DNR's role in rulemaking for the reclamation of silica sand mines
Status of Rulemaking
In 2013, the legislature directed the DNR to adopt rules pertaining to the reclamation of silica sand mines. The DNR used input gained from a nearly year-long advisory panel process to develop preliminary draft rules. Developing rules can take about two years. The process can take longer to accommodate higher levels of public participation. The DNR published preliminary draft rule for public feedback:
- Revised Preliminary Draft Rule
The DNR received written feedback on the Preliminary Draft Rules for Reclamation Version 5_13_2016 until June 15, 2016.
Preliminary Draft Rules for Reclamation Version 5_13_2016
- Next steps in the rulemaking process includes finishing drafting the Statement of Need and Reasonableness (SONAR) and publish the proposed draft of the rules for formal public comment which is scheduled for completion in the winter of 2017.
Previous iterations of preliminary draft rule language
- Preliminary Draft Rules for Silica Sand Mining
- Financial Assurance
- Reclamation Plan Requirements
- Administrative Procedures
In addition to the DNR, MPCA and EQB are involved in implementing the 2013 legislation regarding silica sand mining, processing and transportation in Minnesota. All three state agencies are coordinating their silica sand rulemaking efforts.
The DNR strongly encourages and welcomes public input during the rulemaking process. In the July 22, 2013 edition of the state register, a notice was published requesting public comment for this rulemaking process. The ability for you to comment remains open. Feel free to contact the rulemaking coordinator in writing to submit your comments on silica sand mine reclamation.
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All stakeholders benefit from good mine planning and effective reclamation of mines sites. For the general public, reclamation ensures that post-mining land disturbances are minimized and the site is returned to a safe, sustaining, productive land use. For operators, good mine planning and reclamation promotes efficient mining practices and extraction of a resource. For the environment, good reclamation control dust emissions, prevents soil loss and erosion, and minimized the length and time disturbed lands are unreclaimed.
- DNR experience
The Minnesota DNR oversees the reclamation of all metallic mining activities in the state. We have written rules for ferrous, non-ferrous, and peat mineland reclamation. While silica sand reclamation will remain the purview of local units of governments, the DNR rules will set state standards for the reclamation of lands impacted by silica sand mining and encourage the utilization of land after the cessation of mining.
More on silica sand rulemaking
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- Silica Sand Rulemaking Advisory Panel (SSRAP)
- State silica sand website
State's multi-agency silica sand website
- DNR silica sand homepage
Highlights DNR silica sand projects, FAQs, and status map
- MPCA webpage
Features silica sand rulemaking efforts
- EQB website
Silica sand related news, tools, library, and environmental review from the Environmental Quality Board
- State silica sand website
- Fact sheet
DNR's reclamation rulemaking of silica sand projects fact sheet.
- Silica sand standards
EQB's tools to Assist Local Governments in Planning for and Regulating Silica Sand Projects.
- A Handbook for Reclaiming Sand and Gravel Pits in Minnesota
A handbook published by the DNR to assist local governments in promoting mine planning and reclamation.
- User Guide to Pit and Quarry Reclamation in Alberta - External
Provides information on the basics of mineral extraction, mine planning, and selecting best land use for a reclaimed site.
- Fact sheet
Department of Natural Resources
500 Lafayette Road, Box 45
St. Paul, MN 55155-4045
Email: [email protected]
Telephone: 651-259-5376 or 888-646-6367