Phone: (517) 373-8080
SAND AND GRAVEL MINING
House Bill 4526 as introduced Analysis available at
Sponsor: Rep. Pat Outman http://www.legislature.mi.gov
House Bill 4527 as introduced
Sponsor: Rep. Tyrone Carter
House Bill 4528 (proposed substitute H-2)
Sponsor: Rep. Angela Witwer
Committee: Regulatory Reform
Complete to 6-13-23
House Bill 4528 would add Part 639 (Sand and Gravel Mining) to the Natural Resources and
Environmental Protection Act (NREPA) to prohibit local regulation of sand and gravel mining
and trucking and generally require such operations to have a permit from the Department of
Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE). The bill would prescribe requirements for
mining permit applications, their approval or denial, and their amendment or transfer after
approval. The bill also would prescribe fees, financial assurance requirements, and reporting
requirements and provide sanctions, penalties, and remedies for violation of Part 639 or of a
mining permit. House Bill 4526 would add felonies proposed by HB 4528 to the sentencing
guidelines provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure. House Bill 4527 would amend the
Michigan Zoning Enabling Act to provide that local zoning ordinances are subject to Part 639
of NREPA and to exclude sand and gravel from provisions that govern zoning related to mines.
House Bill 4528 would add Part 639 to NREPA to regulate the mining of sand and gravel.
EGLE would have to administer and enforce Part 639. The bill states that Part 639 would not
limit EGLE’s authority to take whatever response activities it determines necessary to protect
the environment, natural resources, or the public health, safety, and welfare.
Mining would mean the extraction of sand and gravel and associated activities and
operations in the mining area that are involved in bringing sand and gravel products
to market, including onsite loading, transport, and processing of material. The term
mining would not include crushing operations that are not engaged in exclusively to
process sand and gravel.
Sand and gravel would mean sand or gravel that is excavated from natural deposits for
commercial, industrial, or construction purposes. The following would not be
considered sand and gravel for purposes of Part 639:
• Limestone or limestone products.
• Sand mined for commercial or industrial purposes from sand dune areas
regulated under Part 637 of NREPA.
• Earth materials associated with the extraction of ferrous minerals, nonferrous
metallic minerals, or coal regulated under Part 631, 632, or 635 of NREPA,
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respectively. (Ferrous minerals are iron ores. Nonferrous metallic minerals are
ores of metals other than iron, such as copper and nickel.)
Sand and gravel products would mean those products produced from the processing
of sand and gravel and other materials, including recycled materials and other materials
obtained from off-site.
Local preemption and applicability of Part 639
Part 639 would preempt an ordinance, regulation, resolution, policy, practice, or master plan
of a governmental authority created by the state constitution or statute or of a city, village,
township, or county if either of the following applies:
• It prohibits or regulates mining, including its location and development, or trucking
activities related to a sand and gravel mine.
• It duplicates, modifies, extends, revises, contradicts, or conflicts with Part 639.
In addition, a governmental authority created by the state constitution or statute or a city,
village, township, or county could not adopt, maintain, or enforce such an ordinance,
regulation, resolution, policy, practice, or master plan.
Part 639 would apply to all mining permit applications submitted after the bill’s effective date,
including applications formerly submitted to any local government described above,
notwithstanding the previous administrative or judicial disposition of those mining permit
Notwithstanding the provisions preempting local regulation of sand and gravel mines, Part 639
would not apply to either of the following:
• Mining of a mine with a total sand and gravel deposit of 1.0 million tons or less.
• Mining authorized before the effective date of the bill. (The owner or operator of a
mine existing on the effective date of the bill would not be eligible to submit an
application to EGLE for a mining permit during a three-year period beginning on that
Authorized would mean that the mining has received each required local permit for
mining, zoning approval, or other governmental authorization or that those forms of
authorization are not required because the mining is a legal nonconforming use or is
However, the owner or operator of a mine or mining operation described above could choose
to be subject to Part 639 by submitting an application to EGLE as described below, in which
case Part 639 (and its preemption of the local regulation of sand and gravel mines) would apply.
Operator would mean a person engaged or preparing to engage in mining or
Except for de minimis extraction or activities exempt as described above, a person could not
engage in sand and gravel mining except as authorized by a mining permit.
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De minimis extraction would mean extraction of sand and gravel that meets either of
• It is conducted by or for a property owner for end use by that owner on that
property and not for resale or inclusion in any other commercial product.
• It does not exceed 5,000 cubic yards of sand and gravel during the life of the
mine. (As a point of reference, a single cube that is 51 feet long, 51 feet wide,
and 51 feet tall would have a volume of about 5,000 cubic yards.)
Life of the mine would mean the period of time from issuance of a mining permit
through the completion of reclamation of the mine as required by this part. [Note: This
term is used elsewhere in Part 639 with this definition. As used here, in reference to a
mine that is exempt from the issuance of a mining permit, its meaning is unclear.]
To obtain a mining permit, a person would have to submit to an application to EGLE, in a form
and manner prescribed by the department, containing the applicant’s name and address and the
location of the proposed mining area (including a legal description and survey). The
application would have to be submitted with at least all of the following:
• An application fee of $5,000, to be deposited into the Sand and Gravel Surveillance
Fund described below.
• An environmental impact assessment that describes natural and artificial features in
the proposed mining area (including plants, animals, hydrology, geology, and baseline
conditions) and the potential impact of the proposed mining on those features.
• A mining and reclamation plan for the proposed mining operation, as described
• Financial assurance, as described below.
Mining area would mean an area containing all of the following:
• Land from which material is removed in connection with the production or
extraction of sand and gravel by surface or open pit mining methods.
• Land where material from that mining is stored on the surface.
• Land on which processing plants and auxiliary facilities are located. However,
this would not include a crushing facility that is not used exclusively for
crushing sand and gravel.
• Land on which water reservoirs used in mining are located.
• Auxiliary land used in conjunction with mining.
Mining and reclamation plan
A mining and reclamation plan would have to include all of the following:
• A general description of the sand and gravel deposit.
• A general description of the materials, methods, and techniques that will be used for
• The proposed sequence of mining, habitat conservation, and restoration.
• The proposed depth from grade level from which the sand and gravel will be removed.
• Plans for surface overburden removal. (Generally speaking, overburden is the material,
such as soil and undesirable rocks, that must be removed to get to the sand and gravel.)
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• A soil conservation plan approved by EGLE that includes steps for the conservation of
topsoil, considers land use after mining is ended and site conditions, and (to the extent
practical) provides for concurrent reclamation and soil conservation.
• Provisions for grading, revegetation, and stabilization that will minimize, to the extent
practicable, soil erosion, sedimentation, noise, airborne dust, and public safety
concerns. The provisions for grading would have to include at least both of the
o The reclaimed slopes of the banks of the excavation must not be steeper than
three feet horizontal to one foot vertical (a 33% grade).
o Where open water that is deeper than five feet results from mining, the
reclaimed slope into the water must not be steeper than five feet horizontal to
one foot vertical (a 20% grade), maintained and extended into the water to a
depth of five feet.
• Provisions for the monitoring of groundwater if the environmental impact assessment
identifies expected impacts to groundwater elevation.
• A description of the processing activities that are proposed to be conducted on site to
create sand and gravel products, such as washing, screening, crushing, and blending of
sand, gravel, and other materials, including recycled materials and other materials
obtained from off site.
• A description of the proposed lighting at the mining area.
• A description of measures to be implemented to ensure that the mining does not create
dust that exceeds the standards required under an applicable general or individual air
permit issued under federal law or under Part 55 (Air Pollution Control) of NREPA.
• With regard to ground vibration, a description of measures to be implemented to ensure
that the operation of stationary machinery or equipment does not result in a
displacement of more than one tenth of an inch measured anywhere outside the
property line. (As used in Part 639, property line would mean the exterior property
line of all contiguous parcels owned or controlled by the operator, including easements,
leasehold interests, options to lease or to purchase, and rights of first offer or refusal.).
• With regard to noise levels associated with active mining and processing activities, a
description of measures to be implemented to ensure that the one-hour time-weighted
average sound pressure levels in decibels measured at the common property line
nearest to the area of active mining on a sound level meter using the A-weighting
network 1 does not exceed the greater of the following as measured using test equipment
as provided by the most recent versions of ANSI S1.1-1994 (R 1999); ANSI S1.4-
1983 (R 2001); ANSI/ASA S1.11-2014, Part 1, IEC 61260-1:2014 (R 2019);
ANSI/ASA S1.11-2016, Part 2, IEC 61260-2:2016 (R 2020); ANSI/ASA S1.11-2016,
Part 3, IEC 61260-3:2016 (R 2020); and SAE J-184-2014, sections 30-103 and 30-104:
o 20 A-weighted decibels above background levels.
o The following levels for adjacent property:
75 A-weighted decibels for property zoned residential.
85 A-weighted decibels for property zoned commercial.
A-weighting adjusts the measurement of a sound level made by a technological instrument to more closely
approximate how humans perceive the relative loudness of that sound. It skews somewhat toward higher frequencies
at the expense of lower ones. It should be noted that some believe that this skewing misrepresents how humans
experience certain kinds of noise.
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90 A-weighted decibels for property zoned industrial or another
• A description of customer truck loading hours. The bill would require that loading or
unloading of customer trucks or trailers be allowed at least from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.,
Monday through Friday, and from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday. Additional loading
hours could be specifically approved by EGLE or required by state or county contract.
All other regulated mining operations would have to be completed within the same
hours of loading and unlading, unless specifically approved by the local government.
This limitation on loading hours would not apply to maintenance operations.
• A description of the proposed primary haul routes to and from the mining area and a
primary road (a county primary road or state trunk line highway as described in 1951
PA 51). The description would have to include any anticipated impact on vehicle and
pedestrian safety and on the condition of the haul routes. 2
• Plans for reclamation of the mining area after the mining ends, including a description
of how reclamation will allow for use of the land after closure.
• Plans for the interim uses of reclaimed areas before the mining ends.
• A description of measures to be implemented to ensure that all mined material disposed
of within the mining area or any area to be reclaimed under the permit will not result
in an authorized release of pollutants to surface drainage.
• A description of measures to be implemented to ensure that an unauthorized release of
pollutants to groundwater will not occur from any material mined, handled, or disposed
of in the mining area.
• A description of measures to be implemented to ensure that any existing groundwater
contamination will not be exacerbated.
• If a historical or archaeological resource is identified in the mining area, an indication
of how the resource will be protected or of the mitigation measures that will be
performed in compliance with applicable law.
• If threatened or endangered species are identified in the mining area, a description of
how they will be protected or of what mitigation measures will be performed, in
compliance with the federal Endangered Species Act, Part 365 (Endangered Species
Protection) of NREPA, and rules promulgated under those respective laws.
• If required by EGLE when the mining area will present a dangerous condition if left
open, a proposal specifying fencing (four-foot-high woven wire farm fence or the
equivalent) or other techniques to minimize unauthorized access to the mining area.
• A description of comprehensive general liability insurance covering third-party
personal injury and property damage. The bill would require the operator to maintain
such insurance through the life of the mine in amounts of at least $1.0 million per
Historical or archaeological resource would mean a structure or site that meets any
of the following:
• It is a historic landmark included on the National Register of Historic Places.
For a mining operation that requires the use of a road other than a class A road, EGLE would be required to request
that the operator collaborate with the county road commission to determine a route from the mining area to a class A
road. The route would have to be reasonably direct in order to accommodate the mining operations and associated
trucking operations. [Note: The bill does not define the term “class A road.” It is often used to refer to roads that have
been designated as “All Season Routes,” meaning that they are not subject to se