74-81. Inspection and approval of abandonment; bond release; forfeiture.

Upon completion of abandonment of an area of affected land, the permit holder shall notify the Department on a form and in a manner it shall require. Upon receipt of the report, and at any other time it deems reasonable, the Department shall make an inspection of the area to determine whether the permit holder has complied with the requirements of this Article, any rules promulgated under it and the terms and conditions of his permit. Following its inspection, the Department shall give written notice to the permit holder of any deficiencies noted. The permit holder shall commence action within 10 days of receipt of notice to rectify these deficiencies and shall diligently proceed to correct them. The Department may extend the 10-day performance period if it finds that the permit holder is making every reasonable effort to comply.

Whenever the Department finds that the person conducting exploration activity has failed to properly abandon an area of affected land within the time allowed by G.S. 74-80 and has failed to undertake timely corrective actions following notice, it shall initiate forfeiture proceedings against the bond or other security filed pursuant to G.S. 74-79.

If the Department finds that abandonment has been properly completed, it shall so notify the person conducting the exploration activity in writing within 10 days after that finding and release him from further obligations under this Article. At the same time it shall release all or the appropriate portion of the bond or other security that has been provided. (1983, c. 279, s. 1.)