SEC. 53-7-7. Permit required; applicability of law; exceptions and exemptions.
(1) Except as provided in this section, it is unlawful to commence an operation or operate a surface mine without a permit or coverage under a general permit as provided by this chapter.
(2) Except as expressly provided in this section, this chapter shall not apply to:
(a) Excavations made by the owner of land for the owner's own use and not for commercial purposes, where the materials removed do not exceed one thousand (1,000) cubic yards per year and where one (1) acre or less of land is affected;
(b) Excavations made by a public agency on a one-time basis for emergency use at an emergency site if:
(i) The excavation lies in the vicinity of the emergency site and affects less than one-fourth (1/4) acre of mined surface area;
(ii) The landowner has signed a statement giving approval for the removal of the materials; and
(iii) The public agency notifies the department as required by the commission within two (2) working days of the removal of the materials.
(c) Operations for any materials on any affected area conducted before April 15, 1978, but this chapter shall apply to any additional land which the operation extended to or encompassed after April 15, 1978;
(d) Operations for any materials that affected four (4) acres or less and were greater than one thousand three hundred twenty (1,320) feet from any other affected area if:
(i) The operation began before July 1, 2002; and
(ii) The operator notified the commission of the commencement, expansion or resumption of the operation before July 1, 2002; and
(e) Operations for any materials that affect four (4) acres or less, are greater than one thousand three hundred twenty (1,320) feet from any other affected area and commenced after July 1, 2002, if the operator notifies the department at least seven (7) calendar days before commencement or expansion of the operation as required in regulations adopted by the commission. The seven-day notice prior to mining requirement shall be waived and the operator may begin mining immediately after notifying the department if:
(i) The operator agrees, in the notification, to reclaim the mine site in accordance with the minimum standards adopted by the commission; or
(ii) The exempted operation is conducted for Mississippi Department of Transportation projects or state aid road construction projects funded in whole or in part by public funds.
(3) Exempt operations under paragraph (e) that are conducted for the MDOT projects or state aid road construction projects shall be reclaimed in accordance with the requirements of the Mississippi Standard Specifications for Road and Bridge Construction, Mississippi Department of Transportation or Division of State Aid Road Construction, as applicable. Any operator failing to reclaim as required under this subsection may be subject to the penalties provided in Section 53-7-59(2).
(4) If a landowner refuses to allow the operator to complete reclamation in accordance with minimum standards or interferes with or authorizes a third party to disturb or interfere with reclamation in accordance with minimum standards, the landowner shall assume the exempt notice and shall be responsible for any reclamation.
(5) All operations exempted under Sections 53-7-7(2)(d) and 53-7-7(2)(e) shall be subject to the prohibitions on mining in certain areas contained in Sections 53-7-49 and 53-7-51 and may be subject to the penalties in Section 53-7-59(2) for any violation of those sections.
(6) Any operator conducting operations exempted under Section 53-7-7(2)(b) or 53-7-7(2)(e) failing to notify the department in accordance with the regulations of the commission, may be subject to penalties provided in Section 53-7-59(2). Any operator exempted under Section 53-7-7(2)(e) who agrees in the notification to reclaim and fails to reclaim in accordance with that paragraph may be subject to penalties provided in Section 53-7-59(2).
SOURCES: Laws, 1977, ch. 476, Sec. 4(1, 2); Laws, 2002, ch. 492, § 4, HB 573, eff from and after July 1, 2002.
PREVIOUS VERSIONS: Pre-2002.
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