Identification and prevention of pollution as defined in s. 281.01 (10)
resulting from leaching of waste materials.
Identification and prevention of significant environmental pollution.
Minimum standards for reclamation of exploration sites, where appropriate, and for prospecting and mining sites shall conform to s. 293.01 (23)
and include provision for the following:
Disposal of all toxic and hazardous wastes, refuse, tailings and other solid waste in solid or hazardous waste disposal facilities licensed under ch. 289
or otherwise in an environmentally sound manner.
Sealing off tunnels, shafts or other underground openings, and prevention of seepage in amounts which may be expected to create a safety, health or environmental hazard, unless the applicant can demonstrate alternative uses of tunnels, shafts or other openings which do not endanger public health and safety and which conform to applicable environmental protection laws and rules.
Management, impoundment or treatment of all underground or surface runoff waters from open pits or underground prospecting or mining sites so as to prevent soil erosion, flooding, damage to agricultural lands or livestock, wild animals, pollution of surface or subsurface waters or damage to public health or safety.
Removal of all surface structures, unless they are converted to an alternate use.
Prevention or reclamation of substantial surface subsidence.
Preservation of topsoil for purposes of future use in reclamation.
Revegetation to stabilize disturbed soils and prevent air and water pollution, with the objective of reestablishing a variety of populations of plants and animals indigenous to the area immediately prior to exploration, prospecting or mining.
The minimum standards adopted under this subsection shall also provide that if any of the following situations may reasonably be expected to occur during or subsequent to prospecting or mining, the prospecting or mining permit shall be denied:
Landslides or substantial deposition from the proposed operation in stream or lake beds which cannot be feasibly prevented.
Significant surface subsidence which cannot be reclaimed because of the geologic characteristics present at the proposed site.
Hazards resulting in irreparable damage to any of the following, which cannot be prevented under the requirements of this chapter, avoided to the extent applicable by removal from the area of hazard or mitigated by purchase or by obtaining the consent of the owner:
Irreparable environmental damage to lake or stream bodies despite adherence to the requirements of this chapter. This subdivision does not apply to an activity which the department has authorized pursuant to statute, except that the destruction or filling in of a lake bed shall not be authorized notwithstanding any other provision of law.
History: 1995 a. 227
The department may:
Hold hearings relating to any aspect of the administration of this chapter and, in connection therewith, compel the attendance of witnesses and production of evidence.
Cooperate or contract with the geological and natural history survey to secure necessary scientific, technical, administrative and operations services, including research, projects and laboratory facilities.
Issue orders directing particular prospectors or operators to comply with the provisions and purposes of this chapter.
Supervise and provide for such educational programs as appear necessary to carry out the purposes of this chapter.
At its own expense, with the staff, equipment and material under its control, or by contract with others, take such actions as are necessary for the reclamation of abandoned project sites.
Issue prospecting and mining permits.
Promulgate rules regulating the production, storage and disposal of radioactive waste from exploration, prospecting or mining after seeking comments from the department of health and family services. At a minimum, rules promulgated under this subsection shall achieve the margin of safety provided in applicable federal statutes and regulations. If the department promulgates rules under this subsection, the department shall investigate the need for standards more restrictive than the applicable federal statutes and regulations.
Promulgate rules by which the department may grant an exemption, modification or variance, either making a requirement more or less restrictive, from any rule promulgated under chs. 289
and this chapter, if the exemption, modification or variance does not result in the violation of any federal or state environmental law or endanger public health, safety or welfare or the environment.
Promulgate rules with respect to minimizing, segregating, backfilling and marketing of mining waste.
Notwithstanding chs. 289
, promulgate rules establishing groundwater quality standards or groundwater quantity standards, or both, for any prospecting or mining activity, including standards for any mining waste site.
Require all persons under its jurisdiction to submit such informational reports as the department deems necessary for performing its duties under this chapter.
Monitor environmental changes concurrently with the permit holder under s. 293.45 (3)
or 293.49 (7)
, and for such additional period of time after the full bond is released under s. 293.63 (3)
as is necessary for the site to return to a state of environmental stability. The department may conduct independent studies to monitor environmental changes.
History: 1995 a. 227
"Driller" means a person who performs core, rotary, percussion or other drilling involved in exploration for metallic minerals.
"Parcel" means an identified section, fractional section or government lot.
"Termination" means filling of drillholes and reclamation and revegetation of drilling sites.
All persons intending to engage in exploration, or who contract for the services of drillers for purposes of exploration, shall be licensed by the department. Exploration licenses shall be issued annually by the department, and shall be applied for on forms provided by the department. The department shall provide copies of the application form for an exploration license to the state geologist upon issuance of the license. The department shall, by rule, establish an annual license fee plus a schedule of additional fees based on the number of holes drilled. The level of fees shall reflect the department's actual cost in administering this section. The fees set under this subsection may be adjusted for persons to reflect the payment of fees for the same services to meet other requirements.
Applications for licenses shall be accompanied by a bond in the amount of $5,000 conditioned on faithful performance of the requirements of the department relating to termination.
The department may require that the amount of the bond be increased at any time, if the department determines that a licensee's current level of activity makes it likely that the bond would be inadequate to fund the termination of all holes drilled for which the licensee is responsible.
The department shall, by rule, establish a procedure for release of exploration sites from bond coverage.
Commencement of drilling on a parcel shall be preceded by notice from the licensee to the department of intent to drill, given at least 10 days in advance of the commencement of drilling, and identifying the particular parcel. The department shall transmit a copy of the notice of intent to drill to the state geologist.
The department shall, by rule, establish notification and inspection procedures applicable to the various stages of drilling and termination and procedures for the proper termination of drillholes.
(5) License revocation.
The department may revoke or suspend an exploration license issued under this section if it determines, after hearing, that:
Statutes or rules of the department have not been complied with; or
There has been a failure to increase bond amounts to adequate levels as specified by the department.
This section does not apply to operators engaged in exploration activities on lands included in a mining and reclamation plan, if the plan contains provisions relating to termination of the exploration activities.
History: 1977 c. 421
; 1995 a. 227
; Stats. 1995 s. 293.21.
Radioactive waste site exploration. 293.25(1)(a)
"Person" includes any person operating under a contract or under the direction of a federal agency.
"Radioactive waste" means any of the following:
Fuel that is withdrawn from a nuclear reactor after irradiation and which is packaged and prepared for disposal.
Highly radioactive waste resulting from reprocessing irradiated nuclear fuel including both the liquid waste which is produced directly in reprocessing and any solid material into which the liquid waste is transformed.
Waste material containing alpha-emitting radioactive elements having an atomic number greater than 92 in concentrations greater than 10 nanocuries per gram.
"Radioactive waste site exploration" means the on-site geologic examination from the surface of an area by core, rotary, percussion or other drilling for the purpose of determining the subsurface and geologic characteristics of an area in order to establish whether the area is suitable for a radioactive waste disposal site and includes associated activities such as clearing and preparing sites or constructing roads for drilling.
"Radioactive waste disposal site" means any site or facility for the long-term storage or disposal of radioactive waste including any underground storage area and related facilities.
(2) Exploration license and related provisions. 293.25(2)(a)(a) Applicability.
Except as provided under par. (b)
, ss. 293.21
and rules promulgated under those sections apply to radioactive waste site exploration, to activities related to radioactive waste site exploration and to persons engaging in or intending to engage in radioactive waste site exploration or related activities in the same manner as those sections and rules are applicable to mineral exploration, to activities related to mineral exploration and to persons engaging in or intending to engage in mineral exploration or related activities.
Notwithstanding par. (a)
and s. 293.21 (3)
, the department may waive the bond requirement for a person who is authorized to engage in radioactive waste site exploration by a federal agency if the federal agency provides sufficient guarantees that the person or the federal agency will comply with the requirements of the department relating to termination. Notwithstanding par. (a)
and s. 293.21 (3)
, the department may require a bond in an amount in excess of the amount specified under s. 293.21 (3) (a)
to ensure that sufficient funds are available to comply with termination requirements or to abate or remedy any environmental pollution or danger to public health, safety or welfare resulting from radioactive waste site exploration.
The department shall conduct a public hearing in the county where radioactive waste site exploration is to occur prior to exploration.
(3) Approval required prior to drilling.
No person may engage in radioactive waste site exploration by drilling on a parcel unless notice is provided as required under sub. (2)
and s. 293.21 (4) (a)
and unless the department issues a written approval authorizing drilling on that parcel. If the person seeking this approval is the federal department of energy or an agent or employe of the federal department of energy, the department may not issue the approval unless the public service commission certifies that the federal department of energy and its agents or employes have complied with any requirement imposed by the public service commission under s. 196.497
or any agreement entered into under that section.
(4) Regulation of exploration and related provisions. Sections 293.13
, 293.15 (1)
and rules promulgated under those sections apply to radioactive waste site exploration, to activities related to radioactive waste site exploration and to persons engaging in or intending to engage in radioactive waste site exploration or related activities in the same manner as those sections and rules are applicable to mineral exploration, to activities related to mineral exploration and to persons engaging in or intending to engage in mineral exploration or related activities..
(5) Groundwater regulations.
A person engaging in radioactive waste site exploration shall comply with any restrictions or prohibitions concerning the pollution or contamination of groundwater under this chapter, subch. II of ch. 281
or ch. 283
or any rule or order promulgated under those chapters or that subchapter.
(6) Environmental impact.
Radioactive waste site exploration may constitute a major action significantly affecting the quality of the human environment. No person may engage in radioactive waste site exploration unless the person complies with the requirements under s. 1.11
. Notwithstanding s. 23.40
, the state may charge actual and reasonable costs associated with field investigation, verification, monitoring, preapplication services and preparation of an environmental impact statement.
(7) Impact on public service commission.
Nothing in this section limits the power or authority of the public service commission to impose more stringent requirements for the negotiation and approval of agreements under s. 196.497
(8) Impact on other requirements.
In addition to the requirements under this section, a person engaged in radioactive waste site exploration shall comply with all other applicable statutory requirements, rules and municipal ordinances and regulations. If a conflict exists between this section and another statute, rule, ordinance or requirement, the stricter provision controls.
History: 1983 a. 27
; 1989 a. 31
; 1991 a. 25
; 1995 a. 27
; 1995 a. 227
; Stats. 1995 s. 293.25.
PROSPECTING; MINING; RECLAMATION
293.31 Data collection. 293.31(1)(1)
Any person intending to submit an application for a prospecting or mining permit shall notify the department prior to the collection of data or information intended to be used to support the permit application. Specific environmental data which would be pertinent to a specific prospecting or mining application, but which was obtained or collected or generated prior to the notice of intent to apply for a prospecting or mining permit, shall be submitted in writing to the department together with any substantiating background information which would assist the department in establishing the validity of the data. The department shall review the data and, if it concludes that the benefits of permitting the admission of the data outweigh the policy reasons for excluding it, and if the data is otherwise admissible, inform the person giving the notice of intent to prospect or mine that the data will be accepted by the department. Such exclusion shall not relate to general environmental information such as soil characteristics, hydrologic conditions and air and water data contained in publications, maps, documents, studies, reports and similar sources, whether public or private, not prepared by or for the applicant. Such exclusion shall likewise not relate to data which is otherwise admissible that is collected prior to notification under this subsection for purposes of evaluating another site or sites and which is not collected with intent to evade the provisions of this section.
Upon receipt of notification under sub. (1)
, the department shall give public notice of the notification in the same manner as provided under s. 293.43 (3) (b)
The department shall also receive and consider any comments from interested persons received within 45 days after public notice is given under sub. (2)
as to the information which they believe should be requested from the person giving notice of intent to apply for a prospecting or mining permit and the information which they believe the department should seek through independent studies.