The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has released two general permits for public comment related to non-metallic mining. In addition, the department is also developing a new study aimed at better understanding potential groundwater affects from industrial sand mining.
Under the Wisconsin Pollution Discharge Elimination System (WPDES), the draft permits are intended to eliminate significant environmental impacts of storm water and/or wastewater discharges associated with industrial sand mining and other nonmetallic mining operations or facilities.
One draft permit covers nonmetallic mining operations that typically include mining and processing of gravel, stone, rock and other aggregate. A second draft permit covers nonmetallic mining operations for industrial sand mining. Approximately 2,400 nonmetallic mining operations are covered under the current versions of the two permits.