Section 22480 - Swrcb - Groups of Mining Waste. (C15: S2571) (California Code of Regulations)

§ 22480. Swrcb - Groups of Mining Waste. (C15: S2571)

(a) Definition -Mining waste is waste from the mining and processing of ores and mineral commodities. Mining waste includes:

(1) overburden;

(2) natural geologic material which have been removed or relocated but have not been processed (waste rock); and

(3) the solid residues, sludges, and liquids from the processing of ores and mineral commodities.

(b) Waste Group Classification -Mining wastes shall be classified as Group A, Group B, or Group C mining wastes based on an assessment of the potential risk of water quality degradation posed by each waste. In setting requirements for each mining waste discharge under this article, the RWQCB shall assign the waste to Group A, Group B, or Group C according to the following criteria:

(1) Group A -mining wastes of Group A are wastes that must be managed as hazardous waste pursuant to Chapter 11 of Division 4.5, of Title 22 of this code, provided the RWQCB finds that such mining wastes pose a significant threat to water quality;

(2) Group B -mining waste of Group B are either:

(A) mining wastes that consist of or contain hazardous wastes, that qualify for a variance under Chapter 11 of Division 4.5, of Title 22 of this code, provided that the RWQCB finds that such mining wastes pose a low risk to water quality; or

(B) mining wastes that consist of or contain nonhazardous soluble pollutants of concentrations which exceed water quality objectives for, or could cause, degradation of waters of the state; or

(3) Group C -mining wastes from Group C are wastes from which any discharge would be in compliance with the applicable water quality control plan, including water quality objectives other than turbidity.

(c) Classification Considerations -In reaching decisions regarding classification of a mining waste as a Group B or Group C waste, the RWQCB can consider the following factors:

(1) whether the waste contains hazardous constituents only at low concentrations;

(2) whether the waste has no or low acid-generating potential; and

(3) whether, because of its intrinsic properties, the waste is readily containable by less stringent measures.

(d) Treatment -Mining waste shall be treated or neutralized whenever feasible to minimize the threat to water quality and minimize the need to install waste containment structures.

Table 1.1. Summary of Requirements for New and Existing Mining Units

Type of         
Requirement New Units Existing Units Exemptions
Siting (1) Not on Holocene faults; Peak streamflow protection as in New Units may be sited in areas
   (2) Outside of areas of rapid Table 1.2, as required by RWQCBs. of rapid geologic change if
   geologic change; containment structures designed      
   (3) Peak streamflow protection as and constructed to preclude failure.      
   in Table 1.2      
Construction (1) Liners or maximum natural Precipitation and drainage controls. (1) No liners or leachate collection and
   permeability as in Table 1.2; removal systems required for Group C Units.      
   (2) Leachate collection and removal (2) New waste piles may be exempted      
   system as in Table 1.3; from liners and leachate collection and      
   (3) Precipitation and drainage controls. removal systems if it can be demonstrated      
   that leachate will not form or escape -contingency      
   plan required, and additional monitoring may      
   be required.      
Monitoring (1) Ground water and surface water; None.      
   (2) Unsaturated zone monitoring as feasible.      
Closure and Post-         
Closure         
Maintenance Closed and maintained in accordance with s22510. None.   
(1. New section, including Table 1.1 filed 6-18-97; operative 7-18-97 (Register 97, No. 25).)

Note: Authority cited: Section 1058, Water Code. Reference: Sections 13172, Water Code; and Section 43103, Public Resources Code.

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