§ 22470. Swrcb - Applicability. (C15: S2570)
(a) General -This article applies to all discharges of mining wastes. No SWRCB-promulgated parts of this subdivision except those in this article, Article 1 of Chapter 1 (i.e., s20080 et seq.), and such provisions of the other articles of this subdivision as specifically are referenced in this article shall apply to discharges of "mining wastes" as that term is defined in s22480. Mining Units (including surface impoundments, waste piles, and tailings ponds) which receive WDRs after November 27, 1984, shall comply with the siting and construction standards in this article. Existing active and inactive Mining Units shall comply with the siting and construction requirements of this article as required by the RWQCB. Dischargers shall submit a report of waste discharge in compliance with Article 4, Subchapter 3, Chapter 4 of this subdivision (s21710 et seq.), and shall have WDRs which implement the appropriate provisions of this article unless requirements are waived by the RWQCB. Requirements for new and existing Mining Units are summarized on Table 1.1 of this article. The RWQCB can impose more stringent requirements to accommodate regional and site-specific conditions.
(b) Dry Unit Liner/LCRS Exemption -A RWQCB can exempt a mining waste pile from the liners and leachate collection and removal systems required in this article if the discharger clearly demonstrates to the RWQCB that leachate will not form in or escape from that Mining Unit. The RWQCB can require extensive monitoring procedures in lieu of certain containment features. Contingency plans shall be developed and shall be implemented if monitoring indicates that the disposal procedures are inadequate.
(c) Exemptions Based On No/Little/Poor G.W. -The RWQCB can exempt a Group A or B (see s22480 of this article) Mining Unit from certain provisions of this article if a comprehensive hydrogeologic investigation demonstrates that:
(1) there are only very minor amounts of groundwater underlying the area; or
(2) the discharge is in compliance with the applicable water quality control plan; and
(3) either natural conditions or containment structures will prevent lateral hydraulic interconnection with natural geologic materials containing ground water suitable for agricultural, domestic, or municipal beneficial uses. There is no detectable vertical hydraulic interconnection between the natural geologic materials underlying the Unit and natural geologic materials containing such ground water. If the above demonstration is acceptable to the RWQCB, the discharger can be exempted from requirements for liners and leachate collection and removal systems (see s22490 of this article). However, the discharger shall comply with the requirements of this article relative to siting, precipitation and drainage controls, and surface water quality monitoring. Closure and post-closure maintenance periods shall be designed to protect surface water quality. Ground water monitoring, and unsaturated zone monitoring as feasible, shall be conducted during the active life, closure, and post-closure maintenance period to verify that the Unit is not affecting ground water suitable for agricultural, domestic, or municipal beneficial uses.(1. New chapter 7, subchapter 1, article 1 (sections 22470-22510) and section filed 6-18-97; operative 7-18-97 (Register 97, No. 25).)
Note: Authority cited: Section 1058, Water Code. Reference: Sections 13172, 13226, 13260, and 13263, Water Code; and Section 43103, Public Resources Code.
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