J. Mineral Mining and Dressing

1. Authorized Stormwater Discharges

The requirements in Sector J apply to stormwater discharges associated with industrial activity from active, temporarily inactive and inactive mineral mining and dressing facilities, and mining sites undergoing reclamation as identified by the industrial activity codes specified in Table 5 of Appendix D.

2. Industrial Activities Authorized by Sector J

Permittees under Sector J are primarily engaged in the following types of activities:

a. Mining of minerals.

b. Mineral dressing and non-metallic mineral services.

c. Reclamation of mining sites.

3. Limitations on Authorization

Discharges not authorized by this permit:

1. Dewatering of mine or quarry areas.

2. Discharges from exploration sites and land disturbance activities to determine the financial viability of a site and construction of infrastructure prior to mineral extraction, including the building of site access roads and removal of overburden and waste rock to expose minerals and are not covered by an active mining permit issued by the applicable State or Federal agency. These discharges do not require an NPDES industrial stormwater permit. Discharges from these areas which disturb greater than one acre are covered by the General Stormwater Permit for Construction Activity.

a. Closed mineral mining sites where disturbances associated with extraction, removal or recovery of minerals took place prior to September 30, 1992, and where extraction, removal or recovery activities have not taken place on or after September 30, 1992 are not considered either active or inactive mineral mining facilities and do not require an NPDES/SDS industrial stormwater permit.

b. Sites where mineral mining claims are being maintained prior to disturbances associated with extraction, removal, or recovery of minerals and sites where minimal activities are undertaken for the sole purpose of maintaining a mineral mining claim are not considered either active or inactive mining facilities and do not require an NPDES/SDS industrial stormwater permit.

4. Sector-Specific Definitions

The following definitions are not intended to supersede the definitions of active and inactive mining facilities established by 40 CFR 122.26(b)(14)(iii).

a. Reclamation – activities undertaken in compliance with applicable mined land reclamation requirements following the cessation of activities associated with extraction, removal and recovery of minerals, intended to return the land to an appropriate post-mining land use.

b. Active Mineral Mining Facility - a place where work or other activity related to the extraction, removal, or recovery of minerals is being conducted. For surface mines, this definition does not include any land where grading has returned the earth to desired contour and reclamation has begun. This definition is derived from the definition of “active mining area” found at 40 CFR pt. 440.132(a).

c. Inactive Mineral Mining Facility - a site or portion of a site where mineral mining and/or milling occurred in the past but is not an active facility as defined above, and where the inactive portion is not covered by an active mining permit issued by the applicable State or Federal agency. An inactive metal mining facility has an identifiable Owner/Operator.

d. Temporarily Inactive Mineral Mining Facility - a site or portion of a site where mineral mining and/or milling occurred in the past but currently are not being actively undertaken, and the facility is covered by an active mining permit issued by the applicable State or Federal agency.

5. Stormwater Controls

a. Employee Training (No additional requirements).

b. Erosion and Sedimentation Control.

The Permittee shall implement sediment control on all down-gradient perimeters before any up-gradient land disturbing activities begin. Use a range of erosion controls within the broad categories of: flow diversion (e.g. swales); stabilization (e.g. temporary or permanent seeding); and structural controls (e.g. sediment traps, dikes, silt fences). The timing of the installation of sediment control practices may be adjusted to accommodate short-term activities.

c. Good Housekeeping (No additional requirements).

d. Inspections.

If a facility is inactive and unstaffed, the Permittee is waived from the requirement to conduct monthly facility inspections under Part III.G.1 and may conduct semi-annual inspections. This waived requirement only applies to Sector J activities; all other sector activities are subject to Part III.G.2.

e. Preventive Maintenance (No additional requirements).

f. Spills and Leaks (No additional requirements).

g. Management of Runoff (No additional requirements).

h. Other Industry Specific Control Measures (No additional requirements).

6. SWPPP Requirements

The SWPPP requirements are applicable for active mineral mining facilities, inactive mining facilities, temporarily inactive mineral mining facilities, temporarily inactive mineral mining facilities, and sites undergoing reclamation. In addition to the requirements of Part IV, the Permittee shall also comply with the following:

a. Facility Map.

The Permittee shall identify the following locations:

1. Mining or milling site boundaries.

2. Access and haul roads.

3. Outline of the drainage areas of each monitoring location within the facility with indications of the types of discharges from the drainage areas.

4. Location(s) of all permitted discharges covered under a separate NPDES permit.

5. Outdoor equipment storage, fueling, and maintenance areas.

6. Materials handling areas.

7. Outdoor manufacturing, outdoor storage, and material disposal areas.

8. Outdoor chemicals and explosives storage areas.

9. Overburden, materials, soils, or waste storage areas.

10. Location of mine drainage dewatering or other process water.

11. Heap leach pads.

12. Surface waters.

13. Boundary of tributary areas that are subject to effluent limitations guidelines.

14. Location(s) of reclaimed areas.

b. Inventory of Exposed Materials (No additional requirements).

c. Potential Pollutant Sources.

1. For each area of the mine or mill site where stormwater discharges associated with industrial activities occur, the Permittee shall identify the types of pollutants (e.g. heavy metals, sediment) likely to be present in significant amounts. Evaluate the following factors in the identification of pollutants:

a. The mineralogy of the waste rock (e.g. acid forming).

b. Toxicity and quantity of chemicals used, produced, or discharged.

c. The likelihood of contact with stormwater.

d. Vegetation of site (if any).

e. History of significant leaks or spills of toxic or hazardous pollutants. Also include a summary of any existing waste rock or overburden characterization data and test results for potential generation of acid rock.

2. The Permittee shall describe the mining and associated activities that can affect the stormwater discharges covered by this permit, including a general description of the location of the site relative to major transportation routes and communities.

d. Description of Stormwater Controls (No additional requirements).

7. Monitoring and Reporting Requirements

In accordance with the monitoring requirements of Parts V and VI, the Permittee shall monitor the applicable parameters in Table J-1, below:

Sector-Specific Benchmark Values and Effluent Limitations: Sector - J. Discharges may be subject to requirements for more than one sector or subsector.
Link to this table

Subsector Parameter Benchmark Values Effluent Limits
J1 - Sand and Gravel Mining Solids, Total Suspended (TSS) 100 mg/L 1 Effluent Monitoring Not Required
J2 - Dimension, Crushed Stone, Nonmetallic Minerals Solids, Total Suspended (TSS) 100 mg/L 1 Effluent Monitoring Not Required
J3 - Clay, Ceramic, Refractory Materials, Chemical and Fertilizer Mineral Mining Solids, Total Suspended (TSS) 100 mg/L 1 Effluent Monitoring Not Required
J4 - Mine dewatering discharges at construction sand and gravel, or industrial sand mining facilities (SIC codes 1442 and 1446) Solids, Total Suspended (TSS) Benchmark Monitoring Not Required Construction Sand and Gravel Mining Facilities: 25 mg/L calendar month average Industrial Sand Mining Facilities 45 mg/L daily maximum
pH Benchmark Monitoring Not Required 6.5 SU, instantaneous minimum 8.5 SU, instantaneous maximum

1If the Permittee is required to comply with Appendix A, part F.1, the benchmark value for Solids, Total Suspended (TSS) is 65 mg/L, instead of 100 mg/L.


8. Use of Infiltration Devices and/or Industrial Stormwater Ponds for Stormwater Treatment and Disposal

Sector J industrial facilities are authorized to use infiltration devices or industrial stormwater ponds for stormwater management.

9. Termination of Permit Coverage

A site or a portion of a site that has been released from applicable county, state, or federal reclamation requirements after September 30, 1992, is no longer required to maintain coverage under this permit, provided that the covered stormwater discharges do not have the potential to cause or contribute to violations of state water quality standards. If the site or portion of a site reclaimed after September 30, 1992, was not subject to reclamation requirements, the site or portion of the site is no longer required to maintain coverage under this permit if the site or portion of the site has been reclaimed. A site or portion of a site is considered to have been reclaimed if:

a. Raw materials, intermediate byproducts, finished products, and waste products do not have the potential to cause or contribute pollutants to stormwater discharges.

b. The drainage ways that leave the site are stabilized to prevent erosion with riprap or other protective material.

c. The soil disturbing activities at the site are completed and all soils are stabilized by a uniform perennial vegetative cover with a density of 70 percent over the entire pervious surface area, or other equivalent means necessary to prevent soil failure under erosive conditions.

d. The drainage ditches constructed to drain water from the site are stabilized to preclude erosion.

e. The temporary synthetic and structural erosion prevention and sediment control BMPs are removed.

f. The Permittee cleans out all sediment from conveyances and from temporary sedimentation basins that are to be used as permanent water quality management basins; sediment must be stabilized to prevent it from being washed back into the basin, conveyances or drainage-ways discharging off-site or to surface waters. The cleanout of permanent basins must be sufficient to return the basin to design capacity.

g. The Permittee installs permanent stormwater treatment for new impervious surfaces created as a result of the activities covered by this permit. The permanent stormwater treatment must be designed for 0.5 inches of runoff from all created impervious surfaces.

h. Other BMPs as necessary are implemented so as to prevent erosion from the site excavation areas and stockpiles that have been used by the Permittee.

This page was last edited on 30 April 2015, at 16:20.

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