The department shall grant confidential status to prospecting data if the applicant makes a request and if the prospecting data relates to economic information or geologic information or is entitled to confidential status under rules promulgated by the department.
History: 1973 c. 318
; 1979 c. 221
; 1981 c. 86
; 1981 c. 335
; 1995 a. 227
; Stats. 1995 s. 293.47.
Mining; department grant or denial of permit. 293.49(1)(a)(a)
Except with respect to property specified in s. 41.41 (11)
, within 90 days of the completion of the public hearing record, the department shall issue the mining permit if it finds:
The mining plan and reclamation plan are reasonably certain to result in reclamation of the mining site consistent with this chapter and any rules adopted under this chapter and the department has approved the mining plan.
The proposed operation will comply with all applicable air, groundwater, surface water and solid and hazardous waste management laws and rules of the department.
In the case of a surface mine, the site is not unsuitable for mining. The preliminary determination that a site was not unsuitable for mining under s. 293.45
may not be conclusive in the determination of the site's suitability for mining under this section. However, at the hearing held under this section and s. 293.43
, testimony and evidence submitted at the prospecting permit proceeding relevant to the issue of suitability of the proposed mining site for surface mining may be adopted, subject to the opportunity for cross-examination and rebuttal, if not unduly repetitious.
The proposed mine will not endanger public health, safety or welfare.
The proposed mine will result in a net positive economic impact in the area reasonably expected to be most impacted by the activity.
The proposed mining operation conforms with all applicable zoning ordinances.
Each approval or denial shall be made in findings of fact, conclusions of law and an order setting forth reasons with clarity and in detail. The department may modify the operator's proposed mining or reclamation plans in order to meet the requirements of this chapter, and, as modified, grant its approval.
Within 90 days of the completion of the public hearing record, the department shall deny the mining permit if it finds any of the following:
That the site is unsuitable for surface mining, if the application is for a proposed surface mine.
That the applicant has violated and continues to fail to comply with this chapter or any rule adopted under this chapter.
That the applicant, principal shareholder of the applicant or a related person has within 10 years before the application is submitted forfeited a mining reclamation bond that was posted in accordance with a permit or other approval for a mining operation in the United States, unless the forfeiture was by agreement with the entity for whose benefit the bond was posted and the amount of the bond was sufficient to cover all costs of reclamation.
That the applicant, a related person or an officer or director of the applicant has, within 10 years before the application is submitted, been convicted of more than one felony for violations of laws for the protection of the natural environment arising out of the operation of a mining site in the United States, unless one of the following applies:
The person convicted has been pardoned for all of the felonies.
The person convicted is a related person or an officer or director of the applicant with whom the applicant terminates its relationship.
The applicant included in its permit application under s. 293.37 (1)
a plan to prevent the occurrence in this state of events similar to the events that directly resulted in the convictions.
That the applicant or a related person has, within 10 years before the application is submitted, declared bankruptcy or undergone dissolution that resulted in the failure to reclaim a mining site in the United States in violation of a state or federal law and that failure has not been remedied and is not being remedied.
That, within 10 years before the application is submitted, a mining permit or other mining approval issued to the applicant or a related person was permanently revoked because of a failure to reclaim a mining site in the United States in violation of state or federal law and that failure has not been and is not being remedied.
The department may not deny a mining permit under sub. (2) (c)
if the person subject to the convictions, forfeiture, permanent revocation, bankruptcy or dissolution is a related person but the applicant shows that the person was not the parent corporation of the applicant, a person that holds more than a 30% ownership in the applicant, or a subsidiary or affiliate of the applicant in which the applicant holds more than a 30% interest at the time of the convictions, forfeiture, permanent revocation, bankruptcy or dissolution.
The prior issuance of a prospecting permit under s. 293.45
for all or part of a site shall, in and of itself, be given no weight in the decision to grant or deny a mining permit under this section, and the department must find, in any order granting, or granting with conditions, a mining permit that no weight was given in the decision to the prior issuance of a prospecting permit. However, to the extent that testimony and evidence submitted at the prospecting permit proceedings is relevant to the issue of whether to grant or deny a mining permit, the testimony and evidence may be adopted in the mining permit proceedings, subject to the opportunity for cross-examination and rebuttal to the extent that the testimony and evidence are not unduly repetitious.
The department shall send its statement, together with a copy of its rules and finding as to whether the applicant has otherwise satisfied the requirements of this chapter, to the applicant and to the other parties.
The department, in granting a permit under this section, shall require the permit holder to perform adequate monitoring of environmental changes during the course of the permitted activity and for such additional period of time as is necessary to satisfactorily complete reclamation and completely release the permit holder from any bonds required.
No operator may engage a general contractor or affiliate to operate a mining site if the general contractor or affiliate has been convicted of more than one felony for violation of a law for the protection of the natural environment arising out of the operation of a mining site in the United States within 10 years before the issuance of the operator's permit, unless the general contractor or affiliate receives the department's approval of a plan to prevent the occurrence in this state of events similar to the events that directly resulted in the convictions.
History: 1995 a. 227
Upon notification that an application for a prospecting or mining permit has been approved by the department but prior to commencing prospecting or mining, the operator shall file with the department a bond conditioned on faithful performance of all of the requirements of this chapter and all rules adopted by the department under this chapter. The bond shall be furnished by a surety company licensed to do business in this state. In lieu of a bond, the operator may deposit cash, certificates of deposit or government securities with the department. Interest received on certificates of deposit and government securities shall be paid to the operator. The amount of the bond or other security required shall be equal to the estimated cost to the state of fulfilling the reclamation plan, in relation to that portion of the site that will be disturbed by the end of the following year. The estimated cost of reclamation of each prospecting or mining site shall be determined by the department on the basis of relevant factors including, but not limited to, expected changes in the price index, topography of the site, methods being employed, depth and composition of overburden and depth of mineral deposit being mined.
The applicant shall submit a certificate of insurance certifying that the applicant has in force a liability insurance policy issued by an insurer authorized to do business in this state, or in lieu of a certificate of insurance evidence that the applicant has satisfied state or federal self-insurance requirements, covering all mining operations of the applicant in this state and affording personal injury and property damage protection in a total amount deemed adequate by the department but not less than $50,000.
Upon approval of the operator's bond, mining application and certificate of insurance, the department shall issue written authorization to commence mining at the permitted mining site in accordance with the approved mining and reclamation plans.
Any operator who obtains mining permits from the department for 2 or more mining sites may elect, at the time the 2nd or any subsequent site is approved, to post a single bond in lieu of separate bonds on each site. Any single bond so posted shall be in an amount equal to the estimated cost to the state determined under sub. (1)
of reclaiming all sites the operator has under mining permits. When an operator elects to post a single bond in lieu of separate bonds previously posted on individual sites, the separate bonds may not be released until the new bond has been accepted by the department.
Any person who is engaged in mining on July 3, 1974 need not file a bond or deposit cash, certificates of deposits or government securities with the department under this section to obtain the written authorization to commence mining under sub. (3)
Review of permits; periodic reports. 293.53(1)(a)(a)
Eighteen months after the issuance of a prospecting permit, and annually thereafter until prospecting ceases, the department shall review the permit, reclamation plan and bond to ascertain adequacy, compliance with state or federal laws enacted after the issuance of the permit and technological currency. If the department after review determines that the plan should be modified or the bond amount changed, it shall notify the permit holder of the necessary modifications or changes. If the permit holder does not request a hearing within 30 days, the modifications or changes shall be deemed accepted.
If the permit holder desires to modify the permit, an amended application shall be submitted to the department, which shall process the amendment as if it were an original application if the proposed modification substantially broadens or changes the scope of the original prospecting proposal.
To the extent that testimony and evidence submitted at the original prospecting permit proceedings or from previous modification hearings is relevant to the issues of modification or granting or denial of the amendment, it may be adopted in the subsequent proceedings, subject to the opportunity for cross-examination and rebuttal, if not unduly repetitious.
The operator shall furnish the department with a report for each mining site every 12 months after issuance of the permit, within 30 days after completion of all mining at the mining site and within 30 days after completion of the mining plan and of the reclamation plan. The reports shall include, in addition to such other information as the department requires, such information and maps as the department deems necessary to evaluate the extent of mining and the reclamation accomplished during the previous calendar year.
Annually, the department shall review the mining and reclamation plans and bonds, using the procedure specified under sub. (1)
The department shall cancel the mining permit held by any operator who fails and refuses to submit reports required under this subsection.
History: 1995 a. 227
; 1995 a. 227
An operator at any time may apply for amendment or cancellation of a mining permit or for a change in the mining or reclamation plans for any mining operation which the operator owns or leases. The operator shall submit any application for the amendment, cancellation or change on a form provided by the department and shall identify the tract of land to be added to or removed from the permitted mining site or to be affected by a change in the mining or reclamation plans.
The department shall process the application for an increase or decrease in the area of a mining site or for a substantial change in the mining or reclamation plans in the same manner as an original application for a mining permit except as provided under par. (d)
The department shall determine if any change in the mining or reclamation plans is substantial and provide notice of its determination in the same manner as specified under s. 293.43 (3) (b) 1.
The department shall provide notice of any modification which involves an increase or decrease in the area of a mining site or a substantial change in the mining or reclamation plan in the same manner as an original application for a mining permit under s. 293.43 (3)
. If 5 or more interested persons do not request a hearing in writing within 30 days of notice, no hearing is required on the modification. The notice shall include a statement to this effect.
If a hearing is held, testimony and exhibits from the hearing on either the original applications for a mining permit or from previous modification hearings which are relevant to the instant modification may be adopted, subject to cross-examination and rebuttal if not unduly repetitious.
If the application is to cancel any or all of the unmined part of a mining site, the department shall ascertain, by inspection, if mining has occurred on the land. If the department finds that no mining has occurred, the department shall order release of the bond or the security posted on the land being removed from the permitted mining site and cancel or amend the operator's written authorization to conduct mining on the mining site. No land where mining has occurred may be removed from a permitted mining site or released from bond or security under this subsection, unless reclamation has been completed to the satisfaction of the department.
If the department finds that because of changing conditions, including but not limited to changes in reclamation costs, reclamation technology, minimum standards under ss. 293.13
and 293.15 (1)
or governmental land use plans, the reclamation plan for a mining site is no longer sufficient to reasonably provide for reclamation of the project site consistent with this chapter and any rules adopted under this chapter, it shall require the applicant to submit amended mining and reclamation plans which shall be processed in the same manner as an application for an original mining permit. The applicant shall be deemed to hold a temporary mining permit which shall be effective until the amended mining permit is issued or denied. The department shall review the mining and reclamation plans annually after the date of the mining permit issuance or previous review under this section.
History: 1995 a. 227
When one operator succeeds to the interest of another in an uncompleted mining operation by sale, assignment, lease or otherwise, the department shall release the first operator from the duties imposed upon the first operator by this chapter as to such operation if:
Both operators have complied with the requirements of this chapter; and
The successor operator discloses whether it has forfeited any performance security because of noncompliance with any prospecting or mining laws within the previous 20 years, posts any bond required under s. 293.51
and assumes all responsibilities of all applicable permits, licenses and approvals granted to the predecessor operator.
History: 1995 a. 227
Cessation of mining or reclamation.
If there is a cessation of mining or reclamation which is not set forth in either the mining plan or the reclamation plan, the operator shall so notify the department within 48 hours and shall commence stabilization of the mining site according to rules established by the department. If the department determines after hearing that stabilization of the mining site is inadequate to protect the environment, the department shall order the operator to commence additional measures to protect the environment, including, if the cessation is reasonably anticipated to extend for a protracted period of time, reclamation according to the reclamation plan or part of the reclamation plan. Usual and regular shutdown of operations on weekends, for maintenance or repair of equipment or facilities or for other customary reasons shall not constitute a cessation of mining.
History: 1977 c. 421
; 1995 a. 227
; Stats. 1995 s. 293.59.
Determination of abandonment of mining. 293.61(1)(1)
Except as provided under sub. (2)
, abandonment of mining occurs if there is a cessation of mining, not set forth in an operator's mining or reclamation plans or by any other sufficient written or constructive notice, extending for more than 6 consecutive months.
Abandonment of mining does not occur:
If the cessation of mining is due either to labor strikes or to such unforeseen developments as adverse market conditions, as determined by the department;
If the cessation of mining does not continue beyond the time period specified by the department. The time limit specified by the department may not exceed 5 years for a mining operation for which a permit is issued under s. 293.49
on or after May 19, 1984. The time limit specified by the department may not exceed 10 years for a mining operation for which a permit is issued under s. 293.49
before May 19, 1984;
If the site is maintained in an environmentally stable manner, as determined by the department, during the cessation of mining; and
If the reclamation of the site continues according to the reclamation plan during the cessation of mining to the extent possible.
History: 1983 a. 517
; 1995 a. 227
; Stats. 1995 s. 293.61.
Certificate of completion, partial completion and bond release. 293.63(1)(1)
Upon the petition of the operator, but not less than 4 years after notification to the department by the operator of the completion of the reclamation plan, if the department finds after conducting a hearing that the operator has completed reclamation for any portion of the mining site in accordance with the reclamation plan and this chapter, the department shall issue a certificate of completion setting forth a description of the area reclaimed and a statement that the operator has fulfilled its duties under the reclamation plan as to that area.
Upon the issuance of any certificate of completion under sub. (1)
for any portion of the mining site, but not for the entire mining site, the department shall allow the operator to reduce the amount of the bond to an amount which shall equal the estimated cost of reclamation of the portion of the mining site which is disturbed or for which reclamation has been completed but no certificate of completion has been issued.
Upon issuance of a certificate or certificates of completion of reclamation for the entire mining site, the department shall require that the operator maintain a bond equal to at least 10% of the cost to the state of reclamation of the entire mining site if mining of the site was wholly underground, and at least 20% of the cost to the state of reclamation of the entire mining site if any surface mining was conducted. Where the mining site in the mining plan is less than 10 acres, the department may release the bond after issuance of the certificate under sub. (1)
After 20 years after the issuance of a certificate or certificates of completion for the entire mining site, the department shall release the bond if the department finds that the reclamation plan has been complied with.
The department shall, by rule, establish a procedure for release of reclamation bonds for prospecting sites similar to subs. (1)
, but with shorter time periods.
History: 1973 c. 318
; 1977 c. 421
; 1995 a. 227
; Stats. 1995 s. 293.63.
Diversion of surface waters; withdrawal of groundwater; damage claims. 293.65(1)
This section governs the withdrawal or diversion of groundwaters or surface waters by persons engaged in prospecting or mining. Discharges of waters are subject to ch. 283
, construction of necessary dams or other structures is subject to chs. 30
and construction of wells is subject to ch. 280
, to the extent applicable.
(2) Diversion of surface water; permit required. 293.65(2)(a)(a)
Any person intending to divert surface waters for prospecting or mining shall apply to the department for a permit. The forms and procedures used under s. 30.18
apply to the extent practicable.
The department, upon receipt of an application for a permit, shall determine the minimum stream flow or lake level necessary to protect public rights, the minimum flow or level necessary to protect the rights of affected riparians, the point downstream beyond which riparian rights are not likely to be injured by the proposed diversion and the amount of surplus water, as defined in s. 30.01 (6d)
, if any, at the point of the proposed diversion.
At the hearing on the permit application, the department shall take testimony on:
The public rights in the lake or stream and the related environment which may be injured by the proposed diversion;
The public benefits provided by increased employment, economic activity and tax revenues from the mining operation;
The direct and indirect social and economic costs and benefits of the proposed mining operation;
Whether the proposed withdrawal will consume nonsurplus water;
The rights of competing users of such water resources; and
Any other issues identified by the department as relevant to the decision of whether to issue or deny a permit.