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General Laws

Section 11. The commissioner shall promulgate rules and regulations which will protect the quality of water and water table throughout the commonwealth. Such rules and regulations shall include a reclamation policy that will maintain reasonable stability of the water level and water table in a area mined; a requirement that the operator of the mine shall fill all auger holes with an impervious and noncombustible material in order to prevent drainage and cave-ins; a provision that the final grading and backfilling operations provide adequate safety and access for water users in the area; a provision that there be minimum disturbance to the prevailing hydrologic balance at the mine site and in associated offsite areas or affected lands and a monitoring and study of the quantity and quality of the water affected; a provision that the operator treat or remove any water contaminated with toxic chemicals and guard against such contamination; monitor and provide that any casing, sealing or otherwise management of boreholes, shafts, tunnels or wells does not cause acid or other toxic drainage materials from entering ground and surface waters; a provision to insure that all debris and acid forming materials, toxic chemicals or materials constituting a fire, water or public health hazard are treated and disposed of in a manner compatible with sound health policy and good water supply. The operator of the mine, subject to the approval of the commissioner, may divert water from the mining operation in a manner designed to reduce if not eliminate siltation, erosion or major alterations in the natural water courses; the commissioner shall conduct inspections to guarantee compliance with good drainage practice, silt control and protection of ground water.

Violation of the rules and regulations promulgated pursuant to this section shall be considered cause for a cease and desist order and may result in the loss of license.

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