R. 425.202 - Environmental impact assessment

R. 425.202. Environmental impact assessment

Rule 202.

(1) The environmental impact assessment required under R 425.201(1)(c) shall include, but is not limited to, the following:

(a) For each of the conditions and features listed in subrule (2) of this rule:

(i) An identification and description of the condition or feature as it currently exists within the mining area and the affected area.

(ii) An identification of the proposed mining activities that may impact the condition or feature, and the process or mechanism through which the impact may occur.

(iii) An analysis of the potential impacts of proposed mining activities on the condition or feature and, where applicable, the effects of the condition or feature on the proposed mining activities.

(iv) A reference to the measures proposed to be taken under the mining, reclamation, and environmental protection plan to reduce or mitigate the potential impacts, and the predicted effects of those measures. If the measures are not required under part 632 of the act, then the environmental impact assessment shall identify other statutes or regulations, if any, under which the measures are required.

(v) A map or maps and appropriate photographs, with any necessary explanatory documents or notations, showing the affected area for the condition or feature, and a description of the basis for determining the affected area.

(b) An analysis of the potential cumulative impacts on each of the conditions or features listed in subrule (2) of this rule within the mining area and the affected area from all proposed mining activities and through all processes or mechanisms. The analysis shall consider additive effects, and the assessment of significant interactions between chemical and physical properties of any discharges, with reference to the physical and chemical characteristics of the environment into which the discharge may be released.

(c) An analysis of feasible and prudent alternatives for the mining activities consistent with the reasonable requirements of the public health, safety, and welfare. The analysis shall include all of the following:

(i) A description of feasible and prudent alternatives.

(ii) A description of alternatives considered but not carried forward for further evaluation.

(iii) A description of why the chosen alternatives are preferred.

(d) The name and qualifications of the person or persons who prepared the environmental impact assessment.

(e) A description of the methodologies applied in preparing the environmental impact assessment, including the following:

(i) Quality assurance and quality control as approved by the department.

(ii) Information that demonstrates that the methodologies are appropriate and effective, or are widely used and generally accepted.

(f) The sources of information used in preparing the environmental impact assessment.

(2) The requirements of subrule (1)(a) and (b) of this rule apply to natural and humanmade conditions and features including, but not limited to, the following:

(a) Topography.

(b) Soil series.

(c) Geology of the bedrock and unconsolidated materials overlying the bedrock, including areal extent, thickness, lithology, and permeability.

(d) Groundwater occurrence that may impact, or be impacted by, mining activities, including the following:

(i) Thicknesses of aquifers, hydraulic conductivity, and interconnections between multiple aquifers and between aquifers and surface water.

(ii) Depth to groundwater, groundwater recharge areas, groundwater flow direction, hydraulic gradients, groundwater velocity, and 3-dimensional flow paths.

(iii) Seasonal variations of the items in paragraph (ii) of this subdivision.

(e) Natural or artificial lakes, ponds, impoundments, rivers, streams, creeks, drains, seeps, and springs, including both of the following:

(i) Observed levels or discharge rates.

(ii) Predicted seasonal and long-term variations of levels or discharge rates.

(f) A complete water balance that accounts for precipitation, evapotranspiration, infiltration, runoff, streamflows, and groundwater and surface water withdrawals and discharges from mining activities.

(g) Groundwater and surface water quality, including all of the following:

(i) Specific conductance as an indication of dissolved solids.

(ii) Temperature.

(iii) The hydrogen ion concentration expressed as pH.

(iv) Dissolved oxygen.

(v) Concentrations of all of the following substances:

(A) Cations of calcium, sodium, magnesium, potassium, and iron.

(B) Anions of chloride, sulfate, and bicarbonate.

(C) Other total and dissolved elements and compounds that may be introduced or affected by the mining activities.

(vi) Predicted seasonal variations of the parameters listed in paragraphs (i) to (v) of this subdivision.

(h) Any known occurrence of groundwater that is contaminated so that a property is a facility as defined by part 201 of the act.

(i) All documented private water supply wells.

(j) All public water supply wells.

(k) Irrigation and disposal wells.

(l) Designated wellhead protection areas.

(m) Floodplains, Great Lake shorelines, and wetlands.

(n) Natural rivers as defined in section 30501 of the act.

(o) Wild and scenic rivers as defined in 1968, Public Law 90-542, 82 Stat. 906.

(p) Residential dwellings, places of business, places of worship, schools, hospitals, government buildings, or other buildings used for human occupancy all or part of the year.

(q) Existing and proposed infrastructure and utilities.

(r) Areas actively maintained for public recreation.

(s) Natural areas as defined in R 324.35101.

(t) State wilderness areas as defined in MCL 324.35101.

(u) Federal wilderness areas as defined in 78 Stat. 890, 16 U.S.C. 1131.

(v) Wild areas as defined in MCL 324.35101.

(w) Research natural areas as defined in CFR Title 36, Section 251.23.

(x) Land uses, land access, general size and shape of tracts of land, and current and historic land use trends.

(y) Species and abundance of aquatic and terrestrial flora and fauna, and predicted variations in their occurrence based on at least 2 years of relevant information. Relevant information may include records of pertinent data at other sites having documented similar conditions or credible regional studies from acknowledged sources, but shall include at least 1 year of site-specific data.

(z) Fish and wildlife habitats.

(aa) Threatened species or endangered species as defined in part 365 of the act or in the endangered species act of 1973, Public Law 93-205, 87 Stat. 884.

(bb) Species of special concern as designated by the US forest service region 9 regional forester's list of species of special concern.

(cc) Non-native or invasive plant and animal species.

(dd) Ecological systems as identified in recognized published sources.

(ee) Cultural, historical, or archaeological resources.

(ff) Air quality.

(gg) Meteorology, and predicted seasonal and long-term variations of the meteorology.

(hh) Visual resources.

(ii) Noise.

(jj) Light.

(kk) Seismicity.

(3) For the conditions and features listed in subrule (2)(d), (e), (g), and (gg) of this rule, the required characterization of seasonal or long-term variations in the condition or feature shall be satisfied by a combination of documented observations of pertinent data over a period of at least 2 years at the monitoring site and records of pertinent data at other sites having documented similar conditions or credible regional studies from acknowledged sources. Seasonal and long-term variations at the monitoring site shall be predicted, where feasible, using statistical analysis demonstrating a confidence interval. The statistical analysis shall include an explanation of how the use of any data from other sites affects the confidence interval. Analysis of potential impacts shall incorporate credible extremes in the condition or feature based on the statistical analysis.

(4) An applicant may describe the types of public input sought, if any, in preparing the environmental impact assessment, and may include the method used to collect public input and a summary of relevant comments.

(5) Information required by rules promulgated under another part of the act or under other state or federal law and incorporated in the environmental impact assessment shall satisfy the requirements for an environmental impact assessment under these rules to the extent that the information addresses the area and activities as required under part 632 of the act.

(2006 AACS)

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