The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) proposed rules for rock harvesting activities to implement the Tennessee Rock Harvesting Act.
Rock harvesting is the removal of minerals, such as flagstone or fieldstone, by an operator with or without machinery. Large-scale surface mining of these stones for commercial use can lead to many environmental problems, including soil erosion and pollution of groundwater and waterways.
Points addressed in the rules, consistent with the new law, require operators to:
- Obtain coverage under a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit.
- Provide proof of the legal right to harvest minerals on the areas involved.
- Provide proof of general liability insurance.
- Provide proof of workers’ compensation insurance.
- Provide proof of registration with the Tennessee Department of Revenue.
- Provide notice to the surface owner of the intent to harvest minerals and provide a copy of the approved permit in cases where the surface and mineral rights are severed.
The rules also outline standards for other elements under the new law, e.g., maps, grading, revegetation, and reclamation success. Also addressed are standards for sediment and erosion control measures to be utilized during and after harvesting activities.
INFO: Contact: Bruce Ragon at 865-594-5547.