The department shall promulgate rules to prevent waste in the exploration for or the production of oil and gas, including rules related to all of the following:
Prevention of the escape of oil or gas from one stratum to another, and water or brine into oil and gas strata.
Prevention of the premature or irregular encroachment of water that reduces the total recovery of oil and gas.
Prevention of fires, explosions, blowouts, seepage or caving.
Regulation of well production, including the allocation of allowable production in any field or pool.
Operation of wells with efficient ratios of gas to oil.
The department may not issue a license for oil or gas exploration or production if it finds any of the following:
That the applicant has violated and continues to fail to comply with this subchapter or any rule promulgated under this subchapter.
That the applicant, a principal shareholder of the applicant or a related person has, within 10 years before the application is submitted, forfeited a reclamation bond for oil or gas exploration or production that was posted in accordance with a permit, license or other approval for an oil or gas exploration or production site in the United States, unless the forfeiture was by agreement with the entity for whose benefit the bond was posted and the amount of the bond was sufficient to cover all costs of reclamation.
That the applicant, a related person or an officer or director of the applicant has, within 10 years before the application is submitted, 2 or more felony convictions for violations of laws for the protection of the natural environment arising out of the operation of an oil or gas exploration or production site in the United States, unless one of the following applies:
The court ordered the person convicted, as part of the sentence or as a condition of probation, to engage in activities to remedy the violation and the person has complied with that order.
The person convicted is a related person or an officer or director of the applicant with whom the applicant terminates its relationship.
The applicant included in its license application under sub. (1)
a plan to prevent the occurrence in this state of events similar to the events that directly resulted in the convictions.
That the applicant, a related person or an officer or director of the applicant or a related person has, within 10 years before the application is submitted, been required to forfeit more than $10,000 for a violation of a law for the protection of the natural environment arising out of the operation of an oil and gas exploration or production site in the United States, unless one of the following applies:
The court ordered the person who was required to forfeit more than $10,000 to engage in activities to remedy the violation and the person has complied with that order.
The person who was required to forfeit more than $10,000 is a related person with whom the applicant has terminated its relationship.
The applicant included in the license application a plan to prevent the occurrence in this state of events similar to the events that directly resulted in the forfeiture.
That the applicant or a related person has, within 10 years before the application is submitted, declared bankruptcy or undergone dissolution that resulted in the failure to reclaim an oil or gas exploration or production site in the United States in violation of a state or federal law and that failure has not been remedied and is not being remedied.
That, within 10 years before the application is submitted, a license or other approval for oil or gas exploration or production issued to the applicant or a related person was permanently revoked because of a failure to reclaim an oil or gas exploration or production site in the United States in violation of state or federal law and that failure has not been and is not being remedied.
The department may not deny a license for oil or gas exploration or production under sub. (5)
if the person subject to the convictions, forfeiture, permanent revocation, bankruptcy or dissolution is a related person but the applicant shows that the person was not the parent corporation of the applicant, a person that holds more than a 30 percent ownership in the applicant, or a subsidiary or affiliate of the applicant in which the applicant holds more than a 30 percent interest at the time of the convictions, forfeiture, permanent revocation, bankruptcy or dissolution.
History: 1991 a. 262
; 1995 a. 227
; Stats. 1995 s. 295.35.
Penalties; oil and gas. 295.37(1)(1)
Any person who makes or causes to be made in an application or report required under this subchapter a statement known to the person to be false or misleading in any material respect or who refuses to submit information required by the department under this subchapter may be fined not less than $1,000 nor more than $5,000.
Any person who violates this subchapter or any order issued or rule promulgated under this subchapter may be required to forfeit not less than $1,000 nor more than $10,000 for each violation. Each day of violation is a separate offense.
If a person makes or causes to be made in an application or report required under this subchapter a statement known to the person to be false or misleading and that statement is material to the issuance of an exploration or production license, the department may revoke the license. If a person holding an exploration or production license repeatedly makes or causes to be made in an application or report required under this subchapter a statement known to the person to be false or misleading in any material respect or refuses to submit information required by the department under this subchapter, the department may revoke the license.
If a person holding an exploration or production license continues to violate this subchapter after the department has issued an order to cease those violations, the department shall revoke the license.
Any oil or gas produced in violation of this subchapter or any order issued or rule promulgated under this subchapter, or any product manufactured from that oil or gas, is subject to confiscation. The department may seize that oil, gas or products and request the department of justice to commence an action to confiscate the oil, gas or products.
History: 1991 a. 262
; 1995 a, 227 s. 816; Stats. 1995 s. 295.37.
FERROUS METALLIC MINING
The legislature finds all of the following:
That attracting and aiding new mining enterprises and expanding the mining industry in Wisconsin is part of Wisconsin public policy.
That mining for nonferrous metallic minerals is different from mining for ferrous minerals because in mining for nonferrous metallic minerals, sulfide minerals react, when exposed to air and water, to form acid drainage.
That if the mineral products and waste materials associated with nonferrous metallic sulfide mining operations are not properly managed and controlled, they can cause significant damage to the environment, affect human health, and degrade the quality of life of the affected community.
That the special concerns surrounding nonferrous metallic mining warrant more stringent regulatory measures than those warranted for ferrous mineral mining operations.
That the provisions in ch. 293
, 2011 stats., are a deterrent to ferrous mineral mining in this state and are not necessary to ensure that ferrous mineral mining will be conducted in an environmentally sound manner.
That simplifying and shortening the permitting process for ferrous mineral mining when compared to nonferrous metallic mineral mining, as Minnesota and Michigan have done, will encourage ferrous mineral mining in Wisconsin and create jobs and generate resources for the state.
That because of the fixed location of ferrous mineral deposits in the state, it is probable that mining those deposits will result in adverse impacts to wetlands and that, therefore, the use of wetlands for bulk sampling and mining activities, including the disposal or storage of mining wastes or materials, or the use of other lands for mining activities that would have a significant adverse impact on wetlands, is presumed to be necessary.
History: 2013 a. 1
In this subchapter:
“Air pollution" means the presence in the atmosphere of one or more air contaminants in such quantities and of such duration as is injurious to human health or welfare, animal or plant life, or property.
“Applicant" means a person who applies for, or is preparing to apply for, an exploration license or a mining permit or who files a bulk sampling plan.
“Approval" means, except as provided in par. (b)
, any permit, license, certification, contract, or other authorization that the department issues, or any other action by the department, that is required for exploration, to engage in bulk sampling at a bulk sampling site, or to construct or operate a mining site, including any action required for any of the following:
The withdrawal of land entered as county forest land under s. 28.11
and any modification of, or amendment to, a county forest land use plan necessitated by the withdrawal of the land.
The withdrawal of land designated as managed forest land under subch. VI of ch. 77
and any modification of, or amendment to, a managed forest land management plan necessitated by the withdrawal of the land.
“Approval" does not include a permit, license, certification, contract, or other authorization related to the construction of any new plant, equipment, property, or facility for the production, transmission, delivery, or furnishing of power.
“Background water quality" means the concentration of a substance in groundwater as determined by monitoring at locations that will not be affected by a mining site.
“Baseline water quality" means the concentration of a substance in groundwater or surface water as determined by monitoring before mining operations begin.
“Borrow materials" means soil or rock used in construction or reclamation activities.
“Bulk sampling" means excavating in a potential mining site by removing less than 10,000 tons of material for the purposes of obtaining site-specific data to assess the quality and quantity of the ferrous mineral deposits and of collecting data from and analyzing the excavated materials in order to prepare the application for a mining permit or for any other approval.
“Closing" means the time at which a mining waste site ceases to accept mining wastes.
“Closure" means the actions taken by an operator to prepare a mining waste site for long-term care and to make it suitable for other uses.
“Construct" means to engage in a program of on-site construction, including site clearing, grading, dredging, or filling of land.
“Department" means the department of natural resources.
“Disposal" means the discharge, deposit, injection, dumping, or placing of a substance into or on any land or water.
“Environmental impact report" means a document submitted by a person seeking a mining permit that discloses environmental impacts of the proposed mining.
“Environmental pollution" means contaminating or rendering unclean or impure the air, land, or waters of the state, or making the air, land, or waters of the state injurious to public health or animal or plant life.
“Ferrous mineral" means an ore or earthen material in natural deposits in or on the earth that primarily exists in the form of an iron oxide, including taconite and hematite.
“Fill area" means an area proposed to receive or that is receiving direct application of mining waste.
“Freeboard" means the height of the top of a dam above the adjacent liquid surface within the impoundment.
“Groundwater" means any of the waters of the state occurring in a saturated subsurface geological formation of rock or soil.
“Groundwater quality" means the chemical, physical, biological, thermal, or radiological quality of groundwater at a site or within an underground aquifer.
“Groundwater quality standards" means numerical values consisting of enforcement standards and preventive action limits contained in Table 1 of s. NR 140.10
, and Table 2 of s. NR 140.12
, Wis. Adm. Code, and any preventive action limits for indicator parameters identified under s. NR 140.20 (2)
, Wis. Adm. Code.
“Leachate" means water or other liquid that has been contaminated by dissolved or suspended materials due to contact with refuse disposed of on the mining site.
“Merchantable by-product" means all waste soil, rock, mineral, liquid, vegetation, and other material directly resulting from or displaced by the mining, cleaning, or preparation of minerals, during mining operations, that are determined by the department to be marketable upon a showing of marketability made by the operator, accompanied by a verified statement by the operator of his or her intent to sell the material within 3 years from the time it results from or is displaced by mining.
“Mining" means all or part of the process involved in the mining of a ferrous mineral, other than for exploration, including commercial extraction, agglomeration, beneficiation, construction of roads, removal of overburden, and the production of refuse, involving the removal of more than 15,000 tons of earth material a year in the regular operation of a business for the purpose of extracting a ferrous mineral.
“Mining plan" means a proposal for mining on a mining site, including a description of the systematic activities to be used for the purpose of extracting ferrous minerals.
“Mining site" means the surface area disturbed by mining, including the surface area from which the ferrous minerals or refuse or both have been removed, the surface area covered by refuse, all lands disturbed by the construction or improvement of haulageways, and any surface areas in which structures, equipment, materials, and any other things used in the mining are situated.
“Mining waste" means tailings, waste rock, mine overburden, waste treatment sludges, or other discarded material, including solid, liquid, semi-solid, or contained gaseous material, resulting from mining or from the cleaning or preparation of ferrous minerals during mining operations, except that “mining waste" does not include topsoil and mine overburden intended to be returned to the mining site or used in the reclamation process and that is placed on the mining site for those purposes, as provided for in the approved mining plan, and does not include merchantable by-products.
“Mining waste site" means any land or appurtenances thereto used for the storage or disposal of mining waste or for the storage of merchantable by-products, but does not include land or appurtenances used in the production or transportation of mining waste, such as the concentrator, haul roads, or tailings pipelines, that are part of the mining site.
“Nonferrous metallic mineral" means an ore or other earthen material to be excavated from natural deposits on or in the earth for its metallic content but not primarily for its iron oxide content.
“Operator" means any person who is engaged in mining, or who holds a mining permit, whether individually, jointly, or through subsidiaries, agents, employees, or contractors.
“Overburden" means any unconsolidated material that overlies bedrock.
“Person" means an individual, corporation, limited liability company, partnership, association, local governmental agency, interstate agency, state agency, or federal agency.
“Piping" means the progressive erosion of materials from an embankment or foundation caused by the seepage of water.
“Principal shareholder" means any person who owns at least 10 percent of the beneficial ownership of an applicant or operator.
“Reagent" means a substance or compound that is added to a system in order to bring about a chemical reaction or is added to see if a reaction occurs to confirm the presence of another substance.
“Reclamation" means the process by which an area physically or environmentally affected by exploration or mining is rehabilitated to either its original state or to a state that provides long-term environmental stability.
“Reclamation plan" means the proposal for the reclamation of an exploration site under s. 295.44 (2) (b)
or a mining site under s. 295.49
“Refuse" means all mining waste and all waste materials deposited on or in the mining site from other sources, except merchantable by-products.
“Related person" means any person that owns or operates a mining site in the United States and that is one of the following when an application for a mining permit is submitted to the department: