal deposits in such land, identifying the amount of such coal which is recoverable by deep mining operations and the amount of such coal which is recoverable by surface mining operations.

(C) Prior to issuance of any coal lease, the Secretary shall consider effects which mining of the proposed lease might have on an impacted community or area, including, but not limited to, impacts on the environment, on agricultural and other economic activities, and on public services. Prior to issuance of a lease, the Secretary shall evaluate and compare the effects of recovering coal by deep mining, by surface mining, and by any other method to determine which method or methods or sequence of methods achieves the maximum economic recovery of the coal within the proposed leasing tract. This evaluation and comparison by the Secretary shall be in writing but shall not prohibit the issuance of a lease; however, no mining operating plan shall be approved which is not found to achieve the maximum economic recovery of the coal within the tract. Public hearings in the area shall be held by the Secretary prior to the lease sale.

(D) No lease sale shall be held until after the notice of the proposed offering for lease has been given once a week for three consecutive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation in the county in which the lands are situated in accordance with regulations prescribed by the Secretary.

(E) Each coal lease shall contain provisions requiring compliance with the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (33 U.S.C. 1151–1175) [33 U.S.C. 1251 et seq.] and the Clean Air Act [42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.].

(4)(A) The Secretary shall not require a surety bond or any other financial assurance to guarantee payment of deferred bonus bid installments with respect to any coal lease issued on a cash bonus bid to a lessee or successor in interest having a history of a timely payment of noncontested coal royalties and advanced coal royalties in lieu of production (where applicable) and bonus bid installment payments.

(B) The Secretary may waive any requirement that a lessee provide a surety bond or other financial assurance to guarantee payment of deferred bonus bid installment with respect to any coal lease issued before August 8, 2005, only if the Secretary determines that the lessee has a history of making timely payments referred to in subparagraph (A).

(5) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, if the lessee under a coal lease fails to pay any installment of a deferred cash bonus bid within 10 days after the Secretary provides written notice that payment of the installment is past due—

(A) the lease shall automatically terminate; and

(B) any bonus payments already made to the United States with respect to the lease shall not be returned to the lessee or credited in any future lease sale.

(b) Exploration

(1) The Secretary may, under such regulations as he may prescribe, issue to any person an exploration license. No person may conduct coal exploration for commercial purposes for any coal on lands subject to this chapter without such an exploration license. Each exploration license shall be for a term of not more than two years and shall be subject to a reasonable fee. An exploration license shall confer no right to a lease under this chapter. The issuance of exploration licenses shall not preclude the Secretary from issuing coal leases at such times and locations and to such persons as he deems appropriate. No exploration license will be issued for any land on which a coal lease has been issued. A separate exploration license will be required for exploration in each State. An application for an exploration license shall identify general areas and probable methods of exploration. Each exploration license shall contain such reasonable conditions as the Secretary may require, including conditions to insure the protection of the environment, and shall be subject to all applicable Federal, State, and local laws and regulations. Upon violation of any such conditions or laws the Secretary may revoke the exploration license.

(2) A licensee may not cause substantial disturbance to the natural land surface. He may not remove any coal for sale but may remove a reasonable amount of coal from the lands subject to this chapter included under his license for analysis and study. A licensee must comply with all applicable rules and regulations of the Federal agency having jurisdiction over the surface of the lands subject to this chapter. Exploration licenses covering lands the surface of which is under the jurisdiction of any Federal agency other than the Department of the Interior may be issued only upon such conditions as it may prescribe with respect to the use and protection of the nonmineral interests in those lands.

(3) The licensee shall furnish to the Secretary copies of all data (including, but not limited to, geological, geophyscal,1 and core drilling analyses) obtained during such exploration. The Secretary shall maintain the confidentiality of all data so obtained until after the areas involved have been leased or until such time as he determines that making the data available to the public would not damage the competitive position of the licensee, whichever comes first.

(4) Any person who willfully conducts coal exploration for commercial purposes on lands subject to this chapter without an exploration license issued hereunder shall be subject to a fine of not more than $1,000 for each day of violation. All data collected by said person on any Federal lands as a result of such violation shall be made immediately available to the Secretary, who shall make the data available to the public as soon as it is practicable. No penalty under this subsection shall be assessed unless such person is given notice and opportunity for a hearing with respect to such violation.

(Feb. 25, 1920, ch. 85, §2(a), (b), 41 Stat. 438; June 3, 1948, ch. 379, §1, 62 Stat. 289; Pub. L. 86–252, §2, Sept. 9, 1959, 73 Stat. 490; Pub. L. 88–526, §2(a), (b), Aug. 31, 1964, 78 Stat. 710; Pub. L. 94–377, §§2–4, Aug. 4, 1976, 90 Stat. 1083, 1085; Pub. L. 95–554, §2, Oct. 30, 1978, 92 Stat. 2073; Pub. L. 109–58, title IV, §436, Aug. 8, 2005, 119 Stat. 762.)


Editorial Notes

References in Text

This section, referred to in subsec. (a)(1), is section 2 of act Feb. 25, 1920, as amended, which is comprised of subsecs. (a) to (d). Subsecs. (a) and (b) of section 2 comprise this section, subsec. (c) of section 2 comprises section 202 of this title, and subsec. (d) of section 2, as added by section 5(b) of Pub. L. 94–377, comprises section 202a of this title.

The Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976, referred to in subsec. (a)(1), is Pub. L. 94–579, Oct. 21, 1976, 90 Stat. 2743, as amended. Title V of the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 is classified generally to subchapter V (§1761 et seq.) of chapter 35 of Title 43, Public Lands. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 1701 of Title 43 and Tables.

The Federal Water Pollution Control Act, referred to in subsec. (a)(3)(E), is act June 30, 1948, ch. 758, 62 Stat. 1155, formerly classified to chapter 23 (§1151 et seq.) of Title 33, Navigation and Navigable Waters, which was completely revised by Pub. L. 92–500, §2, Oct. 18, 1972, 86 Stat. 816, and is classified generally to chapter 26 (§1251 et seq.) of Title 33. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 1251 of Title 33 and Tables.

The Clean Air Act, referred to in subsec. (a)(3)(E), is act July 14, 1955, ch. 360, 69 Stat. 322, as amended, which is classified generally to chapter 85 (§7401 et seq.) of Title 42, The Public Health and Welfare. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 7401 of Title 42 and Tables.

Codification

Section is comprised of subsecs. (a) and (b) of section 2 of act Feb. 25, 1920, as amended by section 1 of act June 3, 1948. Subsec. (c) of section 2 of act Feb. 25, 1920, is classified to section 202 of this title. Subsec. (d) of said section 2, as added by Pub. L. 94–377, §5(b), Aug. 4, 1976, 90 Stat. 1086, is classified to section 202a of this title.

Amendments

2005—Subsec. (a)(4), (5). Pub. L. 109–58 added pars. (4) and (5).

1978—Subsec. (a)(1). Pub. L. 95–554 authorized negotiated fair market value sales of coal when exercising Federal land policy and management right-of-way permits.

1976—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 94–377, §2, designated existing provisions as par. (1), substituted provisions authorizing the division of any lands subject to this chapter which have been classified for coal leasing into tracts as the Secretary finds appropriate, in the public interest and will permit the mining of all economically extractable coal, such leases to be awarded by competitive bidding for provisions authorizing the division of classified or unclassified lands into tracts of forty acres, or multiples thereof, in such form as, in the Secretary's opinion will permit the most economical mining, such leases to be awarded by competitive bidding or by such other method adopted by general regulation, inserted provisions relating to deferred bonus payments leasing, leasing to public agencies, and to the fair market value of leases, struck out provision for notice of proposed offering for lease in a newspaper of general circulation prior to approval or issuance of a competitive lease of coal, and added pars. (2) and (3).

Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 94–377, §4, designated existing provisions as par. (1), substituted provisions relating to the issuance, term and conditions of exploration licenses for provisions relating to the issuance of prospecting permits for a term of two years, for not exceeding 5125 acres, with an extension period of two years if the permittee has been unable, with the exercise of reasonable diligence to determine the existence or workability of coal deposits and desires further exploration, and added pars. (2) to (4).

1964—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 88–526, §2(a), removed limitation on a single competitive lease by striking out "but in no case exceeding two thousand five hundred and sixty acres in any one leasing tract," after "such tracts,".

Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 88–526, §2(b), increased limitation on the area carried by a prospecting permit from 2,560 to 5,120 acres.

1959—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 86–252 struck out "outside of the Territory of Alaska," after "United States,".

1948—Act June 3, 1948, amended section generally, dividing it into subsections (a) to (c) and making minor technical changes. Subsecs. (a) and (b) comprise this section and subsec. (c) is set out as section 202 of this title.


Statutory Notes and Related Subsidiaries

Effective Date of 2005 Amendment

Pub. L. 109–58, title IV, §438, Aug. 8, 2005, 119 Stat. 763, provided that: "The amendments made by this subtitle [subtitle D (§§431–438) of title IV of Pub. L. 109–58, amending this section and sections 202a, 203, and 207 of this title] apply with respect to any coal lease issued before, on, or after the date of the enactment of this Act [Aug. 8, 2005]."

Effective Date of 1976 Amendment

Pub. L. 99–190, §101(d) [title III, §320], Dec. 19, 1985, 99 Stat. 1224, 1266, provided that: "The provisions of section 2(a)(2)(A) of the Mineral Lands Leasing Act of 1920 (41 Stat. 437) [subsec. (a)(2)(A) of this section], as amended by section 3 of the Federal Coal Leasing Amendments Act of 1976 (90 Stat. 1083) [Pub. L. 94–377, see 1976 Amendment note above] shall not take effect until December 31, 1986."

Savings Provision

Pub. L. 94–377, §4, Aug. 4, 1976, 90 Stat. 1085, provided that the amendment made by that section is subject to valid existing rights.

Transfer of Functions

Functions of Secretary of the Interior, referred to in subsec. (a)(3)(D), to promulgate regulations under this chapter relating to fostering of competition for Federal leases transferred to Secretary of Energy by section 7152(b) of Title 42, The Public Health and Welfare. Section 7152(b) of Title 42 was repealed by Pub. L. 97–100, title II, §201, Dec. 23, 1981, 95 Stat. 1407, and functions of Secretary of Energy returned to Secretary of the Interior. See House Report No. 97–315, pp. 25, 26, Nov. 5, 1981.

Exchange of Coal Preference Right Lease Applications

Pub. L. 116–9, title I, §1121(a), Mar. 12, 2019, 133 Stat. 636, provided that:

"(1) Definition of bidding right.—In this subsection, the term 'bidding right' means an appropriate legal instrument or other written documentation, including an entry in an account managed by the Secretary [of the Interior], issued or created under subpart 3435 of title 43, Code of Federal Regulations, that may be used—

"(A) in lieu of a monetary payment for 50 percent of a bonus bid for a coal lease sale under the Mineral Leasing Act (30 U.S.C. 181 et seq.); or

"(B) as a monetary credit against 50 percent of any rental or royalty payments due under any Federal coal lease.

"(2) Use of bidding right.—

"(A) In general.—If the Secretary retires a coal preference right lease application under the Mineral Leasing Act (30 U.S.C. 181 et seq.) by issuing a bidding right in exchange for the relinquishment of the coal preference right lease application, the bidding right subsequently may be used in lieu of 50 percent of the amount owed for any monetary payment of—

"(i) a bonus in a coal lease sale; or

"(ii) rental or royalty under a Federal coal lease.

"(B) Payment calculation.—

"(i) In general.—The Secretary shall calculate a payment of amounts owed to a relevant State under section 35(a) of the Mineral Leasing Act (30 U.S.C. 191(a)) based on the combined value of the bidding rights and amounts received.

"(ii) Amounts received.—Except as provided in this paragraph, for purposes of calculating the payment of amounts owed to a relevant State under clause (i) only, a bidding right shall be considered amounts received.

"(C) Requirement.—The total number of bidding rights issued by the Secretary under subparagraph (A) before October 1, 2029, shall not exceed the number of bidding rights that reflect a value equivalent to $67,000,000.

"(3) Source of payments.—The Secretary shall make payments to the relevant State under paragraph (2) from monetary payments received by the Secretary when bidding rights are exercised under this section [probably means this subsection].

"(4) Treatment of payments.—A payment to a State under this subsection shall be treated as a payment under section 35(a) of the Mineral Leasing Act (30 U.S.C. 191(a)).

"(5) Transferability; limitation.—

"(A) Transferability.—A bidding right issued for a coal preference right lease application under the Mineral Leasing Act (30 U.S.C. 181 et seq.) shall be fully transferable to any other person.

"(B) Notification of secretary.—A person who transfers a bidding right shall notify the Secretary of the transfer by any method determined to be appropriate by the Secretary.

"(C) Effective period.—

"(i) In general.—A bidding right issued under the Mineral Leasing Act (30 U.S.C. 181 et seq.) shall terminate on the expiration of the 7-year period beginning on the date the bidding right is issued.

"(ii) Tolling of period.—The 7-year period described in clause (i) shall be tolled during any period in which exercise of the bidding right is precluded by temporary injunctive relief granted under, or administrative, legislative, or judicial suspension of, the Federal coal leasing program.

"(6) Deadline.—

"(A) In general.—If an existing settlement of a coal preference right lease application has not been implemented as of the date of enactment of this Act [March 12, 2019], not later than 180 days after that date of enactment, the Secretary shall complete the bidding rights valuation process in accordance with the terms of the settlement.

"(B) Date of valuation.—For purposes of the valuation process under subparagraph (A), the market price of coal shall be determined as of the date of the settlement."

Study of Coal Leases by Director of the Office of Technology Assessment

Pub. L. 94–377, §10, Aug. 4, 1976, 90 Stat. 1090, provided that the Director of the Office of Technology Assessment conduct a complete study of coal leases entered into by the United States under sections 201, 202, and 202a of this title, which study was to include an analysis of all mining activities, present and potential value of these leases, receipts to the Federal Government from these leases, and recommendations as to the feasibility of the use of deep mining technology in leased areas, with the results of his study to be submitted to Congress within one year after Aug. 4, 1976.

Coal Mining on Areas of National Park, Wildlife, Wilderness Preservation, Trail, Scenic Rivers, Systems Not Authorized

Pub. L. 94–377, §16, Aug. 4, 1976, 90 Stat. 1092, provided that: "Nothing in this Act [see Short Title of 1976 Amendment note under section 181 of this title], or the Mineral Lands Leasing Act [this chapter] and the Mineral Leasing Act for Acquired Lands [section 351 et seq. of this title] which are amended by this Act, shall be construed as authorizing coal mining on any area of the National Park System, the National Wildlife Refuge System, the National Wilderness Preservation System, the National System of Trails, and the Wild and Scenic Rivers System, including study rivers designated under section 5(a) of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act [section 1276(a) of Title 16, Conservation]."


Executive Documents

Admission of Alaska as State

Admission of Alaska into the Union was accomplished Jan. 3, 1959, on issuance of Proc. No. 3269, Jan. 3, 1959, 24 F.R. 81, 73 Stat. c16, as required by sections 1 and 8(c) of Pub. L. 85–508, July 7, 1958, 72 Stat. 339, set out as notes preceding section 21 of Title 48, Territories and Insular Possessions.

1 So in original. Probably should be "geophysical,".

§201–1. Repealed. Pub. L. 94–377, §5(a), Aug. 4, 1976, 90 Stat. 1086

Section, Pub. L. 88–526, §2(c), (d), Aug. 31, 1964, 78 Stat. 710, permitted the entering into of contracts for collective prospecting, development or operation of coalfields by lessees for the purpose of conserving natural resources.


Statutory Notes and Related Subsidiaries

Savings Provision

Pub. L. 94–377, §5(a), Aug. 4, 1976, 90 Stat. 1086, provided that the repeal of this section is subject to valid existing rights.

§201a. Repealed. June 3, 1948, ch. 379, §8, 62 Stat. 291

Section, act Mar. 9, 1928, ch. 159, §1, 45 Stat. 251, related to extension of coal prospecting permits.

§201b. Omitted


Editorial Notes

Codification

Section, act Mar. 9, 1928, ch. 159, §2, 45 Stat. 251, provided for extension of coal permits already expired for a period of two years from Mar. 9, 1928.

§202. Common carriers; limitations of lease or permit

No company or corporation operating a common-carrier railroad shall be given or hold a permit or lease under the provisions of this chapter for any coal deposits except for its own use for railroad purposes; and such limitations of use shall be expressed in all permits and leases issued to such companies or corporations; and no such company or corporation shall receive or hold under permit or lease more than ten thousand two hundred and forty acres in the aggregate nor more than one permit or lease for each two hundred miles of its railroad lines served or to be served from such coal deposits exclusive of spurs or switches and exclusive of branch lines built to connect the leased coal with the railroad, and also exclusive of parts of the railroad operated mainly by power produced otherwise than by steam.

Nothing in this section and section 201 of this title shall preclude such a railroad of less than two hundred miles in length from securing one permit or lease thereunder but no railroad shall hold a permit or lease for lands in any State in which it does not operate main or branch lines.

(Feb. 25, 1920, ch. 85, §2(c), 41 Stat. 438; June 13, 1944, ch. 244, 58 Stat. 275; June 3, 1948, ch. 379, §1, 62 Stat. 289.)


Editorial Notes

Codification

Section is comprised of subsec. (c) of section 2 of act Feb. 25, 1920, as amended by section 1 of act June 3, 1948. Subsecs. (a) and (b) of section 2 of act Feb. 25, 1920, are classified to section 201 of this title. Subsec. (d) of said section 2, as added by Pub. L. 94–377, §5(b), Aug. 4, 1976, 90 Stat. 1086, is classified to section 202a of this title.

Amendments

1948—Act June 3, 1948, reenacted this section without change except to make it subsec. (c) of section 2 of act Feb. 25, 1920.

1944—Act June 13, 1944, inserted "more than ten thousand two hundred and forty acres in the aggregate nor" before "more than one permit", substituted "railroad lines served or to be served from such coal deposits" for "railroad line within the State in which such property is situated,", and prohibited a railroad from holding a permit or lease for lands in any State in which it did not operate main or branch lines.

§202a. Consolidation of coal leases into logical mining unit

(1) Approval by Secretary; public hearing; definition

The Secretary, upon determining that maximum economic recovery of the coal deposit or deposits is served thereby, may approve the consolidation of coal leases into a logical mining unit. Such consolidation may only take place after a public hearing, if requested by any person whose interest is or may be adversely affected. A logical mining unit is an area of land in which the coal resources can be developed in an efficient, economical, and orderly manner as a unit with due regard to conservation of coal reserves and other resources. A logical mining unit may consist of one or more Federal leaseholds, and may include intervening or adjacent lands in which the United States does not own the coal resources, but all the lands in a logical mining unit must be under the effective control of a single operator, be able to be developed and operated as a single operation and be contiguous.

(2) Mining plan; requirements

(A) After the Secretary has approved the establishment of a logical mining unit, any mining plan approved for that unit must require such diligent development, operation, and production that the reserves of the entire unit will be mined within a period established by the Secretary which shall not be more than forty years.

(B) The Secretary may establish a period of more than 40 years if the Secretary determines that the longer period—

(i) will ensure the maximum economic recovery of a coal deposit; or

(ii) the longer period is in the interest of the orderly, efficient, or economic development of a coal resource.

(3) Conditions for approval

In approving a logical mining unit, the Secretary may provide, among other things, that (i) diligent development, continuous operation, and production on any Federal lease or non-Federal land in the logical mining unit shall be construed as occurring on all Federal leases in that logical mining unit, and (ii) the rentals and royalties for all Federal leases in a logical mining unit may be combined, and advanced royalties paid for any lease within a logical mining unit may be credited against such combined royalties.

(4) Amendment to lease

The Secretary may amend the provisions of any lease included in a logical mining unit so that mining under that lease will be consistent with the requirements imposed on that logical mining unit.

(5) Leases issued before date of enactment of this Act

Leases issued before the date of enactment of this Act may be included with the consent of all lessees in such logical mining unit, and, if so included, shall be subject to the provisions of this section.

(6) Lessee required to form unit

By regulation the Secretary may require a lessee under this chapter to form a logical mining unit, and may provide for determination of participating acreage within a unit.

(7) Required acreage

No logical mining unit shall be approved by the Secretary if the total acreage (both Federal and non-Federal) of the unit would exceed twenty-five thousand acres.

(8) Acreage limitations for coal leases not waived

Nothing in this section shall be construed to waive the acreage limitations for coal leases contained in section 184(a) of this title.

(Feb. 25, 1920, ch. 85, §2(d), as added Pub. L. 94–377, §5(b), Aug. 4, 1976, 90 Stat. 1086; amended Pub. L. 109–58, title IV, §433, Aug. 8, 2005, 119 Stat. 761.)


Editorial Notes

References in Text

The date of enactment of this Act, referred to in par. (5), probably means the date of enactment of Pub. L. 94–377, which was approved Aug. 4, 1976.

This section, referred to in pars. (5) and (8), is section 2 of act Feb. 25, 1920, as amended, which is comprised of subsecs. (a) to (d). Subsecs. (a) and (b) of section 2 are classified to section 201 of this title, subsec. (c) of section 2 is classified to section 202 of this title, and subsec. (d) of section 2, as added by section 5(b) of Pub. L. 94–377, is classified to this section.

Codification

Section is comprised of subsec. (d) of section 2 of act Feb. 25, 1920, as added by Pub. L. 94–377. Subsecs. (a) and (b) of said section 2 are classified to section 201 of this title. Subsec. (c) of said section 2 is classified to section 202 of this title.

Amendments

2005—Par. (2). Pub. L. 109–58 designated existing provisions as subpar. (A) and added subpar. (B).


Statutory Notes and Related Subsidiaries

Effective Date of 2005 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 109–58 applicable with respect to any coal lease issued before, on, or after Aug. 8, 2005, see section 438 of Pub. L. 109–58, set out as a note under section 201 of this title.

§203. Additional lands or deposits

(a) In general

(1) Except as provided in paragraph (3), on a finding by the Secretary under paragraph (2), any person, association, or corporation holding a lease of coal lands or coal deposits under the provisions of this chapter may with the approval of the Secretary of the Interior,1 secure modifications of the original coal lease by including additional coal lands or coal deposits contiguous or cornering to those embraced in the lease.

(2) A finding referred to in paragraph (1) is a finding by the Secretary that the modifications—

(A) would be in the interest of the United States;

(B) would not displace a competitive interest in the lands; and

(C) would not include lands or deposits that can be developed as part of another potential or existing operation.


(3) In no case shall the total area added by modifications to an existing coal lease under paragraph (1)—

(A) exceed 960 acres; or

(B) add acreage larger than that in the original lease.

(b) Terms and conditions

The Secretary shall prescribe terms and conditions which shall be consistent with this chapter and applicable to all of the acreage in such modified lease except that nothing in this section shall require the Secretary to apply the production or mining plan requirements of sections 202a(2) and 207(c) of this title.

(c) Royalties

The minimum royalty provisions of section 207(a) of this title shall not apply to any lands covered by this modified lease prior to a modification until the term of the original lease or extension thereof which became effective prior to the effective date of this Act has expired.

(Feb. 25, 1920, ch. 85, §3, 41 Stat. 439; Pub. L. 94–377, §13(b), Aug. 4, 1976, 90 Stat. 1090; Pub. L. 95–554, §3, Oct. 30, 1978, 92 Stat. 2074; Pub. L. 109–58, title IV, §432, Aug. 8, 2005, 119 Stat. 760.)


Editorial Notes

References in Text

Sections 202a(2) and 207(c) of this title, referred to in subsec. (b), was in the original "section 2(d)(2) and 7(c) of this Act (30 U.S.C. 201(d)(2) and 207(c))", and was translated as sections 202a(2) and 207(c) of this title to reflect the probable intent of Congress.

The effective date of this Act, referred to in subsec. (c), probably means the date of enactment of Pub. L. 95–554, which was approved Oct. 30, 1978.

Amendments

2005Pub. L. 109–58 designated first sentence as par. (1) of subsec. (a), substituted "Except as provided in paragraph (3), on a finding by the Secretary under paragraph (2), any person" for "Any person" and "secure modifications of the original coal lease by including additional coal lands or coal deposits contiguous or cornering to those embraced in the lease" for "upon a finding by him that it would be in the interest of the United States, secure modifications of the original coal lease by including additional coal lands or coal deposits contiguous or cornering to those embraced in such lease, but in no event shall the total area added by such modifications to an existing coal lease exceed one hundred sixty acres, or add acreage larger than that in the original lease", added pars. (2) and (3), and designated second and third sentences as subsecs. (b) and (c), respectively.

1978Pub. L. 95–554 authorized modification of leases to include coal lands or coal deposits cornering to those embraced in the leases and inserted provision respecting application of production or mining plan requirements of sections 202a(2) and 207(c) and minimum royalty provisions of section 207(a) of this title.

1976Pub. L. 94–377 struck out the advantage to the lessee as one of the conditions for modification of the original lease, substituted provision prohibiting the addition of total area in excess of 160 acres or adding acreage larger than that in the original lease for provision limiting the total area embraced in such modified lease to an aggregate of 2560 acres, and inserted provision authorizing the Secretary to prescribe terms and conditions consistent with this chapter which shall be applicable to the total acreage in the modified lease.


Statutory Notes and Related Subsidiaries

Effective Date of 2005 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 109–58 applicable with respect to any coal lease issued before, on, or after Aug. 8, 2005, see section 438 of Pub. L. 109–58, set out as a note under section 201 of this title.

Savings Provision

Pub. L. 94–377, §13(b), Aug. 4, 1976, 90 Stat. 1090, provided that the amendment made by that section is subject to valid existing rights.

1 So in original. The comma probably should not appear.

§204. Repealed. Pub. L. 94–377, §13(a), Aug. 4, 1976, 90 Stat. 1090

Section, act Feb. 25, 1920, ch. 85, §4, 41 Stat. 439, provided for the leasing of an additional tract of land or coal deposit, not to exceed 2560 acres, upon a showing by a lessee that all workable deposits of coal would be exhausted, worked out, or removed within three years thereafter.


Statutory Notes and Related Subsidiaries

Savings Provision

Pub. L. 94–377, §13(a), Aug. 4, 1976, 90 Stat. 1090, provided that the repeal of this section is subject to valid existing rights.

§205. Consolidation of leases

If, in the judgment of the Secretary of the Interior, the public interest will be subserved thereby, lessees holding under lease areas not exceeding the maximum permitted under this chapter may consolidate their leases through the surrender of the original leases and the inclusion of such areas in a new lease of not to exceed two thousand five hundred and sixty acres of contiguous lands.

(Feb. 25, 1920, ch. 85, §5, 41 Stat. 439.)

§206. Noncontiguous coal or phosphate tracts in single lease

Where coal or phosphate lands aggregating two thousand five hundred and sixty acres and subject to lease hereunder do not exist as contiguous areas, the Secretary of the Interior is authorized, if, in his opinion the interests of the public and of the lessee will be thereby subserved, to embrace in a single lease noncontiguous tracts which can be operated as a single mine or unit.

(Feb. 25, 1920, ch. 85, §6, 41 Stat. 439.)

§207. Conditions of lease

(a) Term of lease; annual rentals; royalties; readjustment of conditions

A coal lease shall be for a term of twenty years and for so long thereafter as coal is produced annually in commercial quantities from that lease. Any lease which is not producing in commercial quantities at the end of ten years shall be terminated. The Secretary shall by regulation prescribe annual rentals on leases. A lease shall require payment of a royalty in such amount as the Secretary shall determine of not less than 12½ per centum of the value of coal as defined by regulation, except the Secretary may determine a lesser amount in the case of coal recovered by underground mining operations. The lease shall include such other terms and conditions as the Secretary shall determine. Such rentals and royalties and other terms and conditions of the lease will be subject to readjustment at the end of its primary term of twenty years and at the end of each ten-year period thereafter if the lease is extended.

(b) Diligent development and continued operation; suspension of condition on payment of advance royalties

(1) Each lease shall be subject to the conditions of diligent development and continued operation of the mine or mines, except where operations under the lease are interrupted by strikes, the elements, or casualties not attributable to the lessee.

(2) The Secretary of the Interior, upon determining that the public interest will be served thereby, may suspend the condition of continued operation upon the payment of advance royalties.

(3) Advance royalties described in paragraph (2) shall be no less than the production royalty which would otherwise be paid and shall be computed on a fixed reserve to production ratio (determined by the Secretary).

(4) Advance royalties described in paragraph (2) shall be computed—

(A) based on—

(i) the average price in the spot market for sales of comparable coal from the same region during the last month of each applicable continued operation year; or

(ii) in the absence of a spot market for comparable coal from the same region, by using a comparable method established by the Secretary of the Interior to capture the commercial value of coal; and


(B) based on commercial quantities, as defined by regulation by the Secretary of the Interior.


(5) The aggregate number of years during the period of any lease for which advance royalties may be accepted in lieu of the condition of continued operation shall not exceed 20 years.

(6) 1 The amount of any production royalty paid for any year shall be reduced (but not below 0) by the amount of any advance royalties paid under a lease described in paragraph (5) to the extent that the advance royalties have not been used to reduce production royalties for a prior year.

(6) 1 The Secretary may, upon six months' notification to the lessee cease to accept advance royalties in lieu of the requirement of continued operation.

(7) Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to affect the requirement contained in the second sentence of subsection (a) relating to commencement of production at the end of ten years.

(c) Operation and reclamation plan

Prior to taking any action on a leasehold which might cause a significant disturbance of the environment, the lessee shall submit for the Secretary's approval an operation and reclamation plan. The Secretary shall approve or disapprove the plan or require that it be modified. Where the land involved is under the surface jurisdiction of another Federal agency, that other agency must consent to the terms of such approval.

(Feb. 25, 1920, ch. 85, §7, 41 Stat. 439; Pub. L. 94–377, §6, Aug. 4, 1976, 90 Stat. 1087; Pub. L. 109–58, title IV, §§434, 435, Aug. 8, 2005, 119 Stat. 761, 762.)


Editorial Notes

Amendments

2005—Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 109–58, §434, designated first to third and seventh and eighth sentences as pars. (1) to (3) and (6) and (7), respectively, substituted "Advance royalties described in paragraph (2)" for "Such advance royalties" in par. (3), added pars. (4), (5), and (6) related to amount of any production royalty paid, and struck out fourth to sixth sentences which read as follows: "The aggregate number of years during the period of any lease for which advance royalties may be accepted in lieu of the condition of continued operation shall not exceed ten. The amount of any production royalty paid for any year shall be reduced (but not below 0) by the amount of any advance royalties paid under such lease to the extent that such advance royalties have not been used to reduce production royalties for a prior year. No advance royalty paid during the initial twenty-year term of a lease shall be used to reduce a production royalty after the twentieth year of a lease."

Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 109–58, §435, struck out "and not later than three years after a lease is issued," before "the lessee shall submit".

1976Pub. L. 94–377 designated existing provisions as subsec. (a), substituted provisions limiting the lease term to 20 years and for so long thereafter as coal is produced annually in commercial quantities for provision authorizing leases for indeterminate periods upon condition of diligent development and continued operation except for strikes, the elements, or casualties not attributable to lessees; provisions for payment of royalties as determined by the Secretary of not less than 12½ per centum of coal value, except as reduced for coal from underground mining operations for provisions specifying royalties as stated in the lease, but not less than 5 cents per ton; provision for rentals as prescribed by regulation for provision setting rentals as fixed by the Secretary at not less than 25 cents per acre for the first year, 50 cents for the second, third, fourth and fifth years, and $1 for each year thereafter, and provision for readjustment of royalties and terms and conditions after primary period of twenty years and subsequent ten year intervals for provision for readjustment after twenty years unless otherwise provided by law, and added subsecs. (b) and (c).


Statutory Notes and Related Subsidiaries

Effective Date of 2005 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 109–58 applicable with respect to any coal lease issued before, on, or after Aug. 8, 2005, see section 438 of Pub. L. 109–58, set out as a note under section 201 of this title.

1 So in original. Two pars. (6) have been enacted.

§208. Permits to take coal for local domestic needs without royalty payments; corporation exclusion; area to municipalities for household use without profit

In order to provide for the supply of strictly local domestic needs for fuel, the Secretary of the Interior may, under such rules and regulations as he may prescribe in advance, issue limited licenses or permits to individuals or associations of individuals to prospect for, mine, and take for their use but not for sale, coal from the public lands without payment of royalty for the coal mined or the land occupied, on such conditions not inconsistent with this chapter as in his opinion will safeguard the public interests. This privilege shall not extend to any corporations. In the case of municipal corporations the Secretary of the Interior may issue such limited license or permit, for not to exceed three hundred and twenty acres for a municipality of less than one hundred thousand population, and not to exceed one thousand two hundred and eighty acres for a municipality of not less than one hundred thousand and not more than one hundred and fifty thousand population; and not to exceed two thousand five hundred and sixty acres for a municipality of one hundred and fifty thousand population or more, the land to be selected within the State wherein the municipal applicant may be located, upon condition that such municipal corporations will mine the coal therein under proper conditions and dispose of the same without profit to residents of such municipality for household use: Provided, That the acquisition or holding of a lease under sections 181, 201, and 202 to 207 of this title shall be no bar to the holding of such tract or operation of such mine under said limited license.

(Feb. 25, 1920, ch. 85, §8, 41 Stat. 440.)

§208–1. Exploratory program for evaluation of known recoverable coal resources

(a) Authorization; purpose

The Secretary is authorized and directed to conduct a comprehensive exploratory program designed to obtain sufficient data and information to evaluate the extent, location, and potential for developing the known recoverable coal resources within the coal lands subject to this chapter. This program shall be designed to obtain the resource information necessary for determining whether commercial quantities of coal are present and the geographical extent of the coal fields and for estimating the amount of such coal which is recoverable by deep mining operations and the amount of such coal which is recoverable by surface mining operations in order to provide a basis for—

(1) developing a comprehensive land use plan pursuant to section 2;

(2) improving the information regarding the value of public resources and revenues which should be expected from leasing;

(3) increasing competition among producers of coal, or products derived from the conversion of coal, by providing data and information to all potential bidders equally and equitably;

(4) providing the public with information on the nature of the coal deposits and the associated stratum and the value of the public resources being offered for sale; and

(5) providing the basis for the assessment of the amount of coal deposits in those lands subject to this chapter under subparagraph (B) of section 201(a)(3) of this title.

(b) Seismic, geophysical, geochemical or stratigraphic drilling

The Secretary, through the United States Geological Survey, is authorized to conduct seismic, geophysical, geochemical, or stratigraphic drilling, or to contract for or purchase the results of such exploratory activities from commercial or other sources which may be needed to implement the provisions of this section.

(c) Exploratory drilling by party not under contract to United States; confidentiality of information prior to award of lease

Nothing in this section shall limit any person from conducting exploratory geophysical surveys including seismic, geophysical, chemical surveys to the extent permitted by section 201(b) of this title. The information obtained from the exploratory drilling carried out by a person not under contract with the United States Government for such drilling prior to award of a lease shall be provided the confidentiality pursuant to subsection (d).

(d) Availability to public of all data, information, maps, surveys; confidentiality of information purchased from commercial sources not under contract to United States prior to award of lease

The Secretary shall make available to the public by appropriate means all data, information, maps, interpretations, and surveys which are obtained directly by the Department of the Interior or under a service contract pursuant to subsection (b). The Secretary shall maintain a confidentiality of all proprietary data or information purchased from commercial sources while not under contract with the United States Government until after the areas involved have been leased.

(e) Information or data from Federal departments or agencies; confidentiality of proprietary information or data; utilization of Federal departments and agencies by agreement

All Federal departments or agencies are authorized and directed to provide the Secretary with any information or data that may be deemed necessary to assist the Secretary in implementing the exploratory program pursuant to this section. Proprietary information or data provided to the Secretary under the provisions of this subsection shall remain confidential for such period of time as agreed to by the head of the department or agency from whom the information is requested. In addition, the Secretary is authorized and directed to utilize the existing capabilities and resources of other Federal departments and agencies by appropriate agreement.

(f) Publication of geological and geophysical maps and reports of lands offered for lease

The Secretary is directed to prepare, publish, and keep current a series of detailed geological, and geophysical maps of, and reports concerning, all coal lands to be offered for leasing under this chapter, based on data and information compiled pursuant to this section. Such maps and reports shall be prepared and revised at reasonable intervals beginning eighteen months after the date of enactment of this Act. Such maps and reports shall be made available on a continuing basis to any person on request.

(g) Implementation plan for coal lands exploration program; development and transmittal to Congress; contents

Within six months after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall develop and transmit to Congress an implementation plan for the coal lands exploration program authorized by this section, including procedures for making the data and information available to the public pursuant to subsection (d), and maps and reports pursuant to subsection (f). The implementation plan shall include a projected schedule of exploratory activities and identification of the regions and areas which will be explored under the coal lands exploration program during the first five years following the enactment of this section. In addition, the implementation plan shall include estimates of the appropriations and staffing required to implement the coal lands exploration program.

(h) Stratigraphic drilling; scope; statement of results

The stratigraphic drilling authorized in subsection (b) shall be carried out in such a manner as to obtain information pertaining to all recoverable reserves. For the purpose of complying with subsection (a), the Secretary shall require all those authorized to conduct stratigraphic drilling pursuant to subsection (b) to supply a statement of the results of test boring of core sampling including logs of the drill holes; the thickness of the coal seams found; an analysis of the chemical properties of such coal; and an analysis of the strata layers lying above all the seams of coal. All drilling activities shall be conducted using the best current technology and practices.

(Feb. 25, 1920, ch. 85, §8A, as added Pub. L. 94–377, §7, Aug. 4, 1976, 90 Stat. 1087.)


Editorial Notes

References in Text

Section 2, referred to in subsec. (a)(1), means section 2 of act Feb. 25, 1920, as amended, and is comprised of subsecs. (a) to (d). Subsecs. (a) and (b) of section 2 are classified to section 201 of this title, subsec. (c) of section 2 is classified to section 202 of this title, and subsec. (d) of section 2, as added by section 5(b) of Pub. L. 94–377, is classified to section 202a of this title.

The date of enactment of this Act, referred to in subsecs. (f) and (g), probably means the date of enactment of Pub. L. 94–377, which was approved Aug. 4, 1976.

§208–2. Repealed. Pub. L. 104–66, title I, §1091(e), Dec. 21, 1995, 109 Stat. 722

Section, act Feb. 25, 1920, ch. 85, §8B, as added Aug. 4, 1976, Pub. L. 94–377, §8, 90 Stat. 1089, related to reports to Congress on leasing and production of coal lands, contents, recommendations, and reports by Attorney General on competition in the coal industry and on effectiveness of antitrust laws.

§208a. Repealed. Pub. L. 97–468, title VI, §615(a)(3), Jan. 14, 1983, 96 Stat. 2578

Section, act July 19, 1932, ch. 513, 47 Stat. 707, authorized general manager of Alaska Railroad to purchase coal annually for railroad from two or more operating companies in areas adjacent to railroad.

Section was formerly classified to section 445a of Title 48, Territories and Insular Possessions.


Statutory Notes and Related Subsidiaries

Effective Date of Repeal

Repeal by Pub. L. 97–468 became effective on date of transfer of Alaska Railroad to the State [Jan. 5, 1985], pursuant to section 1203 of Title 45, Railroads, see Pub. L. 97–468, title VI, §615(a), Jan. 14, 1983, 96 Stat. 2577.

§209. Suspension, waiver, or reduction of rents or royalties to promote development or operation; extension of lease on suspension of operations and production

The Secretary of the Interior, for the purpose of encouraging the greatest ultimate recovery of coal, oil, gas, oil shale 1 gilsonite (including all vein-type solid hydrocarbons),,2 phosphate, sodium, potassium and sulfur, and in the interest of conservation of natural resources, is authorized to waive, suspend, or reduce the rental, or minimum royalty, or reduce the royalty on an entire leasehold, or on any tract or portion thereof segregated for royalty purposes, whenever in his judgment it is necessary to do so in order to promote development, or whenever in his judgment the leases cannot be successfully operated under the terms provided therein.3 Provided, however, That in order to promote development and the maximum production of tar sand, at the request of the lessee, the Secretary shall review, prior to commencement of commercial operations, the royalty rates established in each combined hydrocarbon lease issued in special tar sand areas. For purposes of this section, the term "tar sand" means any consolidated or unconsolidated rock (other than coal, oil shale, or gilsonite) that either: (1) contains a hydrocarbonaceous material with a gas-free viscosity, at original reservoir temperature, greater than 10,000 centipoise, or (2) contains a hydrocarbonaceous material and is produced by mining or quarrying. In the event the Secretary of the Interior, in the interest of conservation, shall direct or shall assent to the suspension of operations and production under any lease granted under the terms of this chapter, any payment of acreage rental or of minimum royalty prescribed by such lease likewise shall be suspended during such period of suspension of operations and production; and the term of such lease shall be extended by adding any such suspension period thereto. The provisions of this section shall apply to all oil and gas leases issued under this chapter, including those within an approved or prescribed plan for unit or cooperative development and operation. Nothing in this section shall be construed as granting to the Secretary the authority to waive, suspend, or reduce advance royalties.

(Feb. 25, 1920, ch. 85, §39, as added Feb. 9, 1933, ch. 45, 47 Stat. 798; amended Aug. 8, 1946, ch. 916, §10, 60 Stat. 957; June 3, 1948, ch. 379, §7, 62 Stat. 291; Pub. L. 94–377, §14, Aug. 4, 1976, 90 Stat. 1091; Pub. L. 97–78, §1(3), (7), Nov. 16, 1981, 95 Stat. 1070, 1071.)


Editorial Notes

Amendments

1981Pub. L. 97–78 inserted reference to gilsonite (including all vein-type solid hydrocarbons) and inserted proviso that, in order to promote development and the maximum production of tar sand, at the request of the lessee, the Secretary review, prior to commencement of commercial operations, the royalty rates established in each combined hydrocarbon lease issued in special tar sand areas, and that, for purposes of this section, "tar sand" means any consolidated or unconsolidated rock (other than coal, oil shale, or gilsonite) that either contains a hydrocarbonaceous material with a gas-free viscosity, at original reservoir temperature, greater than 10,000 centipoise, or contains a hydrocarbonaceous material and is produced by mining or quarrying.

1976Pub. L. 94–377 inserted sentence at end that nothing in this section shall be construed as granting to the Secretary authority to waive, suspend, or reduce advance royalties.

1948—Act June 3, 1948, extended applicability of section to oil shale, phosphate, sodium, potassium, and sulphur.

1946—Act Aug. 8, 1946, principally inserted first and third sentences relating to waiver, suspension or reduction of royalties or rentals, and applicability of section to cooperative or unit plans, respectively.


Statutory Notes and Related Subsidiaries

Savings Provision

See note set out under section 181 of this title.

1 So in original. Probably should be followed by a comma.

2 So in original.

3 So in original. The period probably should be a colon.