253.571 Proof of financial responsibility required of lessee prior to commencement of drilling.—The Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund may require a surety or property bond, an irrevocable letter of credit, or other proof of financial responsibility from each lessee of public land or mineral interest prior to the time such lessee mines, drills, or extracts in any manner, petroleum, petroleum products, gas, sulphur, or any other mineral from such land. The surety bond or irrevocable letter of credit shall be from a surety company or bank authorized to do business in the state. The surety bond, irrevocable letter of credit, or other proof of financial responsibility shall serve as security and is to be forfeited to the board to pay for any damages caused by mining or drilling operations performed by the lessee. In the case of operations planned in the waters of the state or under other particular circumstances which, by their nature warrant greater security in view of possible damages, the board shall give special consideration to the extent of such possible damages and shall set the amount of an adequate and sufficient surety bond, irrevocable letter of credit, or other proof of financial responsibility accordingly. For the purposes of this section, damages shall include, but not be limited to, air, water, and ground pollution, destruction of wildlife or marine productivity and any other damage which impairs the health and general welfare of the citizens of the state.