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Indiana Department of Environmental Management

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Table of Contents: Water Quality

Sand and Gravel Pits, Coal Mines or Stone Quarries

Anyone planning a point source discharge of waste water or run-off from a coal mine, coal processing facility, or coal mine reclamation area, or from a sand, gravel, dimensional stone, or crushed stone quarry must first secure a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit. IDEM implements a NPDES general, permit-by-rule program for these types of discharges.

Rule 7 applies to wastewater discharges from surface and underground coal mines, processing facilities, and reclamation areas. Rule 12 applies to wastewater discharges from sand, gravel, dimension stone, and crushed stone operations using channel machines, broaching, jet piercing, scrubber water for air pollution control, dust suppression spray water, wash water from screening operations, and non-contact cooling water from various crushers, drills, saws, dryers, pumps, and other related equipment. Discharges from any other types of mining activity require an NPDES individual storm water run-off permit (application form 2F [PDF]).

As the public comment period for general discharge permits already was held when the rules were established, no further comment period is required for this type of permit. These permits are non-transferable.

Some of the things a discharger must do to comply with Rule 7 or 12 include (but are not limited to):

  • Submit to IDEM a NPDES Notice of Intent (NOI) form (available on the IDEM Forms page), up to, if possible, 180 days before the discharge is to commence;
  • Publish a public notice of the intent to comply with the rule in a local newspaper of general circulation, and send a copy of that notice to IDEM along with the NOI;
  • Provide a list of affected parties;
  • Name the receiving stream;
  • Include a $50 application fee with the NOI; and,
  • Apply to renew the permit every five years, 90 days prior to the expiration of permit coverage.

What to Expect

Upon receipt of the NOI, IDEM will review it for applicability, which takes an average of 50 days, but can take up to 150 days. If the applicant is eligible to operate under the specific general permit sought, IDEM will issue an approval letter and permit identification number. Coverage under a general permit must be secured prior to any discharge.

Those holding a Rule 7 permit for coal-related discharges must pay an annual fee of $500 per mining facility. The construction of sedimentation basins is regulated by the Indiana Department of Natural Resources (IDNR), and the rules governing that construction can be found at Title 312, Article 25 of the Indiana Administrative Code (312 IAC 25 [PDF]).

To learn about all the other coal mining permits required by IDNR, see the IDNR Division of Reclamation Regulatory Program Web page (IDNR Web site addresses will change February 1st, 2009), or contact:

Permit Coordinator
Indiana Department of Natural Resources
Phone: (812) 665-2207

Those holding a Rule 12 permit for quarry-related discharges must pay an annual fee based on the number of discharge outfalls: $750 for 1 outfall, and $1,500 for 2, $2,000 for 3, or $2,500 for 4 outfalls.

Changing Ownership/Transferring

IDEM-issued general NPDES (National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System) permits are not transferable. Therefore, if there is an ownership/operator change at a facility operating under a general NPDES permit-by-rule, the existing permit becomes invalid on the date of the transfer. To avoid being without permit coverage after the transfer, the new owner/operator should plan ahead by submitting an application, known as a NOI (Notice of Intent), for a new permit at least 30 days in advance of the transfer. NOI's should be sent to the mailing address provided below.

For Additional Information

In addition, those coal mines or stone quarries discharging into streams listed as outstanding state resource or exceptional use waters are not eligible for a Rule 7 or Rule 12 permit. The applicant must instead apply for an individual National Pollution Discharge Elimination Systems (NPDES) Permit. To obtain a list of outstanding state resource waters (327 IAC 2-1-2(3)) and exceptional use waters (327 IAC 2-1-11), to secure additional information regarding coal or quarry related discharges, to obtain a copy of the permitting rules, or to obtain a Notice of Intent form and other application materials please contact: IDEM's OWQ Wastewater Permits staff at (800) 451-6027, ext. 2-8703.