C.R.S. Section 34-33-103

As used in this article, unless the context otherwise requires:


“Administrator” means the head of the office of mined land reclamation in the division of reclamation, mining, and safety in the department of natural resources.


“Alluvial valley floors” means the unconsolidated stream-laid deposits holding streams where water availability is sufficient for subirrigation or flood irrigation agricultural activities but does not include upland areas which are generally overlain by a thin veneer of colluvial deposits composed chiefly of debris from sheet erosion, deposits by unconcentrated runoff or slope wash, together with talus, other mass movement accumulation, and windblown deposits.


“Approximate original contour” means that surface configuration achieved by backfilling and grading of the mined area so that the reclaimed area, including any terracing or access roads, closely resembles the general surface configuration of the land prior to mining and blends into and complements the drainage pattern of the surrounding terrain, with all highwalls and spoil piles eliminated. Water impoundments may be permitted where the board determines that they are in compliance with section 34-33-120 (2)(h).


“Board” means the mined land reclamation board created pursuant to section 34-32-105.


“Complete permit application” means an application which minimally addresses each and every requirement of sections 34-33-110 and 34-33-111 and section 34-33-120 or 34-33-121.


“Department” means the department of natural resources.


“Division” means the division of reclamation, mining, and safety in the department of natural resources.


“Executive director” means the executive director of the department of natural resources.


“Federal land” means any land, including mineral interests, owned by the United States, but excluding Indian lands.


“Historic areas” means those lands which are listed or are eligible for listing in the national register of historic places or the state register of historic properties or which are designated pursuant to the federal “Historic Sites, Buildings, and Antiquities Act”, as amended.


“Imminent danger to the health and safety of the public” means the existence of any condition or practice, or any violation of a permit or other requirement of this article, in a surface coal mining and reclamation operation which could reasonably be expected to cause substantial physical harm to persons outside the permit area before such condition, practice, or violation can be abated. A reasonable expectation of death or serious injury before abatement exists if a rational person, subjected to the same conditions, or practices giving rise to the peril, would not expose himself to the danger during the time necessary for abatement.


“Indian lands” means all lands, including, but not limited to, mineral interests and rights-of-way, within the exterior boundaries of any federal Indian reservation, notwithstanding the issuance of any patent, including mineral interests held in trust for or supervised by any Indian tribe.


“Indian tribe” means any Indian tribe, band, group, or community having a governing body recognized by the secretary of the United States department of the interior.


“Office” means the office of mined land reclamation, created in section 34-32-105.


“Operator” means any person engaged in surface coal mining and reclamation operations who removes or intends to remove more than two hundred fifty tons of coal from the earth or from coal mine waste disposal facilities within twelve consecutive calendar months in any one location.


“Other minerals” means clay, stone, sand, gravel, metalliferous and nonmetalliferous ores, oil shale and oil extracted from shale by an in situ process, and any other solid material or substances of commercial value excavated in solid form from natural deposits on or in the earth, exclusive of coal and those minerals which occur naturally in liquid or gaseous form.


“Permit” means a permit to conduct surface coal mining and reclamation operations.


“Permit applicant” or “applicant” means a person applying for a permit.


“Permit area” means the area of land indicated on the approved map submitted by the operator with his application, which area of land shall be covered by the operator’s bond as required by section 34-33-113 and shall be readily identifiable by appropriate markers on the site.


“Permit revision” means a significant alteration of the terms or requirements of a permit issued pursuant to this article, including, but not limited to, significant changes in the reclamation plan, and other actions which the board may by regulation prescribe. “Permit revision” does not include a technical revision as defined in subsection (27) of this section.


“Permittee” means a person holding a permit.


“Person” means an individual, partnership, association, society, joint stock company, firm, company, corporation, Indian tribe conducting surface coal mining and reclamation operations outside Indian lands, any other business organization, and any agency, unit, or instrumentality of federal, state, or local government, including any publicly owned utility or publicly owned corporation of federal, state, or local government.


“Prime farmland” shall have the same meaning prescribed pursuant to the federal “Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977”, as amended, and the regulations thereunder.


“Reclamation plan” means a plan submitted by an applicant under this article which sets forth a plan for reclamation of the proposed surface coal mining operations pursuant to section 34-33-111.


“Secretary” means the secretary of the United States department of the interior.


“Surface coal mining and reclamation operations” means surface coal mining operations and all activities necessary and incident to the reclamation of such operations.


“Surface coal mining operations” means:


Activities conducted on the surface of lands in connection with a surface coal mine or activities subject to the requirements of section 34-33-121 which involve surface operations and surface impacts incident to an underground coal mine. Such activities include excavation for the purpose of obtaining coal, including such common methods as contour, strip, auger, mountaintop removal, box cut, open pit, and area mining, removal of coal from coal mine waste disposal facilities, the use of explosives and blasting, and the use of in situ distillation or retorting, leaching or other chemical or physical processing, and the cleaning, concentrating, or other processing or preparation, loading of coal for interstate commerce at or near the mine site; except that such activities do not include any of the following: Coal exploration subject to section 34-33-117, the exploration and extraction of natural petroleum in a liquid or gaseous state by means of wells or pipe, or the extraction of geothermal resources.


The areas upon which such activities occur or where such activities disturb the natural land surface. Such areas shall also include any adjacent land the use of which is incidental to any such activities, all lands affected by the construction of new roads or the improvement or use of existing roads to gain access to the site of such activities and for haulage, and excavations, workings, impoundments, dams, ventilation shafts, entryways, refuse banks, dumps, stockpiles, overburden piles, spoil banks, culm banks, tailings, holes or depressions, repair areas, storage areas, processing areas, shipping areas, and other areas upon which are sited structures, facilities, or other property or materials on the surface, resulting from or incident to such activities.


“Technical revision” means a minor change, including incidental boundary revisions, to the terms or requirements of a permit issued under this article, which change shall not cause a significant alteration in the operator’s reclamation plan.


“Unwarranted failure to comply” means the failure of a permittee to prevent the occurrence of any violation of his permit or any requirement of this article due to indifference, lack of diligence, or lack of reasonable care or the failure to abate any violation of such permit or this article due to indifference, lack of diligence, or lack of reasonable care.

Source: Section 34-33-103 — Definitions, https://leg.­colorado.­gov/sites/default/files/images/olls/crs2023-title-34.­pdf (accessed Oct. 20, 2023).

Short title
Legislative declaration
Jurisdiction of office and board
Additional duties of division
Powers of department
Rules and regulations - no more stringent
Application for permit
Reclamation plan requirements
Small operator assistance
Performance bonds
Permit approval or denial
Revision of permit
Technical revision of permit - regulations
Coal exploration permit - regulations
Public notice and public hearings on complete applications
Permit application decisions of the office - appeals
Environmental protection performance standards - regulations
Surface effects of underground coal mining
Inspections and monitoring
Enforcement - civil and criminal penalties
Review by board
Release of performance bonds or deposits
Designating areas unsuitable for surface coal mining
Public agencies, public utilities, and public corporations
Judicial review
Surface coal mining operations not subject to this article
Data inventory
Informal opinion as to alluvial valley floors
Special coordination and review process - site-specific agreements
Abandoned mine reclamation plan
Colorado mine subsidence protection program - rules
Experimental practices
Civil actions
Water rights
Reservation clause
Green check means up to date. Up to date

Current through Fall 2024

§ 34-33-103’s source at colorado​.gov