Whether it provides habitat for or produces species of recreational, cultural or economic interest; and
Whether the products of some wetlands species (e.g., wild rice, furbearers, fish) have special cultural value and/or provide a significant portion of the economic base for the people of a region.
4. `Scarcity of wetland type.'
Certain wetland types (e.g., fens, wild rice lakes) which are statewide or regionally scarce possess special resource significance. Scarcity or rareness depends on the frequency of occurrence of the type, the area of the type in existence prior to settlement, the historical conversion of the type and its resultant degree of destruction, and the amount of similar habitat in the present landscape of the region. In assessing the scarcity of a particular wetland, a comparative measure of the commonness among all wetland types and the degree to which wetlands of all types occur in the surrounding landscape should be considered.
5. `Aquatic study areas, sanctuaries and refuges.'
Through various local, state and federal actions, large areas of the nation's wetlands have been designated and preserved by public agencies for scientific study, and the protection of aquatic and terrestrial habitats. Many public and private groups have also established sanctuaries and refuges in wetlands. Wetland areas that are legally and/or administratively controlled as such, or that are included or nominated for inclusion in the national register of natural landmarks, could be comparatively important. Wetland areas of significant social, cultural, or historic value, such as known landmarks, are considered important.
6. `The ecosystem concept in a regional context.'
The previous subsections suggest that wetlands may not only have important functions within their boundaries, but may also interact with ecosystems of the surrounding region. The potential impact of wetland modification may influence distant wetlands if they are structurally and functionally related in the region. Similarly, the functions and values of any wetland may be affected by other existing and potential water resource activities in the region. Therefore, consideration should be given to those impacts which are shown to be of regional concern.
All wetlands which are to be used by the proposed activity shall be inventoried and analyzed pursuant to this chapter. The use of such wetlands shall be de minimis and, therefore, exempt from further application of this section, if the applicant demonstrates the following by a preponderance of evidence:
The wetlands to be used are or can be made to be sufficiently hydrologically isolated from the surface and underground waters of the state so that no violations of applicable laws and regulations would result;
The wetlands are not special or unique utilizing the result of the analysis made pursuant to this chapter; and
The burden of proof to establish compliance with the requirements of this chapter shall be on the operator.
The hearing procedure outlined in s. 293.43
, Stats., shall govern all hearings on the operator's mining permit application.
NR 132.06 History
Cr. Register, August, 1982, No. 320
, eff. 9-1-82; correction in (4) (g) made under s. 13.93 (2m) (b) 1., Stats., Register, September, 1995, No. 477
; corrections in (2), (3) (d) and (g), (4) (e) and (6) made under s. 13.93 (2m) (b) 7., Stats., Register, January, 2000, No. 529
The mining plan shall include the following:
Details of the nature, extent and final configuration of the proposed excavation and mining site including location and total production of tailings and other mining refuse, and nature and depth of overburden.
Details of the proposed operating procedures, which may be furnished by reference to documents submitted pursuant to ch. NR 182
Ore processing including milling, concentrating, refining, etc.
Ground and surface water management techniques including provisions for erosion prevention and drainage control and a detailed water management plan showing source, flow paths and rates, storage volumes and release points.
Plans for collection, treatment and discharge of any water resulting from the operation.
The applicant shall prepare a risk assessment of possible accidental health and environmental hazards potentially associated with the mine operation. Contingency measures with respect to these risks and hazards, and the assumptions in this assessment, shall be explicitly stated.
Measures for notifying the public and responsible governmental agencies of potentially hazardous conditions including the movement or accumulation of toxic wastes in ground and surface water, soils and vegetation and other consequences of the operation of importance to public health, safety and welfare.
Description of all surface facilities associated with the mining site.
Description of all geological/geotechnical investigations and drilling programs.
Evidence satisfactory to the department that the proposed mining operation will be consistent with the reclamation plan and will comply with the following minimum standards:
Grading and stabilization of excavation, sides and benches to conform with state and federal environmental and safety requirements and to prevent erosion and environmental pollution.
Grading and stabilization of deposits of mining refuse in conformance with state and federal environmental and safety requirements and solid waste laws and regulations.
Adequate diversion and drainage of water from the mining site to prevent erosion and contamination of surface and groundwaters.
Notwithstanding the provisions of s. NR 812.20
, the backfilling of excavations where such procedure will not interfere with the mining operation and will not:
Cause an exceedance of any groundwater quality standard, including any drinking water standard, implemented under this chapter in accordance with the provisions of ch. NR 182
Handling and storage of all materials on the mining site in an environmentally sound manner as determined by the department. Materials not licensed pursuant to ch. NR 182
but deemed by the department to present a potential threat to the environment shall be subject to the waste characterization analysis procedures set forth in s. NR 182.08 (2) (b)
Removal and stockpiling, or other measures to protect topsoils consistent with environmental considerations and reclamation, prior to mining unless the department determines that such action will be environmentally undesirable.
Maintenance of adequate vegetative cover where feasible to prevent erosion.
Impoundment of water where necessary in a safe and environmentally acceptable manner.
Adequate planning of the site to achieve the aesthetic standards for the entire mine site described in ss. NR 132.17
and 132.18 (5)
Identification and prevention of pollution as defined in s. 281.01 (10)
, Stats., resulting from leaching of waste materials, in accordance with state and federal solid waste laws and regulations.
Maintenance of appropriate emergency procedures to minimize damage to public health, safety and welfare and the environment from events described under sub. (3) (i)
Submission of a plan for a preblasting survey, such survey being completed and submitted to the department prior to any blasting.
NR 132.07 History
Cr. Register, August, 1982, No. 320
, eff. 9-1-82; r. and recr. (4) (e), Register, December, 1986, No. 372
, eff. 1-1-87; correction in (4) (e) (intro.) made under s. 13.93 (2m) (b) 7., Stats., Register, September, 1995, No. 477
; corrections in (1), (3) (h), (4) (k) and (L) made under s. 13.93 (2m) (b) 7., Stats., Register, January, 2000, No. 529
The reclamation plan for the mining site shall include the following:
Detailed information and maps on reclamation procedures including:
Manner, location, sequence and anticipated duration of reclamation.
Ongoing reclamation procedures during mining operations.
Proposed interim and final topography and slope stabilization.
Proposed final land use and relationship to surrounding land and land use.
Plans for long-term maintenance of mining site including:
Names of persons legally and operationally responsible for long-term maintenance.
Projected costs of reclamation including estimated cost to the state of fulfilling the reclamation plan.
Evidence satisfactory to the department that the proposed reclamation will conform with the following minimum standards:
All toxic and hazardous wastes, refuse, tailings and other solid waste shall be disposed of in conformance with applicable state and federal statutes or regulations.
All tunnels, shafts or other underground openings shall be sealed in a manner which will prevent seepage of water in amounts which may be expected to create a safety, health or environmental hazard, unless the applicant can demonstrate alternative uses which do not endanger public health and safety and which conform to applicable environmental protection and mine safety laws and rules.
All underground and surface runoff waters from mining sites shall be managed, impounded or treated so as to prevent soil erosion to the extent practicable, flooding, damage to agricultural lands or livestock, damage to wild animals, pollution of ground or surface waters, damage to public health or threats to public safety.
All surface structures constructed as a part of the mining activities shall be removed, unless they are converted to an acceptable alternate use.
Adequate measures shall be taken to prevent significant surface subsidence, but if such subsidence does occur, the affected area shall be reclaimed.
All topsoil from surface areas disturbed by the mining operation shall be removed and stored in an environmentally acceptable manner for use in reclamation.
All disturbed surface areas shall be revegetated as soon as practicable after the disturbance to stabilize slopes and prevent air and water pollution, with the objective of reestablishing a variety of plants and animals indigenous to the area immediately prior to mining, unless such reestablishment is inconsistent with the provisions of s. 293.01 (23)
, Stats. Plant species not indigenous to the area may be used if necessary to provide rapid stabilization of slopes and prevention of erosion, if such species are acceptable to the department, but the ultimate goal of reestablishment of indigenous species shall be maintained.
If it is physically or economically impracticable or environmentally or socially undesirable for the reclamation process to return the affected area to its original state, the reasons therefor and a discussion of alternative conditions and uses to which the affected area can be put.
If the anticipated life and total area of the mineral deposit are of sufficient magnitude as determined by the department, a comprehensive long-term plan showing, in detail satisfactory to the department, the manner, location and estimated sequential timetable for reclamation of the entire area of contiguous land which will be affected by mining and which is owned, leased or under option for purchase or lease by the operator at the time of application. When a mineral deposit lies on or under the lands of more than one operator, the department shall require the operators to submit mutually consistent comprehensive plans.
NR 132.08 History
Cr. Register, August, 1982, No. 320
, eff. 9-1-82; correction in (2) (g) made under s. 13.93 (2m) (b) 7., Stats., Register, January, 2000, No. 529
Irrevocable trust agreement. NR 132.085(1)
This section applies to a mining permit application for which the permit has not been issued on February 1, 2000. Notwithstanding s. NR 132.19
, no exemption may be granted to the provisions of this section.
An applicant for a mining permit, as part of the permit application, shall propose an irrevocable trust agreement or arrangement which shall include a description of the investment strategy and detailed information concerning the level of funding and proposed payment schedule necessary to comply with this section.
The purpose of the trust fund shall be to assure adequate funds to undertake the preventive and remedial activities listed in sub. (4)
. The trust documentation shall designate the department as sole beneficiary. The trustee shall be a public entity, bank or other financial institution located within the state of Wisconsin which has the authority to act as a trustee, or in the case of a public entity has equivalent powers. The trust documentation shall specify the manner of payment into the fund and the trustee's powers to invest the trust corpus and income. The trustee shall exercise prudent investment strategies consistent with the purpose of the trust fund. All income shall accumulate in the account and be reinvested. No withdrawal may be made from the trust fund except as authorized in writing by the department.
Following issuance of a certificate of completion of reclamation for the entire mining site or upon permit revocation, the trust corpus shall consist of cash, certificates of deposit, or U.S. government securities. A total of no more than $100,000 in cash and certificates of deposit may be placed in the trust account; U.S. government securities shall be used for amounts in excess of $100,000.
The trust fund shall be created and maintained in perpetuity with funds adequate for the following activities:
Remedial action required as the result of spills of hazardous substances, as defined in s. 292.01 (5)
, Stats., at the mining site.
Remedial action to mitigate any hazardous substances that escape from the mine workings into the surrounding environment after the mining operation has ceased.
Remedial action required as the result of failure of a mining waste facility to contain the waste.
Preventive measures taken to avoid adverse environmental consequences, including measures such as replacement of components of waste disposal facilities. However, if the measures relate to closure or long-term care, financial responsibility for the associated costs shall be covered in accordance with ss. NR 182.16
Funding of the trust fund shall be determined at the hearing conducted under s. 293.43
, Stats., and shall be incorporated into the mining permit issued under s. 293.49
, Stats., as follows:
A schedule of payment into the trust fund, during mining operations, shall be established which takes into account a reasonable projection of exposure. Preventive or remedial measures which could be needed early in the mining operation shall be fully funded prior to the commencement of mining. Those preventive or remedial measures which could be needed only later in the operation, or after mining has ceased, may rely on income from the trust and periodic payments into the principal by the permittee.
In establishing the level of funding, the department shall evaluate the likelihood of the need for preventive or remedial measures based on reasonable and conservative risk considerations. In addition to the risk considerations, the department shall evaluate the range of costs of the preventive and remedial measures that might be necessary in response to the risks. The level of funding shall be sufficient to cover the costs of all preventive and remedial measures needed to correct all reasonably possible occurrences. Costs for worst case preventive or remedial measures shall be used when the measures are shown to have a reasonable possibility of being necessary. Opportunity shall be provided at the hearing conducted under s. 293.43
, Stats., for testimony that the worst case preventive or remedial measures have a reasonable possibility of being necessary.
In determining costs associated with the preventive or remedial measures identified in sub. (4)
, consideration shall be given to the risk assessment submitted pursuant to s. NR 132.07 (3) (i)
, the contingency plan submitted pursuant to ch. NR 182
, risks and impacts identified in the environmental impact statement and the measures reasonably anticipated necessary to address those risks and impacts.
To the extent the trust fund relies on accrued income to pay for future preventive or remedial measures, the conservative projection of earnings above inflation shall be used.
The funding of the trust fund for activities identified in sub. (4)
shall consider the existence of other binding, guaranteed sources of funds from the permittee which address the same preventive and remedial measures and the financial ability of the permittee to comply with legal obligations for necessary remedial activities during the operation. It is the intent of this section that the trust fund not duplicate similar financial obligations under other applicable provisions of law or administrative codes.