Public Comment - Non-Metallic Mining Until April 30, 2016

Department releases draft permits related to non-metallic mining for public comment; develops new groundwater study on industrial sand mining

By Central Office March 16, 2016

Contact(s): Roberta Walls, 608-785-9272

MADISON - The Department of Natural Resources has released two general permits for public comment related to non-metallic mining.

In addition, the department is also developing a new study aimed at better understanding potential groundwater affects from industrial sand mining.

Under the Wisconsin Pollution Discharge Elimination System (WPDES), the draft permits are intended to eliminate significant environmental impacts of storm water and/or wastewater discharges associated with industrial sand mining and other nonmetallic mining operations or facilities.

One draft permit covers nonmetallic mining operations that typically include mining and processing of gravel, stone, rock and other aggregate. A second draft permit covers nonmetallic mining operations for industrial sand mining. Approximately 2,400 nonmetallic mining operations are covered under the current versions of the two permits.

The public has until April 30 to comment on the nonmetallic mining operations permits. Comments may be sent to: Jim Bertolacini - WT/3, Wisconsin DNR, 101 S. Webster St., P.O. Box 7921, Madison, WI 53707-7921, 608-264-8971,

A third general permit also released by the department covers concrete product operations that discharge washwater and other processes involving wastewater. Approximately 150 concrete product operations are covered under the current versions of this permit.

The public has until April 30 to comment on the concrete product operation permit. Comments may be sent to: Jeff Brauer - WT/3, Wisconsin DNR, 101 S. Webster St., P.O. Box 7921, Madison, WI 53707-7921, 608-267-7643,

Anyone providing comments during the public comment period will receive a notification of the department's final decision when the general permits are reissued.

Public hearings set

Wednesday March 30, Black River Falls - 6:30 p.m., Black River Falls Middle School, Lunda Theater, 1202 Pierce St.

Thursday March 31, Chippewa Falls - 6:30 p.m., Dove Healthcare - Wissota Health & Regional Vent Center, Community Room, 2815 County Highway I

Wednesday April 6, Madison - 1:30 p.m., Dane County UW-Extension, Room 121, 5201 Fen Oak Drive

Thursday April 7, Oshkosh - 6:30 p.m., Thursday April 7, Winnebago County UW-Extension, Conference Room A/B, 625 E County Road Y #600

Additional permit information is available on the DNR's public notice web page.

Groundwater study looks at potential sand mining affects

The department has also developed the scope for a plan to investigate potential groundwater issues associated with industrial sand mining. Agency staff will look at the groundwater questions around sand mining with the goal of using the study to help characterize the background conditions of areas with sand mining operations.

The study will also help determine whether sand mining operations could potentially impact groundwater and whether additional preventative or monitoring measures are warranted.

Department staff will engage a number of stakeholders and, because of the variability between sand mining operations, multiple locations with sand washing processing would be included.

The draft permits and groundwater study are in addition to a strategic analysis of industrial sand mining the department is developing to assess the environmental and socio-economic information related to the sand mining in Wisconsin. Information about the strategic analysis is available on the DNR's website.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Roberta Walls, 608-785-9272

Last Revised: Wednesday, March 16, 2016

General Permits - Non-Metallic Mining Operations
(A) Non-Industrial Sand and Other Aggregates
(B) Industrial Sand Mining and Processing WIA046515-6
March 16
hearing(A) 369KB
(B) 407KB 66KB

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