AB426,42,6 6295.41 Definitions. In this subchapter:
AB426,42,9 7(1) "Air pollution" means the presence in the atmosphere of one or more air
8contaminants in such quantities and of such duration as is injurious to human health
9or welfare, animal or plant life, or property.
AB426,42,11 10(2) "Applicant" means a person who applies for, or is preparing to apply for, an
11exploration license or a mining permit or who files a bulk sampling plan.
AB426,42,16 12(3) "Approval" means any permit, license, certification, contract, or other
13authorization that the department issues, or any other action by the department,
14that is required for exploration, to engage in bulk sampling at a bulk sampling site,
15or to construct or operate a mining site, including any action required for any of the
AB426,42,1917 (a) The withdrawal of land entered as county forest land under s. 28.11 and any
18modification of, or amendment to, a county forest land use plan necessitated by the
19withdrawal of the land.
AB426,42,2020 (b) The withdrawal of land entered as forest cropland under s. 77.10.
AB426,42,2321 (c) The withdrawal of land designated as managed forest land under subch. VI
22of ch. 77 and any modification of, or amendment to, a managed forest land
23management plan necessitated by the withdrawal of the land.
1(4) "Background water quality" means the concentration of a substance in
2groundwater as determined by monitoring at locations that will not be affected by
3a mining site.
AB426,43,6 4(5) "Baseline water quality" means the concentration of a substance in
5groundwater or surface water as determined by monitoring before mining operations
AB426,43,8 7(6) "Borrow materials" means soil or rock used in construction or reclamation
AB426,43,13 9(7) "Bulk sampling" means excavating in a potential mining site by removing
10less than 10,000 tons of material for the purposes of obtaining site-specific data to
11assess the quality and quantity of the ferrous mineral deposits and of collecting data
12from and analyzing the excavated materials in order to prepare the application for
13a mining permit or for any other approval.
AB426,43,15 14(8) "Closing" means the time at which a mining waste site ceases to accept
15mining wastes.
AB426,43,17 16(9) "Closure" means the actions taken by an operator to prepare a mining waste
17site for long-term care and to make it suitable for other uses.
AB426,43,19 18(10) "Construct" means to engage in a program of on-site construction,
19including site clearing, grading, dredging, or filling of land.
AB426,43,20 20(11) "Department" means the department of natural resources.
AB426,43,22 21(12) "Disposal" means the discharge, deposit, injection, dumping, or placing of
22a substance into or on any land or water.
AB426,43,25 23(14) "Environmental impact report" means a document submitted by a person
24seeking a mining permit that discloses environmental impacts of the proposed
1(15) "Environmental impact statement" means a detailed statement under s.
21.11 (2) (c).
AB426,44,5 3(16) "Environmental pollution" means contaminating or rendering unclean or
4impure the air, land, or waters of the state, or making the air, land, or waters of the
5state injurious to public health or animal or plant life.
AB426,44,6 6(17) "Exploration license" means a license under s. 295.44.
AB426,44,9 7(18) "Ferrous mineral" means an ore or earthen material in natural deposits
8in or on the earth that primarily exists in the form of an iron oxide, including taconite
9and hematite.
AB426,44,11 10(19) "Fill area" means an area proposed to receive or that is receiving direct
11application of mining waste.
AB426,44,13 12(20) "Freeboard" means the height of the top of a dam above the adjacent liquid
13surface within the impoundment.
AB426,44,15 14(21) "Groundwater" means any of the waters of the state occurring in a
15saturated subsurface geological formation of rock or soil.
AB426,44,17 16(22) "Groundwater quality" means the chemical, physical, biological, thermal,
17or radiological quality of groundwater at a site or within an underground aquifer.
AB426,44,21 18(23) "Groundwater quality standards" means numerical values consisting of
19enforcement standards and preventive action limits contained in Table 1 of s. NR
20140.10, and Table 2 of s. NR 140.12, Wis. Adm. Code, and any preventive action limits
21for indicator parameters identified under s. NR 140.20 (2).
AB426,44,24 22(24) "Leachate" means water or other liquid that has been contaminated by
23dissolved or suspended materials due to contact with refuse disposed of on the
24mining site.
1(25) "Merchantable by-product" means all waste soil, rock, mineral, liquid,
2vegetation, and other material directly resulting from or displaced by the mining,
3cleaning, or preparation of minerals, during mining operations, that are determined
4by the department to be marketable upon a showing of marketability made by the
5operator, accompanied by a verified statement by the operator of his or her intent to
6sell the material within 3 years from the time it results from or is displaced by
AB426,45,13 8(26) "Mining" means all or part of the process involved in the mining of a
9ferrous mineral, other than for exploration, including commercial extraction,
10agglomeration, beneficiation, construction of roads, removal of overburden, and the
11production of refuse, involving the removal of more than 15,000 tons of earth
12material a year in the regular operation of a business for the purpose of extracting
13a ferrous mineral.
AB426,45,14 14(27) "Mining permit" means the permit under s. 295.58.
AB426,45,17 15(28) "Mining plan" means a proposal for mining on a mining site, including a
16description of the systematic activities to be used for the purpose of extracting
17ferrous minerals.
AB426,45,22 18(29) "Mining site" means the surface area disturbed by mining, including the
19surface area from which the ferrous minerals or refuse or both have been removed,
20the surface area covered by refuse, all lands disturbed by the construction or
21improvement of haulageways, and any surface areas in which structures,
22equipment, materials, and any other things used in the mining are situated.
AB426,46,5 23(30) "Mining waste" means tailings, waste rock, mine overburden, waste
24treatment sludges, or other discarded material, including solid, liquid, semi-solid,
25or contained gaseous material, resulting from mining or from the cleaning or

1preparation of ferrous minerals during mining operations, except that "mining
2waste" does not include topsoil and mine overburden intended to be returned to the
3mining site or used in the reclamation process and that is placed on the mining site
4for those purposes, as provided for in the approved mining plan, and does not include
5merchantable by-products.
AB426,46,10 6(31) "Mining waste site" means any land or appurtenances thereto used for the
7storage or disposal of mining waste or for the storage of merchantable by-products,
8but does not include land or appurtenances used in the production or transportation
9of mining waste, such as the concentrator, haul roads, or tailings pipelines, that are
10part of the mining site.
AB426,46,13 11(32) "Nonferrous metallic mineral" means an ore or other earthen material to
12be excavated from natural deposits on or in the earth for its metallic content but not
13primarily for its iron oxide content.
AB426,46,16 14(33) "Operator" means any person who is engaged in mining, or who holds a
15mining permit, whether individually, jointly, or through subsidiaries, agents,
16employees, or contractors.
AB426,46,17 17(34) "Overburden" means any unconsolidated material that overlies bedrock.
AB426,46,20 18(35) "Person" means an individual, corporation, limited liability company,
19partnership, association, local governmental agency, interstate agency, state agency,
20or federal agency.
AB426,46,22 21(36) "Piping" means the progressive erosion of materials from an embankment
22or foundation caused by the seepage of water.
AB426,46,24 23(37) "Principal shareholder" means any person who owns at least 10 percent
24of the beneficial ownership of an applicant or operator.
1(38) "Reagent" means a substance or compound that is added to a system in
2order to bring about a chemical reaction or is added to see if a reaction occurs to
3confirm the presence of another substance.
AB426,47,6 4(39) "Reclamation" means the process by which an area physically or
5environmentally affected by exploration or mining is rehabilitated to either its
6original state or to a state that provides long-term environmental stability.
AB426,47,8 7(40) "Reclamation plan" means the proposal for the reclamation of an
8exploration site under s. 295.44 (2) (b) or a mining site under s. 295.49.
AB426,47,10 9(41) "Refuse" means all mining waste and all waste materials deposited on or
10in the mining site from other sources, except merchantable by-products.
AB426,47,13 11(42) "Related person" means any person that owns or operates a mining site
12in the United States and that is one of the following when an application for a mining
13permit is submitted to the department:
AB426,47,1414 (a) The parent corporation of the applicant.
AB426,47,1615 (b) A person that holds more than a 30 percent ownership interest in the
AB426,47,1817 (c) A subsidiary or affiliate of the applicant in which the applicant holds more
18than a 30 percent ownership interest.
AB426,47,23 19(44) "Subsidence" means lateral or vertical ground movement caused by a
20failure, initiated at the mine, of a man-made underground mine, that directly
21damages residences or commercial buildings, except that "subsidence" does not
22include lateral or vertical ground movement caused by earthquake, landslide, soil
23conditions, soil erosion, soil freezing and thawing, or roots of trees and shrubs.
1(45) "Tailings" means waste material resulting from beneficiation of crushed
2ferrous minerals at a concentrator or from washing, concentration, or treatment of
3crushed ferrous minerals.
AB426,48,6 4(46) "Unsuitable" means that the land proposed for mining is not suitable for
5mining because the mining activity will more probably than not destroy or
6irreparably damage any of the following:
AB426,48,97 (a) Habitat required for survival of species of vegetation or wildlife designated
8as endangered through prior inclusion in rules adopted by the department, if the
9endangered species cannot be reestablished elsewhere.
AB426,48,1310 (b) Unique features of the land, as determined by state or federal designation
11and incorporated in rules adopted by the department, as any of the following, which
12cannot have their unique characteristic preserved by relocation or replacement
AB426,48,1414 1. Wilderness areas.
AB426,48,1515 2. Wild and scenic rivers.
AB426,48,1616 3. National or state parks.
AB426,48,1717 4. Wildlife refuges and areas.
AB426,48,1818 5. Listed properties, as defined in s. 44.31 (4).
AB426,48,23 19(46m) "Wastewater and sludge storage or treatment lagoon" means a
20man-made containment structure that is constructed primarily of earthen
21materials, that is for the treatment or storage of wastewater, storm water, or sludge,
22and that is not a land disposal system, as defined in s. NR 140.05 (11), Wis. Adm.
AB426,48,24 24(47) "Waters of the state" has the meaning given in s. 281.01 (18).
1(48) "Water supply" means the sources and their surroundings from which
2water is supplied for drinking or domestic purposes.
AB426,49,3 3(49) "Wetland" has the meaning given in s. 23.32 (1).
AB426,49,14 4295.43 Responsibilities related to mining. The department shall serve as
5the central unit of state government to ensure that the impact from mining and
6reclamation on the air, lands, waters, plants, fish, and wildlife in this state will be
7minimized and mitigated to the extent practicable. The administration of
8occupational health and safety laws and rules that apply to mining remain
9exclusively the responsibility of the department of safety and professional services.
10The powers and duties of the geological and natural history survey under s. 36.25 (6)
11remain exclusively the responsibility of the geological and natural history survey.
12Nothing in this section prevents the department of safety and professional services
13and the geological and natural history survey from cooperating with the department
14in the exercise of their respective powers and duties.
AB426,49,15 15295.44 Exploration. (1) Definitions. In this section:
AB426,49,1616 (a) "Abandonment" means the filling or sealing of a drillhole.
AB426,49,1917 (b) "Clay slurry" means a fluid mixture of native clay formation or commercial
18clay or clay mineral products and water prepared with only the amount of water
19necessary to produce fluidity.
AB426,49,2120 (c) "Concrete grout" means a mixture consisting of type A portland cement and
21an equal or lesser volume of dry sand combined with water.
AB426,49,2322 (d) "Driller" means a person who performs core, rotary, percussion, or other
23drilling involved in exploration for ferrous minerals.
AB426,49,2524 (e) "Drilling site" means the area disturbed by exploration, including the
1(f) "Dump bailer" means a cylindrical container with a valve that empties the
2contents of the container at the bottom of a drillhole.
AB426,50,43 (g) "Explorer" means any person who engages in exploration or who contracts
4for the services of drillers for the purpose of exploration.
AB426,50,125 (h) "Exploration" means the on-site geologic examination from the surface of
6an area by core, rotary, percussion, or other drilling, where the diameter of the hole
7does not exceed 18 inches, for the purpose of searching for ferrous minerals or
8establishing the nature of a known ferrous mineral deposit, including associated
9activities such as clearing and preparing sites or constructing roads for drilling.
10"Exploration" does not include drilling for the purpose of collecting soil samples or
11for determining radioactivity by means of placement of devices that are sensitive to
AB426,50,1413 (i) "License year" means the period beginning on July 1 of any year and ending
14on the following June 30.
AB426,50,1615 (j) "Neat cement grout" means a mixture consisting of type A portland cement
16and water.
AB426,50,1817 (k) "Termination" means the filling of drillholes and the reclamation of a
18drilling site.
AB426,50,24 19(2) License. No person may engage in exploration, or contract for the services
20of drillers for purposes of exploration, without an annual license from the
21department. The department shall provide copies of the application for an
22exploration license to the state geologist upon issuance of the exploration license. A
23person seeking an exploration license shall file an application that includes all of the
AB426,50,2525 (a) An exploration plan that includes all of the following:
11. A description of the site where the exploration will take place and a map of
2that area showing the locations of the exploration.
AB426,51,33 2. A description of the means and method that will be used for the exploration.
AB426,51,54 3. A description of the grading and stabilization of the excavation, sides, and
5benches that will be conducted.
AB426,51,76 4. A description of how the grading and stabilization of any deposits of refuse
7will be conducted.
AB426,51,98 5. A description of how any diversion and drainage of water from the
9exploration site will be conducted.
AB426,51,1010 6. A description of how any backfilling will be conducted.
AB426,51,1211 7. A description of how any pollutant-bearing minerals or materials will be
AB426,51,1413 8. A description of how the topsoils will be removed and stockpiled or how other
14measures will be taken to protect topsoils before exploration.
AB426,51,1515 9. A description of how vegetative cover will be provided.
AB426,51,1616 10. A description of how any water impoundment will be accomplished.
AB426,51,1817 11. Identification of the means and method that will be used to prevent
18significant environmental pollution to the extent practicable.
AB426,51,2019 (b) A reclamation plan, designed to minimize adverse effects to the
20environment to the extent practicable, that includes all of the following: