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295.44(2)(b)1. 1. A description of how all toxic and hazardous wastes and other solid waste will be disposed of in solid or hazardous waste disposal facilities licensed under ch. 289 or 291 or otherwise in an environmentally sound manner.
295.44(2)(b)2. 2. A description of how topsoil will be preserved for purposes of future use in reclamation.
295.44(2)(b)3. 3. A description of how revegetation will be conducted to stabilize disturbed soils and prevent air and water pollution to the extent practicable.
295.44(2)(b)4. 4. A description of how disturbance to wetlands will be minimized to the extent practicable.
295.44(2)(b)5. 5. A statement that all drillholes will be abandoned in compliance with sub. (5).
295.44(2)(c) (c) An exploration license fee of $300.
295.44(2)(d) (d) A bond, as provided in sub. (3) (a).
295.44(2)(e) (e) A certificate of insurance showing that the applicant has in force a liability insurance policy issued by an insurance company licensed to do business in this state covering all exploration conducted or contracted for by the explorer in this state and affording personal injury and property damage protection in a total amount determined to be adequate by the department, but not more than $1,000,000 and not less than $50,000.
295.44(2)(f) (f) A copy of the applicant's most recent annual report to the federal securities and exchange commission on form 10-K, or, if this is not available, a report of the applicant's current assets and liabilities or other data necessary to establish that the applicant is competent to conduct exploration in this state.
295.44(2m) (2m)Confidentiality. The department and the state geologist shall protect as confidential any information, other than effluent data, contained in an application for an exploration license, 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 ferrous 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.
295.44(3) (3)Bond.
295.44(3)(a) (a) An applicant shall submit, as part of the application for an exploration license, a bond in the amount of $5,000 that is conditioned on faithful performance of the requirements of this section, that is issued by a surety company licensed to do business in this state, and that provides that the bond may not be canceled by the surety, except after not less than 90 days' notice to the department in writing by registered or certified mail.
295.44(3)(b) (b) If the surety for a bond submitted under par. (a) issues a cancellation notice, the explorer shall deliver a replacement bond at least 30 days before the expiration of the 90 day notice period. If the explorer fails to submit a replacement bond, the explorer may not engage in exploration until the explorer submits a replacement bond.
295.44(3)(c) (c) If the license of the surety company for a bond submitted under par. (a) is revoked or suspended, the explorer, within 30 days after receiving written notice from the department, shall deliver a replacement bond. If the explorer fails to submit a replacement bond, the explorer may not engage in exploration until the explorer submits a replacement bond.
295.44(3)(d) (d) The department may require that the amount of the bond submitted under this subsection be increased at any time, if the department determines that the level of activity by the explorer makes it likely that the bond would be inadequate to fund the termination of all drillholes for which the explorer is responsible.
295.44(3)(e) (e) The department shall release a bond submitted under this subsection one year after the issuance of the last certificate of completion of exploration under sub. (9) (c) 3. if the explorer no longer holds an exploration license and the department determines that the explorer has complied with this section.
295.44(4) (4)Issuance or denial of exploration license.
295.44(4)(a)(a) Except as provided in par. (c), within 10 business days of receiving an administratively complete application for an exploration license, the department shall issue the exploration license or provide the notice required under par. (f) of intent not to issue the exploration license, unless the application is for an upcoming license year. If an application is for an upcoming license year, the department shall issue the exploration license or provide the notice required under par. (f) of intent not to issue the exploration license within 10 business days of receiving an administratively complete application or on the next July 1, whichever is later.
295.44(4)(b) (b) An application for an exploration license is considered to be administratively complete on the day that it is submitted, unless, before the 10th business day after receiving the application, the department provides the applicant with written notification that the application is not administratively complete. The department may determine that an application is not administratively complete only if the application does not include an exploration plan; a reclamation plan; an exploration license fee; a bond; a certificate of insurance; or a copy of the applicant's most recent annual report to the federal securities and exchange commission on form 10-K, or, if this is not available, a report of the applicant's current assets and liabilities or other data necessary to establish that the applicant is competent to conduct exploration in this state. The department may not consider the quality of the information provided. In a notice provided under this paragraph, the department shall identify what is missing from the application.
295.44(4)(c) (c) If the department provides notification, in compliance with par. (b), that an application is not administratively complete, the department shall issue the exploration license or provide the notice required under par. (f) of intent not to issue the license within 7 business days of receipt of the missing item, unless the application is for an upcoming license year. If the application is for an upcoming license year, the department shall issue the exploration license or provide the notice required under par. (f) of intent not to issue the exploration license within 7 business days of receipt of the missing item or on the next July 1, whichever is later.
295.44(4)(d) (d) If the department does not comply with par. (a) or (c), the application is automatically approved and the department shall issue an exploration license that includes the requirements in sub. (5). The explorer may engage in exploration based on the automatic approval, notwithstanding any delay by the department in issuing the license.
295.44(4)(e) (e) Subject to par. (f), the department shall deny an application for an exploration license if the department finds that, after the activities in the exploration plan and the reclamation plan have been completed, the exploration will have a substantial and irreparable adverse impact on the environment or present a substantial risk of injury to public health and welfare.
295.44(4)(f) (f) Before denying an application, the department shall provide the applicant with written notification of its intent not to issue the exploration license, setting forth all of the reasons for its intent not to issue the exploration license, including reference to competent evidence supporting its position. The department shall provide the person with an opportunity to correct any deficiencies in the exploration plan or reclamation plan within 10 business days. If the person amends the exploration plan or reclamation plan and corrects the deficiencies, the department shall issue the exploration license within 10 business days of receipt of the amended exploration plan or reclamation plan, unless the application is for an upcoming license year. If an application is for an upcoming license year, the department shall issue the exploration license within 10 business days of receipt of the amended exploration plan or reclamation plan or on the next July 1, whichever is later. If the department determines that the deficiencies have not been corrected, it shall deny the application, in writing, setting forth all of the reasons for its determination, including reference to competent evidence supporting the determination.
295.44(5) (5)Requirements in exploration license. The department shall include all of the following in an exploration license:
295.44(5)(a) (a) A requirement that if the explorer wishes to temporarily abandon a drillhole so that the explorer may use the drillhole for future exploration, the explorer leave the well casing in place and seal the upper end of the casing with a watertight threaded or welded cap.
295.44(5)(b) (b) A requirement to permanently abandon a drillhole 4 inches in diameter or smaller by filling the drillhole from the bottom upward to the surface of the ground with concrete grout or neat cement grout.
295.44(5)(c) (c) A requirement to permanently abandon a drillhole larger than 4 inches in diameter by filling the drillhole from the bottom upward to the surface of the ground with concrete grout or neat cement grout or in one of the following ways:
295.44(5)(c)1. 1. If the drillhole is constructed in limestone, dolomite, shale, or Precambrian formations, such as granite, gabbro, gneiss, schist, slate, greenstone, or quartzite, by filling the drillhole with gravel or crushed rock or, if it is physically impracticable to use gravel or crushed rock and if the department approves, with clay slurry, from the bottom upward to a point 20 feet below the top of the first rock formation encountered below the surface of the ground or to at least 40 feet below the surface of the ground, whichever is the greater depth, and filling the remainder of the drillhole with concrete grout or neat cement grout.
295.44(5)(c)2. 2. If the drillhole is constructed in sandstone formation, by filling the drillhole with disinfected sand or pea gravel or, if it is physically impracticable to use sand or pea gravel and if the department approves, with clay slurry, from the bottom upward to a point 20 feet below the top of the first rock formation encountered below the surface of the ground or to at least 40 feet below the surface of the ground, whichever is the greater depth, and filling the remainder of the drillhole with concrete grout or neat cement grout.
295.44(5)(c)3. 3. If the drillhole is constructed in glacial drift or other unconsolidated formation, by filling the hole with clean clay slurry to a point 20 feet below the surface of the ground and filling the remainder of the drillhole with concrete grout or neat cement grout.
295.44(5)(c)4. 4. If the drillhole is constructed in mixed rock types, by filling the drillhole as provided in subds. 1., 2., and 3., and providing a concrete grout or neat cement grout plug that extends at least 20 feet above and below the point of surface contact between each recognized geologic rock type.
295.44(5)(d)1.1. A requirement to use a conductor pipe or, when practical, a dump bailer when filling a drillhole.
295.44(5)(d)2. 2. A requirement to keep the bottom end of the conductor pipe submerged in concrete grout or neat cement grout at all times when concrete grout or neat cement grout is placed under water using a conductor pipe.
295.44(5)(d)3. 3. A requirement to fill the drillhole at the same time that all or part of the drillhole casing is removed from an unconsolidated formation, such as sand or gravel, that will not remain open upon abandonment of a drillhole and to keep the end of the casing below the surface of the fill material throughout the operation.
295.44(5)(e) (e) A requirement to obtain approval from the department of the method of containing the flow from, and the method of eventual abandonment of, a drillhole that penetrates an aquifer under artesian pressure so that the groundwater flows at the surface of the ground.
295.44(6) (6)Renewals.
295.44(6)(a) (a) An explorer wishing to renew an exploration license shall file with the department a renewal application that includes all of the following:
295.44(6)(a)1. 1. A renewal fee of $150.
295.44(6)(a)2. 2. A bond that satisfies sub. (3) (a).
295.44(6)(a)3. 3. A certificate of insurance that satisfies sub. (2) (e).
295.44(6)(a)4. 4. A copy of the applicant's most recent annual report to the federal securities and exchange commission on form 10-K, or, if this is not available, a report of the applicant's current assets and liabilities or other data necessary to establish that the applicant is competent to conduct exploration in this state.
295.44(6)(a)5. 5. Either a statement that no changes are being proposed to the exploration plan and reclamation plan previously approved by the department or a new exploration plan or reclamation plan if the applicant proposes to make changes.
295.44(6)(b) (b) Except as provided in par. (d), within 10 business days of receiving an administratively complete application for renewal of an exploration license, the department shall renew the exploration license or provide the notice, required under par. (g), of intent not to renew the exploration license.
295.44(6)(c) (c) An application for renewal of an exploration license is considered to be administratively complete on the day that it is submitted, unless, before the 10th business day after receiving the application, the department provides the explorer with written notification that the application is not administratively complete. The department may determine that an application is not administratively complete only if the application does not include a renewal fee; a bond; a certificate of insurance; a copy of the applicant's most recent annual report to the federal securities and exchange commission on form 10-K, or, if this is not available, a report of the applicant's current assets and liabilities or other data necessary to establish that the applicant is competent to conduct exploration in this state; or either a statement that no changes are being proposed to the exploration plan and reclamation plan previously approved by the department or a new exploration plan or reclamation plan if the applicant proposes to make changes. The department may not consider the quality of any information provided. In a notice provided under this paragraph, the department shall identify what is missing from the application.
295.44(6)(d) (d) If the department provides notification, in compliance with par. (c), that an application is not administratively complete, the department shall renew the exploration license or provide the notice, required under par. (g), of intent not to renew the exploration license within 7 business days of receipt of the missing item.
295.44(6)(e) (e) If the department does not comply with par. (b) or (d), the application for renewal is automatically approved.
295.44(6)(f) (f) Subject to par. (g), the department shall deny an application for renewal of an exploration license only if the applicant has filed a new exploration plan or reclamation plan and the department finds that the exploration, after the activities in the new exploration plan and the new reclamation plan have been completed, will have a substantial and irreparable adverse impact on the environment or present a substantial risk of injury to public health and welfare.
295.44(6)(g) (g) Before denying an application, the department shall provide the person who submitted the application with written notification of its intent not to renew the exploration license, setting forth all of the reasons for its intent not to renew the exploration license, including reference to competent evidence supporting its position. The department shall provide the person with an opportunity to correct any deficiencies in the exploration plan or restoration plan within 10 business days. If the person amends the exploration plan or reclamation plan and corrects the deficiencies, the department shall renew the exploration license within 10 business days of receipt of the amended exploration plan or reclamation plan. If the department determines that the deficiencies have not been corrected, it shall deny the application, in writing, setting forth all of the reasons for it's determination, including reference to competent evidence supporting the determination.
295.44(6)(h) (h) The renewal of an exploration license takes effect on the date of issuance and expires on the following June 30.
295.44(7) (7)Revocation or suspension of exploration license. After a hearing, the department may revoke or suspend an exploration license if it determines that any of the following apply:
295.44(7)(a) (a) The explorer has not complied with a statute, a rule promulgated by the department, or a condition in the exploration license.
295.44(7)(b) (b) The explorer has failed to increase bond amounts to adequate levels as provided under sub. (3) (d).
295.44(8) (8)Notice procedure.
295.44(8)(a) (a) An explorer shall notify the department of the explorer's intent to drill on a parcel by registered mail at least 5 days prior to the beginning of drilling. Notice is considered to be given on the date that the department receives the notice. In the notice, the explorer shall specify which drillholes identified in the exploration plan the explorer intends to drill. The explorer shall send the notice to the subunit of the department with authority over mine reclamation.
295.44(8)(b) (b) A notice of intent to drill provided under par. (a) remains in effect for one year beginning on the date that the department receives the notice. If the explorer wishes to continue drilling on the parcel after the notice is no longer in effect, the explorer shall resubmit a notice of intent to drill on the parcel.
295.44(9) (9)Reports.
295.44(9)(a) (a) Within 10 days after completing the temporary or permanent abandonment of a drillhole, an explorer shall file with the department an abandonment report that describes the means and method used in the abandonment and is signed by an authorized representative of the explorer attesting to the accuracy of the information contained in the report. The explorer shall submit the abandonment report to the department's district office for the district in which the drilling site is located.
295.44(9)(b) (b) After permanent abandonment of a drillhole and regrading and revegetation of the drilling site, an explorer shall notify the department of completion of termination of the drilling site. The explorer shall submit the notice, in writing, to the department's district office for the district in which the drilling site is located.
295.44(9)(c)1.1. After receipt of a notice under par. (b), the department shall notify the explorer in writing whether the termination is satisfactory or unsatisfactory. If the termination is unsatisfactory, the department shall inform the explorer of the necessary corrective measures. Following the completion of corrective measures, the explorer shall file written notice with the department's district office for the district in which the drilling site is located specifying the means and method used and stating that termination is complete.
295.44(9)(c)2. 2. If an explorer fails to comply with corrective measures identified under subd. 1., the department may suspend the explorer's exploration license in accordance with sub. (7).
295.44(9)(c)3. 3. Upon satisfactory completion of termination of a drilling site, the department shall issue a certificate of completion. The department may not issue a certificate of completion for a drilling site that has only been temporarily abandoned.
295.44(10) (10)Drilling fees. Upon the submission of a report under sub. (9) (a) of temporary abandonment of a drillhole, if the drillhole is temporarily abandoned, or upon submission of a report under sub. (9) (a) of permanent abandonment of a drillhole, if the drillhole is not temporarily abandoned, the explorer shall pay a fee to the department. The fee is $100 per drillhole for the first 20 drillholes for which a report is filed in a license year and $50 for each subsequent drillhole for which a report is filed in that license year.
295.44(11) (11)Inspections.
295.44(11)(a) (a) Any duly authorized officer, employee, or representative of the department may enter and inspect any property, premises, or place on or at which exploration is being performed at any reasonable time for the purpose of ascertaining the state of compliance with this section. No explorer may refuse entry or access to any authorized representative of the department who requests entry for the purposes of inspection and who presents appropriate credentials.
295.44(11)(b) (b) No person may obstruct, hamper, or interfere with any inspection authorized in par. (a).
295.44(11)(c) (c) No inspector may obstruct, hamper, or interfere with exploration activities.
295.44(12) (12)Exemption. This section does not apply to an operator with a mining permit who is engaged in exploration activities on lands included in a mining plan and reclamation plan, if the mining plan or reclamation plan contains provisions relating to termination of the exploration activities.
295.44(13) (13)Environmental analysis not required. The department is not required to prepare an environmental impact statement or an environmental assessment for an application for an exploration license.
295.44 History History: 2013 a. 1; 2013 a. 168 s. 21.
295.443 295.443 Local impact committee; local agreement.
295.443(1)(1)A county, town, village, city, or tribal government likely to be substantially affected by potential or proposed mining may designate an existing committee, or establish a committee, for purposes of:
295.443(1)(a) (a) Facilitating communications between operators and itself.
295.443(1)(b) (b) Analyzing implications of mining.
295.443(1)(c) (c) Reviewing and commenting on reclamation plans.
295.443(1)(d) (d) Developing solutions to mining-induced growth problems.
295.443(1)(e) (e) Recommending priorities for local action.
295.443(1)(f) (f) Formulating recommendations to the investment and local impact fund board regarding distribution of funds under s. 70.395 (2) (g) related to mining for ferrous minerals.
295.443(1)(g) (g) Negotiating a local agreement under sub. (1m).
295.443(1m) (1m)A county, town, village, city, or tribal government that requires an operator to obtain an approval or permit under a zoning or land use ordinance and a county, town, village, or city in which any portion of a proposed mining site is located may, individually or in conjunction with other counties, towns, villages, cities, or tribal governments, enter into one or more agreements with an operator for the development of a mining operation. The local agreement may include any of the following:
295.443(1m)(a) (a) A legal description of the land subject to the agreement and the names of its legal and equitable owners.
295.443(1m)(b) (b) The duration of the agreement.
295.443(1m)(c) (c) The uses permitted on the land.
295.443(1m)(d) (d) A description of any conditions, terms, restrictions, or other requirements determined to be necessary by the county, town, village, city, or tribal government for the public health, safety, or welfare of its residents.
295.443(1m)(e) (e) A description of any obligation undertaken by the county, town, village, city, or tribal government to enable the development to proceed.
295.443(1m)(f) (f) The applicability or nonapplicability of county, town, village, city, or tribal ordinances, approvals, or resolutions.
295.443(1m)(g) (g) A provision for the amendment of the agreement.
295.443(1m)(h) (h) Other provisions determined to be reasonable and necessary by the parties to the agreement.
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