SB 1011 pertaining to Master Land Use Plans and the Office of Coalfield and Community Development, aka “the mountaintop mining bill”, was passed by the Legislature last week during the Special Session that ended on Wednesday.  It requires all county commissions or other county government entities, in counties where surface mining exists or is proposed, to develop a county wide, master land use plan that will provide for a higher and better land use following mining.  Prospective surface mine operators will be required to comport post-mine land uses to those specified in the approved county plan with limited exceptions.  The bill also reinvigorates the Coalfield Economic and Community Development Office and assigns it the authority for working with the counties and approving the counties’ plans.  Detailed information regarding the provisions of this bill will be distributed as soon as they are complete. 

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