Intrastate Coal and Use Act

Summary

The purpose of this bill is to create the Intrastate Coal and Use Act. The bill establishes that the environmental regulation of coal and certain coal products mined and used within the state are exclusively regulated by the {state} Department of Environmental Protection. The bill states the legislative authority and defines terms.

Whereas the Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution guarantees to the states and their people all powers not granted to the federal government elsewhere in the Constitution and reserves to the state and people of {state} certain powers as they were understood at the time that {state} was admitted to statehood in {year}. The guaranty of those powers is a matter of contract between the state and people of (insert state) and the United States as of the time that the compact with the United States was agreed upon and adopted by {state} and the United States in {year}.

Whereas the Ninth Amendment to the United States Constitution guarantees to the people rights not granted in the Constitution and reserves to the people of {state} certain rights as they were understood at the time that {state} was admitted to statehood in {year}. The guaranty of those rights is a matter of contract between the state and people of (insert state) and the United States as of the time that the compact with the United States was agreed upon and adopted by {state} and the United States in {year}.

Whereas the regulation of intrastate commerce, including the natural environment as affected by intrastate business, is vested in the states under the Ninth and Tenth Amendments to the United States Constitution and is specifically retained by the State of {state}.

Definitions.

As used in this article, the following definitions apply:

(1) “Borders of {state}” means the boundaries of the State of {state} described in the {state} Constitution.

(2) The term “coal mine” means those operations removing coal from a coal seam or seams, whether aboveground or underground.

(3) “Chemically altered coal product” means any product derived principally from coal, including, but not limited to, coke or liquid fuels derived from coal by any process.

Requirements.

(a) In light of the above findings, environmental regulation in {state} for all purposes of regulating business activity performed in {state}, when the products of such business activities are held, maintained, or retained within the borders of {state}, is the principal responsibility of the {state} Department of Environmental Protection.

(b) Any {state} coal mine producing coal which is used commercially or privately in {state}  and which is consumed or otherwise remains within the borders of {state} and any {state} facility producing chemically altered coal products used commercially or privately in {state} which remain within the borders of {state} shall be issued a permit to operate by the {state} Department of Environmental Protection once the {state} Department of Environmental Protection has certified that the mine or facility is compliant with all applicable state and federal laws or state and federal regulation.

(c) In addition, the Legislature of the State of {state} declares that the regulation of the transportation and disposal of hazardous waste; the regulation of the release of emissions, substances and pollutants into the air in the state; the regulation of the release of pollutants into bodies of water in the state; the regulation of public water supplies in the state; the regulation of wastewater systems in the state; and the regulation of production, exploration, drilling, development, operation, transportation and processing of coal, coal products, and materials or substances used in the production, exploration, drilling, development, operation, transportation and processing of coal that originate and remain inside the State of {state} and have not been proven and adjudicated by the {state} court system or the federal court system to specifically be causing, or to have caused, quantifiable harm to any person, businesses, or places beyond the borders of {state} shall be intrastate commerce and shall not be subject to federal law or federal regulation under the authority of the United States Congress to regulate interstate commerce.

(d) A sample from each vein of coal in a mine and a sample of coal from each {state} source used at a facility producing a chemically altered coal product shall be placed on record with the {state} Department of Environmental Protection to verify the {state} origin of the coal produced and used.

(e) The Legislature declares that the United States Environmental Protection Agency, acting under the color of authority of Congress to regulate interstate commerce, lacks the authority to deny permits of operation to such coal mines and facilities as the products of these mines and facilities have not traveled in interstate commerce.

(f) This article applies to coal and to any chemically altered coal product mined or produced in {state} from basic materials which can be manufactured without the inclusion of any significant components imported from another state.

(g) This article applies only to the issuance of a permit of operation to a coal mine or facility producing chemically altered coal products, the issuance of which permit is required by the Clean Water Act or by another equivalent state or federal statute or regulation. Nothing in this section shall be construed to limit the effect of any other state or federal statute or regulation.

Approved by ALEC Board of Legislators on January 28, 2013.

Keyword Tags: Coal, Constitution, intrastate commerce, Regulation