The Oil, Gas, and Minerals Division (OGMD), Minerals and Ground Water Unit, within the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE), has the responsibility for issuing permits to engage in coal mining with the state under the authority of Part 635, Surface and Underground Coal Mine Reclamation, (formerly Public Act 303 of 1982) of the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act, 1994 PA 451, as amended (NREPA). The purpose of this permit is to regulate the mining of coal, to provide for the reclamation of land subjected to coal mining, and to control the adverse environmental effects of coal mining. Under the provisions of the Federal Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977, P.L. 95-87, the U.S. Department of Interior, Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, has implemented a federal program for coal mining in Michigan. Therefore, until the state attains primacy over P.L. 95-87, Michigan's coal mining operations will be dually regulated.
A. NAME OF PERMIT OR APPROVAL:
Permit to conduct surface coal mining and reclamation operations
Mineral exploration is regulated under Part 625, Mineral Well, as Test Wells
B. STATUTORY AUTHORITY:
Part 635, Surface and Underground Coal Mine Reclamation, Natural Resource and Environmental Protection Act, Public Act 451 of 1994, as amended
C. APPLICABLE REGULATION:
D. SUMMARY OF PERMIT/APPROVAL PROCESS:
Any person or operator wishing to mine coal, as defined by Part 635 of the NREPA, for commercial or industrial purposes.
This statute does not govern activities specific to mineral exploration. Mineral exploration is regulated under Part 625, Mineral Well, as Test Wells.
The permit shall not exceed three years, except as provided in Part 635 of the NREPA, and has the right of successive renewal if the mining and reclamation operations have been carried out in compliance with the act, the rules promulgated thereby, and the permit conditions.
The appeal of the agency determination would be in the form of an administrative hearing with the final department decision being adopted by the Director, EGLE.
The decision maker in this process is the State Geologist, (who is also the Director of the OGMD). There is a formal public notice process, which includes notice in the Environmental Calendar and local newspapers. In addition, interested parties may request to be notified of the public comment period through e-mail. The 30-day public comment period is the best opportunity for public comment; public comment can be in the form of a telephone call, e-mail, or a letter. EGLE has not received any applications for coverage under this permit for a number of years.
E. ADMINISTERING AGENCY:
Oil, Gas, and Minerals Division, Minerals and Mapping Unit, Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy, P.O. Box 30256, Lansing, Michigan 48909-7756