295.41(34) (34)“Overburden" means any unconsolidated material that overlies bedrock.
295.41(35) (35)“Person" means an individual, corporation, limited liability company, partnership, association, local governmental agency, interstate agency, state agency, or federal agency.
295.41(36) (36)“Piping" means the progressive erosion of materials from an embankment or foundation caused by the seepage of water.
295.41(37) (37)“Principal shareholder" means any person who owns at least 10 percent of the beneficial ownership of an applicant or operator.
295.41(38) (38)“Reagent" means a substance or compound that is added to a system in order to bring about a chemical reaction or is added to see if a reaction occurs to confirm the presence of another substance.
295.41(39) (39)“Reclamation" means the process by which an area physically or environmentally affected by exploration or mining is rehabilitated to either its original state or to a state that provides long-term environmental stability.
295.41(40) (40)“Reclamation plan" means the proposal for the reclamation of an exploration site under s. 295.44 (2) (b) or a mining site under s. 295.49.
295.41(41) (41)“Refuse" means all mining waste and all waste materials deposited on or in the mining site from other sources, except merchantable by-products.
295.41(42) (42)“Related person" means any person that owns or operates a mining site in the United States and that is one of the following when an application for a mining permit is submitted to the department:
295.41(42)(a) (a) The parent corporation of the applicant.
295.41(42)(b) (b) A person that holds more than a 30 percent ownership interest in the applicant.
295.41(42)(c) (c) A subsidiary or affiliate of the applicant in which the applicant holds more than a 30 percent ownership interest.
295.41(44) (44)“Subsidence" means lateral or vertical ground movement caused by a failure, initiated at the mine, of a man-made underground mine, that directly damages residences or commercial buildings, except that “subsidence" does not include lateral or vertical ground movement caused by earthquake, landslide, soil conditions, soil erosion, soil freezing and thawing, or roots of trees and shrubs.
295.41(45) (45)“Tailings" means waste material resulting from beneficiation of crushed ferrous minerals at a concentrator or from washing, concentration, or treatment of crushed ferrous minerals.
295.41(46) (46)“Unsuitable" means that the land proposed for mining is not suitable for mining because the mining activity will more probably than not destroy or irreparably damage any of the following:
295.41(46)(a) (a) Habitat required for survival of species of vegetation or wildlife designated as endangered through prior inclusion in rules adopted by the department, if the endangered species cannot be reestablished elsewhere.
295.41(46)(b) (b) Unique features of the land, as determined by state or federal designation and incorporated in rules adopted by the department, as any of the following, which cannot have their unique characteristic preserved by relocation or replacement elsewhere:
295.41(46)(b)1. 1. Wilderness areas.
295.41(46)(b)2. 2. Wild and scenic rivers.
295.41(46)(b)3. 3. National or state parks.
295.41(46)(b)4. 4. Wildlife refuges and areas.
295.41(46)(b)5. 5. Listed properties, as defined in s. 44.31 (4).
295.41(46m) (46m)“Wastewater and sludge storage or treatment lagoon" means a man-made containment structure that is constructed primarily of earthen materials, that is for the treatment or storage of wastewater, storm water, or sludge, and that is not a land disposal system, as defined in s. NR 140.05 (11), Wis. Adm. Code.
295.41(47) (47)“Waters of the state" has the meaning given in s. 281.01 (18).
295.41(48) (48)“Water supply" means the sources and their surroundings from which water is supplied for drinking or domestic purposes.
295.41(49) (49)“Wetland" has the meaning given in s. 23.32 (1).
295.41 History History: 2013 a. 1.
295.43 295.43 Responsibilities related to mining. The department shall serve as the central unit of state government to ensure that the impact from mining and reclamation on the air, lands, waters, plants, fish, and wildlife in this state will be minimized and offset to the extent practicable. The administration of occupational health and safety laws and rules that apply to mining remain exclusively the responsibility of the department of safety and professional services. The powers and duties of the geological and natural history survey under s. 36.25 (6) remain exclusively the responsibility of the geological and natural history survey. Nothing in this section prevents the department of safety and professional services and the geological and natural history survey from cooperating with the department in the exercise of their respective powers and duties.
295.43 History History: 2013 a. 1.
295.44 295.44 Exploration.
295.44(1)(1)Definitions. In this section:
295.44(1)(a) (a) “Abandonment" means the filling or sealing of a drillhole.
295.44(1)(b) (b) “Clay slurry" means a fluid mixture of native clay formation or commercial clay or clay mineral products and water prepared with only the amount of water necessary to produce fluidity.
295.44(1)(c) (c) “Concrete grout" means a mixture consisting of type A portland cement and an equal or lesser volume of dry sand combined with water.
295.44(1)(d) (d) “Driller" means a person who performs core, rotary, percussion, or other drilling involved in exploration for ferrous minerals.
295.44(1)(e) (e) “Drilling site" means the area disturbed by exploration, including the drillhole.
295.44(1)(f) (f) “Dump bailer" means a cylindrical container with a valve that empties the contents of the container at the bottom of a drillhole.
295.44(1)(g) (g) “Explorer" means any person who engages in exploration or who contracts for the services of drillers for the purpose of exploration.
295.44(1)(h) (h) “Exploration" means the on-site geologic examination from the surface of an area by core, rotary, percussion, or other drilling, where the diameter of the hole does not exceed 18 inches, for the purpose of searching for ferrous minerals or establishing the nature of a known ferrous mineral deposit, including associated activities such as clearing and preparing sites or constructing roads for drilling. “Exploration" does not include drilling for the purpose of collecting soil samples or for determining radioactivity by means of placement of devices that are sensitive to radiation.
295.44(1)(i) (i) “License year" means the period beginning on July 1 of any year and ending on the following June 30.
295.44(1)(j) (j) “Neat cement grout" means a mixture consisting of type A portland cement and water.
295.44(1)(k) (k) “Termination" means the filling of drillholes and the reclamation of a drilling site.
295.44(2) (2) License. No person may engage in exploration, or contract for the services of drillers for purposes of exploration, without an annual license from the department. The department shall provide copies of the application for an exploration license to the state geologist upon issuance of the exploration license. A person seeking an exploration license shall file an application that includes all of the following:
295.44(2)(a) (a) An exploration plan that includes all of the following:
295.44(2)(a)1. 1. A description of the site where the exploration will take place and a map of that area showing the locations of the exploration.
295.44(2)(a)2. 2. A description of the means and method that will be used for the exploration.
295.44(2)(a)3. 3. A description of the grading and stabilization of the excavation, sides, and benches that will be conducted.
295.44(2)(a)4. 4. A description of how the grading and stabilization of any deposits of refuse will be conducted.
295.44(2)(a)5. 5. A description of how any diversion and drainage of water from the exploration site will be conducted.
295.44(2)(a)6. 6. A description of how any backfilling will be conducted.
295.44(2)(a)7. 7. A description of how any pollutant-bearing minerals or materials will be covered.
295.44(2)(a)8. 8. A description of how the topsoils will be removed and stockpiled or how other measures will be taken to protect topsoils before exploration.
295.44(2)(a)9. 9. A description of how vegetative cover will be provided.
295.44(2)(a)10. 10. A description of how any water impoundment will be accomplished.
295.44(2)(a)11. 11. Identification of the means and method that will be used to prevent significant environmental pollution to the extent practicable.
295.44(2)(b) (b) A reclamation plan, designed to minimize adverse effects to the environment to the extent practicable, that includes all of the following:
295.44(2)(b)1. 1. A description of how all toxic and hazardous wastes and other solid waste will be disposed of in solid or hazardous waste disposal facilities licensed under ch. 289 or 291 or otherwise in an environmentally sound manner.
295.44(2)(b)2. 2. A description of how topsoil will be preserved for purposes of future use in reclamation.
295.44(2)(b)3. 3. A description of how revegetation will be conducted to stabilize disturbed soils and prevent air and water pollution to the extent practicable.
295.44(2)(b)4. 4. A description of how disturbance to wetlands will be minimized to the extent practicable.
295.44(2)(b)5. 5. A statement that all drillholes will be abandoned in compliance with sub. (5).
295.44(2)(c) (c) An exploration license fee of $300.
295.44(2)(d) (d) A bond, as provided in sub. (3) (a).
295.44(2)(e) (e) A certificate of insurance showing that the applicant has in force a liability insurance policy issued by an insurance company licensed to do business in this state covering all exploration conducted or contracted for by the explorer in this state and affording personal injury and property damage protection in a total amount determined to be adequate by the department, but not more than $1,000,000 and not less than $50,000.
295.44(2)(f) (f) A copy of the applicant's most recent annual report to the federal securities and exchange commission on form 10-K, or, if this is not available, a report of the applicant's current assets and liabilities or other data necessary to establish that the applicant is competent to conduct exploration in this state.
295.44(2m) (2m) Confidentiality. The department and the state geologist shall protect as confidential any information, other than effluent data, contained in an application for an exploration license, upon a showing that the information is entitled to protection as a trade secret, as defined in s. 134.90 (1) (c), and any information relating to the location, quality, or quantity of a ferrous mineral deposit, to production or sales figures, or to processes or production unique to the applicant or that would tend to adversely affect the competitive position of the applicant if made public.
295.44(3) (3) Bond.
295.44(3)(a)(a) An applicant shall submit, as part of the application for an exploration license, a bond in the amount of $5,000 that is conditioned on faithful performance of the requirements of this section, that is issued by a surety company licensed to do business in this state, and that provides that the bond may not be canceled by the surety, except after not less than 90 days' notice to the department in writing by registered or certified mail.
295.44(3)(b) (b) If the surety for a bond submitted under par. (a) issues a cancellation notice, the explorer shall deliver a replacement bond at least 30 days before the expiration of the 90 day notice period. If the explorer fails to submit a replacement bond, the explorer may not engage in exploration until the explorer submits a replacement bond.
295.44(3)(c) (c) If the license of the surety company for a bond submitted under par. (a) is revoked or suspended, the explorer, within 30 days after receiving written notice from the department, shall deliver a replacement bond. If the explorer fails to submit a replacement bond, the explorer may not engage in exploration until the explorer submits a replacement bond.
295.44(3)(d) (d) The department may require that the amount of the bond submitted under this subsection be increased at any time, if the department determines that the level of activity by the explorer makes it likely that the bond would be inadequate to fund the termination of all drillholes for which the explorer is responsible.
295.44(3)(e) (e) The department shall release a bond submitted under this subsection one year after the issuance of the last certificate of completion of exploration under sub. (9) (c) 3. if the explorer no longer holds an exploration license and the department determines that the explorer has complied with this section.
295.44(4) (4) Issuance or denial of exploration license.
295.44(4)(a) (a) Except as provided in par. (c), within 10 business days of receiving an administratively complete application for an exploration license, the department shall issue the exploration license or provide the notice required under par. (f) of intent not to issue the exploration license, unless the application is for an upcoming license year. If an application is for an upcoming license year, the department shall issue the exploration license or provide the notice required under par. (f) of intent not to issue the exploration license within 10 business days of receiving an administratively complete application or on the next July 1, whichever is later.
295.44(4)(b) (b) An application for an exploration license is considered to be administratively complete on the day that it is submitted, unless, before the 10th business day after receiving the application, the department provides the applicant with written notification that the application is not administratively complete. The department may determine that an application is not administratively complete only if the application does not include an exploration plan; a reclamation plan; an exploration license fee; a bond; a certificate of insurance; or a copy of the applicant's most recent annual report to the federal securities and exchange commission on form 10-K, or, if this is not available, a report of the applicant's current assets and liabilities or other data necessary to establish that the applicant is competent to conduct exploration in this state. The department may not consider the quality of the information provided. In a notice provided under this paragraph, the department shall identify what is missing from the application.
295.44(4)(c) (c) If the department provides notification, in compliance with par. (b), that an application is not administratively complete, the department shall issue the exploration license or provide the notice required under par. (f) of intent not to issue the license within 7 business days of receipt of the missing item, unless the application is for an upcoming license year. If the application is for an upcoming license year, the department shall issue the exploration license or provide the notice required under par. (f) of intent not to issue the exploration license within 7 business days of receipt of the missing item or on the next July 1, whichever is later.
295.44(4)(d) (d) If the department does not comply with par. (a) or (c), the application is automatically approved and the department shall issue an exploration license that includes the requirements in sub. (5). The explorer may engage in exploration based on the automatic approval, notwithstanding any delay by the department in issuing the license.
295.44(4)(e) (e) Subject to par. (f), the department shall deny an application for an exploration license if the department finds that, after the activities in the exploration plan and the reclamation plan have been completed, the exploration will have a substantial and irreparable adverse impact on the environment or present a substantial risk of injury to public health and welfare.
295.44(4)(f) (f) Before denying an application, the department shall provide the applicant with written notification of its intent not to issue the exploration license, setting forth all of the reasons for its intent not to issue the exploration license, including reference to competent evidence supporting its position. The department shall provide the person with an opportunity to correct any deficiencies in the exploration plan or reclamation plan within 10 business days. If the person amends the exploration plan or reclamation plan and corrects the deficiencies, the department shall issue the exploration license within 10 business days of receipt of the amended exploration plan or reclamation plan, unless the application is for an upcoming license year. If an application is for an upcoming license year, the department shall issue the exploration license within 10 business days of receipt of the amended exploration plan or reclamation plan or on the next July 1, whichever is later. If the department determines that the deficiencies have not been corrected, it shall deny the application, in writing, setting forth all of the reasons for its determination, including reference to competent evidence supporting the determination.
295.44(5) (5) Requirements in exploration license. The department shall include all of the following in an exploration license:
295.44(5)(a) (a) A requirement that if the explorer wishes to temporarily abandon a drillhole so that the explorer may use the drillhole for future exploration, the explorer leave the well casing in place and seal the upper end of the casing with a watertight threaded or welded cap.
295.44(5)(b) (b) A requirement to permanently abandon a drillhole 4 inches in diameter or smaller by filling the drillhole from the bottom upward to the surface of the ground with concrete grout or neat cement grout.
295.44(5)(c) (c) A requirement to permanently abandon a drillhole larger than 4 inches in diameter by filling the drillhole from the bottom upward to the surface of the ground with concrete grout or neat cement grout or in one of the following ways:
295.44(5)(c)1. 1. If the drillhole is constructed in limestone, dolomite, shale, or Precambrian formations, such as granite, gabbro, gneiss, schist, slate, greenstone, or quartzite, by filling the drillhole with gravel or crushed rock or, if it is physically impracticable to use gravel or crushed rock and if the department approves, with clay slurry, from the bottom upward to a point 20 feet below the top of the first rock formation encountered below the surface of the ground or to at least 40 feet below the surface of the ground, whichever is the greater depth, and filling the remainder of the drillhole with concrete grout or neat cement grout.
295.44(5)(c)2. 2. If the drillhole is constructed in sandstone formation, by filling the drillhole with disinfected sand or pea gravel or, if it is physically impracticable to use sand or pea gravel and if the department approves, with clay slurry, from the bottom upward to a point 20 feet below the top of the first rock formation encountered below the surface of the ground or to at least 40 feet below the surface of the ground, whichever is the greater depth, and filling the remainder of the drillhole with concrete grout or neat cement grout.
295.44(5)(c)3. 3. If the drillhole is constructed in glacial drift or other unconsolidated formation, by filling the hole with clean clay slurry to a point 20 feet below the surface of the ground and filling the remainder of the drillhole with concrete grout or neat cement grout.
295.44(5)(c)4. 4. If the drillhole is constructed in mixed rock types, by filling the drillhole as provided in subds. 1., 2., and 3., and providing a concrete grout or neat cement grout plug that extends at least 20 feet above and below the point of surface contact between each recognized geologic rock type.
295.44(5)(d)1.1. A requirement to use a conductor pipe or, when practical, a dump bailer when filling a drillhole.
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2017-18 Wisconsin Statutes updated through 2019 Wis. Act 50 and through all Supreme Court and Controlled Substances Board Orders filed before and in effect on December 6, 2019. Published and certified under s. 35.18. Changes effective after December 6, 2019, are designated by NOTES. (Published 12-6-19)