(20 ILCS 1915/1) (from Ch. 96 1/2, par. 7501)
    Sec. 1. Legislative findings and intent.
    (a) The General Assembly finds that:
        (1) the purposes of the "Surface Mining Control and
Reclamation Act of 1977" (30 USC 1201 et seq.) include the establishment of a program to protect society and the environment from the adverse effects of surface coal mining operations and from the adverse surface effects of underground coal mining operations;
        (2) the purposes of the above Act also include the
promoting of the reclamation of mined areas left without adequate reclamation prior to the enactment of this Act and which continue, in their unreclaimed conditions, to substantially degrade the quality of the environment;
        (3) the purposes of the above Act also include the
assurance that the coal supply essential to the Nation's energy requirements, and to its economic and social well-being is provided, and to encourage the full utilization of coal resources.
    (b) The General Assembly also finds that:
        (1) during the mining and preparation of coal, a
portion of the coal is lost in the tailings produced;
        (2) this lost coal, in gob or slurry form, can be
recovered in an economic and useable fashion;
        (3) the recovery of this coal, which may constitute
twenty percent or more of a gob pile, and which may constitute fifty percent or more of a slurry pond, in effect conserves energy by increasing the efficiency of utilization of a valuable fuel resource;
        (4) the recovery of this coal, when conducted in
accordance with the permits required by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, contributes to the reclamation of the land, in that the total volume of wastes to be handled is reduced.
    (c) It is the purpose of this Act:
        (1) to include the recovery of coal from gob and
slurry as a part of the land reclamation process and as a form of energy conservation; and
        (2) to provide that a portion of the funds collected
by the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement and returned to the State of Illinois be used for coal recovery.
(Source: P.A. 91-357, eff. 7-29-99.)