Non-Metallic Mining Reclamation ProgramIn June of 2001, the county began administering the state mandated Non-Metallic Mining Program (NMM). A non-metallic mine is an area of one acre or larger where non-metallic minerals are extracted. The NMM Program
is intended to regulate the responsible use and management of mining operations and their properties. In the past, non-metallic mining operations often removed marketable material and left behind a barren landscape of spoil piles and waste products.
Many of the sites were left without adequate soil cover to support grass, trees, and other vegetation. The end result was often a scarred landscape that contributed to groundwater and off-site water quality problems and often posed as safety
hazards. These sites became local eyesores and led to lowered property values as well. The purpose of the non-metallic mining ordinance is to ensure that these sites are reclaimed to a useful and aesthetically acceptable condition after the mining activity
has ended. To date none of the financial assurance posted with the county has been called into use.
Responsibilities for the administration of the program are divided between the Department of Land Conservation and the Zoning, Planning and Land Information Department. The Zoning, Planning and Land Information Department issues the NMM permits and conditional
use permits where required. The Land Conservation Department is responsible for determining annual fee amounts charged, tracking financial assurance fees, and also ensures that reclamation plans are being followed.