SUBSTITUTE SENATE BILL 6119
State of Washington 52nd Legislature 1992 Regular Session
By Senate Committee on Environment & Natural Resources (originally sponsored by Senators Amondson, Sutherland, L. Smith, Bauer, McCaslin, Metcalf, Saling and Barr)
Read first time 02/07/92.
AN ACT Relating to mining; amending RCW 78.44.010, 78.44.020, 78.44.040, 78.44.050, 78.44.060, 78.44.070, 78.44.150, 78.44.170, and 78.44.910; adding a new section to chapter 36.70A RCW; adding new sections to chapter 78.44 RCW; creating new sections; recodifying RCW 78.44.150, 78.44.170, 78.44.175, and 78.44.910; repealing RCW 78.44.030, 78.44.035, 78.44.080, 78.44.090, 78.44.100, 78.44.110, 78.44.120, 78.44.130, 78.44.140, 78.44.160, and 78.44.180; prescribing penalties; and providing an effective date.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF WASHINGTON:
NEW SECTION. Sec. 1. The legislature recognizes that recent court decisions have affected the ability of some counties, cities, and towns to exercise regulatory oversight regarding surface mining operations. The legislature also recognizes that the extraction of minerals through surface mining has historically included regulatory involvement by both state and local government agencies.
It is the intent of the legislature to clarify that surface mining is an appropriate land use, subject to reclamation authority exercised by the department of natural resources and land use and operations regulatory authority exercised by counties, cities, and towns.
Sec. 2. RCW 78.44.010 and 1970 ex.s. c 64 s 2 are each amended to read as follows:
legislature recognizes that the extraction of minerals by surface mining is ((
basic and)) an essential activity making an important contribution
to the economic well-being of the state and nation. (( At the same time,
proper reclamation of surface)) It is not possible to extract minerals
without producing some environmental impacts. At the same time, comprehensive
regulation of mining and thorough reclamation of mined lands is
necessary to prevent (( undesirable land and water)) or mitigate
conditions that would be detrimental to the environment and to protect the
general welfare, health, safety, and property rights of the citizens of the
state. Surface mining takes place in diverse areas where the geologic,
topographic, climatic, biologic, and social conditions are significantly
different, and reclamation specifications must vary accordingly. (( It is
not practical to extract minerals required by our society without disturbing
the surface of the earth and producing waste materials, and the very character
of many types of surface mining operations precludes complete restoration of
the land to its original condition. However, the legislature finds that
reclamation of surface mined lands as provided in this chapter will allow the
mining of valuable minerals and will provide for the protection and subsequent
beneficial use of the mined and reclaimed land.)) Therefore, the
legislature finds that a balance between appropriate environmental regulation
and the production and conservation of minerals is in the best interests of the
citizens of the state.
Sec. 3. RCW 78.44.020 and 1970 ex.s. c 64 s 3 are each amended to read as follows:
purposes of this chapter ((
is)) are to:
Provide that the usefulness, productivity, and scenic values of all lands
and waters involved in surface mining within the state will receive the
greatest practical degree of protection and ((
restoration. It is a further
purpose of this chapter to provide a means of cooperation between private and
governmental entities in carrying this chapter into effect)) reclamation
at the earliest opportunity following excavation;
(2) Provide for local regulation of mining operations as authorized in section 18 of this act in order to prevent or mitigate environmental and social impacts of surface mining operations;
(3) Provide for the greatest practical degree of state-wide consistency in the regulation of surface mines;
(4) Apportion regulatory authority between state and local governments in order to minimize redundant regulation of mining;
(5) Ensure the power of local government to regulate land use pursuant to section 17 of this act and operations pursuant to section 18 of this act; and
(6) Ensure that reclamation is consistent with local land use plans proposed following actual reclamation.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 4. DEFINITIONS. Unless the context clearly indicates otherwise, the definitions in this section apply throughout this chapter.
(1) "Approved subsequent use" means the post surface-mining land use contained in an approved reclamation plan and approved by the local land use authority.
(2) "Completion of surface mining" means the cessation of mining and directly related activities in any segment of a surface mine that occurs when essentially all minerals that can be taken under the terms of the reclamation permit have been depleted except minerals required to accomplish reclamation according to the approved reclamation plan.
(3) "Department" means the department of natural resources.
(4) "Determination" means any action by the department including permit issuance, reporting, reclamation plan approval or modification, permit transfers, bond calculation, orders, fines, or refusal to issue permits.
(5) "Disturbed area" means any place where activities clearly in preparation for, or during, surface mining have physically disrupted, covered, compacted, moved, or otherwise altered the characteristics of soil, bedrock, vegetation, or topography that existed prior to such activity. Disturbed areas may include but are not limited to: Working faces, water bodies created by mine-related excavation, pit floors, the land beneath processing plant and stock pile sites, spoil pile sites, and equipment staging areas.
Disturbed areas do not include:
(a) Surface mine access roads unless these have characteristics of topography, drainage, slope stability, or ownership that, in the opinion of the department, make reclamation necessary; and
(b) Lands that have been reclaimed to all standards outlined in this chapter, rules, any applicable SEPA document, and the approved reclamation plan.
(6) "Miner" means any person or persons, any partnership, limited partnership, or corporation, or any association of persons, including every public or governmental agency engaged in mining from the surface.
(7) "Minerals" means gravel, sand, stone, topsoil, and any other similar solid material or substance to be excavated from natural deposits on or in the earth for commercial, industrial, or construction use.
(8) "Operations" means all mine-related activities, exclusive of reclamation, that include, but are not limited to activities that affect noise generation, air quality, surface and ground water quality, quantity, and flow, glare, pollution, traffic safety, ground vibrations, and/or public safety impacts commonly regulated under provisions of land use or other permits of local government and local ordinances, or other state laws. Operations specifically include:
(a) The mining or extraction of rock, stone, gravel, sand, earth, and other minerals;
(b) Blasting, equipment maintenance, sorting, crushing, and loading;
(c) On-site mineral processing including asphalt or concrete batching, concrete recycling, and other aggregate recycling; and
(d) Transporting minerals to and from the mine, on site road maintenance, road maintenance for roads used extensively for surface mining activities, traffic safety, and traffic control.
(9) "Overburden" means the earth, rock, soil, and topsoil that lie above mineral deposits.
(10) "Permit holder" means any person or persons, any partnership, limited partnership, or corporation, or any association of persons, either natural or artificial, including every public or governmental agency engaged in surface mining and/or the operation of surface mines, whether individually, jointly, or through subsidiaries, agents, employees, operators, or contractors who holds a state reclamation permit.
(11) "Reclamation" means rehabilitation for the appropriate future use of disturbed areas resulting from surface mining including areas under associated mineral processing equipment and stockpiled materials. Although both the need for and the practicability of reclamation will control the type and degree of reclamation in any specific surface mine, the basic objective shall be to reestablish on a perpetual basis the vegetative cover, soil stability, and water conditions appropriate to the approved subsequent use of the surface mine and to prevent or mitigate future environmental degradation.
(12) "Reclamation setbacks" include those lands along the margins of surface mines wherein rocks and sediments are preserved in sufficient volumes to accomplish reclamation according to the approved plan and the minimum reclamation standards. Maintenance of reclamation setbacks shall not preclude other mine-related activities within the reclamation setback.
(13) "Recycling" means the reuse of minerals or rock products.
(14) "Screening" consists of vegetation, berms or other topography, fencing, and/or other screens that may be required to mitigate impacts of surface mining on adjacent properties and/or the environment.
(15) "Segment" means any portion of the surface mine that, in the opinion of the department:
(a) Have characteristics of topography, drainage, slope stability, ownership, mining development, or mineral distribution, that make reclamation necessary;
(b) Are not in use as part of surface mining and/or related activities; and
(c) Are smaller than seven acres and have less than five hundred linear feet of working face except as provided in a segmental reclamation agreement approved by the department.
(16) "SEPA" means the state environmental policy act, chapter 43.21C RCW and rules adopted thereunder.
(17)(a) "Surface mine" means any area or areas in close proximity to each other, as determined by the department, where extraction of minerals from the surface results in:
(i) More than three acres of disturbed area;
(ii) Mined slopes greater than thirty feet high and steeper than 1.0 foot horizontal to 1.0 foot vertical; or
(iii) More than one acre of disturbed area within an eight acre area, when the disturbed area results from mineral prospecting or exploration activities.
(b) Surface mines include areas where mineral extraction from the surface occurs by the auger method or by reworking mine refuse or tailings, when these activities exceed the size or height thresholds listed in (a) of this subsection.
(c) Surface mines shall not include:
(i) Excavations, removal, or grading used primarily for construction or road maintenance for forestry or farming on the same landowner's property or on contiguous lands;
(ii) Excavations or graded areas used solely for the purpose of restoring the land immediately following a natural disaster; or
(iii) Underground mines.
(18)(a) "Surface mining" means all or any part of the processes involved in maintaining a reclamation permit or operating a surface mine, or both.
(b) Surface mining shall not include:
(i) Excavations, removal, or grading used primarily for construction or road maintenance for forestry or farming on the same landowner's property or on contiguous lands;
(ii) Excavations or grading for the purpose of public safety or restoring the land following an emergent natural disaster;
(iii) Excavations or graded areas used primarily for construction, road maintenance, forestry, or farming on-site or on contiguous lands; or
(iv) Excavation or grading for the purpose of removing stockpiles of previously mined materials.
(19) "Topsoil" means the naturally occurring upper part of a soil profile, including the soil horizon that is rich in humus and capable of supporting vegetation together with other sediments within four vertical feet of the ground surface.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 5. SEGMENTAL RECLAMATION. The permit holder shall reclaim each segment of the mine within two years of completion of mining on that segment except as provided in a segmental reclamation agreement approved in writing by the department. The primary objective of a segmental reclamation agreement should be to enhance final reclamation.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 6. ADMINISTRATION OF CHAPTER. (1) The department is charged with the administration and enforcement of reclamation under this chapter.
(2) Counties, cities, and towns may regulate surface mining operations and surface mine siting pursuant to the authority granted local government.
Sec. 7. RCW 78.44.040 and 1984 c 215 s 2 are each amended to read as follows:
department of natural resources is charged with the administration of reclamation
under this chapter. In order to implement ((
the chapter's terms and
provisions)) and enforce this chapter, the department, under the (( provisions
of the)) administrative procedure act (chapter 34.05 RCW), (( as now or
hereafter amended,)) may from time to time (( promulgate)) adopt
those rules (( and regulations)) necessary to carry out the purposes of
this chapter. Counties, cities, and towns may adopt ordinances as provided
in section 18 of this act.
Sec. 8. RCW 78.44.050 and 1970 ex.s. c 64 s 6 are each amended to read as follows:
The department shall have the exclusive authority to regulate surface mine reclamation. All counties, cities, or towns shall have the authority to zone surface mines and regulate surface mine siting pursuant to section 17 of this act and ordinances regulating operations adopted pursuant to section 18 of this act, except that county, city, or town operations ordinances may be preempted by the department during the emergencies outlined in section 27 of this act and related rules.
chapter shall not ((
affect)) alter or preempt any (( of the))
provisions of the state fisheries laws (Title 75 RCW), the state water
pollution control laws (Title 90 RCW), the state (( game)) wildlife
laws (Title 77 RCW), (( or any other state laws, and shall be cumulative and
nonexclusive)) state noise laws or air quality laws (Title 70 RCW),
shoreline management (chapter 90.58 RCW), the state environmental policy act
(chapter 43.21C RCW), state growth management (chapter 36.70A RCW), or any
other state laws, and shall be cumulative and nonexclusive.
Sec. 9. RCW 78.44.060 and 1970 ex.s. c 64 s 7 are each amended to read as follows:
department shall have the authority to conduct ((
and/or participate in investigations, research, experiments, and
demonstrations, and to collect and disseminate information relating to surface
mining and reclamation of surface mined lands.
Sec. 10. RCW 78.44.070 and 1970 ex.s. c 64 s 8 are each amended to read as follows:
department may cooperate with other governmental and private agencies ((
this state and other states)) and agencies of the federal government, and
may reasonably reimburse them for any services the department requests that
they provide. The department may also receive any federal funds, state funds
and any other funds and expend them for reclamation of land affected by surface
mining and for purposes enumerated in RCW 78.44.060.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 11. SURFACE MINING RECLAMATION ACCOUNT. The surface mining reclamation account is created in the state treasury. Annual mining fees, funds received by the department from state, local, or federal agencies for research purposes, as well as other mine-related funds and fines received by the department shall be deposited into this account. The surface mine reclamation account may be used by the department only to:
(1) Administer its regulatory program pursuant to this chapter;
(2) Undertake research relating to surface mine regulation, reclamation of surface mine lands, and related issues; and
(3) Cover costs arising from administrative appeals to determinations made under this chapter.
Fines, interest, and other penalties collected by the department under the provisions of this chapter shall be used to reclaim surface mines abandoned prior to 1971.
Only the commissioner of public lands or the commissioner's designee may authorize expenditures from the account. The account is subject to chapter 43.88 RCW, but no appropriation is required for expenditures.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 12. RECLAMATION PERMITS REQUIRED--APPLICATIONS. After July 1, 1992, a person may not engage in surface mining without having first obtained a reclamation permit from the department. Operating permits issued by the department between January 1, 1971, and June 30, 1992, shall be considered reclamation permits provided such permits substantially meet the protections, mitigations, and reclamation goals of sections 13, 18, 20, and 21 of this act within five years after the effective date of this act. State agencies shall be exempt from this time limit for inactive sites. Prior to the use of an inactive site, the reclamation plan must be brought up to current standards. A separate permit shall be required for each noncontiguous surface mine. The reclamation permit shall consist of the permit forms and any exhibits attached thereto. The permit holder shall comply with the provisions of the reclamation permit unless waived and explained in writing by the department.
Prior to receiving a reclamation permit, an applicant must submit an application on forms provided by the department that shall contain the following information and shall be considered part of the reclamation permit:
(1) Name and address of the legal landowner, or purchaser of the land under a real estate contract;
(2) The name of the applicant and, if the applicants are corporations or other business entities, the names and addresses of their principal officers and resident agent for service of process;
(3) A reasonably accurate description of the minerals to be surface mined;
(4) Type of surface mining to be performed;
(5) Estimated starting date, date of completion, and date of completed reclamation of surface mining;
(6) Size and legal description of the permit area and maximum lateral and vertical extent of the disturbed area;
(7) Expected area to be disturbed by surface mining during (a) the next twelve months, and (b) the following twenty-four months;
(8) Any applicable SEPA determination; and
(9) Other pertinent data as required by the department.
The reclamation permit shall be granted for the period required to deplete essentially all minerals identified in the reclamation permit on the land covered by the reclamation plan. The reclamation permit shall be valid until the reclamation is complete unless the permit is canceled by the department.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 13. RECLAMATION PLANS. An applicant shall provide a reclamation plan and copies acceptable to the department prior to obtaining a reclamation permit. The department shall have the sole authority to approve reclamation plans. Reclamation plans or modified reclamation plans submitted to the department after June 30, 1992, shall meet or exceed the minimum reclamation standards set forth in this chapter and by the department in rule. Each applicant shall also supply copies of the proposed plans and final reclamation plan approved by the department to the county, city, or town in which the mine will be located. The department shall solicit comment from local government prior to approving a reclamation plan. The reclamation plan shall include:
(1) A written narrative describing the proposed mining and reclamation scheme with:
(a) A statement of a proposed subsequent use of the land after reclamation that is consistent with the local land use designation. Approval of the reclamation plan shall not vest the proposed subsequent use of the land;
(b) If the permit holder is not the sole landowner, a copy of the conveyance or a written statement that expressly grants or reserves the right to extract minerals by surface mining methods;
(c) A simple and accurate legal description of the permit area and disturbed areas;
(d) The maximum depth of mining;
(e) A reasonably accurate description of the minerals to be mined;
(f) A description of the method of mining;
(g) A description of the sequence of mining that will provide, within limits of normal procedures of the industry, for completion of surface mining and associated disturbance on each segment of the permit area so the reclamation can be initiated at the earliest possible time on each segment of the mine;
(h) A schedule for progressive reclamation of each segment of the mine;
(i) Where mining on flood plains or in river or stream channels is contemplated, a thoroughly documented hydrogeologic evaluation that will outline measures that would protect against or would mitigate avulsion and erosion as determined by the department;
(j) Where mining is contemplated within critical aquifer recharge areas, special protection areas as defined by chapter 90.48 RCW and implementing rules, public water supply watersheds, sole source aquifers, wellhead protection areas, and designated aquifer protection areas as set forth in chapter 36.36 RCW, a thoroughly documented hydrogeologic analysis of the reclamation plan shall be required; and
(k) Additional information including but not limited to: The positions of reclamation setbacks and screening, conservation of topsoil, interim reclamation, revegetation, postmining erosion control, drainage control, slope stability, disposal of mine wastes, control of fill material, development of wetlands, ponds, lakes, and impoundments, and rehabilitation of topography.
(2) Maps of the surface mine showing:
(a) All applicable data required in the narrative portion of the reclamation plan;
(b) Existing topographic contours;
(c) Contours depicting specifications for surface gradient restoration appropriate to the proposed subsequent use of the land and meeting the minimum reclamation standards;
(d) Locations and names of all roads, railroads, and utility lines on or adjacent to the area;
(e) Locations and types of proposed access roads to be built in conjunction with the surface mining;
(f) Detailed and accurate boundaries of the permit area, screening, reclamation setbacks, and maximum extent of the disturbed area; and
(g) Estimated depth to ground water and the locations of surface water bodies and wetlands both prior to and after mining.
(3) At least two cross sections of the mine including all applicable data required in the narrative and map portions of the reclamation plan.
(4) Evidence that the proposed surface mine has been approved under local zoning and land use regulations.
(5) Written approval of the reclamation plan by the landowner for mines permitted after June 30, 1992.
(6) Other supporting data and documents regarding the surface mine as reasonably required by the department.
The applicant shall provide the department with copies of the reclamation plan including maps and cross sections.
If the department refuses to approve a reclamation plan in the form submitted by an applicant or permit holder, it shall notify the applicant or permit holder stating the reasons for its determination and describe such additional requirements to the applicant or permit holder's reclamation plan as are necessary for the approval of the plan by the department. If the department refuses to approve a complete reclamation plan within one hundred twenty days, the miner or permit holder may appeal this determination under the provisions of this chapter.
Only insignificant deviations may occur from the approved reclamation plan without prior written approval by the department for the proposed change.
The department retains the authority to require that the reclamation plan be updated to the satisfaction of the department at least every ten years.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 14. RECLAMATION PERMITS--TIME LIMITS. The county shall issue a SEPA threshold determination within one hundred eighty days of receipt of a complete permit application. Reclamation permits shall not be issued until SEPA review of the entire proposal is complete.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 15. FEES. (1) The applicant shall pay an application fee to the department prior to being granted each new reclamation permit. The amount of the application fee shall be based on the acreage to be permitted.
(2) Each permit holder shall pay an annual reclamation permit fee to the department on the first anniversary of the permit date and each year thereafter.
(3) The department shall set forth in rule the methods and schedule for assessing annual reclamation permit fees based on the following criteria:
(a) No annual fee shall exceed ten thousand dollars;
(b) Annual fees assessed between June 30, 1992, and December 31, 1993, shall be based on the permitted acreage;
(c) After December 31, 1993, annual fees shall be based on the permitted area minus a significant credit for any acreage reclaimed to the standards set forth in the approved reclamation plan and the minimum reclamation standards, as determined by the department;
(d) The department shall establish lower fee rates for small surface mines:
(i) Used primarily for infrequent infrastructure maintenance and other public service work; or
(ii) That have never been disturbed but have held reclamation permits for more than two years;
(e) The department may waive annual fees for recipients of a surface mine reclamation award;
(f) The total annual permit fees shall be reasonably related to the approximate cost of administering the department's surface mine regulatory program.
The annual fee shall be submitted with the report required in this chapter. Appeal of the department's determination of the disturbed area shall not stay the requirement to pay any annual fee within the time frame established by the department. Failure to pay the annual fee may constitute grounds for fines or an order to suspend surface mining or cancellation of the reclamation permit as outlined in this chapter. All fees collected by the department shall be deposited into the surface mining reclamation account.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 16. PERFORMANCE SECURITY. The department shall not issue a reclamation permit until the applicant has deposited with the department an acceptable performance security on forms prescribed and furnished by the department. A public or governmental agency shall not be required to post performance security nor shall a permit holder be required to post surface mining performance security with more than one state, local, or federal agency.
This performance security may be:
(1) Bank letters of credit acceptable to the department;
(2) A cash deposit;
(3) Negotiable securities acceptable to the department;
(4) An assignment of a savings account;
(5) A savings certificate in a Washington bank on an assignment form prescribed by the department; or
(6) A corporate surety bond executed in favor of the department by a corporation authorized to do business in the state of Washington under Title 48 RCW and authorized by the department.
The performance security shall be conditioned upon the faithful performance of the requirements set forth in this chapter and of the rules adopted under it.
The department shall have the authority to determine the amount of the performance security using a standardized performance security formula developed by the department. The amount of the security shall be determined by the department and based on the estimated costs of completing reclamation according to the approved plan or minimum standards and related administrative overhead for the area to be surface mined during (a) the next twelve‑month period, (b) the following twenty-four months, and (c) any previously disturbed areas on which the reclamation has not been satisfactorily completed and approved.
The department may increase or decrease the amount of the performance security at any time to compensate for a change in the disturbed area, the depth of excavation, a modification of the reclamation plan, or any other alteration in the conditions of the mine that affects the cost of reclamation.
The amount of the performance security shall not be subject to appeal. The department for any reason may refuse any performance security not deemed adequate.
Liability under the performance security shall be maintained until reclamation is completed according to the approved reclamation plan to the satisfaction of the department unless released as hereinafter provided. Liability under the performance security may be released only upon written notification from the department. Notification shall be given upon completion of compliance or acceptance by the department of a substitute performance security. The liability of the surety shall not exceed the amount of security required by this section and the department's reasonable legal fees to recover the security.
Any interest or appreciation on the performance security shall be held by the department until reclamation is completed to its satisfaction. At such time, the interest shall be remitted to the permit holder; except that such interest or appreciation may be used by the department to effect reclamation in the event that the permit holder fails to comply with the provisions of this chapter and the costs of reclamation exceed the face value of the performance security.
No other state agency or local government shall require performance security for the purposes of reclamation and only one agency of government shall require and hold the performance security. The department may enter into written agreements with federal agencies in order to avoid redundant bonding of surface mines straddling boundaries between federally controlled and other lands within Washington state.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 17. A new section is added to chapter 36.70A RCW to read as follows:
Where mineral resource lands of long-term commercial significance exist, a county, city, or town shall designate sufficient mineral resource lands to meet the projected twenty-year, county-wide need. Once designated, mineral resource uses, including operations as defined in section 4 of this act, shall be established as a permitted use in local development regulations. Regulation of mineral resource uses shall be accomplished under this chapter.
The county shall designate mineral resource deposits, both active and inactive, in economically viable proximity to locations where the deposits are likely to be used.
The county shall discourage the location of incompatible uses adjacent to mineral resource industries by careful designation of those lands around mineral resource industries, deposits, and holdings.
For purposes of this section, "long-term commercial significance" includes the mineral composition of the land for long-term economically viable commercial production, in consideration with the mineral resource land's proximity to population areas, product markets, and the possibility of more intense uses of the land.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 18. OPERATING STANDARDS. (1) Counties, cities, or towns may only regulate surface mining operations in accordance with the standards and limitations of this section.
(2) A county may by general ordinance adopt performance-based regulations governing surface mining operations in accordance with provisions of this section. Operation ordinances shall:
(a) Control blast-flyrock, fencing, traffic, noise, air quality, and light emission.
(b) Require compliance with applicable state and federal standards and revisions to such standards.
(c) Be performance-based standards directly and proportionally related to surface mining impacts.
(d) Provide specific conditions, fees, and restrictions which are both authorized by law and which are proportional to the direct operational impacts sought to be mitigated.
(e) Require that project-specific conditions or restrictions be based upon written findings of fact demonstrating compliance with locally adopted performance-based standards.
(f) Provide that approvals issued thereunder will be valid through completion of surface mining subject to the conditions of the reclamation permit.
(3) A city, town, or county that adopts general ordinances authorized in subsection (2) of this section shall implement the ordinance or ordinances through an operational plan review and approval process.
The approval process may at the option of the city or county include an administrative review, which is subject to appeal, or public hearing and review by a hearings officer or legislative authority.
Operational plans submitted for review and approval shall include sufficient, complete, and accurate information to allow the city or county to review the plan for compliance with the performance-based standards and regulations contained in the general ordinance or ordinances adopted pursuant to this section.
(4) All surface mines operating on June 30, 1992, under land use permits issued by local government pursuant to local zoning ordinances shall be allowed to be maintained and operated in conformance with the conditions set forth in the existing land use approval. However, a city or county may impose the following additional requirements on preexisting surface mining operations:
(a) The submittal of a haul route analysis within five years of the effective date of this act and no more often than every ten years thereafter.
(b) For surface mining operations located adjacent to residentially zoned property the submittal of an operational plan for approval by the city or county demonstrating compliance with the establishment of mining set backs not to exceed fifty feet in width, within which fencing, berming, or vegetation, or any combination thereof, selected by the operator may be required, that is reasonably sufficient to generally screen the mining operation from the view of such adjacent residentially zoned properties.
(5) For purposes of this section a "performance-based" standard is an objective standard limiting the impacts of surface mining operations. A miner or permit holder may choose to meet the standard by any means, in the judgment of the county, city, or town, that achieves compliance with the standard.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 19. A surface mining model ordinance advisory committee is hereby created. The committee shall be composed of representatives of local government, state agencies, surface mining interests, and the environmental community. The department of community development shall appoint the members of the committee and the department shall staff the committee. This temporary advisory committee shall draft model ordinances for different surface-mining settings and shall assist counties, cities, and towns in developing ordinances. The committee shall also consider various mechanisms for funding the closure of surface mines. The committee shall complete its work and shall expire by July 1, 1993. Participants on the committee shall pay their own expenses, and the department of natural resources shall fund the involvement of both the department of natural resources and the department of community development.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 20. WATER CONTROL. Water control as regulated by the department shall be limited to those provisions necessary to effect surface mine reclamation and to protect ground and surface water resources after reclamation is complete. The department shall solicit recommendations from all agencies with expertise in relevant water control laws when evaluating reclamation plans for surface mines in or near water. Control of surface mine water pollution, water availability, and protection of fisheries and wildlife habitats shall be regulated under the provisions of ordinances of any local jurisdiction, fisheries laws (Title 75 RCW), water pollution control laws (Title 90 RCW), wildlife laws (Title 77 RCW), federal storm water regulations, and/or national pollutant discharge elimination system regulations.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 21. MINIMUM RECLAMATION STANDARDS. The department shall establish by rule minimum reclamation standards. The need for, and the practicability of, reclamation shall control the type and degree of reclamation in any specific instance. However, the basic objective of the standards is to reestablish on a continuing basis the vegetative cover, slope stability, water conditions, and safety conditions suitable to the proposed subsequent use consistent with local land use planning of the mine site.
Each permit holder shall comply with the minimum reclamation standards in effect on the date the permit was issued and any additional reclamation standards set forth in the approved reclamation plan.
(1) The minimum standards shall provide that:
(a) Prior to surface mining, permit holders shall carefully stockpile all topsoil on the site for use in reclamation, except when the approved subsequent use does not require replacing the topsoil. Topsoil needed for reclamation shall not be sold as a mineral nor mixed with sterile soils. Stockpiled materials used as screening shall not be used for reclamation until such time as the appropriate county or municipal government has given its approval.
(b) The department may require that clearly visible, permanent monuments delineating the permit boundaries and maximum extent of the disturbed area be set at appropriate places around the mine site. The permit holder shall maintain the monuments until termination of the reclamation permit.
(c) Reclamation activities, particularly those relating to control of erosion and mitigation of impacts of mining to adjacent areas, shall, to the extent feasible, be conducted simultaneously with surface mining, and in any case shall be initiated at the earliest possible time after completion of surface mining on any segment of the permit area.
(d) All reclamation activities shall be completed not more than two years after completion or abandonment of surface mining on each segment of the area for which a permit is in force.
(2) Some or all minimum reclamation standards may be waived in writing by the department in order to accommodate unique and beneficial reclamation schemes such as parks, swimming facilities, buildings, and wildlife reserves. Such waivers shall be granted only after written approval from the department of a reclamation plan describing the variances to the minimum reclamation standards, receipt of documentation of SEPA compliance, and written approvals from the landowner and by the local land use authority.
(3) The minimum reclamation standards shall provide for reclamation of some working faces excavated in solid rock as cliffs in order to achieve topography harmonious with nearby or preexisting natural topography.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 22. PERMIT TRANSFERS. Reclamation permits shall be transferred to a subsequent permit holder and the department shall release the former permit holder from the duties imposed by this chapter if:
(1) Both permit holders comply with all rules addressing requirements for transferring a permit; and
(2) Unless waived by the department, the mine and all others operated by both the former and subsequent permit holders and their principal officers or owners are in compliance with this chapter and rules.
The department shall not require that a reclamation permit be transferred without the written agreement of the permit holder; except that, in the event the legal interest or right of use of a permit holder expires and is not renewed in property owned by a public agency, the permit shall be transferred to the public agency provided that all other requirements for transferring the permit are satisfied. In such case, the department shall not require the consent of the former permit holder.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 23. MODIFICATION OF RECLAMATION PLANS. The department and the permit holder may modify the reclamation plan at any time during the term of the permit for any of the following reasons:
(1) To modify the requirements so that they do not conflict with existing or new laws;
(2) If the department determines that the previously adopted reclamation plan is impossible or impracticable to implement and maintain; or
(3) The previously approved reclamation plan is not accomplishing the intent of this chapter as determined by the department.
Modified reclamation plans shall be reviewed by the department under SEPA. Such SEPA analyses shall consider only those impacts relating directly to the proposed modifications. Copies of modifications shall be sent to the appropriate county, city, or town.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 24. REPORTS. On the anniversary date of the reclamation permit and each year thereafter until reclamation is completed and approved, the permit holder shall file a report of activities completed during the preceding year. The report shall be on a form prescribed by the department.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 25. INSPECTION OF PERMIT AREA. The department may order at any time an inspection of the disturbed area to determine if the miner or permit holder has complied with the reclamation permit, rules, and this chapter.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 26. ORDER TO RECTIFY DEFICIENCIES. The department may issue an order to rectify deficiencies when a miner or permit holder is conducting surface mining in any manner not authorized by:
(1) This chapter;
(2) The rules adopted by the department;
(3) The authorized reclamation plan; or
(4) The reclamation permit.
The order shall describe the deficiencies and shall require that the miner or permit holder correct all deficiencies no later than sixty days from issuance of the order. The department may extend the period for correction for delays clearly beyond the miner or permit holder's control, but only when the miner or permit holder is, in the opinion of the department, making every reasonable effort to comply.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 27. EMERGENCY NOTICE AND ORDER TO RECTIFY DEFICIENCIES; EMERGENCY ORDER TO SUSPEND SURFACE MINING. When the department finds that a permit holder is conducting surface mining in any manner not authorized by:
(1) This chapter;
(2) The rules adopted by the department;
(3) The approved reclamation plan; or
(4) The reclamation permit;
and that activity has created a situation involving an immediate danger to the public health, safety, or welfare requiring immediate action, the department may issue an emergency notice and order to rectify deficiencies, and/or an emergency order to suspend surface mining. These orders shall be effective when entered. The department may take such action as is necessary to prevent or avoid the danger to the public health, safety, or welfare that justifies use of emergency adjudication. The department shall give such notice as is practicable to the permit holder or miner who is required to comply with the order. The order shall comply with the requirements of the administrative procedure act.
Regulations of surface mining operations administered by other state and local agencies shall be preempted by this section to the extent that the time schedule and procedures necessary to rectify the emergency situation, as determined by the department, conflict with such local regulation.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 28. ORDER TO SUSPEND SURFACE MINING. The department may issue an order to suspend surface mining when a miner or permit holder is conducting surface mining in any manner not authorized by:
(1) This chapter;
(2) The rules adopted by the department;
(3) The approved reclamation plan;
(4) The reclamation permit; or
(5) If the miner or permit holder fails to comply with any final order of the department.
The order to suspend surface mining shall require the miner or permit holder to suspend part or all of the miner's or permit holder's mining operations until the conditions resulting in the issuance of the order have been mitigated to the satisfaction of the department.
The attorney general may take the necessary legal action to enjoin, or otherwise cause to be stopped, surface mining in violation of an order to suspend surface mining.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 29. DECLARATION OF ABANDONMENT. The department shall issue a declaration of abandonment when it determines that all surface mining has ceased for a period of one hundred eighty consecutive days not set forth in the permit holder's reclamation plan or when, by reason of inspection of the permit area, or by any other means, the department determines that the mine has in fact been abandoned by the permit holder. Abandonment shall not include normal interruptions of surface mining resulting from cyclical demand for minerals.
Following a declaration of abandonment, the department shall require the permit holder to complete reclamation in accordance with this chapter. If the permit holder fails to do so, the department shall proceed to do the necessary reclamation work pursuant to section 31 of this act.
If another miner applies for a permit on a site that has been declared abandoned, the department may, in its discretion, cancel the reclamation permit of the permit holder and issue a new reclamation permit to the applicant. The department shall not issue a new permit unless it determines that such issuance will be an effective means of assuring that the site will ultimately be reclaimed. The applicant must agree to assume the reclamation responsibilities left unfinished by the first miner, in addition to meeting all requirements for issuance of a new permit.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 30. CANCELLATION OF THE RECLAMATION PERMIT. When the department determines that a mine has been abandoned, it may cancel the reclamation permit. The miner or permit holder shall be informed of such actions by a department notification of illegal abandonment and cancellation of the reclamation permit.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 31. ORDER TO SUBMIT PERFORMANCE SECURITY--RECLAMATION BY THE DEPARTMENT. The department shall, with the staff, equipment, and material under its control, or by contract with others, reclaim the disturbed areas when it finds that reclamation has not occurred in any segment of a surface mine within two years of completion of mining or of declaration of abandonment and the permit holder is not actively pursuing reclamation.
If the department intends to undertake the reclamation, the department shall issue an order to submit performance security requiring the permit holder or surety to submit to the department the amount of moneys posted pursuant to section 16 of this act. If the amount specified in the order to submit performance security is not paid within twenty days after issuance of the notice, the attorney general upon request of the department shall bring an action on behalf of the state in a superior court to recover the amount specified and associated legal fees.
The department may proceed at any time after issuing the order to submit performance security with reclamation of the site according to the approved reclamation plan or according to a plan developed by the department that meets the minimum reclamation standards.
The department shall keep a record of all expenses incurred in carrying out any reclamation project or activity authorized under this section, including:
(2) A reasonable charge for the services performed by the state's personnel and the state's equipment and materials utilized; and
(3) Administrative and legal expenses related to reclamation of the surface mine.
The department shall refund to the surety or permit holder all amounts received in excess of the amount of expenses incurred. If the amount received is less than the expenses incurred, the attorney general, upon request of the department, may bring an action against the permit holder on behalf of the state in the superior court to recover the remaining costs listed in this section.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 32. FINES. Each order of the department may include a fine or fines in the event that a miner or permit holder fails to obey the order of the department. When a miner or permit holder fails to comply with an order of the department, the miner or permit holder shall be subject to a civil penalty in an amount not more than ten thousand dollars for each violation plus interest based upon a schedule of fines set forth by the department in rule. Each day on which a miner or permit holder continues to disobey any order of the department shall constitute a separate violation. If the penalty and interest is not paid to the department after it becomes due and payable, the attorney general, upon the request of the department, may bring an action in the name of the state of Washington to recover the penalty, interest, mitigation for environmental damages, and associated legal fees.
All fines, interest, penalties, and other damage recovery costs from mines regulated by the department shall be credited to the surface mining reclamation account.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 33. REFUSAL TO ISSUE PERMITS. The department shall refuse to issue a reclamation permit if it is determined during the SEPA process that the impacts of a proposed surface mine cannot be mitigated.
The department or county, city, or town may refuse to issue any other permit at any other location to any miner or permit holder who fails to rectify deficiencies set forth in an order of the department within the requisite time schedule. However, the department or county, city, or town shall issue all appropriate permits when all deficiencies are corrected at each surface mining site.
Sec. 34. RCW 78.44.150 and 1970 ex.s. c 64 s 16 are each amended to read as follows:
miner or permit holder conducting surface mining within the state of
Washington without a valid (( operating)) reclamation permit shall
be guilty of a gross misdemeanor. Surface mining outside of the permitted
area shall constitute illegal mining without a valid reclamation permit.
Each day of (( operation)) mining without a valid reclamation permit
shall constitute a separate offense.
Sec. 35. RCW 78.44.170 and 1989 c 175 s 166 are each amended to read as follows:
Appeals from department determinations under this chapter shall be made as follows:
Appeals from department determinations made under this chapter shall be
made under the provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act (chapter 34.05
RCW), and shall be considered ((
an)) a brief adjudicative
proceeding within the meaning of the Administrative Procedure Act, chapter
34.05 RCW. A fee of five hundred dollars shall be charged for each appeal
under this section. Only a party of record or agent for such party of record
has standing and can file an appeal. This fee shall be refunded to the
appellant if the department finds in favor of the appellant or waived if deemed
appropriate by the department.
(2) Appeals from determinations under subsection (1) of this section shall be made to an administrative law judge.
All appeals to the administrative law judge shall be on the record only.
A party of record pursuant to this chapter may seek review under this section by submitting a request in writing that must be received by the environmental hearings office within thirty calendar days after the action.
(3) Appeals to decisions of the administrative law judge may be made only to the superior court pursuant to the judicial review provisions of chapter 34.05 RCW.
Sec. 36. RCW 78.44.910 and 1970 ex.s. c 64 s 22 are each amended to read as follows:
act shall not direct itself to the reclamation of land mined)) Miners
and permit holders shall not be required to reclaim any segment where all
surface mining was completed prior to January 1, 1971. However, the
department shall make an effort to reclaim previously abandoned or completed
surface mining segments.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 37. RECLAMATION AWARDS ESTABLISHED. The department shall create reclamation awards in recognition of excellence in reclamation or reclamation research. Such awards shall be presented to individuals, miners, operators, companies, or government agencies performing exemplary surface mining reclamation in the state of Washington. The department shall designate a percent of the state annual fees as funding of the awards.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 38. RECLAMATION SERVICE ESTABLISHED. The department shall establish a no-cost consulting service within the division of geology and earth resources to assist miners, permit holders, local government, and the public in technical matters related to mine regulation, mine operations, and reclamation. The department shall prepare concise, printed information for the public explaining surface mining activities, timelines for permits and reviews, laws, and the role of governmental agencies involved in surface mining, including how to contact all regulators. The department shall not be held liable for any negligent advice.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 39. Metallic and industrial minerals mining is exempt from this chapter. Surface mines producing metallic and industrial minerals, as defined by rule of the department of natural resources, shall be exempt from all provisions of this chapter.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 40. The following acts or parts of acts are each repealed:
(1) RCW 78.44.030 and 1987 c 258 s 1, 1984 c 215 s 1, & 1970 ex.s. c 64 s 4;
(2) RCW 78.44.035 and 1987 c 258 s 3;
(3) RCW 78.44.080 and 1970 ex.s. c 64 s 9;
(4) RCW 78.44.090 and 1970 ex.s. c 64 s 10;
(5) RCW 78.44.100 and 1984 c 215 s 3 & 1970 ex.s. c 64 s 11;
(6) RCW 78.44.110 and 1987 c 258 s 2, 1984 c 215 s 4, & 1970 ex.s. c 64 s 12;
(7) RCW 78.44.120 and 1984 c 215 s 5, 1977 c 66 s 1, & 1970 ex.s. c 64 s 13;
(8) RCW 78.44.130 and 1970 ex.s. c 64 s 14;
(9) RCW 78.44.140 and 1989 c 230 s 1, 1984 c 215 s 6, & 1970 ex.s. c 64 s 15;
(10) RCW 78.44.160 and 1984 c 215 s 7 & 1970 ex.s. c 64 s 17; and
(11) RCW 78.44.180 and 1970 ex.s. c 64 s 20.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 41. The code reviser may recodify, as necessary, RCW 78.44.150, 78.44.170, 78.44.175, and 78.44.910 within chapter 78.44 RCW to accomplish the reorganization of chapter 78.44 RCW as intended in this act.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 42. Captions used in this act do not constitute any part of the law.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 43. Sections 4 through 6, 11 through 16, 18, 20 through 33, and 37 through 39 of this act are each added to chapter 78.44 RCW.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 44. If any provision of this act or its application to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the remainder of the act or the application of the provision to other persons or circumstances is not affected.