Section 12-E:7

    12-E:7 Duties of Operator During Mining and Reclamation. –
I. Upon the issuance of a permit under this chapter, the mining operator may engage in such mining operations as detailed in the permit during the term of the permit period subject to the following conditions. The operator shall:
(a) Submit progress reports to the commissioner showing the location and extent of the mined areas and areas in the process of reclamation and a log specifying all blasting activities on a quarterly basis and the results of any water testing required pursuant to RSA 12-E:4, VII(h)(3);
(b) Provide a buffer zone from the mine of 200 feet from any property line or public right-of-way except for haulage roads and 250 feet from any public waters defined in RSA 483-B:4, XVI;
(c) Remove the topsoil from the land in a separate layer and if not utilized immediately, segregate it in a separate pile from other spoil. When the topsoil is not replaced on an area within a time short enough to avoid deterioration of the topsoil, a successful cover by quick growing plant or other means thereafter shall be initiated so that the topsoil is preserved from wind and water erosion and remains free of contamination by toxic material, and is in a usable condition for sustaining vegetation when restored during reclamation. If topsoil is of insufficient quantity or of poor quality for sustaining vegetation, or if other strata can be shown to be more suitable for vegetation requirements, then the operator shall remove, segregate, and preserve in a like manner such other strata which is best able to support vegetation for successful reclamation;
(d) Stabilize and protect all surface areas including spoil or grout piles affected by the mining and reclamation operation to effectively control erosion and attendant air and water pollution;
(e) Create, if authorized in the permit, permanent impoundments of water on mining sites as part of reclamation activities only when it is adequately demonstrated that the size of the impoundment is adequate for its intended purposes. The impoundment dam construction shall be so designed as to achieve necessary stability with an adequate margin of safety as determined by the commissioner and permitted by the department of environmental services pursuant to RSA 482; the quality of impounded water shall be suitable on a permanent basis for its intended use and discharges to surface or ground waters from the impoundment shall not degrade the water quality below water quality standards established pursuant to applicable federal and state law; the level of water shall be reasonably stable; final grading shall provide adequate safety and access for proposed water users; and such water impoundments shall not result in the diminution of the quality or quantity of water utilized by adjacent or surrounding landowners for agricultural, industrial, recreational, or domestic uses;
(f) Perform reclamation in accordance with the approved closure plan. In the case of surface quarries in bedrock where regrading is technically and economically unfeasible, the commissioner shall require appropriate safety measures to be carried out and revegetation to screen quarries and enhance public views. Introduced species may be used in the revegetation process, excluding invasive species as defined in RSA 430:52, VII, where desirable and necessary to achieve the future land use plan. The operator shall be responsible for the vegetative cover in an area until such time as the standard of RSA 12-E:4, VIII(a) is met during 3 successive growing seasons. Reclaimed vertical faces of highwalls shall not exceed steps of 30 feet vertical and 20 feet horizontal, unless otherwise approved by the commissioner;
(g) Remove all metal, lumber, equipment, or other refuse resulting from the operation. No refuse shall be placed or be caused to slide beyond the perimeter of the permit site;
(h) Insure that all debris, acid-forming materials, toxic materials, or materials constituting a fire hazard are disposed of in a manner consistent with applicable state law designed to prevent contamination of ground or surface waters. The operator shall successfully demonstrate that waste rock materials will not be net-acid forming;
(i) File a closing notice with the commissioner that the mining operations are terminated;
(j) Comply with all applicable environmental laws and regulations.
II. All closure activities shall be performed to current state standards and carried to completion by the operator prior to the expiration of one year after termination of the mining operation unless the commissioner extends such deadline for good cause. Such activities shall proceed in an environmentally sound manner and as contemporaneously as practicable with the mining operations. If the operator claims a mining operation is still functional but in the commissioner's determination, based upon the quarterly progress reports submitted by the operator pursuant to RSA 12-E:7, I(a), the operation is terminated, the operator shall be required to initiate closure activities.

Source. 1979, 467:1. 2010, 331:8, eff. Sept. 18, 2010.