THE STATE AND ITS GOVERNMENT
MINING AND RECLAMATION
12-E:4 Mining Permit Required.
I. No person shall engage in mining unless the person holds a valid permit issued by the commissioner or is exempted pursuant to RSA 12-E:1, IX.
II. A permit shall be issued to any mining operator whose application is approved or conditionally approved by the commissioner and whose financial assurance plan is approved, upon payment of all fees.
III. A mining permit shall not become effective or be issued until all applicable local, state, and federal permits and approvals have been obtained, including but not limited to, a fill and dredge permit pursuant to RSA 482-A and an alteration of terrain permit pursuant to RSA 485-A:17.
IV. Nothing in this chapter shall affect any obligation of the applicant to obtain local approvals required under all applicable, lawful local ordinances not inconsistent with this chapter, whether before or after the issuance of a permit or when a permit is being amended. A local ordinance shall not be inconsistent with this chapter unless it attempts to impose a less stringent standard or requirement than those established in this chapter. The applicant shall comply with local zoning ordinances and shall be required to obtain site plan approval under RSA 674:43 if the municipality has given the planning board site plan review authority. This chapter shall not prohibit lawful local ordinances requiring approval of mining that is not subject to this chapter pursuant to RSA 12-E:1, IX(a).
V. A mining permit shall include a mining plan, a blasting plan if such activities are anticipated, a closure plan, and such other terms and conditions as required by the commissioner. The permit shall be valid for a term of 3 years and, upon submission of a timely renewal permit application by the operator, shall be renewed 60 days prior to its expiration; provided, however, the commissioner determines that the operator has been in compliance with this chapter, rules adopted under this chapter, and the operator's permit, and the financial assurance plan is deemed adequate upon review under RSA 12-E:6, I.
VI. The permit application shall be submitted to the commissioner and shall include, at a minimum:
(a) The names and addresses of:
(1) The permit applicant;
(2) The operator, if different from the applicant; and
(3) If (1) or (2) is a business enterprise other than a sole proprietor, the names and addresses of the principal owners and resident agent and the names and addresses of every officer, partner, director, or person performing a function similar to a director.
(b) The names and addresses of:
(1) Every legal owner of record of the property, both surface and subsurface, of the permit site;
(2) The holders of record of any leasehold interest in the property; and
(3) The owners of record of all surface and subsurface areas adjacent to any part of the permit site.
(c) A list of all names under which the applicant, partner, or principal owner previously operated a mining operation within the United States in the past 10 years.
(d) A statement as to whether the applicant, any subsidiary, affiliate, or persons controlled by or under common control with the applicant, or principal owners of both the applicant and another corporation has held, within a 5-year period prior to submission of the application, a domestic or foreign mining permit which has been suspended or revoked, or has forfeited a reclamation bond or similar security and the reasons therefor. Whenever requested by the commissioner, the attorney general shall conduct a background investigation of the performance history and criminal record of the applicant and of its officers and directors, if any, and make a report to the department of natural and cultural resources. The cost of any investigation under this subparagraph shall be borne by the applicant.
(e) A true copy of an original policy of insurance issued by an insurance company authorized to do business in this state covering all mining and closure operations and affording personal injury protection in an amount not less than $1,000,000 and property damage, including blasting damage, protection of not less than $2,000,000.
(f) A geologic resources report, to include a description of the mineral to be mined.
(g) A copy of the applicant's public notice published pursuant to RSA 12-E:5.
(h) Once obtained, a copy of all local, state, and federal permits and approvals required under applicable environmental, zoning, or public health laws for the proposed mining operations.
VII. The mining plan shall include, at a minimum:
(a) A description of prospecting activities or other exploratory activities engaged in to assess the suitability of the proposed permit site for mining.
(b) A detailed description of the affected site and the permit site stating the surface and underground geometry and volume of planned excavated and bored areas and the number of acres to be included, noting the acreage and cubic yards of deposit areas, expected yield of the extracted minerals, the drainage area above and below the site, the hydrology and geology of the area, a topographical map represented at 2 feet contours, and extensive soil data.
(c) A detailed description of the means of pollution prevention, buffer zones, grades and stabilization of excavated areas, and the management of wastes generated, stored, processed, and disposed of during the mining operations.
(d) A detailed map of the permit site as it will be developed drawn to scale, an aerial photograph of the permit site, and any other maps or photographs requested by the department.
(e) A cross sectional map or plans of the permit site showing location of aquifers and estimated elevation of the water table.
(f) A description of anticipated blasting activities during the mining operation which shall be done in accordance with established engineering principles for prevention of groundwater contamination and of vibration and air blast damage to residences, buildings, and surrounding land areas.
(g) An inventory of all public and private water supplies that lie within a 1/2 mile radius of the permitted site boundary, as indicated on a map included pursuant to RSA 12-E:4, VII(d).
(h) A description of the following:
(1) Projected effects of mining activities on the surface water and groundwater hydrology of the permitted site, and downgradient and downstream properties and receptors;
(2) Best management practices associated with the mining activities, including but not limited to construction and blasting activities, that will be implemented to protect the quality of water resources and the surface and groundwater hydrology of the permitted site and surrounding areas; and
(3) An ongoing water quality sampling and reporting program that will be implemented to verify that water resources are not being affected by mining activities.
(i) A description of daily operations, staging activities, runoff control, management of inventories, and control measures for dust, noise, odor, and air emissions.
(j) A description of mining techniques and processing to be utilized.
(k) A description of all public safety measures to be implemented.
VIII. The closure plan shall include, at a minimum:
(a) A detailed description of the reclamation activities, including a schedule for reclamation and an outline of anticipated contemporaneous reclamation activities when a large tract of land is subject to mining operations. The reclaimed land shall be at least as capable of supporting the uses as it supported prior to any mining activity or shall be capable of supporting different post-mining uses so long as such use or uses do not present any actual or probable hazard to public health or safety or pose any actual or probable threat of water diminution or pollution. Such different post-mining uses may include agricultural, recreational, residential, commercial, industrial, forestry, or open space land use. The proposed land use following reclamation may not be impractical or unreasonable or inconsistent with applicable land use policies and plans and shall be approved by the commissioner.
(b) A detailed description of all planned closure activities and associated costs. The planned closure activities shall take into account the character and nature of the area adjacent to the permit site.
IX. The commissioner may request any additional information as needed to evaluate the permit application or any subsequent request for a modification to the permit once issued.
X. A permit shall be denied by the commissioner in the following circumstances:
(a) The operator or any corporate officer or principal owner has a mining violation pursuant to RSA 12-E:10 outstanding in the state. If any such persons have or have had similar violations filed against them in another jurisdiction, the applicant shall present such information to the commissioner who may, in his or her discretion, approve or deny the permit based on such activities;
(b) The operator or any corporate officer or principle owner has forfeited a reclamation bond or other type of financial performance assurance, either domestic or foreign, during the past 5 years;
(c) The applicant has not received all and certified to the commissioner the receipt of all applicable local, state, and federal permits and approvals, as required under RSA 12-E:4, VI(h), or has not provided copies of all such permits and approvals to the commissioner;
(d) The effect of the mining operation is too great or is in an area unsuitable for mining because of historical, archaeological, or environmental reasons or the mining and closure plans or pollution prevention measures are insufficient.
(e) The operator has not applied for a national pollutant discharge elimination system permit and a stormwater notice of intent and pollution prevention plan, if required, granted by the federal environmental protection agency.
(f) If, in his or her determination and in consultation with the department of environmental services and the department of safety, the mining operation would constitute an imminent and substantial danger to the health and safety of the public by causing substantial harm to persons outside of the permit site or substantial harm to the maintenance of environmental quality in and near the permit site;
(g) If the mining, blasting, closure, and financial assurance plans do not meet the requirements of this chapter or the rules adopted pursuant to this chapter;
(h) The department of environmental services does not approve the mining and the closure plan, or does not concur with the commissioner's determination as to the amount of the financial assurance provided; or
(i) The department of safety does not approve of the blasting plan.
XI. Mining activities exempt from departmental permitting by RSA 12-E:1, IX(a) shall be subject to local ordinances, including site plan review under RSA 674.
Source. 1979, 467:1. 2010, 331:5, eff. Sept. 18, 2010. 2015, 162:2, 3, eff. Aug. 25, 2015; 193:2, eff. Sept. 4, 2015. 2017, 156:14, I, eff. July 1, 2017.