[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Schroeppel 10-3-1988 by L.L. No. 7-1988. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Zoning — See Ch. 95.
This chapter shall be known as the "Town of Schroeppel Mining Law."
A clean, attractive environment is declared to be of importance to the health, safety and general welfare of the inhabitants of the Town of Schroeppel and the safeguarding of their material rights and property against unwarrantable invasion. Such an environment is deemed essential to the maintenance and continued development of the economy of the Town of Schroeppel and the general welfare of its citizens. It is further declared that the unrestrained excavation of sand, gravel and earth resulting in steep banks and cliffs, deep pits and potential accumulations of water which cannot be drained away is a hazard to the health, safety and welfare of the inhabitants of the Town of Schroeppel necessitating the regulation and restraint thereof. At the same time, it is recognized that the extraction of sand and gravel is a useful and necessary business in conjunction with the continued growth and development of the Town of Schroeppel and surrounding areas and should be encouraged when not in conflict with zoning purposes and the provisions of this chapter.
As used in this chapter, unless the context otherwise requires, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- AFFECTED LAND
- The area of land from which overburden is to be or has been removed or upon which a spoil bank is to be or has been deposited; or lands disturbed by the construction or improvement of haulageways to or from a mine; or lands disturbed by storage areas, repair areas, shipping areas and areas in which equipment, machinery, tools or other personal property is situated.
- ANGLE OF REPOSE
- The angle between the slope of the excavation bank and a horizontal line at the base of the bank extended to the bank.
- That person making application to the Town Board for a permit to mine and who is responsible for fulfilling the requirements of the reclamation plan as stipulated in this chapter.
- Rock fragments, sand, silt, earth or organic matter in a heterogeneous mass; or the silt, sand and gravel generally associated with hydraulic mining commonly referred to as tailings, slums or slickens; or any loose material caused by a shot, fall, smash or explosion; or any accumulation of rubble resulting from a mining activity.
- Any road within the permitted area which receives substantial use and which has been constructed or improved by the operator or permittee. Trails or paths between parts of a mine shall not be considered haulageways.
- Any pits or underground workings from which any mineral is produced for sale, exchange, commercial or municipal use and all shafts, slopes, drifts or inclines leading thereto, and includes all equipment above, on or below the surface of the ground used in connection with such mines.
- MINED LAND USE PLAN
- The applicant's written proposal for accomplishing land use objectives on the affected land, including maps or other documents as required to describe the areas to be mined, as well as a description of the ground surface. The "mined land use plan" shall also include mining plans, reclamation plans, physiographic features and illustrative land use maps.
- Aggregate, cement rock, clay, coal, curbing, dimension stone, dolostone, emery, flagstone, garnet, gemstones, gravel, gypsum, iron, lead, limestone, marble, marl, metallic ore, paving blocks, peat, riprap, roadstone, salt, sand, sandstone, shale, silver, slate, stone, talc, titanium, trap rock, wollastonite, zinc or any other solid material or substance of commercial value found in natural deposits in or on the earth.
- The extraction or removal of minerals from the ground or the breaking of the surface soil in order to facilitate or accomplish the extraction or removal of minerals, including any activities or processes or parts thereof for extraction or removal of minerals from their original location, but shall not include the preparation, washing, cleaning or other processing of minerals at the mine location so as to make them suitable for commercial, industrial or construction use and shall not include excavation or grading when conducted solely in aid of on-site farming or construction. Removal of limited amounts of overburden and mining of limited amounts of any minerals shall not be considered as mining when done only for the purpose of extracting samples or specimens for scientific purposes, or only for the purpose and to the extent necessary to determine the location, quantity or quality of any mineral deposit so long as no minerals removed during exploratory excavation are sold, processed for sale or consumed in the regular operation of a business.
- Any owner, lessee or other person who operates, controls or supervises a mining operation. The operator may or may not be the applicant for a mining permit or the permittee.
- All of the earth and other materials which lie above or alongside natural mineral deposits, and includes all earth, soil and other materials disturbed from their natural state in the process of mining, exclusive of the mined minerals.
- The person who has title to the mineral deposits on any given tract of land and who has the right to extract minerals for sale and to appropriate the minerals he extracts therefrom either for himself or others or for himself and others.
- Any person who has been issued and who currently holds a valid permit to mine from the Town Board.
- 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.
- The conditioning of areas affected by mining to make them suitable for any uses or purposes consistent with those stated in § 62-6 of this chapter.
- RECLAMATION PLAN
- The applicant's written proposal for reclamation of the affected areas, including land use objectives, maps or other documents as required to describe reclamation and, where relevant, grading specifications and manner and type of revegetation.
- That material which is considered worthless or useless and has been or is to be rejected or discarded.
- 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.
- SPOIL BANK
- The accumulation of spoil or underground refuse piled outside of the underground workings; or the place on the surface where spoil is piled; or the material commonly known as "soil heap."
- STRIP MINING
- The extraction of mineral deposits lying near the surface of the earth by means of removing the overburden above the deposits in rows or strips, such process normally being moved from place to place and not involving the extraction of minerals at the same location over a substantial period of time.
- SURFACE MINING
- The extraction of minerals by means other than strip mining, but excluding the extraction from beneath the surface of the earth of minerals to which access is gained by wells, shafts, slopes, drifts or inclines penetrating or connected with excavations penetrating mineral seams or strata.
- The parts, or a part, of any incoherent solid or fluid material separated as refuse, or separately treated as inferior in quality or value, such as remainders, leavings or dregs; or the gangue and other refuse material resulting from the washing, concentration or treatment of ground ore; or those portions of washed ore that are too poor to be treated further, used especially for the debris from ore dressing machinery, as distinguished from material to be smelted; or the inferior leavings or residue of any product, foots or bottoms; or the residuum after most of the valuable ore has been extracted.
- UNDERGROUND MINING
- Any operation which removes minerals by means of shafts, slopes, drifts or inclined planes and transports the mined material to one or more points outside of the excavation.
- The barren rock or gangue in a mine; or that part of the ore deposit that is too low in grade to be of commercial value under existing economic and technological conditions; or any part of a mined material which is of no further utility to the particular process involved.
It shall be unlawful after enactment of this chapter for any operator who mines 1,000 tons or less of minerals from the earth within 12 successive calendar months to engage in such mining unless a permit for such mining operation has been first obtained from the Town Board as provided in this chapter.
Permits pursuant to this chapter may be obtained for a one-year period only.
Applications shall contain the following information:
The common or commercial name and the geological description, where applicable, of the minerals to be extracted.
An estimate of the number of surface acres of land that will be affected by mining.
Except with respect to underground mining operations, the name and address of the surface landowner.
The name and address of the owner of the mineral to be mined.
The permanent and temporary addresses of the applicant.
The identification number of any mining permit now held by the applicant.
If the applicant is a corporation, the name and address of the chief executive officer thereof.
Specification of such circumstances if the applicant has ever had a mining permit issued under the laws of this state revoked or has ever had a reclamation bond or security deposited in lieu of bond forfeited.
Such additional information as the Town Board may require.
Upon approval of the application by the Town Board and receipt of the reclamation bond or an appropriate substitute as provided in § 62-7 of this chapter, a permit shall be issued by the Town Board. The Town Board may include in permits such conditions as may be required to fulfill the purposes of this chapter.
A permit issued pursuant to this chapter or a certified copy thereof must be publicly displayed by the permittee at the mine and must at all times be visible, legible and protected from the elements.
A permit issued pursuant to this chapter is not transferable.
A permittee may make written request to the Town Board for the modification of an existing permit. The request shall be accompanied by a fee and a bond or appropriate substitute in an amount as established by separate resolution of the Town Board as required under the provisions of this chapter.
[Amended 3-4-2004 by L.L. No. 2-2004]
Editor's Note: The current fee schedule is on file in the Town Clerk's office.
A permittee may make written request to the Town Board to renew a mining permit. A request for a renewal shall be accompanied by a fee of $100.
The Town Board may suspend or revoke a permit to mine for repeated or willful violation of any of the terms of the permit or provisions of this chapter or for repeated or willful deviation from those descriptions contained in the mined land use plan as set forth in § 62-5 of this chapter. The Town Board may refuse to renew a permit upon a finding that the permittee is in repeated or willful violation of any of the terms of the permit or of this chapter.
Nothing in this chapter shall be construed as exempting any person from the provisions of any other law or regulation requiring a permit.
Notwithstanding any other provision of law, counties, cities, towns and villages shall be exempted from the fees for the permit, application, amendment and renewal required by this chapter.
Every applicant for a permit pursuant to the provisions of this chapter shall submit a mined land use plan. The mined land use plan shall consist of a mining and reclamation plan to include both graphic and written descriptions illustrating the following items as they affect the surface:
The description required in Subsection A(1) and (2) of this section above shall be presented on a United States Geological Survey Map or the equivalent as may be approved by the Town Board on such scale as the Town Board may require. If such equivalent map is utilized, it shall be prepared by an engineer, geologist or licensed land surveyor. Such equivalent map shall show contours, existing streams, rivers, lakes, roads or other relevant geographical or cultural features, be scaled to measurements in feet, be prepared in a neat, legible manner and contain a title block or legend in such form as the department may prescribe.
The description required in Subsection A(3) of this section above shall indicate any area of existing and proposed excavation, area of existing and proposed settling pond and washing plant facility, area of existing and proposed treatment facilities, area of proposed mineral storage area, area of existing or proposed spoil banks and area proposed for stockpiling overburden or topsoil. Such description of the mining method to be used shall also indicate:
The proposed screening of all storage areas within the boundaries of the permitted area so as to confine dust and flying particles to the permitted area.
The sequence of cuts or excavations to be made in the surface when they affect the reclamation plan.
The location of haulageways to and from the operation to minimize intrusions into residential areas, and shall include specifics regarding the treatment of such haulageways to minimize dust.
Planned drainage and water control for all affected areas so as to reduce to a minimum soil erosion damage to adjacent lands.
The mined land use plan shall be subject to the following minimum conditions:
Hours of operation. No operations shall be commenced or carried on in any excavation before 6:00 a.m. local time or continued after 6:00 p.m. local time or at anytime on Sundays or legal holidays.
Fencing. All excavations shall be protected by fencing, barriers or other protective devices, as may be required by the Town Board.
Vehicles entering public highways. The driver of any vehicle leaving the site of an excavation shall, before entering upon any public street or highway, bring the vehicle to a full stop and yield the right-of-way to all vehicles approaching on such highway.
Setback line from highway. No pit excavation shall be commenced, carried on or continued within 200 feet of any public highway right-of-way.
Bank excavations. The bottom on any bank excavation shall not be dug to a point lower than will permit the natural flow and drainage of all water therefrom into existing channels without artificial means of discharge.
Pit excavations. No pit excavation shall be carried on so that any water accumulates in the bottom thereof. In the case of existing accumulations of water, no earth removal operations shall be carried on until such holes have been filled with earth and the accumulations of water eliminated, with the exception of agricultural improvements and uses, including fire ponds.
Angle of repose. The angle of repose shall not exceed 45° except with express permission of the Town Board.
Final bottom of excavation. The final bottom of the excavation shall be substantially smooth and graded without any accumulations of debris, trees, boulders, rocks, hardheads or clay mounds or any other conditions which would limit such lands from being used for some possible future useful purpose.
After approval of the mined land use plan or any amendment thereof by the Town Board, the permittee shall not deviate or depart therefrom without the Town Board's written approval.
A reclamation plan required by this chapter shall consist of two parts. Part one thereof shall be a reclamation map prepared on the same basis as the mined land use plan map described in § 62-5, showing the proposed final stage of reclamation. Part two thereof shall be a written description of the planned reclamation method indicating whether lands are proposed for development for farming, pasture, forestry, recreation, industrial, commercial, residential or solid waste disposal purposes or other uses acceptable to the Town Board.
The reclamation plan shall indicate specifics covering revegetation, disposal of debris, refuse, tailings, waste or spoil; planned water impoundments; and grading plans.
The reclamation plan, where possible, shall provide for orderly, continuing reclamation concurrent with mining operations, and all of the reclamation work shall be completed in accordance with the schedule accepted or designated by the Town Board. The permittee shall file periodic reports within such times as the Town Board shall require showing the areas for which reclamation has been completed. The Town shall inspect such areas and notify the permittee whether the reclamation is accepted as being in accordance with the approved plan or whether there are deficiencies which must be corrected. Unless the Town Board specifies otherwise, the permittee shall file an annual report in the manner prescribed by the Town Board indicating the degree of reclamation.
As a condition precedent to the issuance of any permit, the applicant, where required, shall furnish a bond or appropriate substitute as hereinafter provided acceptable to the Town Board conditioned upon the performance of the applicant's reclamation responsibilities with respect to the mine and naming the state as beneficiary.
The amount of the bond required shall be determined by the Town Board based on the information contained in the permit application and upon such information as an investigation by the Town Board may disclose.
The form and terms of the bond shall be as prescribed by the Town Board. It shall be signed by the applicant as principal and by a good and sufficient corporate surety licensed to do business as such in the State of New York.
If the bond shall for any reason be canceled by the surety, within 30 days after receiving notice thereof, the permittee shall provide a valid replacement under the same conditions as hereinabove described. Failure to provide a replacement bond within such period may, at the discretion of the Town Board, result in the immediate suspension of the mining permit by the Town Board.
If, after notice and hearing relative thereto, the Town Board determines that the permittee is in violation of the reclamation requirements relative to the mine, it may suspend the permit, and, if the permittee does not commence corrective measures within 15 days after notice of determination, the Town Board shall revoke the permit. In such event, the Town Board may thereupon call upon the surety to complete the reclamation as provided for in the bond. In case of default of such completion by the surety, the Town Board may, at its option, proceed to complete the work, either by day work or contract. In the latter event, the cost of completing the unfinished work shall be the personal liability of the permittee, and the bond or substitute and the materials, machinery, implements and the tools of every description which may be found at the mine or other assets of the permittee shall be subject to a lien of the Town Board for the amount expended for such work and shall not be removed without the written consent of the Town Board. Such lien may be foreclosed by the Town Attorney in the same manner as a mechanic's lien.
Whenever a permittee shall have completed all requirements under the provisions of his permit as to any affected land, he shall notify the Town Board thereof. If the Town Board determines that the permittee has satisfied the requirements of the reclamation plan, the Town Board shall release the permittee from further obligations regarding such affected land. The release of liability under the surety bond shall be based upon faithful compliance by the permittee of all requirements relating to the reclamation of land affected by mining. A two-year period shall be allowed after completion of mining operations to complete the reclamation of an area affected by mining, unless the Town Board shall deem it in the best interests of the people of the state to allow a longer reclamation period. At the discretion of the Town Board, the permittee shall be able to secure a release of a portion of the bond for acreage which he has reclaimed or a release of the full amount of the bond less the amount necessary to complete reclamation for acreage partially reclaimed.
Upon the approval of the Town Board, in lieu of such bond, the applicant may deposit cash or negotiable bonds of the United States government of like amount in an escrow account conditioned upon the performance of said applicant's reclamation responsibilities with respect to said mine or furnish security of equal value acceptable to the Town Board. Any interest accruing as a result of the aforementioned escrow deposit or acceptable security shall be the exclusive property of the permittee.
The aforementioned bonding requirements shall remain the obligation of the original permittee regardless of changes in permittees unless a subsequent permittee has furnished the appropriate bond or substitute as herein provided acceptable to the Town Board and there has been an approval for the transfer of the reclamation obligation to the subsequent permittee by the Town Board.
Political subdivisions or municipalities of the state are exempted from the bonding requirements of this section.
For the purpose of this chapter, only the location of existing mines shall be considered approved where located and the owner thereof deemed suitable for the issuance of a permit. This provision shall not be deemed to cure or eliminate the violation of any other applicable ordinance, rule, regulation or local law or statute. Within 120 days from the passage of this chapter, the owner shall have conformed his operations to the requirements of this chapter. Extenuating circumstances may be considered by the Town Board.
No mine shall be abandoned or discontinued without having fully complied with the provisions of this chapter.
It shall be the duty of the Building Inspector to enforce the provisions of this chapter.
Any person committing an offense against any provision of this chapter shall be guilty of a violation punishable by a fine not exceeding $250 or by imprisonment for a term not exceeding 15 days, or by both such fine and imprisonment.
Any person committing an offense against any provision of this chapter shall also be subject to a civil penalty in the amount of $100 for each offense, enforceable and collectible by and in the name of the Town, such penalty to be collectible for each day that such violation shall continue.
The continuation of an offense against the provisions of this chapter shall constitute, for each day the offense is continued, a separate and distinct offense hereunder.
In addition to the above-provided penalties, the Town Board may also maintain an action or proceeding, in the name of the Town, in a court of competent jurisdiction, to compel compliance with or to restrain by injunction the violation of this chapter.