Current Status Bill Number:
4534Type of Legislation: General Bill GBIntroducing Body: HouseIntroduced Date: 19960201Primary Sponsor: SharpeAll Sponsors: Sharpe, Wilkes, Littlejohn and WitherspoonDrafted Document Number: pfm\7860ac.96Residing Body: HouseCurrent Committee: Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environmental Affairs Committee 20 HANRSubject: Mining activities
Body Date Action Description Com Leg Involved ______ ________ _______________________________________ _______ ____________ House 19960201 Introduced, read first time, 20 HANR referred to CommitteeView additional legislative information at the LPITS web site.
TO AMEND THE CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, BY ADDING SECTION 48-20-55 SO AS TO PROVIDE FOR THE GENERAL PERMITTING OF CERTAIN MINING ACTIVITIES; TO AMEND SECTION 48-20-160, RELATING TO VIOLATIONS AND SUSPENSION OR REVOCATION OF MINING PERMITS, SO AS TO AUTHORIZE REVOCATION OR SUSPENSION OF THE AUTHORITY TO MINE UNDER A GENERAL PERMIT; AND TO AMEND SECTION 48-20-220, RELATING TO RESTRAINING ORDERS OR INJUNCTIONS, SO AS TO AUTHORIZE THEIR ISSUANCE IN CONNECTION WITH A GENERAL PERMIT AND TO ALLOW FOR CIVIL PENALTIES TO BE ASSESSED FOR NONCOMPLIANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF THE GENERAL PERMIT.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
SECTION 1. The 1976 Code is amended by adding:
"Section 48-20-55. (A) The department may develop and implement general permits for the regulation of mining to excavate topsoil or sand/clay fill material which does not require further processing. General permits developed by the department shall contain, at a minimum, standard plans and specifications for environmental protection, stormwater management, public health and safety, and reclamation of affected lands in accordance with promulgated regulations.
(B) Before an operator is authorized to conduct mining operations under a general permit, an application to determine eligibility must be filed with the department. The department may require an individual to obtain an operating permit pursuant to Sections 48-20-60 and 48-20-70 in lieu of allowing an operator to mine under the authority of a general permit if the department believes it necessary to ensure environmental protection or public safety."
SECTION 2. Section 48-20-160 of the 1976 Code, as added by Act 454 of 1990, is amended by adding at the end:
"An operator engaged in mining under the authority of a general permit may have this authority revoked or suspended if the operator is cited for violations of this chapter, a regulation promulgated under this chapter, or the terms and conditions in the general permit. If this authority is suspended or revoked and mining is ordered to cease and desist pursuant to Section 48-20-220, the operator may be denied eligibility under a general permit. An operator whose eligibility to mine under a general permit that has been suspended or revoked must be denied further eligibility under that or other general permits or an individual operating permit until satisfactory evidence is presented to the department that the operator intends to comply fully with this chapter, regulations promulgated under it, and the terms and conditions of the permit, including satisfactorily correcting all deficiencies or previous violations."
SECTION 3. Section 48-20-220 of the 1976 Code, as added by Act 454 of 1990, is amended to read:
"Section 48-20-220. Whenever an explorer engages in exploration without obtaining a certificate of exploration, or whenever an operator engages in mining without obtaining a valid operating permit or conducts mining outside of the permitted land or does not comply with the approved reclamation plan and schedule following termination of mining, the department may issue an immediate cease and desist order. A cease and desist order also must be issued to an operator who is engaged in mining before receiving written notification from the department that he is eligible to mine under the authority of a general permit or for not complying with the requirements of the general permit during mining. In addition to the issuance of the order, the department may seek a restraining order or injunction pursuant to Section 48-20-230.
Whenever an explorer engages in exploration without obtaining a certificate of exploration, or whenever an operator conducts mining without a valid operating permit or conducts mining outside of the permitted land or does not comply with the approved reclamation plan and schedule following termination of mining, the explorer or operator may be subject to a civil penalty assessed by the department of not more than one thousand dollars for each offense. Civil penalties must be levied against an operator who is engaged in mining before receiving written notification from the department that he is eligible to mine under the authority of a general permit or for not complying with the requirements of the general permit during mining. Each day of continued violation after issuance of a cease and desist order may be considered a further and separate offense. The severity of the violation, the need to deter future violations, and the magnitude of potential or actual gains resulting from the violation must be considered in determining the amount of the civil penalty. Orders and penalties issued pursuant to this section may be appealed under the provisions of Section 48-20-190.
No civil penalties may be assessed on existing permitted mining operations until July 1, 1991."
SECTION 4. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.