SEC. 53-7-5. Definitions.
For the purposes of this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings * * * ascribed in this section, except where the context * * * otherwise requires:
(a) "Affected area" means any area * * * from which any materials are removed or are to be removed in a surface mining operation and upon which any materials are to be deposited. The affected area includes all areas affected by the construction of new roads, or the improvement or use of existing roads other than public roads to gain access and to haul materials.
(b) "Appeal" means an appeal to an appropriate court of the state taken from a final decision of the Permit Board or commission made after a formal hearing before that body.
(c) "As recorded in the minutes of the Permit Board" means the date of the Permit Board meeting at which the action concerned is taken by the Permit Board.
(d) "Commission" means the Mississippi Commission on Environmental Quality.
(e) "Department" means the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality, acting through the Office of Geology and Energy Resources or a successor office.
(f) "Executive director" means the Executive Director of the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality.
(g) "Exploration activity" means the disturbance of the surface or subsurface for the purpose of determining the location, quantity or quality of a deposit of any material, except the drilling of test holes or core holes of twelve (12) inches or less in diameter.
(h) "Formal hearing" means a hearing on the record, as recorded and transcribed by a court reporter, before the commission or Permit Board where all parties to the hearing are allowed to present witnesses, cross-examine witnesses and present evidence for inclusion into the record, as appropriate under rules promulgated by the commission or Permit Board.
(i) "Fund" means the Surface Mining and Reclamation Fund created by Section 53-7-69.
(j) "General permit" means general permit as defined in Section 49-17-5.
(k) "Highwall" means a wall created by * * * mining having a slope steeper than two (2) to one (1).
(l) "Interested party" means interested party as provided under Section 49-17-29.
(m) "Material" means bentonite, metallic ore, mineral clay, dolomite, phosphate, sand, gravel, soil, clay, sand clay, clay gravel, stone, chalk, and any other materials * * * designated by the commission * * *.
(n) "Nearest approximate original contour" means that surface configuration achieved by backfilling and grading of the surface-mined area so that it substantially resembles the surface configuration of the land before mining and blends into and complements the drainage pattern of the surrounding terrain, with all highwalls, spoil piles and water-collecting depressions eliminated, to the extent practicable, unless contained in an approved reclamation plan.
(o) "Operator" means the person * * * that is to engage or that is engaged in a surface mining operation, whether on a permanent, continuous basis, or for a limited period of time and for a specific or ancillary purpose, including any personwhose permit or coverage under a general permit has expired or been suspended or revoked.
(p) "Overburden" means all * * * materials which are removed to gain access to other materials in the process of surface mining, including the material before or after its removal by surface mining.
(q) "Permit" means a permit to conduct surface mining and reclamation operations under this chapter.
(r) "Permit area" means all the area designated * * * in the permit application or application for coverage under a general permit and shall include all land affected by the surface mining operations during the term of the permit and may include any contiguous area which the operator proposes to surface mine thereafter.
(s) "Permit Board" means the Permit Board created by Section 49-17-28.
(t) "Person" means any individual, trust, firm, joint-stock company, public or private corporation, joint venture, partnership, association, cooperative, state, or any agency or institution thereof, municipality, commission, politicalsubdivision of a state or any interstate body, and includes any officer or governing or managing body of any municipality, political subdivision, or the United States or any officer or employee of the United States.
(u) "Public hearing" means a public forum organized by the commission, department or Permit Board for the purpose of providing information to the public regarding a surface mining and reclamation operation and at which members of the public are allowed to make comments or ask questions or both of the commission, department or the Permit Board regarding a proposed operation or permit.
(v) "Reclamation" means work necessary to restore an area of land affected by surface mining to a useful, productive and beneficial purpose, the entire process being designed to restore the land to a useful, productive and beneficial purpose, suitable and amenable to surrounding land and consistent with local environmental conditions in accordance with the standards set forth in * * * this chapter.
(w) "State" means the State of Mississippi.
(x) "Spoil pile" means the overburden and other mined waste material as it is piled or deposited in the process of surface mining.
(y) "Surface mining" or "mining" means the extraction of materials from the ground or water or from waste or stock piles or from pits or banks or natural occurrences by methods including, but not limited to, strip drift, open pit, contour or auger mining, dredging, placering, quarrying and leaching, and activities related thereto, which will * * * alter the surface * * *.
(z) "Surface mining operation" or "operation" means the activities conducted at a mining site, including extraction, storage, processing and shipping of materials and reclamation of the affected area. This term does not include the following: the dredging and removal of oyster shells from navigable bodies of water; the dredging and removal of any materials from the bed of navigable streams, when the activity is regulated and permitted under an individual permit by the United States Corps of Engineers; the extraction of hydrocarbons in a liquid or gaseous state by means of wells, pipe, or other on-site methods * * *; the off-site transportation of materials; exploration activities; construction activities at a construction site; or any other exception adopted by the commission in its regulations.
(aa) "Topsoil" means the organic or inorganic matter naturally present on the surface of the earth which has been subjected to and influenced by genetic and environmental factors of parent material, climate, macroorganisms and microorganisms, and topography, all acting over a period of time, and that is necessary for the growth and regeneration of vegetation on the surface of the earth. * * *
(bb) "Toxic material" means any substance present in sufficient concentration or amount to cause significant injury or illness to plant, animal, aquatic or human life.
SOURCES: Laws, 1977, ch. 476, Sec. 3; 1979, ch. 477, Sec. 43; Laws, 2002, ch. 492, § 3, HB 573, eff from and after July 1, 2002.
PREVIOUS VERSIONS: Pre-2002.
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