Section 2. As used in this chapter the following words shall have the following meanings unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:—
“Abandoned workings”, excavations either caved or sealed that are deserted and in which no further mining is intended.
“Commissioner”, the commissioner of environmental protection.
“Department”, the department of environmental protection within the executive office of environmental affairs.
“Drift”, horizontal opening through the strata in a coal seam used for same purposes as a shaft.
“Exploration”, any test boring or drilling operation or surface examination designed to determine the amount and extent of coal deposits in the area.
“Legal closing of the mine”, certification by the commissioner that all abandoned workings are sealed and secure and that no public health or safety hazard exists in the mined areas or affected lands.
“Licensee”, any person, corporation or business entity which has been granted a coal mining license by the department.
“Mine Inspector”, any certified person designated by the commissioner to examine coal mining operations or affected lands.
“Mined Area or Affected Lands”, any area of land from which coal is removed by a mining operation and shall include all lands affected by this operation, including but not limited to the construction of all new roads and any removal of land from its natural state.
“Mining”, every operation, both underground and above ground to be used for the purpose of extracting or removing coal or preparing coal or coal products for use outside the mined area.
“Mining Operation”, any shaft, slope, drift or open excavation designed to extract coal to be delivered to points outside the mining area.
“Overburden”, all of the earth and other materials that lie above or around a deposit of coal and which may be disrupted from its natural state in the process of mining.
“Reclamation”, the reconditioning and rehabilitation both during and after the operation of the mine, of any mined area or affected land to a point where the land is usable for purposes similar to those had a mining operation not taken place, and in a manner that will minimize the environmental disruption from the mining operation.
“Secretary”, the secretary of the executive office of environmental affairs.
“Special investigating commission”, shall consist of at least three mining inspectors appointed by the commissioner for the purpose of investigating and reporting on any problem or potential problem in compliance with the provisions of this chapter.