Section 10: Mine fires; refuse bank fires; subsidence resulting from mining; health and safety hazards
Section 10. Whenever the commissioner makes a finding of fact that a mine fire, refuse bank fire or subsidence resulting from mining is at a stage where immediate action is necessary and an emergency exists and no other person or agency is acting to control the condition, and the owners of the property upon which entry must be made to control the mine fire, refuse bank fire or subsidence resulting from mining are not known, nor readily available or will not give permission for the commissioner, political subdivisions of the commonwealth or municipalities, their agents, employees or contractors to enter upon such premises, or the delay entailed in reaching said owners and in securing from them the right to enter upon the premises constitutes a clear and immediate danger to the life or property of others, the commissioner or his agent shall give notice to the owners, if known, or give public notice upon the premises and shall have the right to enter upon the premises to control the mine fire, refuse bank fire or subsidence and to take all action necessary or expedient to do so. As soon as practicable thereafter the commissioner, the political subdivisions of the commonwealth or municipalities so entering the premises and acting as above provided shall restore the premises so entered upon to the condition at the time of such entry to the extent reasonably practical. The monies expended for such work and the benefits accruing to any such premises so entered upon shall be charged against such land to mitigate or offset any claim or any action brought by any owner of any interest in such premises for any alleged damages by virtue of such entry.
Any political subdivision or authorized agent of the commissioner executing orders directed toward correcting dangerous situations resulting from mine fires, refuse bank fires, subsidence or any public health or safety hazards shall be held harmless and shall be indemnified by the mine operator, from any claim for failure to acquire necessary releases from property owners or because of any failure to comply with any other applicable statute.