Part 420: General
(Statutory authorithy: Environmental Conservation Law, § § 3-0301, 8-0117, 23-2703, 23-2705, 23-2709, 23-2721)
As used in this Subchapter, unless the context otherwise requires, the words defined in this section shall have the following meanings:
(a) Affected land and land affected by mining means the sum of that surface area of land or land under water which: (i) has been disturbed by mining since April first, nineteen hundred seventy-five and not been reclaimed, and (ii) is to be disturbed by mining during the term of the permit to mine.
(b) Applicant means that person making application to the department for a mining permit.
(c) Commissioner means the Commissioner of Environmental Conservation.
(d) Department means the Department of Environmental Conservation.
(e) Haulageway means all roads utilized for mining purposes, together with that area of land over which material is transported, that are located within the permitted area.
(f) Landowner means the person in whom the legal title to the surface rights of the affected land is vested.
(g) Land-use objective means the proposed use to be made of the affected land as described in the mined land-use plan.
(h) Mine means any excavation from which a mineral is to be produced for sale or exchange, or for commercial, industrial or municipal use; all haulageways and all equipment above, on or below the surface of the ground used in connection with such excavation, and all lands included in the life of the mine review by the department.
(i) Mined land-use plan means the applicant's proposal for mining and reclaiming the affected land. The mined land-use plan shall consist of a mining plan and a reclamation plan which shall include maps and other documents as required to describe and illustrate environmental, physiographic, cultural and surface conditions at and surrounding the mine as well as the applicant's proposed mining and reclamation methods.
(j) Mineral means any naturally formed, usually inorganic, solid material located on or below the surface of the earth. For the purposes of this title, peat and topsoil shall be considered minerals.
(k) Mining means the extraction of overburden and minerals from the earth; the preparation and processing of minerals, including any activities or processes or parts thereof for the extraction or removal of minerals from their original location and the preparation, washing, cleaning, crushing, stockpiling or other processing of minerals at the mine location so as to make them suitable for commercial, industrial, or construction use; exclusive of manufacturing processes, at the mine location; the removal of such materials through sale or exchange, or for commercial, industrial or municipal use; and the disposition of overburden, tailings and waste at the mine location. Mining shall not include the excavation, removal and disposition of minerals from construction projects, exclusive of the creation of water bodies, or excavations in aid of agricultural activities.
(l) Mining plan means a description of the applicant's mining operation which shall include maps, plans, written materials and other documents as required by the department.
(m) Overburden means all of the earth, vegetation and other materials which lie above or alongside a mineral deposit.
(n) Permit area means all affected land.
(o) Permittee means any person who holds a valid mining permit from the department for the boundaries of the land identified in the mined land-use plan.
(p) Person means any individual, public or private corporation, political subdivision, government agency, department or bureau of the State, municipality, industry, partnership, association, firm, trust, estate or any other legal entity whatsoever.
(q) Reclamation means the conditioning of the affected land to make it suitable for any productive use including but not limited 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, residential, commercial, industrial and historical sites or for other uses demonstrated to be consistent with the policy of the department.
(r) Reclamation plan means a description of operations to be performed by the applicant to reclaim the land to be mined over the life of the mine. The reclamation plan shall include maps, plans, the schedule for reclamation, written material and other documents as required by the department.
(s) Spoil means any waste material removed from its natural place in the process of mining and all waste material directly connected with the cleaning and preparation of any minerals.
(t) Subchapter means Parts 420-425 of Subchapter D of Chapter IV of Title 6 of the Official Compilation of Codes, Rules and Regulations of the State of New York.
(u) Surface consolidated mine means a mine from which such minerals as limestone, dolostone, sandstone, marble, slate, flagstone, curbing, dimension stone, riprap, abrasives, gypsum, iron, talc, titanium or other metallic or nonmetallic minerals are removed.
(v) Surface unconsolidated mine means a mine from which such minerals as topsoil, borrow, fill, peat, humus, sand or gravel are removed.
(w) Title 27 means title 27 of article 23 of the Environmental Conservation Law.
(x) Underground mine means a mine from which any mineral is removed from below the earth's surface by means of a shaft, adit, drift, tunnel, slope, or incline, but shall not include minerals removed by means of a well.
(a) This Subchapter shall be interpreted to carry out the policies of the State to foster and encourage the development of an economically sound and stable mining and mineral industry, and the orderly development of domestic mineral resources and reserves necessary to assure satisfaction of economic needs compatible with sound environmental management practices; and to provide for the wise and efficient use of the resources available for mining 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; and 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.
(b) The provisions of title 27 and this Subchapter shall apply to all mines from which 1,000 tons or 750 cubic yards of minerals, whichever is less, are to be removed from the earth within 12 successive calendar months after September 1, 1991.
(c) The provisions of title 27 and this Subchapter shall be statewide in application, except as provided in this Subchapter, and for the purposes stated in this Subchapter shall supersede all other State and local laws relating to mining and reclamation. No local government shall be prevented from enacting or enforcing local laws or ordinances of general applicability, except that such local laws or ordinances shall not regulate mining and/or reclamation activities, or from enacting or enforcing local zoning ordinances or laws which determine permissible uses in zoning districts.
(d) The provisions of title 27 and this Subchapter shall not apply to the Commissioner of General Services acting with respect to State-owned lands under water pursuant to the Public Lands Law.