293.13(2)(d)1. 1. Landslides or substantial deposition from the proposed operation in stream or lake beds which cannot be feasibly prevented.
293.13(2)(d)2. 2. Significant surface subsidence which cannot be reclaimed because of the geologic characteristics present at the proposed site.
293.13(2)(d)3. 3. 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:
293.13(2)(d)3.a. a. Dwelling houses.
293.13(2)(d)3.b. b. Public buildings.
293.13(2)(d)3.c. c. Schools.
293.13(2)(d)3.d. d. Churches.
293.13(2)(d)3.e. e. Cemeteries.
293.13(2)(d)3.f. f. Commercial or institutional buildings.
293.13(2)(d)3.g. g. Public roads.
293.13(2)(d)3.h. h. Other public property designated by the department by rule.
293.13(2)(d)4. 4. 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.
293.13 History History: 1995 a. 227 s. 746, 747, 994; 1997 a. 35; 2017 a. 134.
293.13 Cross-reference Cross-reference: See also ch. NR 182, Wis. adm. code.
293.13 Annotation The DNR is not authorized by this section to issue a rule banning all sulfide mining. The requirement to adopt standards for a mining permit application process is inconsistent with a ban. Rusk County Citizen Action Group, Inc. v. DNR, 203 Wis. 2d 1, 552 N.W.2d 110 (Ct. App. 1996), 95-3125.
293.15 293.15 Department powers. The department may:
293.15(1) (1)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.
293.15(2) (2)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.
293.15(3) (3)Issue orders directing particular prospectors or operators to comply with the provisions and purposes of this chapter.
293.15(4) (4)Supervise and provide for such educational programs as appear necessary to carry out the purposes of this chapter.
293.15(5) (5)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.
293.15(6) (6)Issue prospecting and mining permits.
293.15(7) (7)Issue exploration licenses.
293.15(7m) (7m)Issue licenses and approvals necessary for bulk sampling.
293.15(8) (8)Promulgate rules regulating the production, storage and disposal of radioactive waste from exploration, bulk sampling, prospecting, or mining after seeking comments from the department of health 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.
293.15(9) (9)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 to 292 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.
293.15(10) (10)Promulgate rules with respect to minimizing, segregating, backfilling and marketing of mining waste.
293.15(11) (11)Notwithstanding chs. 289 and 291, 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.
293.15(12) (12)Require all persons under its jurisdiction to submit such informational reports as the department deems necessary for performing its duties under this chapter.
293.15(13) (13)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.
293.15 History History: 1995 a. 227 s. 748, 749, 754, 994; 2007 a. 20 s. 9121 (6) (a); 2017 a. 134.
subch. III of ch. 293 SUBCHAPTER III
EXPLORATION
293.21 293.21 Exploration.
293.21(1)(1)Definitions. In this section:
293.21(1)(a) (a) “Driller" means a person who performs core, rotary, percussion or other drilling involved in exploration for nonferrous metallic minerals.
293.21(1)(b) (b) “Parcel" means an identified section, fractional section or government lot.
293.21(1)(c) (c) “Termination" means filling of drillholes and reclamation and revegetation of drilling sites.
293.21(2) (2) License. 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.
293.21(3) (3) Bond.
293.21(3)(a)(a) 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.
293.21(3)(b) (b) 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.
293.21(3)(c) (c) The department shall, by rule, establish a procedure for release of exploration sites from bond coverage.
293.21(4) (4) Notice procedure.
293.21(4)(a)(a) 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.
293.21(4)(b) (b) 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.
293.21(5) (5) License revocation. The department may revoke or suspend an exploration license issued under this section if it determines, after hearing, that:
293.21(5)(a) (a) Statutes or rules of the department have not been complied with; or
293.21(5)(b) (b) There has been a failure to increase bond amounts to adequate levels as specified by the department.
293.21(6) (6) Exemption. 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.
293.21 History History: 1977 c. 421; 1995 a. 227 s. 755; Stats. 1995 s. 293.21; 2013 a. 1.
293.21 Cross-reference Cross-reference: See also ch. NR 130, Wis. adm. code.
293.25 293.25 Radioactive waste site exploration.
293.25(1)(1)Definitions. In this section and for the purposes of determining the applicability of ss. 293.13, 293.15 (1) to (12), 293.21, 293.81, 293.87, 293.89, 293.93 and 293.95: 
293.25(1)(a) (a) “Person" includes any person operating under a contract or under the direction of a federal agency.
293.25(1)(b) (b) “Radioactive waste" means any of the following:
293.25(1)(b)1. 1. Fuel that is withdrawn from a nuclear reactor after irradiation and which is packaged and prepared for disposal.
293.25(1)(b)2. 2. 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.
293.25(1)(b)3. 3. Waste material containing alpha-emitting radioactive elements having an atomic number greater than 92 in concentrations greater than 10 nanocuries per gram.
293.25(1)(c) (c) “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.
293.25(1)(d) (d) “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.
293.25(2) (2) Exploration license and related provisions.
293.25(2)(a) (a) Applicability. Except as provided under par. (b), ss. 293.21 and 293.81 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 nonferrous metallic mineral exploration, to activities related to nonferrous metallic mineral exploration and to persons engaging in or intending to engage in nonferrous metallic mineral exploration or related activities.
293.25(2)(b) (b) Exception. 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.
293.25(2)(c) (c) Hearing. The department shall conduct a public hearing in the county where radioactive waste site exploration is to occur prior to exploration.
293.25(3) (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 employee 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 employees have complied with any requirement imposed by the public service commission under s. 196.497 or any agreement entered into under that section.
293.25(4) (4) Regulation of exploration and related provisions. Sections 293.13, 293.15 (1) to (12), 293.85, 293.87 and 293.89 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 nonferrous metallic mineral exploration, to activities related to nonferrous metallic mineral exploration and to persons engaging in or intending to engage in nonferrous metallic mineral exploration or related activities.
293.25(5) (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.
293.25(6) (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.
293.25(7) (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.
293.25(8) (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.
293.25 History History: 1983 a. 27; 1989 a. 31; 1991 a. 25; 1995 a. 27; 1995 a. 227 s. 756; Stats. 1995 s. 293.25; 2013 a. 1.
293.25 Cross-reference Cross-reference: See also ch. NR 133, Wis. adm. code.
293.26 293.26 Bulk sampling.
293.26(1)(1)In this section, “approval” means any permit, license, certification, contract, or other authorization that the department issues, or any other action by the department, that is required to engage in bulk sampling.
293.26(1m) (1m)No person may engage in bulk sampling except as provided in a bulk sampling license issued by the department under sub. (4) or (14m) and any approval required by the department to engage in bulk sampling identified under sub. (4) or sub. (4m). A person who intends to engage in bulk sampling shall file a bulk sampling plan with the department. The collection of data under a bulk sampling plan may include sampling and analysis related to geophysical, geochemical, groundwater, and surface water conditions, as well as any other data or studies necessary to prepare an application for a mining permit, including the mining plan, reclamation plan, mining waste site feasibility study and plan of operation, or any other approval required for the proposed mining.
293.26(2) (2)A person shall include all of the following in a bulk sampling plan:
293.26(2)(a) (a) A description and map of the bulk sampling site, including the number of acres in the site, the number of acres of land that will be disturbed, if any, associated with each bulk sampling location, and the locations and types of sampling or studies to be conducted at each bulk sampling location.
293.26(2)(b) (b) A description of the methods to be used for the bulk sampling.
293.26(2)(c) (c) A site-specific plan for controlling surface erosion that conforms to requirements under ss. 281.33 (3) and 283.33 and that identifies how impacts to plant and wildlife habitats will be avoided or minimized to the extent practicable.
293.26(2)(d) (d) A revegetation plan for each area where bulk sampling will be performed that describes how adverse impacts to the environment will be avoided or minimized to the extent practicable and how the site will be revegetated and stabilized and that identifies how adverse impacts to plant and wildlife habitats will be avoided or minimized to the extent practicable.
293.26(2)(e) (e) The estimated time for completing the bulk sampling and revegetation of the bulk sampling locations.
293.26(2)(f) (f) A description of any known adverse environmental impacts that are likely to be caused by the bulk sampling and how those impacts will be avoided or minimized to the extent practicable.
293.26(2)(g) (g) A description of any adverse effects, as defined in s. 44.31 (1), that the bulk sampling might have on any historic property, as defined in s. 44.31 (3), that is a listed property, as defined in s. 44.31 (4), that is on the Wisconsin inventory of historic places, as defined in s. 44.31 (12), or that is on the list of locally designated historic places under s. 44.45; or any scenic or recreational areas; and plans to avoid or minimize those adverse effects to the extent practicable.
293.26(3) (3)The department shall protect as confidential any information, other than effluent data, contained in a bulk sampling plan and in any application for an approval that is required before the bulk sampling may be implemented, upon a showing that the information is entitled to protection as a trade secret, as defined in s. 134.90 (1) (c), and any information relating to the location, quality, or quantity of a nonferrous metallic mineral deposit, to production or sales figures, or to processes or production unique to the applicant or that would tend to adversely affect the competitive position of the applicant if made public.
293.26(4) (4)Within 14 days of receipt of a complete bulk sampling plan under sub. (2), the department shall identify for the applicant, in writing, all approvals that are required before the bulk sampling may be implemented, any waivers, exemptions, or exceptions to those approvals that are potentially available, and any information that the department needs to issue the approvals or to issue a decision on any waiver, exemption, or exception. If no approvals are required, the department shall notify the applicant that no approvals are required and issue a bulk sampling license to the applicant.
293.26(4m) (4m)
293.26(4m)(ag)(ag) An applicant shall file a revised bulk sampling plan if there are any significant changes to the information provided in the previous bulk sampling plan under sub. (2).
293.26(4m)(ar) (ar) If the revised bulk sampling plan is filed before the department approves or denies any waiver, exemption, or exception under sub. (12), issues any approval under sub. (13) or (14), or issues a bulk sampling license under sub. (14m), within 14 days of receiving the revised bulk sampling plan, the department shall notify the applicant, in writing, of any changes to the information provided to the applicant under sub. (4).
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2019-20 Wisconsin Statutes updated through 2021 Wis. Act 79 and through all Supreme Court and Controlled Substances Board Orders filed before and in effect on October 1, 2021. Published and certified under s. 35.18. Changes effective after October 1, 2021, are designated by NOTES. (Published 10-1-21)