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.
After the receipt and consideration of comments from interested persons, the department shall inform the person giving notice of intent to apply for a prospecting or mining permit of the type and quantity of information that it then believes to be needed to support an application, and where applicable, the methodology to be used in gathering information. The department shall specifically inform the person giving notice of intent to apply for a prospecting or mining permit of the type and quantity of information on the characteristics of groundwater resources in the area in which prospecting or mining is anticipated to occur which the department believes is needed to support an application. The department shall also begin informing the person giving notice of intent to apply for a prospecting or mining permit as to the timely application date for approvals, licenses and permits, so as to facilitate the consideration of all other matters at the hearing on the prospecting or mining permit.
The department may conduct studies necessary to verify information which may be submitted at the time of a permit application.
All information gathered by a person giving notice under sub. (1)
shall be submitted to the department as soon as it is in final form. The department may at any time after consultation with the person giving notice of intent to apply for a prospecting or mining permit revise or modify its requirements regarding information which must be gathered and submitted.
History: 1977 c. 421
; 1995 a. 227
Local impact committee. 293.33(1)
A county, town, village, city or tribal government likely to be substantially affected by potential or proposed mining may designate an existing committee, or establish a committee, for purposes of:
Facilitating communications between operators and itself.
Reviewing and commenting on reclamation plans.
Developing solutions to mining-induced growth problems.
Formulating recommendations to the investment and local impact fund board regarding distribution of funds under s. 70.395 (2) (g)
A county, town, village, city or tribal government affected in common with another county, town, village, city or tribal government by a proposed or existing mine may cooperatively designate or establish a joint committee, but may also maintain a separate committee under sub. (1)
. Committees under this section may include representatives of affected units of government, business and industry, manpower, health, protective or service agencies, school districts, or environmental and other interest groups or other interested parties.
Persons giving notice under s. 293.31 (1)
shall thereafter appoint a liaison person to any committee established under sub. (1)
, and shall provide such reasonable information as is requested by the committee. Operators and persons giving notice under s. 293.31
shall thereafter make reasonable efforts to design and operate mining operations in harmony with community development objectives.
Committees established under sub. (1)
may be funded by their appointing authority, and may, through their appointing authority, submit a request for operating funds to the investment and local impact fund board under s. 70.395
. Committees established under sub. (1)
shall be eligible for funds only if the county, town, village or city is also a participant in a joint committee, if any, established under sub. (2)
. The investment and local impact fund board may not grant funds for the use of more than one committee established under sub. (1)
in relation to a particular mining proposal unless a joint committee has been established under sub. (2)
. The investment and local impact fund board shall grant operating funds to any committee that submits a request and is eligible under this subsection and s. 70.395 (2) (fm)
. Committees may hire staff, enter into contracts with private firms or consultants or contract with a regional planning commission or other agency for staff services for mining-related purposes or the purposes under s. 70.395 (2) (fm)
History: 1995 a. 227
Application for prospecting permit. 293.35(1)
No person may engage in prospecting without securing a prospecting permit issued under s. 293.45
. Application for prospecting permits shall be made in writing to the department upon forms prepared and furnished by the department. An application must be made, and a prospecting permit obtained for each separate prospecting site. Applications shall be submitted in reproducible form in such multiples as required by rules of the department. As a part of each application for a prospecting permit, the applicant shall furnish a description of the proposed prospecting site, the number of acres in the proposed prospecting site, a prospecting plan, a reclamation plan meeting the requirements of subs. (2)
and a timetable for reclamation, information relating to whether the area may be unsuitable for prospecting or surface mining, unless the applicant conclusively certifies that he or she will not subsequently make application for a permit to conduct surface mining at the site and such other relevant information as the department may require, including information as to whether the applicant, its parent corporation, any of its principal shareholders or members, or any of the applicant's subsidiaries or affiliates in which the applicant owns more than a 40% interest, has forfeited any mining bonds in other states within the last 20 years, and the dates and locations, if any.