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Mined Land Reclamation Permit - Introduction

ARTICLE 23, ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION LAW
IMPLEMENTING REGULATIONS - 6NYCRR Part 420, Part 421, Part 422, Part 423, Part 424 and Part 425

concurrent relcamation
Concurrent mine reclamation
Alfalfa is growing on the reclaimed
area while mining continues.
McEwan Mining
East Concord, Cattaraugus Co., N.Y

Mineral Resources are an important part of New York State. The State Legislature enacted Article 23, Title 27 of the Environmental Conservation Law (ECL) of New York State to achieve the policies of the State which are to ensure the environmentally sound, economic development of New York's mineral resources and the return of affected land to productive use for current and future generations. Regulations (6NYCRR Parts 420-425) and a permitting program designed to achieve these goals have been established by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.

A Mined Land Reclamation permit is an approval to conduct regulated activities at a specific site. Permits are issued by DEC for annual terms of up to five years and may be renewed. Certain extraction of minerals in aid of construction projects or agricultural activities may be exempt from the permitting requirements of the Mined Land Reclamation Law.

Mined Land Reclamation Law
Declaration of Policy (§23-2703)

The legislature hereby declares that it is the policy of this state to foster and encourage the development of an economically sound and stable mining industry, and the orderly development of domestic mineral resources and reserves necessary to assure satisfaction of economic needs compatible with sound environmental management practices.

The legislature further declares it to be the policy of this state

  • to provide for the management and planning for the use of these non-renewable natural resources and to provide, in conjunction with such mining operations, for reclamation of affected lands;
  • to encourage productive use including but not restricted to
    • the planting of forests, the planting of crops for harvest, the seeding of grass and legumes for grazing purposes,
    • the protection and enhancement of wildlife and aquatic resources,
    • the establishment of recreational, home, commercial, and industrial sites;
  • to provide for the conservation, development, utilization, management and appropriate use of all the natural resources of such areas for compatible multiple purposes;
  • to prevent pollution;
  • to protect and perpetuate the taxable value of property;
  • to protect the health, safety and general welfare of the people, as well as the natural beauty and aesthetic values in the affected areas of the state.

Where to find the entire text of the Mined Land Reclamation Law on the Internet

As part of an ongoing environmental forum series, the Albany Law School convened a panel discussion on "Sustainable Development and Mining: Perspectives on New York State's Mined Land Reclamation Law" Gregory H. Sovas, former Division Director, participated as one of the four panelists.