Mined Land Reclamation Legislation in New York: As Amended Through September 1982
Gardner, Kenneth V.
The production of minerals has played an important role in the economy of New York since colonial times. This early activity resulted in many of the nation's mineral producing firms locating their corporate headquarters in New York City. These firms, combined with the financial resources of New York, played an important role in the exploration and development of mineral deposits not only in New York, but also in other states and foreign nations. Many people will be surprised to learn that the non-fuel minerals added about 500 million dollars to the state's economy in 1980. Among the more important minerals produced were: garnet (the state ranked second nationally)salt and ilmenite (third, nationally)talc and gypsumboard (fourth, nationally)wollastonite (the only state producing this mineral). In addition, stones, clays, sand and gravel, lead, zinc, emery, and other abrasives and cement all contribute to the importance of the industry. Wherever mining activity occurs there is a natural concern about/ not only the positive contributions that it makes to the state, but also the physical, aesthetic and environmental aspects associated with -mining. These latter concerns resulted in New York taking legislative action in the 1970's to assure that the public interest would be protected. A process was established whereby commercial mining operations are required to obtain permits. The process requires a prospective mine operator to demonstrate that the company has developed plans whereby the physical, aesthetic and environmental concerns are· dealt with before a permit is granted. The process is administered by the Department of Environmental Conservation under authority of the Mined Land Reclamation Law and associated rules and regulations adopted by the Department of Environmental Conservation. Farmland owners should be aware that if more than 1000 tons of minerals are sold in any 12 consecutive months,' a permit is required. This includes sand and gravel which occurs in many farm areas. This publication is to provide the reader with the current legislation that governs the mining of minerals in the state. It is ·intended to provide the reader an introduction to the definitions, provisions and resources available. It is not intended to be a "do-it-yourself" legal guide. Any person intending to engage himself in the business of mineral extraction would be well advised to obtain legal advice from an attorney and to discuss plans with not only local officials, but also representatives of the Department of Environmental Conservation.
A.E. Ext. 82-29
Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, Cornell University