(d) Reforestation Fund. -(l) If the constructing agency is unable to locate a sufficient amount of State or other publicly owned land to comply with the requirements of subsection (c) of this section, the constructing agency shall contribute money, at the rate of 10 cents per square foot of the area of required planting, to a special fund to be maintained in the Department and to be known as the Reforestation Fund.
(2) There is a Reforestation Fund in the Department.
(e) Management of Fund. -(l) Money deposited in the Reforestation Fund:
(i) Shall remain in the Fund until appropriated and spent; and
(ii) May not revert to the General Fund.
(2) (i) 1. Except as provided in item 2 of this subparagraph, the Department shall use the Reforestation Fund solely to plant trees on State or other publicly owned lands located in the county and watershed in which construction projects giving rise to Fund contributions are located.
(2) If reforestation cannot be reasonably accomplished in the county and watershed in which the construction activity is located, then the Department may use the Reforestation Fund to plant trees on State or other publicly owned lands located in the county or in the watershed in the State in which the construction activity is located.
(ii) 1. The Department shall accomplish the reforestation for which money is deposited in the Reforestation Fund within 1 year or 2 growing seasons after project completion, as appropriate, after receipt of the money.
2. Money deposited in the Reforestation Fund under subsection (d) of this section shall remain in the Fund for a period of 1 year or 2 growing seasons, and at the end of that time period, any portion that is not used to meet the reforestation requirements shall be returned to the constructing agency.
Consultation with Department. -(l) Any unit of State or local government that engages in construction activities involving land clearing on forest lands shall consult with the Department to assure compliance with this section:
(i) Before cutting in or clearing a forest; and
(ii) Before locating a reforestation area in accordance with this section.
(2) The provisions of this subsection shall also apply to any construction activity by any other person who uses State funding for that activity.
(g) Exception. -The provisions of this section do not apply to any agricultural practice implemented under a soil and water conservation plan.
(h) Annual report. -on or before July 1 of each year, the department or local authority shall submit to the Senate Economic and Environmental Affairs Committee and the House Environmental Matters Committee a report on:
(1) The number and location of each construction activity subject to the requirements of this section;
(2) The amount and location of acres cleared, conserved, and planted in connection with the activity; and
(3) The amount of reforestation fees collected and expended. (1991, ch. 255, 2.)
Amendment effective July 1, 1992
The 1991 amendment, effective July 1, 1992, rewrites the action.