No person with a vested right to conduct surface mining operations obtained prior to January 1, 1976, shall be required to secure a surface mining permit pursuant to this chapter as long as the vested right continues and as long as no substantial changes have been made in the operation except in accordance with the SMARA, the regulations promulgated thereunder, and this chapter. A person shall be deemed to have vested rights if, prior to January 1, 1976, the person has, in good faith and in reliance upon a permit or other authorization, if the permit or other authorization was required, diligently commenced surface mining operations and incurred substantial liabilities for work and materials necessary therefore. The reclamation plan and the financial assurances requirements of this chapter shall apply to operations conducted after January 1, 1976. In those cases where an overlap exists between pre- and post-SMARA mining, the reclamation plan shall call for reclamation proportional to that disturbance caused after January 1, 1976.
(Ord. No. 2579)