Alaska Statutes.
Title 27. Mining
Chapter 21. Alaska Surface Coal Mining Control and Reclamation Act
Section 230. Inspections and Monitoring.
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AS 27.21.230. Inspections and Monitoring.

(a) The commissioner shall provide for an inspection of a surface coal mining and reclamation operation to evaluate compliance with this chapter, and, for that purpose, an authorized representative of the commissioner may enter the surface coal mining and reclamation operation. The commissioner shall, to the extent possible, coordinate the inspection and monitoring activities with other agencies having responsibilities with regard to the operation.

(b) In administering and enforcing this chapter or determining whether a person is in violation of this chapter

(1) the commissioner may require a permittee to

(A) establish appropriate records and maintain them in the state;

(B) make monthly reports to the commissioner;

(C) install, use, and maintain necessary monitoring equipment or methods;

(D) evaluate results in accordance with the methods, at the locations and intervals, and in the manner the commissioner prescribes; and

(E) provide other information relating to the permittee's operations as the commissioner considers reasonable and necessary;

(2) for a surface coal mining and reclamation operation that removes or disturbs strata that serve as aquifers that significantly ensure the hydrologic balance of water use either on or off the site of the operation, the commissioner may specify

(A) monitoring sites for the use of equipment and methods under (1)(C) of this subsection to record

(i) the quantity and quality of surface drainage above and below the site of the operation as well as in the area potentially affected by the operation;

(ii) level, amount, and samples of ground water and aquifers that are potentially affected by the operation, and ground water and aquifers that are directly below the deepest coal seam to be mined under the operation; and

(iii) precipitation at the site of the operation; and

(B) the records of well logs and borehole information that a permittee must maintain;

(3) the authorized representatives of the commissioner, without advance notice and upon presentation of appropriate credentials, may enter an operation or premises in which records required to be maintained under this section are located and may at reasonable times, and without delay, have access to and copy the records and inspect monitoring equipment or an operating method required under this chapter.

(c) Inspection by the commissioner under (b)(3) of this section shall

(1) occur on an irregular basis averaging not less than one partial inspection per month and one complete inspection per calendar quarter; and

(2) occur without prior notice to the permittee or the permittee's agents, except as provided in (e) of this section.

(d) After conducting an inspection under (b)(3) of this section, an inspector shall file with the commissioner, and the commissioner shall maintain, an inspection report adequate to assist the commissioner in enforcing the requirements of this chapter and carrying out the terms and purposes of this chapter.

(e) A representative of the permittee who is at the site of the operation at the time an inspection under (b)(3) of this section begins may accompany the inspector during the inspection. The inspector shall notify the representative of the permittee of the permittee's right under this subsection before beginning the inspection.

(f) A permittee shall conspicuously maintain at the entrances to the operation a clearly visible sign that states the name, business address, and phone number of the permittee and the permit number of the operation.

(g) An inspector, upon detection of a violation of this chapter, shall immediately report the violation to the operator and to the commissioner in writing.

(h) A person who is or may be adversely affected by a surface coal mining operation may notify the commissioner, in writing, of a violation of this chapter that the person has reason to believe exists at the site of the surface coal mining operation. The commissioner shall, by regulation, establish procedures for review of a refusal by a representative of the commissioner to issue a notice of violation or cessation order with respect to the alleged violation. The commissioner shall furnish a person requesting the review with a written statement of the commissioner's findings and reasons for the findings.

(i) The commissioner shall, by regulation, establish procedures to ensure that adequate and complete inspections are made under this section. Any person who is or may be adversely affected by a surface coal mining operation may notify the commissioner of a failure to make an adequate or complete inspection under this section. If the commissioner receives notification from a person under this subsection, the commissioner shall investigate the inspection and shall furnish the person with a written determination and the reasons for the determination.

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