TOWN of WASHINGTON, MAINE DRAFT MINING ORDINANCE
ARTICLE III - DEFINITIONS & REFERENCES

  1. Construction of Language
    In general, all words and terms used in this Ordinance shall have their customary dictionary meanings. More specifically, certain words and terms shall be described below.
  2. Relationship to Other Town Ordinances
    Where there is a conflict between the language contained in this Ordinance and any other Town ordinances, the stricter language shall apply for purposes of this Ordinance.
  3. References to the Town
    All references in this ordinance to "Town," "the Town," "the Town of Washington," and to any board, official or officer, unless clearly defined otherwise, shall be construed to be references to The Town of Washington, Maine, an incorporated municipality in the County of Knox, State of Maine and its municipal boards, officials and officers.
  4. References to Other Documents
    All references in this ordinance to any document, chapter, handbook, or other external reference, shall be construed to be references to said documents and their successor documents, as they may be amended or replaced from time to time by other materials.
  5. Symbols used in this Ordinance
    1. All for All size projects;
    2. eXtra Large for eXtra Large size projects (over 30 acres);
    3. Large for Large size projects (5-30 acres);
    4. Medium for Medium size projects (1-5 acres);
    5. Small for Small size projects (5,000 square feet-1 acre).
  6. Definitions
    Abandonment
    Failure to complete the Annual Compliance Inspection; or to cease operations without completing the reclamation plan.
    Accessory Use
    Uses clearly incidental and subordinate to a principal use and located on the same lot as the principal use. Such uses must be clearly spelled out in the application and permit.
    Affected land
    The land area from which the overburden will be or is being removed or has been removed and not reclaimed; land where flat rocks are picked up from the surface or are mined; land upon which stumps, spoil, or other solid waste will be or has been deposited; and any storage area that will be or has been used in connection with the development, except a natural buffer strip.
    Annual Compliance Inspection
    An examination by the Code Enforcement Officer done on an annual basis that shall check for compliance of the operations with the conditions and requirements of the permit.
    Aquifer
    An underground bed or stratum of earth, gravel or porous stone that contains water.
    Area Actively Mined
    See Working pit or area, below.
    Average Daily Traffic (ADT)
    The average number of vehicles per day that enter and exit a premises or travel over a specific section of road.
    Blasting
    The use of explosives to break up or otherwise aid in the extraction or removal of rock or other consolidated natural formation.
    High Velocity
    Blasting using explosive materials that are characterized by a very high rate of reaction, high pressure development, and the presence of a detonation wave.
    Low Velocity
    Blasting using explosive materials that are characterized by deflagration or a low rate of reaction and the development of low pressure.
    Blasting Plan
    A required written outline of all procedures and policies regarding blasting where such activity is proposed to be used. For operations that are Medium medium in size the Planning Board may require and for operations that are Large large or larger in size, shall require such plan will include an environmental impact study, a hydrogeologic study, and a preblast survey of the surrounding areas to such a distance as the Planning Board shall determine, but in no case less than 2,000 feet from the site of the proposed blasting.
    Body of Water
    Shall include the following:
    Pond or Lake
    Any inland impoundment, natural or man-made, which collects and stores surface water.
    Stream or River
    A free flowing drainage outlet, with a defined channel lacking terrestrial vegetation, and flowing water for more than three months during the year.
    Borrow Pit
    A development undertaken for the primary purpose of excavating sand, gravel or fill. This does not include any excavation for rock or clay.
    Buffer
    A natural, undisturbed area or belt of land that contains vegetation. A buffer area may be larger than specified in this ordinance.
    Common Scheme of Development
    Separate, but similar or coordinated, land use activities being conducted on either a single parcel of land or on multiple contiguous parcels of land that are either under common ownership or common management.
    Disposal
    The placing or storing of materials that are not going to be used in any process or production in conjunction with the extraction activity.
    Duration
    A specified length of time.
    Environmentally sensitive areas
    Wetlands, swamps, wildlife habitat areas delineated by the Dept. of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (IF&W), prime agricultural areas, areas with steep slopes, areas with poorly drained soils, and flood plain areas (subject to a 100 year flood). Also to include Protected Natural Resources. Environmentally sensitive areas shall specifically include all areas within the Conservation District, as defined in Article VII, Section 1 of the Town of Washington Land Use Ordinance.
    Expansion of operation
    Excavation operations that exceed the approved area or footprint.
    Extra Large Mineral extraction operations
    eXtra Large Excavations that are 30 acres or more.
    Flat Rock Mining
    Extraction with the primary purpose of the removal of solid rock strata using low velocity blasting or mechanical means.
    Ground water
    The water beneath the surface of the ground, consisting largely of surface water that has seeped down; the source of water in springs and wells.
    Handling
    Any aggregate screening, mixing or storage of sand, gravel, stone, rock, clay, or topsoil; to include any mining of material.
    Inactive
    Mineral extraction that has ceased for 12 consecutive months prior to the passage of this Ordinance, in any areas where mining extraction activity had previously occurred.
    Infrastructure
    Structures, roads or utility facilities that are a necessary part of the development of an operation.
    Immediate Family
    The husband, wife or children of a specific individual.
    Large Mineral extraction operations
    Large Excavations that are more that 5 acres and less than 30 acres.
    Maximum Seasonal High Groundwater Level
    The upper level at which the groundwater table normally is located during the season of the year when such levels are at their highest. In order to determine such level, a test pit reviewed by a soil analyst or groundwater data for a minimum of one year must be gathered and analyzed. Adjustments may be made by the Planning Board for extreme seasonal variations.
    Medium Mineral extraction operations
    Medium Excavations that are between 1 and 5 acres.
    Mineral extraction activity
    Any excavation or removal, handling or storage of on-site extracted sand, gravel, borrow, rock, clay, minerals, or topsoil to include, but is not limited to, sand or gravel pits, clay pits, borrow pits, quarries, mines, and topsoil mining or removal.
    Mineral Extraction Site or Area
    All of the land area disturbed or otherwise developed for the extraction, removal, processing, or storage of sand, gravel, clay, minerals, stone, rock, or topsoil; including any access roads and cleared areas adjacent to a pit or excavated area
    Net Property Area Acreage
    Remaining property size after setback and buffers are subtracted.
    Normal High Water Mark of Inland Waters
    That line of the shores and banks of nontidal water which is apparent because of the different character of the soil or the vegetation due, or to the prolonged action of the water. Relative to vegetation, it is that line where the vegetation changes from predominantly aquatic to predominantly terrestrial (by way of illustration, aquatic vegetation includes but is not limited to the following plant and plant groups:
    water lily, pond lily, pickerel weed, cattail, wild rice, sedges, rushes, and marsh grasses, and terrestrial vegetation includes but is not limited to the following plants and plant groups, upland grasses, aster, lady slipper, wintergreen, partridgeberry, sarsaparilla, pines, cedars, oaks, ash, alders, elms, and maples). In places where the shore or bank is of such character the high water mark shall be estimated from places where it can be determined by the above method.
    Objectionable Noise
    Sounds occurring on a frequent or regular basis that are uncomfortable to hear due to intermittence, beat frequency, shrillness, or volume outside of the boundaries of the project.
    Personal purposes
    Non-commercial uses for personal or immediate family needs.
    Phasing of Operations
    A plan of completion of the operations in separate and distinct sequences that have a complete beginning and ending for predetermined areas. In the context of this ordinance, all phases must be structured so that they stand on their own, shall be inspected for completeness at the end of each phase and have reclamation of area completed at the end of each phase.
    Picked Up From The Surface
    A rock harvesting method that does not involve blasting and only utilizes hand tools and small scale mechanized equipment. It is the intent of this ordinance that this method shall be conducted with a minimum of soil disturbance and is utilized to remove rock that can be seen on the surface.
    Preblast Survey
    Documentation prior to the initiation of blasting of the condition of buildings, structures, wells or other infrastructures and of protected natural resources, historic sites and unusual natural areas.
    Processing
    Any washing, crushing, or similar processing of on-site material that does not inherently change the nature of the product.
    Production Blasting
    A blasting operation carried out on a regular basis for the purpose of production of material.
    Projections of Groundwater Quality
    An analysis of the potential changes to existing groundwater quality by examining the processes, chemical byproducts and outflow of a proposed operation.
    Protected Natural Resource
    Wetlands, significant wildlife habitat, fragile mountain areas, freshwater wetlands, bog, marsh, rivers, streams or brooks, as the terms are defined in applicable Town of Washington or state law.
    Reclamation
    The restoration to conditions similar to what existed prior to the operation or that will be compatible with what existed prior to the operation on the area of land affected by mining under a reclamation plan. This may include but is not limited to, grading and shaping of the land, the planting of forests, the seeding of grasses, legumes, or crops for harvest, or the enhancement of wildlife and aquatic resources.
    [NOTE: Any inactive area, may be considered for Tax assessing purposes as active, if the area has not been reclaimed according to the Standards of this ordinance. Currently, reclaimed land has a lower assessed value.]
    Reclamation Plan
    A plan which depicts how the project area will be restored, or altered for the productive use of the land, after excavation is complete. Such a plan shall include final grading and re-vegetation plans, of any given phase.
    Road
    Public and private owned ways such as alleys, avenues, boulevards, highways, roads, streets, lanes and other rights-of-way, as well as areas on mineral extraction activity plans designated as rights-of-way.
    Rock
    A hard, nonmetallic mineral that requires cutting, blasting or similar methods of forced extraction.
    Screening
    Includes, but is not limited to, the planting of trees, placement of solid fence or creation of berm in order to prevent a direct view of an operation or a part of an operation from public ways and other properties.
    Seasonal Waterway
    A watercourse that flows for a minimum of three months during the course of an average year.
    Setback
    The horizontal distance from a lot line or referred location to the nearest part of a structure or activity.
    Setback from Water
    The horizontal distance from the normal high water mark to the nearest part of a structure or activity.
    Small Mineral extraction operations
    Small Excavations that are less that 1 acre in size but more than 5,000 square feet; or extract more than 200 cubic yards within any 12 consecutive month period.
    Stop Work Order
    An order from Town Officials to cease a specified activity.
    Substantial Deviation
    Changes made to a specified plan that are materially at variance with the original instructions of operation so as to constitute a different plan for most intents and purposes.
    Surface Water Body
    any water flowing on the surface, either channelized or by sheet flow including, but not limited to, rivers, streams, brooks, ponds, lakes and any swamp, marsh, bog or other contiguous lowland where water is periodically ponded on the surface.
    Topsoil
    The top layer of soil that is predominantly fertile and ordinarily moved in tillage or the equivalent of such a layer in uncultivated soils.
    Water Table
    The upper surface of groundwater, or that level below which the soil is seasonally saturated with water.
    Working pit or area
    The extraction area including side slopes and adjoining areas with overburden removed, excluding roads, structures, stockpiles, etc. not part of the active mineral extraction area. For the purposes of this ordinance, reclaimed land is not included.

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