Mining FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions About Non Coal Surface Mining

General

What is considered “Surface Mining” in the State of Maryland?

What is the definition of “Minerals” used by the State of Maryland?

 

Mining License
Who needs a Surface Mining License?

How long does it take to get a Surface Mining License?

What fees are associated with a Surface Mining License?

 

Mining Permit
Who needs a Surface Mining Permit?

How long does it take to get a Surface Mining Permit?

What fees are associated with a mining permit?

What other documents must be submitted with my permit application?

What is the Performance Bond rate?

At what point can I use the Short Form Application?

What other State Agencies are involved in the permit review process?

When is my Annual Report due?

How long is a Maryland State Surface Mining Permit valid?

When is Public Notification required for a Surface Mining Permit?

When is a Public Hearing required?

How long is the Public Comment Period associated with the Public Notification?

 

Other Permits
At what point do I need a Discharge Permit for my site? Which permit is right for my needs? Who do I contact?

At what point do I need a Water Appropriation Permit? Who do I contact?

How many copies of Sediment and Erosion Plans must be submitted to the Mining Program?

How long is my Soil Conservation District Approval Valid?

Can I mine mineral resources on my property for personal use? (example: Roads and fill material)

 

Additional Inquiries



What is considered “Non Coal Surface Mining” in the State of Maryland?

Surface mining.- "Surface mining" means all of the following:

  • a. The breaking of the surface soil in order to facilitate or accomplish the extraction or removal of minerals;
  • b. Any activity or process constituting all or part of a process for the extraction or removal of minerals from their original location; or
  • c. The extraction of sand, gravel, rock, stone, earth, or fill from borrow pits for highway construction purposes or other public facilities.

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What is the definition of “Minerals” used by the State of Maryland?

Minerals.- "Minerals" means any solid material, aggregate, or substance of commercial value, whether consolidated or loose, found in natural deposits on or in the earth, including clay, diatomaceous earth, gravel, marl, metallic ores, sand, shell, soil, and stone. The term does not include coal.

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Who needs a Surface Mining License?

Required.- Except as otherwise provided in this subtitle, a person may not engage in surface mining within the State without first obtaining a surface mining license.

- A Surface Mining License is issued to the individual or company in possession of one or more Surface Mining Permits in the State of Maryland and gives them the right to operate within the state. Any subcontractors loading material into their own trucks or performing mineral extraction at a mine site are required to have a State Surface Mining License. -Surface Mining License Application

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How long does it take to get a Surface Mining License?

Within 30 days of receipt of a completed application [and fees], the Department shall notify the applicant whether the license has been issued or denied. The typical turnaround time for issuing new mining licenses is within one week if complete application and fees are submitted. Surface Mining License Application

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What fees are associated with a Surface Mining License?

Fee and license renewal.- The application shall be accompanied by a $300 fee. The license shall be renewable annually, and the renewal fee is $150. The application for renewal shall be made annually by January 1. -Surface Mining License Application

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Who needs a Surface Mining Permit?

Permit required.- A licensee may not engage in surface mining within the State except on affected land that is covered by a valid surface mining permit.
Affected land.- "Affected land" means the land from which the mineral is removed by surface mining, and all other land area in which the natural land surface has been disturbed as a result of or incidental to the surface mining activities of the permittee, including private ways and roads appurtenant to the area, land excavations, workings, refuse piles, spoil piles, and tailings.

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How long does it take to get a Surface Mining Permit?

The average turn-around time for a new Surface Mining Permit is Seven (7) Months. This figure is highly dependent on the applicants timely submittal of all required documents. Other factors such as public notification/hearings, site inspections, and comments from other State Agencies can affect the length of time required to issue or deny a permit.

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What fees are associated with a mining permit?

Original:

Fee for original permit - The fee for an original permit shall be $12 for each acre of affected land for each year of operation requested, but the fee may not exceed $1,000 per year.
Special reclamation fee - In addition, before a surface mining permit is issued the applicant shall pay a special reclamation fee of $30 for each acre of land affected. The payment shall be based on the same number of acres as that for which bond is required.

Modification:

General fee.- Except as otherwise provided in subsection (d) of this section, a $100 fee shall be charged for a permit modification.

Additional Fee:
  1. In addition to the fee required in subsection (c) of this section, a fee shall be charged equal to $12 for each additional acre of affected land over and above the amount of land covered in the original permit, for each year of operation.
  2. The additional fee may not exceed $1,000 per year.

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What other documents must be submitted with my permit application?

  1. Right of Entry Agreement (Signed and Notarized)
  2. Sediment and Erosion Control Plans (Signed by Engineer, Owner, and Approved by local County Soil Conservation District)
  3. Performance Bond in the amount of $1,250.00 per acre with a minimum of $8,000. The performance bond should be submitted using one of the following forms:
  4. Proof of Zoning Approval if applicable
  5. Any other documents requested by the Department.
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What is the Performance Bond rate?

Amount of bond.- The amount of the bond required shall be for a maximum of $1,250 per acre based on the number of acres of affected land covered by the permit. But, a bond may not be filed for less than $8,000. However, the Department shall determine whether the total bond fee is unreasonable and excessive for a particular tract of land and whether a lesser total amount for the bond is sufficient to cover reclamation. In making this determination, the Department shall consider the size of the operation, the amount of land to be mined, the acreage that is unreclaimed at any one time, the proposed method of regrading and revegetation of the site, the proposed use of the land following reclamation, and any other relevant factors.

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At what point can I use the Short Form Application?

The “Short Form” Application for Permit to Surface Mine can be used if the affected acreage applied for is less than 5 acres. Using this form limits the permittee to 20,000 Cubic yards or 30,000 Tons of material that may be extracted per year. If you plan on extracting more than this amount per year a standard "Long Form” application will be required.

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What other State Agencies are involved in the permit review process?

  1. Maryland Department of Natural Resources
  2. Maryland Historical Trust
  3. Maryland Department of the Environment
  4. Maryland Geologic Survey
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When is my Annual Report due?

At the end of each calendar year, but before March 31 of the succeeding year, the permittee shall submit an annual mining and reclamation report to the Administration on a form prescribed and furnished by the Administration.

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How long is a Maryland State Surface Mining Permit valid?

Surface Mining Permits are issued for a period of 5 years at which time they may be renewed by submitting an Application for the Renewal of Permit to Surface mine. Available at:
Surface Mining Permit Renewal Application

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When is Public Notification required for a Surface Mining Permit?

Public notification is required for all New Surface Mining Permits over 5 acres and any Modifications to add over 20 acres of land to an existing Surface Mining Permit.

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When is a Public Hearing required?

Public informational hearing.- The Department shall hold a public informational hearing if it receives a timely written request in accordance with the following provisions:

  1. The request shall be received prior to the close of the public comment period.
  2. A public informational hearing shall be held within 45 calendar days of the close of the public comment period.
  3. The Department shall specify the date, time, and location of the public hearing.
  4. The Department shall mail notice of the date, time, and location of any public informational hearing on an application to those persons on the interested persons list no later than 14 calendar days prior to the hearing.
  5. The Department may extend the official record of a public informational hearing.
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How long is the Public Comment Period associated with the Public Notification?

Interested parties must be given at least 2 weeks after the initial posting of the Public Notification to contact the Department with any concerns or to request a Public Hearing.

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At what point do I need a Discharge Permit for my site? Which permit is right for my needs? Who do I contact?

From COMAR 26.08.04.01-

B. Activities for Which Discharge Permits Are Required. A person may not commit any of the following acts except as authorized by a discharge permit issued by the Department:

  1. Discharge into the waters of the State any waters in excess of 10,000 gallons per day, as a monthly average, whether the waters are derived from a ground water source, or from a surface water source, or from any other source, with the exception of storm water runoff that is not regulated under the Federal Act.
  2. Except as provided in COMAR 26.08.02.09A(3) and Regulation .08 of this chapter, discharge into the waters of this State any waste or wastewater regardless of volume.
  3. Construct, install, modify, extend, alter, or operate any system for the disposal of waste or wastewater into the waters of the State, or a system which may result in a discharge into these waters, regardless of quality or volume, with the exception of storm water runoff that is not regulated under the Federal Act.
  4. Increase or otherwise modify in volume, temperature, or concentration, any existing waste or wastewater in excess of the discharges authorized by any existing discharge permit. To the extent that the modification is in excess of limits specified in a discharge permit, the permittee shall report the change to the Department within 1 week of the commencement of the modification. This report shall include information on what, how, and why modifications were made and whether they will be temporary or permanent.
  5. Construct, install, or operate any industrial, commercial, or other establishment or any extension or modification or addition to them, including the construction or use of any new discharge outlet, the construction, installation, or operation of which would cause an increase in the discharge of waste or wastewater into the waters of the State or otherwise alter the physical, chemical, or biological properties of any waters of the State in any manner not lawfully authorized.
  6. Land apply offal.
    1. "Offal" means the refuse from slaughtered or salvageable dead animals, crustaceans, or any other animal form.
    2. "Offal" includes heads, feet, viscera, hair, blood, feathers, bones, scales, or oils.
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At what point do I need a Water Appropriation Permit? Who do I contact?

Yes, Surface Mining Permit exemptions for personal use are granted for sites with less than one (1) acre of disturbed area on one tract of land. (Which means you can not be exempt for mining multiple one acre pits on one piece of land). *This does not exempt the property owner from following all other State and Local laws such as Zoning, Grading Permits, Etc.

EXEMPTION: Uses exempt from the water appropriation and use permit process are:

  1. Extinguishing a fire;
  2. Agricultural use under 10,000 gallons/day;
  3. Individual domestic use except withdrawals for heating and cooling;
  4. Temporary dewatering during construction if:
    1. The duration of the dewatering including intermittent non- pumping periods is expected to be less than 30 days; and
    2. The average water use does not exceed 10,000 gallons/day.
  5. Other users of ground water less than 5,000 gpd as an annual average:
    1. that is not for a community water system, as defined by the Safe Drinking Water Act; or;
    2. that is not within a water management strategy area; and
    3. the user files a notice of exemption with MDE at least 30 days prior to the beginning of the use or prior to the expiration date for an existing permitted use.

For more information contact:
John Grace
                                        Water Supply Program                                       

            john.Grace@maryland.gov (410) 537-3714

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How many copies of Sediment and Erosion Plans must be submitted to the Mining Program?

Unless otherwise instructed please submit only One (1) copy of your signed and approved Sediment and Erosion Control Plans to the Mining Program for new permits, renewals, and modifications.

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How long is my Soil Conservation District Approval Valid?

Soil Conservation District Approvals are typically valid for 5 years after the approval date for Surface Mines, although the local SCD may place shorter term approval on a case by case basis. For exact expiration dates contact the Soil Conservation District that issued your sediment control approval.

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Can I mine mineral resources on my property for personal use? (Example: Roads and fill material)

Yes, Surface Mining Permit exemptions for personal use are granted for sites with less than one (1) acre of disturbed area on one tract of land. (Which means you can not be exempt for mining multiple one acre pits on one piece of land). *This does not exempt the property owner from following all other State and Local laws such as Zoning, Grading Permits, Etc.

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Additional Inquiries


For additional information please contact the Mining Program at:


Maryland Dept. of the Environment
1800 Washington Blvd.
Baltimore, MD 21230-1708
(410) 537-3557
Mining Program email: Ed.Larrimore@Maryland.gov