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(a) Submittal for Approval.

(1) Filing procedure. A reclamation plan required by this Chapter shall be submitted to the County Planning Department and shall be full and complete, containing all information required by the Act as well as any additional information requested by the Planning Department.

(2) Filing fee.

(A) For a reclamation plan filed as part of a Use Permit application, there shall be no filing fee. (The fee is already submitted as a part of the Use Permit application, which has its fees authorized under §391-4(a)(2) above).

(B) All other reclamation plans filed for review and approval shall be accompanied by a filing fee in an amount to be set from time to time by the Board of Supervisors.

(3) Acceptance. A reclamation plan filed under Paragraph (a)(1) and (2) above will not be accepted by the Planning Department as complete until it sets forth the required information in sufficient detail to the satisfaction of the Department. The Department shall then notify the person submitting the plan that it accepted as complete for review per §391-8(A)(2). Acceptance of a reclamation plan does not constitute an indication of approval.

(b) Procedure.

(1) Review.

(A) The Planning Department will review the reclamation plan for accuracy, adequacy, and completeness, and will coordinate the review with other County and public agencies. The Planning Department shall, in compliance with §2774 of the Public Resources Code, submit a copy of the proposed reclamation plan to the State Department of Conservation and any comments received from that Department shall be incorporated into the review.

(B) In accordance with section 2774 of the Act, there shall be at least one public hearing on every reclamation plan, as well as for proposed substantial amendments to previously approved reclamation plans. The hearing on the reclamation plan may be combined with a public hearing on other aspects of the project, so long as all notices clearly specify that the reclamation plan will be one of the subjects of the hearing. Notice of the public hearing shall be given in accordance with Section 391-4(b)(2) above. The purpose of the hearing shall be to receive comments from interested parties, and to assure compliance with § 2774(a) of the Public Resources Code.

(2) Approval or Disapproval. The Planning Commission shall approve or approve with conditions the reclamation plan if the evidence presented establishes that the reclamation plan and supporting documents meet all of the conditions and requirements of SMARA, including but not limited to Sections 2772 and 2773(a) of the Act and Section 3502 and following of the State Regulations, and any additional County requirements for reclamation. Otherwise, the Commission shall deny the application.

(3) Conditions of approval. The Planning Commission shall, to the extent necessary to conform with the provisions of this ordinance and with § 2773.1 of the Public Resources Code, apply conditions to the approval of the reclamation plan. Such conditions shall include, but not be limited to:

(A) The meeting or exceeding of the minimum, verifiable statewide reclamation standards which may be adopted from time to time by the State Mining and Geology Board pursuant to § 2773(b) of the Public Resources Code, including but not limited to California Code of Regulations section 3500 and following and Section 3700 and following, or any successor provisions thereto;

(B) The entering into agreement between the Operator and the County whereby financial assurances are provided by the Operator to assure the reclamation of all mined lands in the event of default by the Operator. Such financial assurances shall be in the form, manner and timing as is required by State law and Regulations. See, current sections § 2773.1 of the Act and section 3800 and following of the Regulations, which provide that the financial assurances shall be made payable to the County and the Director of the Department of Conservation, and shall be limited to the following forms:

1. Surety bonds;

2. Irrevocable letters of credit;

3. Trust funds; and,

4. Other forms of financial assurances specified by the State Mining and Geology Board pursuant to the Public Resources Code.

(C) The right of access to the mined lands by County staff and their agents, and of authorized employees of the Department of Conservation in the performance of their enforcement responsibilities, included but not limited to inspection to determine compliance with any permit, permit conditions or approved reclamation plan; and,

(D) A statement that all permit conditions, reclamation plan contents and requirements and financial assurances shall run with the land and shall be legally binding on all successors, heirs, and assigns of the Operator, and landowner, if they are different. The landowner, and the operator, if they are not the same person, shall sign a “Statement of Responsibility”, which is a required part of the reclamation plan materials, acknowledging and accepting responsibility for full implementation applicable reclamation plans. Once a party responsible for, or authorized to undertake reclamation has concluded “final reclamation” consistent with the approved reclamation plan, the reclamation plan requirements are fulfilled and the plan no longer runs with land.

(4) Amendments. Amendments to an approved reclamation plan may be submitted which detail proposed deviations. If in the judgement of the Planning Director such amendments do not constitute a substantial change in the approved reclamation plan, such amendments may receive administrative processing and approval by the Planning Department. If, however, in the judgement of the Planning Director, the amendments substantially deviate from the approved reclamation plan, then the request for amendment shall be submitted and processed for approval with the same considerations as a first submittal under this subsection B and the preceding subsection A above. Any party dissatisfied with the decision of the Director may appeal the decision in accordance with the appeal provisions of this County Code. (Ord. 2117, 5/28/1996)