|(a) Initial processing procedures.
(1) Within 30 days of receipt of a petition, the Commission
shall notify the petitioner by certified mail whether or not the petition
is complete under §§12.79(b) or (c) of this title (relating to Procedures:
Petitions). Complete, for a designation or termination petition, means that
the information required under §§12.79(b) or (c) of this title (relating
to Procedures: Petitions) has been provided.
(2) The Commission shall determine whether any identified coal
resources exist in the area covered by the petition, without requiring any
showing from the petitioner. If the Commission finds there are not any identified
coal resources in that area, it shall return the petition to the petitioner
with a statement of the findings.
(3) If the Commission determines that the petition is incomplete,
frivolous, or that the petitioner does not meet the requirement of §12.79(a)
of this title (relating to Procedures: Petitions), it shall return the petition
to the petitioner with a written statement of the reasons for the determination
and the categories of information needed to make the petition complete. A
frivolous petition is one in which the allegations of harm lack serious merit
or available information shows that either no mineable coal resources exist
in the petitioned area or the petitioned area is not or could not be subject
to related surface coal mining operations and surface impacts incident to
an underground coal mine or an adjoining surface mine.
(4) When considering a petition for an area which was previously
and unsuccessfully proposed for designation, the Commission shall determine
if the new petition presents significant new allegations of facts with evidence
which tends to establish the allegations. If the petition does not contain
such materials, the Commission may choose not to consider the petition and
may return the petition to the petitioner, with a statement of its findings
and a reference to the record of the previous designation proceedings where
the facts were considered.
(5) The Commission shall notify the person who submits a petition
of any application for a permit received which includes any area covered by
(6) The Commission may determine not to process any petition
received in so far as it pertains to lands for which an administratively complete
permit application has been filed and the first newspaper notice has been
published. Based on such a determination, the Commission may issue a decision
on a complete and accurate permit application and shall inform the petitioner
why the Commission cannot consider the part of the petition pertaining to
the proposed permit area.
(b) Public notice and hearing procedures.
(1) Promptly after a petition is received, the Commission shall
notify the general public of the receipt of the petition by a newspaper advertisement
placed in the locale of the area covered by the petition. The notice shall
be published in the county newspaper of the largest circulation in the county,
for each county of the petitioned area and in the
Texas Register. The Commission shall make copies of the petition available
to the public and shall provide copies of the petition to other interested
governmental agencies, intervenors, persons with an ownership interest of
record in the property, and other persons known to the Commission to have
an interest in the property. Proper notice to persons with an ownership interest
of record in the property shall comply with the requirements of applicable
(2) Promptly after the determination that a petition is complete,
the Commission shall request submissions from the general public of relevant
information by a newspaper advertisement placed once a week for two consecutive
weeks in the locale of the area covered by the petition, in the county newspaper
of the largest circulation in the county, for each county of the petitioned
area, and in the Texas Register.
(c) Right of intervention. Until three days before the Commission
holds a hearing under §12.81 of this title (relating to Procedures: Hearing
Requirements), any person may intervene in the proceeding by filing allegations
of facts describing how the designation determination directly affects the
intervenor, supporting evidence, a short statement identifying the petition
to which the allegations pertain, and the intervenor's name, address and telephone
(d) Record-keeping procedures. Beginning from the date a petition
is filed, the Commission shall compile and maintain a record consisting of
all documents relating to the petition filed with or prepared by the Commission.
The Commission shall make the record available to the public for inspection
free of charge and for copying at reasonable cost during all normal hours
at the main office of the Commission. The Commission shall also maintain information
at or near the area in which the petitioned land is located and make this
information available to the public for inspection free of charge and for
copying at reasonable cost during all normal business hours. At a minimum,
this information shall include a copy of the petition.