As used in this chapter:
(A) "Surface mining" means all or any part of a process followed in the production of minerals from the earth or from the surface of the land by surface excavation methods, such as open pit mining, dredging, placering, or quarrying, and includes the removal of overburden for the purpose of determining the location, quantity, or quality of mineral deposits, and the incidental removal of coal at a rate less than one-sixth the total weight of minerals and coal removed during the year, but does not include: test or exploration boring; mining operations carried out beneath the surface by means of shafts, tunnels, or similar mine openings; the extraction of minerals, other than coal, by a landowner for the landowner's own noncommercial use where such material is extracted and used in an unprocessed form on the same tract of land; the extraction of minerals, other than coal, from borrow pits for highway construction purposes, provided that the extraction is performed under a bond, a contract, and specifications that substantially provide for and require reclamation practices consistent with the requirements of this chapter; the removal of minerals incidental to construction work, provided that the owner or person having control of the land upon which the construction occurs, the contractor, or the construction firm possesses a valid building permit; the removal of minerals to a depth of not more than five feet, measured from the highest original surface elevation of the area to be excavated, where not more than one acre of land is excavated during twelve successive calendar months; routine dredging of a watercourse for purely navigational or flood control purposes during which materials are removed for noncommercial purposes, including activities conducted by or on behalf of a conservancy district, organized under Chapter 6101. of the Revised Code, for flood control purposes that are exempt from permitting requirements under section 10 of the "Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899," 30 Stat. 1151, 33 U.S.C. 403 , as amended; or the extraction or movement of soil or minerals within a solid waste facility, as defined in section 3734.01 of the Revised Code, that is a sanitary landfill when the soil or minerals are used exclusively for the construction, operation, closure, and post-closure care of the facility or for maintenance activities at the facility.
(B) "Minerals" means sand, gravel, clay, shale, gypsum, halite, limestone, dolomite, sandstone, other stone, metalliferous or nonmetalliferous ore, or other material or substance of commercial value excavated in a solid state from natural deposits on or in the earth, but does not include coal or peat.
(C) "Overburden" means all of the earth and other materials that cover a natural deposit of minerals and also means such earth and other materials after removal from their natural state in the process of surface mining.
(D) "Spoil bank" means a pile of removed overburden.
(E) "Area of land affected" means the area of land that has been excavated, or upon which a spoil bank exists, or both.
(1) "Operation" or "surface mining operation" means all of the premises, facilities, and equipment used in the process of removing minerals, or minerals and incidental coal, by surface mining from a mining area in the creation of which mining area overburden or minerals, or minerals and incidental coal, are disturbed or removed, such surface mining area being located upon a single tract of land or upon two or more contiguous tracts of land. Separation by a stream or roadway shall not preclude the tracts from being considered contiguous.
(2) When the context indicates, "operation" or "in-stream mining operation" means all of the premises, facilities, and equipment used in the process of removing minerals by in-stream mining from a mining area.
(G) "Operator" means any person engaged in surface mining who removes minerals, or minerals and incidental coal, from the earth by surface mining or who removes overburden for the purpose of determining the location, quality, or quantity of a mineral deposit. "Operator" also means any person engaged in in-stream mining who removes minerals from the bottom of the channel of a watercourse by in-stream mining.
(H) "Performance bond" means the surety bond required to be filed under section 1514.04 of the Revised Code and includes cash, an irrevocable letter of credit, and negotiable certificates of deposit authorized to be deposited in lieu of the surety bond under that section.
(I) "Dewatering" means the withdrawal of ground water from an aquifer or saturated zone that may result in the lowering of the water level within the aquifer or saturated zone or a decline of the potentiometric surface within that aquifer or saturated zone.
(J) "Ground water" means all water occurring in an aquifer.
(K) "Cone of depression" means a depression or low point in the water table or potentiometric surface of a body of ground water that develops around a location from which ground water is being withdrawn.
(L) "High water mark" means the line on the shore that is established by the fluctuations of water and indicated by physical characteristics such as a natural line impressed on the bank; shelving; changes in the character of soil; destruction of terrestrial vegetation; the presence of litter and debris; or other appropriate means that consider the characteristics of the surrounding area.
(M) "In-stream mining" means all or any part of a process followed in the production of minerals from the bottom of the channel of a watercourse that drains a surface area of more than one hundred square miles. "In-stream mining" may be accomplished by using any technique or by using surface excavation methods, such as open pit mining, dredging, placering, or quarrying, and includes the removal of overburden for the purpose of determining the location, quantity, or quality of mineral deposits. "In-stream mining" does not include either of the following:
(1) Routine dredging for purely navigational or flood control purposes during which materials are removed for noncommercial purposes;
(2) The extraction of minerals, other than coal, by a landowner for the landowner's own noncommercial use when the material is extracted and used in an unprocessed form on the same tract of land.
For purposes of division (M) of this section, the number of square miles of surface area that a watercourse drains shall be determined by consulting the "gazetteer of Ohio streams," which is a portion of the Ohio water plan inventory published in 1960 by the division of water in the department of natural resources, or its successor, if any.
(N) In provisions concerning in-stream mining, when the context is appropriate, "land" is deemed to include an area of a watercourse.
(O) "Watercourse" means any naturally occurring perennial or intermittent stream, river, or creek flowing within a defined stream bed and banks.
(P) "Certified mine foreperson" means the person whom the operator of a surface mining operation places in charge of the conditions and practices at the mine, who is responsible for conducting workplace examinations under 30 C.F.R. part 56, as amended, and who has passed an examination for the position administered by the division of mineral resources management.
Amended by 129th General AssemblyFile No.125, SB 315, §101.01, eff. 9/10/2012.
Effective Date: 03-15-2002; 04-06-2007