An applicant for a mining permit shall submit as part of the application a mining waste site feasibility study and plan of operation that demonstrates the suitability of the proposed mining waste site for the disposal of mining wastes and that describes the operation of the mining waste site.
(3) Waste characterization and analysis.
For the purposes of this section, the applicant shall perform waste characterization and analysis, to identify the quantities, variability, and physical, radiological, and chemical properties of each mining waste as necessary to assess the potential environmental impact of handling, storage, and disposal. The applicant may include in the waste characterization and analysis a review of the literature and results from similar existing facilities, materials, or studies. For the purpose of the waste characterization and analysis, the applicant shall conduct testing on representative samples of materials available, on individual mining wastes from the mining process, and if the applicant proposes mixed storage or disposal of individual mining wastes, on composite mining wastes. If physical or chemical segregation of a mining waste is proposed, the applicant shall test each individual waste resulting from the physical or chemical segregation. The applicant shall complete all of the following components of the waste characterization and analysis:
Identification of all mining wastes that will be disposed of or stored in the mining waste site, including classification of mining waste types, estimates of the rates of generation and volumes of each type, and an explanation of the proposed ultimate disposition of each type.
Chemical, radiological, physical, and mineralogical analyses of each type of mining waste.
Analyses of the particle size of the mining wastes.
Chemical and physical characteristics testing, including testing to determine the leaching potential of the mining wastes and the composition of the resulting leachate, using, at a minimum, static testing, kinetic testing, and microscopic testing for mineralization characterization, except that this testing is not required if the applicant demonstrates, based on the analyses in pars. (b)
or on past experience, that there is not a probability for significant adverse environmental impact or a probability of an adverse impact on public health, safety, or welfare.
(4) Site specific information.
In addition to performing the mining waste characterization and analysis under sub. (3)
, for the purposes of the mining waste site feasibility study and plan of operation, an applicant shall conduct field and laboratory investigations to determine physical, chemical, and biological characteristics of the proposed mining waste site. The applicant shall do all of the following:
Perform field investigations to determine the specific topography, soil types, and depth to bedrock and groundwater.
Perform at least one soil boring, to bedrock or refusal, every 80 acres, characterizing the major geomorphic features such as ridges and lowlands and characterizing each major soil layer according to the unified soil classification system.
Prepare a boring log for each soil boring, including soil and rock descriptions, method of drilling, method of sampling, sample depths, date of boring, and water level measurements and dates, with elevations referring to United States geological survey mean sea level datum.
Collect soil samples to adequately determine the geology and ensure the proper design and monitoring of the mining waste site, including doing all of the following:
Collecting the soil samples at not greater than 5 foot depth intervals, unless physical conditions such as soil homogeneity indicate that greater intervals are adequate.
Collecting the soil samples using generally accepted techniques for sampling undisturbed soils, where that is appropriate.
Classifying all soil samples according to the unified soil classification system.
Perform soil tests as necessary for classification and correlation purposes and to develop necessary geotechnical design parameters for the mining waste site, without compositing soil samples.
Determine the hydraulic conductivity of the various soil strata, using in situ hydraulic conductivity testing procedures as appropriate to confirm values determined in the laboratory.
Determine horizontal and vertical groundwater flow patterns in and around the proposed mining waste site based on data obtained from groundwater monitoring wells and piezometers constructed in conformity with ch. NR 141
, Wis. Adm. Code.
Conduct a program to establish baseline water quality through monitoring groundwater and surface water in the vicinity of the mine and the proposed mining waste site on a monthly basis and establishing physical-chemical and biological characteristics of the concentrations of substances in the water before mining begins at the mining site. The applicant shall do all of the following:
Select physical-chemical parameters based on transport and transformation mechanisms in the environment as well as other factors affecting the mobility and toxicity of pollutants.
Select biological parameters based on the environmental characterizations under sub. (5) (g)
, the degree of impact predicted, and the potentially affected organism's sensitivity to contaminants.
Establish a final parameter list for groundwater and surface water based on preliminary sampling and known information concerning the waters in the vicinity of the mine and the mining waste site, consideration of applicable water quality standards, and the geology and composition of the ferrous mineral deposit that will be mined. At a minimum, in the program under this paragraph the applicant shall collect water quality data for all of the following parameters:
The major cations calcium, magnesium, potassium, and sodium.
Other total and dissolved metals, including aluminum, iron, and manganese, that may be introduced by the mining activities.
General chemistry, including total alkalinity, total organic carbon, gross alpha, gross beta, ammonia, nitrate, total dissolved solids, total hardness, and total suspended solids.
(5) Contents related to waste site feasibility.
An applicant shall include all of the following in the mining waste site feasibility study and plan of operation:
A description of the mining waste site location, proposed acreage, proposed mining waste site life and range of disposal capacity, and estimated types and quantities of mining wastes to be contained.
A description of the mining waste characterization and analysis conducted under sub. (3)
, including a description of the test methods used in evaluating the characteristics of the mining waste and the procedures and records for documenting the chain of custody of the test samples.
An existing site conditions plan sheet consisting of a topographic survey of the area, with elevations tied to United States geological survey mean sea level datum, illustrating the property boundaries, proposed boundaries of the mining waste site, survey grid and north arrow, buildings, water supply wells, utility lines, other man-made features, soil boring locations, observation well locations, and other pertinent information.
A series of geologic cross-sections illustrating existing topography; soil borings; soil classification; soil properties; interpreted soil stratigraphy; bedrock; well and boring locations and constructions; and stabilized water level readings.
A water table map, using the existing site conditions plan under par. (c)
as a base, that is based on stabilized water level readings and, if seasonal changes in groundwater levels are significant, maps those changes.
If more than 2 well nests are constructed, groundwater flow nets to illustrate horizontal and vertical flow, which may be illustrated on the geologic cross-sections under par. (d)
, if appropriate.
An environmental characterization that describes the structure and functional relationships of ecosystems potentially affected by the proposed mining waste site.
A report on the water quality data collected under the baseline monitoring program under sub. (4) (h)
to establish baseline water quality.
A land use map, using the existing site conditions plan under par. (c)
as a base, showing plant communities, wildlife habitat, places where rare and endangered species have been sighted, archaeological or historic sites, buildings, and areas of social importance.
A table showing existing water quality of all potentially affected surface waters, indicating important aquatic habitat.
Local climatological data for seasonal precipitation, evaporation, air temperature, and wind velocity and direction. The applicant may use an annual record on the proposed mining waste site or adequate data to correlate the proposed mining waste site conditions to an existing observation station as the basis for this data.
A discussion of regional conditions, supplemented with maps or cross-sections where appropriate, addressing all of the following:
Hydrology, including surface water drainage patterns and important hydrologic features such as navigable waters, springs, drainage divides, and wetlands.
Geology, including the nature and distribution of bedrock and unconsolidated deposits.
Hydrogeology, including depth of groundwater, flow directions, recharge and discharge areas, groundwater divides, aquifers, and the identification of the aquifers used by all public and private wells within at least 1,200 feet of the proposed mining waste site.
Groundwater and surface water quality and precipitation chemistry.
Identification of owners of land adjacent to the proposed mining waste site.
Existing land uses with particular emphasis on known recreational, historic, archaeological, scientific, cultural, or scenic significance.
Existing or proposed access roads and weight restrictions on those roads.
Identification of aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems such as stream orders and classifications.
A discussion of alternative methods of disposing of mining waste materials, including an analysis of the practicability of the reuse, sale, recovery, or processing of the mining wastes for other purposes.
An analysis of the results of the mining waste characterizations under sub. (3)
, the site specific information under sub. (4)
and this subsection, and the regional information under par. (L)
in relation to the approach for locating the mining waste site and developing appropriate design, construction, operation, monitoring, and long-term care requirements for each type of mining waste.
A proposed mining waste site design, based on conclusions resulting from analysis of the mining waste characterizations under sub. (3)
and the site data under sub. (4)
, that includes all of the following:
A map, using the existing site conditions plan under par. (c)
as a base, that shows proposed access, lateral extent of filling, and phases of mining waste site development.
A series of cross-sections, using the geologic cross-sections under par. (d)
as the base, that show existing topography, proposed base grades, and final grades.
Preliminary earthwork balance calculations, showing amounts of materials expected to be moved on the mining waste site prior to the disposal of mining waste.
Proposed methods of mining waste site development, phasing, access control, and other special design features.
Expected material balances showing the quantities of each type of mining waste identified in par. (a)
showing the amounts generated, disposed of on site, and taken off site, including all of the following:
The projected conditions existing at the end of a typical year of production.
The projected conditions existing at the end of reclamation.
A discussion of the reasoning behind the design of the major features of the mining waste site, such as traffic routing, base grade and relationships to subsurface conditions, anticipated waste types and characteristics, phases of development, mining waste site monitoring, and similar design features.
A proposed monitoring program, based on potential variations in the quality and quantity of mining waste and methods of processing, transport and disposal, and on the variability of important environmental conditions, designed to monitor the proposed mining waste site for compliance with all environmental standards that are applicable under this subchapter.
The results of engineering and hydrologic modeling to assess mining waste site performance relative to compliance with applicable groundwater quality standards to a depth of not more than 1,000 feet into the Precambrian bedrock or to the final depth of the mining excavation, whichever is greater, and to compliance with applicable surface water quality standards, examining a period equal to the proposed period in which the mining waste site is proposed to operate plus 250 years after closure of the mining waste site. The applicant may also include information from other mining operations and operations for the extraction of nonferrous metallic minerals to substantiate that the proposed mining waste site design, including associated contingency plans and monitoring and response plans, will allow for the operation and closure of the mining waste site in a manner that will not substantially adversely affect groundwater and surface water quality in accordance with applicable standards.
If the applicant proposes to expand an existing mining waste site, an evaluation of the existing mining waste site design and operation.
Preliminary water budgets for the periods before construction, during construction, and after closure of the mining waste site, each addressing climatological situations depicting dry, wet, and average precipitation and evaporation conditions, based on climatological records. In preparing the water budget, the applicant shall consider precipitation, slurry water input and return, evaporation, surface runoff, evapotranspiration, the moisture holding capacity of soil and mining waste, and the velocities and volumes of groundwater flow. In the water budget, the applicant shall describe the estimated amount and quality of seepage and discharge to surface water and groundwater.
An analysis of the impact of the mining waste site on aesthetics and how any impact can be minimized or offset to the extent practicable.
Data regarding the safety factors of tailings basin embankments, considering the following, on a case-by-case basis:
Geology of the mining waste site including type and homogeneity of the foundation.
Materials and methods to be used for embankment construction.
Physical and chemical characteristics of the mining waste as deposited and predicted changes through time.
The potential area to be affected in case of failure, considering land use and the surrounding environment.
Requirements of the mine safety and health administration of the federal department of labor.
An economic analysis, including an engineer's cost estimate, for mining waste site closure and long-term care.
Identification and analysis of alternatives to the design and location of any new proposed mining waste site and discussion of operation alternatives to the extent they have a significant impact on design and location alternatives.
An appendix that includes all of the following:
Boring logs, soil tests, well construction data, and water level measurements.
A description of the methods and equations used in the analysis of the raw data.
(6) Contents relating to operation.
An applicant for a mining permit shall submit as part of the mining waste site feasibility study and plan of operation provisions relating to operation of the mining waste site including all of the following:
Engineering plans consisting of all of the following:
An existing site conditions plan sheet indicating site conditions before development to the extent not provided under sub. (5)
A base grade plan sheet indicating mining waste site base grades or the appearance of the mining waste site if it were excavated in its entirety to the base elevation, before installation of any engineering modifications and before disposal of any mining wastes.
An engineering modifications plan sheet indicating the appearance of the mining waste site after installation of engineering modifications.
A final site topography plan sheet indicating the appearance of the site at closing including the details necessary to prepare the mining waste site for reclamation and long-term care.