15.15.14.12

.12 Required Removal of ARES and Bond Requirement.

A. If an ARES is scheduled to stop operations, the farm owner and the ARES owner or operator shall notify the Foundation, in writing, no less than 30 days prior to the date when the ARES will cease to operate.

B. If the ARES owner enters into a facility agreement with the farm owner, the facility agreement shall require the ARES owner to remove all materials related to an ARES within 180 days of the last operation date of the ARES.

C. If an ARES is not subject to a facility agreement, the farm owner shall remove all materials related to the ARES within 180 days of the last operation date of the ARES.

D. The ARES, along with any related structures or equipment, shall be removed in a manner to ensure that the agricultural productivity of the soil is restored to the greatest extent possible, including but not limited to, the following:

(1) Removal shall be done in accordance with an approved conservation plan that addresses soil and water resource concerns;

(2) All facilities, structures and equipment shall be removed from the farm, including underground foundations and cables; and

(3) Excavated areas shall be backfilled with clean sub-grade material covered by a layer of topsoil, with the depth of restored topsoil consistent with the depth of topsoil of the surrounding land.

E. If the Foundation approves an ARES on a farm, and before construction of the ARES begins, the farm owner or ARES owner shall post a bond or other security in favor of the Foundation to ensure that all materials related to the ARES can be removed from the farm property as required by this regulation. The Foundation, in its sole and absolute discretion, may release the bond or security required by this regulation only after determining that all obligations to remove material related to the ARES from the farm property are satisfied. The bond or security required by this regulation may be satisfied by a comprehensive decommissioning bond posted by the ARES owner, so long as such bond satisfies the criteria of this regulation. The required bond or security shall satisfy the following requirements.

(1) The amount of the bond or security required by this regulation shall be sufficient to pay all costs to remove from the farm any material related to the ARES.

(2) The amount of the bond or security shall be established by a good faith estimate, prepared by a business qualified to remove the ARES from the farm. The farm owner or ARES owner is responsible for acquiring the good faith estimate.

(3) The bond or security shall account for inflation over the term of the facility agreement or the projected life of the ARES if there is no facility agreement.

(4) The bond or security shall be issued by an entity licensed to do business in Maryland.

(5) The bond or security shall expressly state that the Foundation may enforce the instrument in Maryland court under Maryland law.