- Surface Mining and Reclamation
- Oil and Gas
In Washington, "reclamation" means rehabilitation of disturbed areas resulting from surface or underground mining. The basic objective of reclamation at mines is to reestablish the vegetative cover, soil stability, and water conditions at the site. As a second beneficial use, mines are reclaimed for fish and wildlife, grazing, forestry, wetlands, and commercial and industrial uses.
Assuring reclamation of Washington’s permitted mines is a key responsibility of the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Division of Geology and Earth Resources.
The Surface Mining Act is a reclamation law that requires a permit for each mine that: (1) results in more than 3 acres of mine-related disturbance, or (2) has a high-wall that is both higher than 30 feet and steeper than 45 degrees (RCW 78.44, chapter 332-18 WAC.
The original Surface Mining Act passed in 1971 and was amended in 1993 to assure that every mine in the state is thoroughly reclaimed. DNR is responsible for ensuring that reclamation follows completion of surface and underground mining.The DNR has exclusive authority to regulate mine reclamation and approve reclamation plans.
Mine operations, which are all mine-related activities except reclamation, are specifically regulated by local governments or state and federal agencies exclusive of DNR.
Local governments must formally approve mine sites and/or the subsequent use of the mine site (RCW 78.44.091) prior to receiving a reclamation permit. This approval process generally makes local jurisdictions the lead agency according to State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) rules (chapter 43.21C RCW).
The state surface mining reclamation permit issued by DNR to the permit holders applies to most of the surface mines in Washington.
Application for Surface Mine Reclamation Permit Application for Reclamation PermitForm SM-8A Microsoft Word Template Instructions for form SM-8A Additional information requirements for mines with potentially unstable or steep slopes Microsoft Word Additional information requirements for hydrologically sensitive areas Microsoft Word Additional information requirements for flood plain mines Microsoft Word Application for an Exploration Reclamation Permit Application for an exploration reclamation permitForm SM-2E Mineral exploration well / drill hole plugging and abandonment Precipitation Guides Washington's climate summaries website 10-year, 24-hour precipitaiton—isopluvials 25-year, 24-hour precipitation—isopluvials Local Approval for Mining County or municipality approval for surface mining Form SM-6 PDF form Performance Security Forms, Instructions and Calculation Methods Surface mining reclamation bond Form SM-1 PDF form Instructions for performance securities Microsoft Word Surface mining savings account assignment Form SM-4 PDF form Surface mining savings certificate assignment Form SM-5 PDF form Standard performance security calculation Form SM-10 Microsoft Excel Irrevocable letter of credit Form SM-11 Microsoft Word--Must be printed on bank letterhead Blanket performance security statement of financial ability Form SM-12 Microsoft Word Template Blanket performance security notice of risk of lien and landowner acknowledgment Form SM-13 Microsoft Word Surface mining reclamation blanket bond Form SM-14 Microsoft Word Transferring Permit or Changing Name of Permit Holder Request for transfer of surface mine reclamation permit Form SM-2B State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) Forms, Rules and Handbook SEPA forms—Department of Ecology Website Current SEPA actions Website
Application Fee Schedule New permits $2500 Combining two or more permits $2500 Expanding existing plan (depth and/or acreage) $2500 Revising existing plan (same depth / acreage) $1000 Annual Permit Fee Schedule Tons of aggregate or metal mined less than 50,000 $1250 greater than 50,000 up to 350,000 $2500 more than 350,000 $3500
The Department of Natural Resources, through the Division of Geology and Earth Resources, regulates drilling and related activities under the Oil and Gas Conservation Act and Department of Natural Resources rules (chapter 78.52 RCW and chapter 344-12 WAC). (In 1994, the Legislature dissolved the Oil and Gas Conservation Committee and assigned its regulatory responsibilities to the Department of Natural Resources.) In the event of a discovery, the Department would also regulate production to assure equitable distribution of the proceeds.
Oil and gas drilling permit requirements Instructions for oil and gas drilling permit applicants Oil and gas drilling permit application Form 1 Well record or history Form 2 Notice of intention to abandon and plug well Form 3 Report on results on plugging well Form 4 Oil and gas drilling and production bond Microsoft Word
Description Depth Fee To drill, re-drill or deepen a well up to 3,500 feet $250 3,501 to 7,000 feet $500 7,001 to 12,000 feet $750 greater than 12,000 feet $1,000 Shallow well up to 2,000 feet $100 Notification for seismic shot holes $100 Performance Bonds—Oil and Gas Supervisor sets amount One well $50,000 minimum Two or more wells—blanket bond $250,000 minimum Shallow well—less than 2,000 feet $20,000
Instruction for geothermal exploration permit applicants Geothermal exploration permit application Form 1 Well record or history Form 2 Notice of intention to abandon and plug well Form 3 Report on results on plugging well Form 4 Geothermal drilling and production bond Microsoft Word
Geothermal Exploration Fees To drill, re-drill or deepen a well $200 Bonds—Geothermal Supervisor sets amount Coreholes (less than 750 feet deep) One corehole $5,000 minimum Two or more coreholes—blanket bond $25,000 minimum Wells (greater than 750 feet) One well $15,000 minimum Two or more wells—blanket bond $50,000 minimum