Position of the wetland within the watershed relative to springs, lakes, rivers and other waters;
Land use practices and trends within the watershed, or the likelihood of nutrient, sediment or toxin loads increasing.
3. `Recreational, cultural and economic value.'
Some wetlands are particularly valuable in meeting the demand for recreational areas, directly or indirectly, by helping to maintain water quality and providing wildlife habitat. Examples of recreational uses include: hunting, canoeing, hiking, snowshoeing, and nature study. To some people and cultures certain wetlands provide an important part of their economic base and/or contribute to their cultural heritage. In assessing the recreational, cultural and economic potential of a particular wetland, the following should be considered:
Suitability and compatibility for the different types of recreational uses;
Whether it provides habitat for or produces species of recreational, cultural or economic interest; and
Whether the products of some wetlands species (e.g., wild rice, furbearers, fish) have special cultural value and/or provide a significant portion of the economic base for the people of a region.
4. `Scarcity of wetland type.'
Certain wetland types (e.g., fens, wild rice lakes) which are statewide or regionally scarce possess special resource significance. Scarcity or rareness depends on the frequency of occurrence of the type, the area of the type in existence prior to settlement, the historical conversion of the type and its resultant degree of destruction, and the amount of similar habitat in the present landscape of the region. In assessing the scarcity of a particular wetland, a comparative measure of the commonness among all wetland types and the degree to which wetlands of all types occur in the surrounding landscape should be considered.
5. `Aquatic study areas, sanctuaries and refuges.'
Through various local, state and federal actions, large areas of the nation's wetlands have been designated and preserved by public agencies for scientific study, and the protection of aquatic and terrestrial habitats. Many public and private groups have also established sanctuaries and refuges in wetlands. Wetland areas that are legally and/or administratively controlled as such, or that are included or nominated for inclusion in the national register of natural landmarks, could be comparatively important. Wetland areas of significant social, cultural, or historic value, such as known landmarks, are considered important.
6. `The ecosystem concept in a regional context.'
The previous subsections suggest that wetlands may not only have important functions within their boundaries, but may also interact with ecosystems of the surrounding region. The potential impact of wetland modification may influence distant wetlands if they are structurally and functionally related in the region. Similarly, the functions and values of any wetland may be affected by other existing and potential water resource activities in the region. Therefore, consideration should be given to those impacts which are shown to be of regional concern.
All wetlands which are to be used by the proposed activity shall be inventoried and analyzed pursuant to this chapter. The use of such wetlands shall be de minimis and, therefore, exempt from further application of this section, if the applicant demonstrates the following by a preponderance of evidence:
The wetlands to be used are or can be made to be sufficiently hydrologically isolated from the surface and underground waters of the state so that no violations of applicable laws and rules would result;
The wetlands are not special or unique utilizing the result of the analysis made pursuant to this chapter; and
The burden of proof to establish compliance with the requirements of this chapter shall be on the operator.
The hearing procedure outlined in s. 293.43 (5)
, Stats., shall govern all hearings on the prospecting permit application.
NR 131.06 History
Cr. Register, August, 1982, No. 320
, eff. 9-1-82;
correction in (4) (g) made under s. 13.93 (2m) (b) 1., Stats., Register, September, 1995, No. 477
; corrections in (3) (d), (4) (e), (6) made under s. 13.92 (4) (b) 7., Stats., Register March 2011 No. 663
NR 131.07 Prospecting plan.
The prospecting plan shall include the following:
Details of the nature, extent and final configuration of the proposed excavation and project site including location and total production of refuse, and nature and depth of overburden.
Details of the proposed operating procedures which may be furnished by reference to documents submitted pursuant to ch. NR 182
Prospecting waste production, loading, transportation, storage and final disposition.
Bulk sample production, loading, transportation, storage and final disposition.
Ground and surface water management techniques including provisions for erosion prevention and drainage control and a detailed water management plan showing source, flow paths and rates, storage volumes and release points.
Plans for collection, treatment and discharge of any water resulting from the operation.
The applicant shall prepare a risk assessment of possible accidental health and environmental hazards potentially associated with the prospecting operation. Contingency measures with respect to these risks and hazards, and the assumption in this assessment, shall be explicitly stated.
Measures for notifying the public and responsible governmental agencies of potentially hazardous conditions including the movement or accumulation of toxic wastes in ground and surface water, soils, and vegetation and other consequences of the operation of importance to public health, safety and welfare.
Description of all surface facilities associated with the prospecting site.
Description of all geological/geotechnical investigations and drilling programs.
Evidence satisfactory to the department that the proposed prospecting operation will be consistent with the reclamation plan and will comply with the following minimum standards:
Grading and stabilization of excavation, sides, and benches to conform with state and federal environmental and safety requirements and to prevent erosion and environmental pollution.
Grading and stabilization of deposits of refuse in conformance with state and federal safety and environmental requirements and solid waste laws and regulations.
Adequate diversion and drainage of water from the prospecting site to prevent erosion and contamination of surface and groundwaters.
Backfilling of excavations where such procedure will not interfere with the prospecting operation.
Handling and storage of all materials on the prospecting site in an environmentally sound manner as determined by the department. Materials not licensed pursuant to ch. NR 182
but deemed by the department to present a potential threat to the environment shall be subject to the waste characterization analysis procedure set forth in s. NR 182.08 (2) (b)
Removal and stockpiling, or other measures to protect topsoils consistent with environmental considerations and reclamation, prior to prospecting, unless the department determines that such actions will be environmentally undesirable.
Maintenance of adequate vegetative cover where feasible to prevent erosion.
Impoundment of water where necessary in a safe and environmentally acceptable manner.
Identification and prevention of pollution as defined in s. 281.01 (10)
, Stats., resulting from leaching of waste materials in accordance with state and federal solid waste laws and regulations.
Maintenance of appropriate emergency procedures to minimize damage to public health, safety, welfare and the environment from events described under sub. (3) (h)
Submission of a plan for a preblasting survey. This survey shall be completed and submitted to the department prior to any blasting.
NR 131.07 History
Cr. Register, August, 1982, No. 320
, eff. 9-1-82; corrections in (1), (3) (g), (4) (j), (k), (L) made under s. 13.92 (4) (b) 7.
, Stats., Register March 2011 No. 663
NR 131.08 Reclamation plan.
The reclamation plan for the prospecting site shall include the following:
Detailed information and maps on reclamation procedures including:
Manner, location, sequence and anticipated duration of reclamation.
Ongoing reclamation procedures during prospecting operation.
Proposed interim and final topography and slope stabilization.
Proposed final land use and relationship to surrounding land and land use.
Plans for long-term maintenance of prospecting site including:
Names of persons legally and operationally responsible for long-term maintenance.
Projected costs of reclamation including estimated cost to the state of fulfilling the reclamation plan.
Alternative plans for reclamation of the prospecting site if all or part of the site is to become part of a mining site.
Evidence satisfactory to the department that the proposed reclamation will conform with the following minimum standards:
All toxic and hazardous wastes, refuse, tailings and other solid waste shall be disposed of in conformance with applicable state and federal statutes and regulations.
All tunnels, shafts or other underground openings shall be sealed in a manner which will prevent seepage of water in amounts which may be expected to create a safety, health or environmental hazard, unless the applicant can demonstrate alternative uses which do not endanger public health and safety and which conform to applicable environmental protection and mine safety laws and rules.
All underground and surface runoff waters from prospecting sites shall be managed, impounded or treated so as to prevent soil erosion to the extent practicable, flooding, damage to agricultural lands or livestock, damage to wild animals, pollution of ground or surface waters, damage to public health or threats to public safety.
All surface structures constructed as part of the prospecting activities shall be removed, unless they are converted to an acceptable alternate use.
Adequate measures shall be taken to prevent significant surface subsidence, but if such subsidence does occur, the affected area shall be reclaimed.
All topsoil from surface areas disturbed by the prospecting operation shall be removed and stored in an environmentally acceptable manner for use in reclamation.
All disturbed surface areas shall be revegetated as soon as practicable after the disturbance to stabilize slopes and prevent air and water pollution, with the objective of reestablishing a variety of plants and animals indigenous to the area immediately prior to prospecting, unless such reestablishment is inconsistent with the provisions of s. 293.01 (23)
, Stats. Plant species not indigenous to the area may be used if necessary to provide rapid stabilization of slopes and prevention of erosion, if such species are acceptable to the department, but the ultimate goal of reestablishment of indigenous species shall be maintained.
If it is physically or economically impracticable or environmentally or socially undesirable for the reclamation process to return the affected area to its original state, the reasons therefor and a discussion of alternative conditions and uses to which the affected area can be put.
NR 131.08 History
Cr. Register, August, 1982, No. 320
, eff. 9-1-82; correction in (2) (g) made under s. 13.92 (4) (b) 7.
Stats., Register March 2011 No. 663
Unless denied pursuant to s. NR 131.10
the department shall issue a prospecting permit to the applicant within 90 days following the date of completion of the public hearing record.
After issuance of the permit but prior to commencing prospecting, the operator shall file with the department the following:
As required by s. 293.51
, Stats., a bond or other security payable to the department conditioned upon faithful performance of all requirements of ch. 293, Stats.
, and the provisions of this chapter.
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 shall be determined by the department on the basis of those factors listed in s. NR 131.07
. 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 department may increase the amount of the bond, cash, certificates of deposit or government securities in lieu of the procedures contained in s. NR 131.12 (2)
, in order to assure adequate financing for the reclamation plan.
The bond shall be issued by a surety company licensed to do business in Wisconsin. If the surety company's license to do business is revoked or suspended, the operator, within 30 days after receiving written notice thereof from the department, shall substitute surety underwritten by a surety company licensed to do business in Wisconsin. Upon failure of the operator to make a substitution, the department shall suspend the operator's prospecting permit until substitution has been made.
Each bond shall provide that the bond shall not be canceled by the surety, except after not less than 90 days notice to the department in writing by registered or certified mail. Not less than 30 days prior to the expiration of the 90 day notice of cancellation, the operator shall deliver to the department a replacement bond in the absence of which all prospecting shall cease.
A certificate of insurance certifying that the operator has in force a liability insurance policy issued by an insurance company authorized to do business in this state or in lieu of a certificate of insurance, evidence that the operator has satisfied state or federal self-insurance requirements covering all prospecting of the operator 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.