Chapter 12.08


12.08.010    Generally.

12.08.020    Methods – Time schedule.

12.08.030    Standards.

12.08.040    Ongoing projects.

12.08.010 Generally.

In accordance with the provisions of Chapter 78.44 RCW, Washington Surface Mined Land Reclamation Act, the county has adopted the consolidated reclamation program as set forth in this chapter for land that has been disturbed by surface mining as provided in the act. This program is intended to provide evidence of established policies and procedures within this agency’s organization indicating ability and means to comply with the act. (Res. 6-71, W-487, 1971).

12.08.020 Methods – Time schedule.

A. All surface mining, as defined in the act, done pursuant to the county’s combined operating permit and conducted by county or contractor crews shall provide for reclamation of the surface-mined land which provisions shall include the following:

1. Practices to protect adjacent surface resources;

2. Surface gradient restoration to a surface suitable for a useful subsequent use of the land after reclamation is completed;

3. Revegetation or other surface treatment of disturbed area;

4. Prevention or elimination of conditions that will create a public nuisance, endanger public safety, damage property, or be hazardous to vegetative, animal, fish, or human life in or adjacent to the area;

5. Control of contaminants and disposal of surface mining refuse;

6. Diverting surface waters around the disturbed areas;

7. Restoration of stream channels and stream banks to a condition minimizing erosion and siltation and other pollution;

8. Preparation of such maps and other supporting documents as may be reasonably required by the state of Washington Board of Natural Resources.

B. A time schedule for reclamation that provides that reclamation activities, particularly those relating to the control of erosion, shall, to the extent feasible, be conducted simultaneously with surface mining and in any case shall be initiated at the earliest possible time after completion or abandonment of mining on any segment of the permit area. Reclamation activities shall be completed not more than two years after completion or abandonment of surface mining on each segment of the area that has been surface mined. (Res. 6-71, W-487, 1971).

12.08.030 Standards.

Reclamation shall be conducted in accordance with those of the following minimum standards that are applicable for each site:

A. Excavations made to a depth not less than two feet below the low groundwater mark, which will result in the establishment of a lake of sufficient area and depth of water to be useful for residential, recreational, game, or wildlife purposes, shall be reclaimed in the following manner:

1. All banks in soil, sand, gravel, and other unconsolidated materials shall be sloped to two feet below the low groundwater line at a slope no steeper than one and one-half feet horizontal to one foot vertical.

2. Portions of solid rock banks shall be stepped or other measures be taken to permit a person to escape from the water.

B. In all other excavations in soil, sand, gravel, and other unconsolidated materials, the side slopes and the slopes between successive benches shall be no steeper than one and one-half feet horizontal to one foot vertical for their entire length.

C. The sides of all strip pits and open pits in rock and other consolidated materials shall be no steeper than one foot horizontal to one foot vertical, or other precautions must be taken to provide adequate safety.

D. The slopes of quarry walls in rock or other consolidated materials shall have no prescribed angle of slope, but where a hazardous condition is created that is not indigenous to the immediate area, the quarry shall be either graded or backfilled to a slope of one foot horizontal to one foot vertical or other precautions must be taken to provide adequate safety.

E. In strip mining operations the peaks and depressions of the spoil banks shall be reduced to a gently rolling topography which will minimize erosion and which will be in substantial conformity with the immediately surrounding land area.

F. In no event shall any provision of this section be construed to allow stagnant water to collect or remain on the surface-mined area. Suitable drainage systems shall be constructed or installed to avoid such conditions if natural drainage is not possible.

G. All grading and backfilling shall be made with nonnoxious, nonflammable, noncombustible solids unless approval has been granted by the director for a supervised sanitary fill.

H. In all types of surface mining, in order to prevent water pollution, all acid-forming surface mining refuse shall be disposed of by covering all acid-forming materials with at least two feet of clean fill. The final surface covering shall be graded so that surface water will drain away from the disposal area.

I. Vegetative cover which may consist of grass seeding, tree seeding or plant materials will be required to achieve reclaimed sites which are compatible with the surrounding area except that vegetative cover will not be required when the following conditions prevail:

1. Where adverse growing conditions would prohibit vegetative growth and would not contribute to the compatibility of the site with the surrounding area;

2. Those sites where the county or the owners have scheduled site development, such as maintenance buildings, industrial or commercial development, etc., which would be effected within two years after depletion or abandonment of the site.

J. Strippings consisting of that material foreign to the kind of materials to be borrowed or produced for use shall be removed and deposited within the site for later placement over the slopes and exposed faces of the site if deemed suitable for this purpose.

K. All such sites, upon completion of a contractor’s or the county’s operations, shall be cleared of all rubbish, temporary structures and equipment, and shall be left in a neat and presentable condition.

L. All surface mining that will disturb streams must comply with the requirements of the state fisheries laws (RCW Title 57), and every application for an operating permit for such operations must have a reclamation plan that shall have been approved by the department of fisheries with regard to operations in streams as required by RCW Title 57. (Res. 6-71, W-487, 1971).

12.08.040 Ongoing projects.

If a site is intended for repeated or continuing use for construction and maintenance purposes, depletion of the pit will proceed in an orderly manner to preserve the portions reserved for future use until they are needed. In these cases the reclamation plans provide for staged reclamation consistent with the plan for depletion. The mining operation itself shall provide, within limits of normal operational procedures of the industry, for completion of surface mining and associated disturbances on each segment of the area in which mining will be conducted so that reclamation can be initiated at the earliest possible time on those portions of the surface-mined area that will not be subject to further disturbance by the mining operation. Whenever feasible, visual screening, vegetative or otherwise, will be maintained or established on the property containing the surface mining to screen the view of the operation from public highways, parks, and residential area. (Res. 6-71, W-487, 1971).