TOWN of WASHINGTON, MAINE MINING ORDINANCE
ARTICLE VI - MINIMUM DESIGN & PERFORMANCE STANDARDS

  1. General Requirements - All Operations
    1. Mineral extraction activities shall conform to all applicable State laws and local ordinances or regulations. Where the provisions of this section conflict with specific provisions of the Land Use Ordinance, the provisions of these standards shall prevail. It is anticipated that the application will be reviewed concurrently with this Ordinance and the requirements of the Land Use Ordinance.
    2. This Article details the specific application requirements for the submissions required in Article V.
    3. The owner and/or permit holder of a mineral extraction activity shall be responsible, both jointly and severally, for ensuring the maintenance of all infrastructure, structures and their sites.
    4. The Planning Board shall consider the financial capacity, technical ability, and prior performance of the applicant to complete all proposed activities .
    5. The Planning Board may approve the application only if the applicant or agent is in compliance with all other Town of Washington or State of Maine permits for Mineral Extraction Activity.
    6. In all cases, the applicant shall have the burden of proof that all requirements, standards, and conditions of this Ordinance and subsequent approval are met.
    7. A copy of the permit must be displayed on site at all times.
  2. Performance Standards - All Operations
    [NOTE: See Article III, § 5 for explanation of the size symbols.]
    1. Erosion, Sedimentation Control & Stormwater Management.
      1. All All projects.
        1. Sediment may not leave the parcel or enter a Protected Natural Resource.
        2. Topsoil stockpile must be stabilized and inspected as specified in Article VI §2-B(1), below.
      2. Internally Drained projects.
        1. All Land shall be restored and stabilized according to the Reclamation Plan.
        2. LargeeXtra Large For Large and Extra Large projects, a volume calculation shall be provide demonstrating that the area(s) will safely hold a volume of precipitation at least equal to that which may be expected in the area from the 25 year, 24 hour storm event for the region, U.S.D.A. Natural Resources Conservation Service.
      3. Externally Drained Projects.
        1. All If surface water flows out of and away from the proposed site during and after the site is excavated, the following should be provided to assure proper erosion control and prevent siltation of downstream waters. Temporary erosion control measures shall be included in the project design, such as hay bale barriers, silt fencing, and riprap. Plans shall show the location and installation details and include a description of the timing of installation, inspection and maintenance of erosion control measures.
        2. MediumLargeeXtra Large For Medium through Extra Large Projects, additional information including:
          1. A plan and narrative detailing specific erosion control measures; and
          2. A site plan showing the pre-construction and post-construction contours, and if applicable, phased contours. The plan must show on and off site watershed boundaries and hydrologic surface water flow lines.
        3. All Sedimentation pond location and design, if any, shall be designed to the 25 year storm event and based on the U.S.D.A. Natural Resources Conservation Service methodology. The location and construction details of the pond shall be shown on the site plans.
    2. Reclamation Plan
      The affected land must be restored to a physical state that is similar to that which existed prior to any development, or encourages the productive use of the land. A reclamation plan is required to be submitted with ALL All permit applications according to the following specifications:
      1. All Topsoil Stockpiling
        Topsoil which is stripped or removed must be stockpiled in sufficient quantity for use in reclaiming disturbed land, unless it is demonstrated to the Planning Board that it is not needed for reclamation purposes. Topsoil stockpiles must be seeded, mulched, or otherwise stabilized. At least 4 inches of topsoil will be used for final cover.
      2. All Regrading
        Upon completion of the excavation, the side slopes must be regraded to a slope no steeper than 2.5 horizontal to 1 vertical.
      3. All Vegetative cover
        Vegetative cover must be established on all affected land. Topsoil must be placed, seeded, and mulched within 30 days of final grading if it is within a current growing season or within 30 days of the start of the next growing season.
        1. Vegetative material used in reclamation must consist of grasses, legumes, herbaceous, or woody plants or a mixture thereof. Plant material must be planted during the first growing season following the reclamation phase. Selection and use of vegetative cover must take into account soil and site characteristics such as drainage, pH, nutrient availability, and climate to ensure permanent growth.
        2. The vegetative cover is acceptable if within one growing season of seeding
          1. the planting of trees and shrubs results in a permanent stand, or regeneration and succession rate, sufficient to assure a 75% survival rate; and
          2. the planting results in 90% ground coverage.
      4. All Structures and roads.
        All structures and access, haul, or other support roads must be reclaimed once no longer used, unless reserved for future productive use of the land, as described in the reclamation plan.
      5. Phased Reclamation
        Except for Small small sized projects, the site must be reclaimed in phases so that:
        1. LargeeXtra Large For Large and Extra Large projects, the working pit does not exceed 10 acres at one time and the area being actively mined does not exceed 5 acres at any time.
        2. Medium For Medium projects, the working pit does not exceed 3 acres at any time.
        3. For guidance in planning and implementation of reclamation, see the most recent edition of Maine Erosion and Sediment Control Handbook for Construction: Best Management Practices (Cumberland Cty. SWCD; 3/1991) for Pit Reclamation.
      6. All Time Line
        A time line for reclamation shall be included with the reclamation plan. All reclamation shall begin within 6 months of completion of phasing, or the completion of the project or abandonment. The site shall be inspected when the regrading and planting is completed and again at one year to ensure compliance with the reclamation plan.
        1. A Certification of Completion of Reclamation shall be issued by the Code Enforcement Officer only after the final inspection is made and is passed as stated immediately above.
    3. Petroleum Usage All
      1. Spill prevention, control, and countermeasures plan shall be required for all size projects.
      2. Petroleum Products Storage
        1. If any petroleum products or other materials with potential to contaminate groundwater are to be stored on the site, a Spill Prevention Control, and Countermeasures (SPCC) Plan shall be submitted. A SPCC Plan shall be developed in accordance with DEP regulations, Section 5A of Chapter 378 Performance Standards for the Storage of Petroleum Products (CMR 378), and shall be submitted with the application and kept with the permit in the Town's records.
        2. Any petroleum products, highly flammable or explosive liquids, solids or gasses to be stored on site, shall be located in bulk, above ground, anchored tanks or containers, having a roofed, secondary containment system, adequate to contain 110% of the full contents of such container, for control of spills and leaks, and must be located at least 75 feet from any lot line, Town road or interior road.
        3. The use of underground tanks is strictly prohibited.
      3. Machinery Maintenance
        1. Crankcase oil, hydraulic fluids, and similar products shall not be changed, stored or disposed of within the excavation area, unless specifically covered in the SPCC Plan.
        2. Routine maintenance operations, such as refueling or oil changes, may be allowed for fixed equipment such as screeners, crushers and wash facilities, if allowed in the district the operation will be located in, provided that a secondary containment system in accordance with the SPCC Plan, adequate to contain 110% of the full contents of said equipment is installed.
      4. Any discharge or leak of petroleum product over a gallon shall be immediately reported to the Code Enforcement Officer and a report kept with the permit in the Town's records. All discharges or leaks of any size shall be cleaned up promptly according to the spill containment and cleanup provisions of CMR 378, Section 5H.
      5. A copy of the Spill Prevention Control, and Countermeasures Plan shall be kept available on site at all times.
      6. The applicant shall demonstrate to the Planning Board's satisfaction the applicant's ability to implement the SPCC plan.
    4. Buffers and Setbacks All
      Buffers and setbacks shall be shown on the site plans as follows:
      1. Property Boundaries.
        To minimize visual impacts and provide for wildlife, a 100 foot buffer shall be maintained from property boundaries. This buffer may be reduced to 25 feet with written permission of an abutting landowner; or may be eliminated between abutting properties provided:
        1. written permission is obtained, and
        2. erosion & stormwater control standards on both properties are met.
      2. Existing Structures.
        All A 300 foot buffer from the closest edge of an existing residence or business, cemetery, or farm building used for livestock shall be maintained with all projects. This buffer may be reduced with written permission of the owner of the structure.
      3. Protected Natural Resources All
        The following shall apply:
        1. A natural buffer of 250 feet, horizontal distance, from the normal high water mark of Washington Pond, Crystal Pond, Iron Pond, Spring Pond, Muddy Pond, Lily Pond, Medomak River, Little Medomak River, Davis Stream, Jackson Stream, the stream between Crystal and Washington Ponds, Burns Brook, Calderwood Brook, Jones Brook, Washington Brook, Hope Brook, Vanner Brook, and Pitcher Brook, and all freshwater wetlands identified as shaded areas on the "Town of Washington Tax Map."
        2. A 100 foot horizontal distance undisturbed natural buffer shall be maintained from the Normal High Water of all other permanent surface water body or wetland. A minimum 25 foot undisturbed natural buffer shall be maintained from any Normal High Water of an seasonal waterbody or wetland.
          1. Where the slope is greater than 15%, a natural buffer of 75 feet plus 4 times the average slope percent in horizontal width shall be maintained between the affected land and the protected resource, e.g. if the slope is 15%, then the calculation would be 75 + (4 x 15) = 135 feet for the buffer.
      4. Public Roads.
        All A 150 foot natural buffer from the closest edge of the shoulder of a public road shall be maintained with all projects. A 50 feet wide undisturbed natural vegetated area, closest to any private road or right of way, shall be maintained , except for any access road entrance. Reduction of the 50 foot buffer from a private road or right of way is allowed with written permission of adjacent property owners.
      5. Screening.
        The Planning Board may at its discretion request the applicant to take specific actions to insure the effectiveness of any buffer required under Article VI, Section 2 (D), Buffers and Setbacks, including, but not limited to, the planting of trees, placement of solid fence or creation of berm.
    5. Road Design, Circulation and Traffic All
      1. The intersection of any road within the development area and an existing public road shall meet the following standards:
        1. The desired angle of intersection shall be 60 degrees to 90 degrees.
        2. The maximum permissible grade within 75 feet of the intersection shall be 3%.
        3. A minimum sight distance of 10 feet for every mile per hour of posted speed limit on the existing road shall be provided. Sight distances shall be measured from the driver's seat of a vehicle that is 10 feet behind the curb or edge of shoulder line with the height of the eye 3-1/2 feet above the pavement and the height of object 4-1/4 feet.
        4. The center line of any road within the project intersecting an existing public road shall be no less than 125 feet from the center line of any other road intersecting that public road.
        5. Turning lanes, traffic directional islands, frontage roads, and traffic controls shall be provided on public roads at the developer's expense, where necessary, in the opinion of the Planning Board, to safeguard against hazards to traffic or pedestrians, and/or to avoid traffic congestion.
        6. All access/egress roads leading to or from the extraction site to public ways shall be treated with suitable materials to reduce dust and mud; and paved or otherwise hard surfaced for a distance of at least 200 feet from the public road.
      2. Traffic impacts to be considered:
        1. Where mineral extraction activity traffic will use town maintained roads, the proposed traffic volume and type must be suitable and appropriate to the type and condition of the existing road as determined by E(2)(b)(v), below. In determining this standard, the road condition survey must show not only the current capacity of the existing road but also the type, size and volume of existing traffic and compare this to the proposed traffic volume and type.
        2. The road giving access to the Mineral Extraction Activity and neighboring roads which can be expected to carry traffic to and from the Mineral Extraction Activity
          1. shall have traffic carrying capacity; and
          2. the surface shall, if a Town road, be suitably improved if necessary at the applicant's expense, and with the permission of the Selectmen and the Road Commissioner, to accommodate the amount and types of traffic generated by the proposed mineral extraction activity; and
          3. shall not increase the volume to capacity of any town road above 80%; nor reduce the town road's Level of Service to MDOT rating "D" or below; and
          4. shall have minimum travel surface width of 16 feet with 2 foot shoulders; and
          5. shall require a road condition survey of the town road or, on operations larger than 5 acres, the Planning Board shall require an engineering impact study, at the expense of the applicant; and
          6. may require mitigation for adverse impacts on Town roads, by decision of the Planning Board.
        3. Projects that don't meet these standards shall not be approved.
      3. Routing.
        Where necessary to safeguard against hazards to pedestrians and to avoid traffic congestion, or adverse impacts to Town roads, alternative routing may be required.
    6. Ground Water Impacts
      The following requirements apply to All projects unless otherwise noted.
      1. Assessment Submitted.
        The Planning Board must find that the Mineral Extraction Activity will not cause an adverse impact to ground water quality and quantity before approving any application. The assessment shall be submitted to the Washington Planning Board and kept in the applicant's file.
      2. Groundwater buffer.
        To provide an adequate buffer for ground water and allow for filtration of impurities from surface water, extraction shall not be any closer than 5 feet above the maximum seasonal high water level. The applicant shall provide documentation of the groundwater table. The Planning Board may require monitoring of groundwater levels and quality to ensure there are no adverse impacts to any water supplies or wells within 500 feet of the site.
      3. Water Supply buffer.
        A 300 foot separation must be maintained between the limit of excavation and any pre existing private drinking water supply. A 1,000 foot separation must be maintained between the limit of excavation and any well or spring which qualifies as a public drinking water supply. The Planning Board shall require larger buffers from water supplies, if they find that a hazard is shown to exist due to the Mineral Extraction Activity.
      4. Water Use.
        1. A mineral extraction activity must not withdraw more than 5,000 gallons of ground water per day, unless a hydrogeologic study is submitted by a hydrogeologist that determines this will not represent an environmental hazard or threaten drinking water supplies.
        2. Any water that is discharged from the site shall be monitored for sediment, pH and other contaminants to ensure the discharge shall not adversely affect surface water quality.
      5. Standards for Acceptable Ground Water Impacts
        1. Projections of ground water quality shall be based on the assumption of drought conditions (assuming 60% of annual average precipitation).
        2. No mineral extraction activity shall increase any contaminant concentration in the ground water to more than one half of the Primary Drinking Water Standards. No mineral extraction activity shall increase any contaminant concentration in the ground water to more than the Secondary Drinking Water Standards.
        3. If pre-existing ground water contains contaminants in excess of the primary standards, and the mineral extraction activity is to be served by on-site ground water supplies, the applicant shall demonstrate how water quality will be improved or treated, if necessary.
    7. Preservation of Natural and Historic Features All
      The scenic, historic or environmentally sensitive areas identified in the Comprehensive Plan as rare and irreplaceable areas or areas specially designated by the Town or areas identified by the Maine Natural Areas Program shall be preserved.
    8. Sanitary Standards All
      1. Sewage Disposal
        All water carried sewage shall be disposed of by sewage systems meeting the requirements of the State of Maine Plumbing Code (CMR 238).
      2. Solid Waste Disposal
        No solid waste, including stumps and grubbings, shall be placed stored or disposed of in the mineral extraction site unless it meets the requirements of the rules and regulations of the Maine Department of Environmental Protection. The storage, collection and disposal of refuse in the mineral extraction site shall not create health hazards, rodent or insect breeding areas, accident or fire hazards, air pollution, or surface or ground water pollution. No off site solid waste material shall be brought in for disposal.
    9. Signs All
      Any signs must comply with the standards of the Land Use Ordinance.
    10. NoiseAll
      Normal operation times shall be specified, so as not to constitute a nuisance to residents in the neighborhood, including but not limited to daily starting and ending times.
      1. Noise shall be required to be muffled so as not to be objectionable due to intermittence, beat frequency, shrillness, or volume outside of the boundaries of the project.
      2. The maximum permissible sound pressure level of any continuous, regular or frequent source of sound shall be established by the time period and type of land use district as listed in Subsection 3, below. Sound pressures shall be measured per Subsection 5, below, at any lot line of the project site, at a height of at least four feet above the ground surface. Both dB(A) and dB(C) scales shall be used, and a violation of either standard shall be deemed to constitute a violation of this Ordinance.
      3. The Sound Pressure Limits Measured in Decibels are as follows:
        6 am to 6 pm
        dB(A)dB(C)
        Rural-Commercial District6072
        All Other Districts5567
      4. Sound from production blasting shall be limited as follows, provided a blasting plan has been approved by the Planning Board as a part of the permit:
        11 am to 3 pm
        dB(A)dB(C)
        Rural-Commercial District120129
        All Other Districts110126
      5. Noise shall be measured with a sound level meter meeting the standards of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI S1.4-1961) "American Standard Specification for General Purpose Sound Level Meters." The instrument shall be set to the appropriate weight response scales and the meter to the slow response. Measurements shall be conducted in accordance with ANSI S1.2-1962 "American Standard Method for the Physical Measurement of Sound."
      6. The following uses and activities shall be exempt from the noise level regulations:
        1. Noises emanating from building construction and occasional site maintenance activities between 6:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. This shall be waived in emergency situations by a special permit from the Code Enforcement Officer.
        2. The noises of safety signals, warning devices, and emergency pressure relief valves and other emergency activity.
        3. Traffic noise on existing public ways.
      7. The Planning Board, as a term of condition of approval, may establish any reasonable requirement to ensure that the impact of noise shall not exceed that of any other activity in the district the project may be located in. Such conditions may include, but are not limited to, enclosing equipment or operations, imposing limits on hours of operation, or requiring the employment of specific design technologies, site design, modes of operation, or traffic patterns.
      8. The sound level limits prescribed in these standards shall not preclude the Planning Board from requiring lower sound level limits so as to ensure the operation will not unreasonably disturb wildlife or adversely affect wildlife populations. MediumLargeeXtra Large Any medium or larger project proposed to be located in a potential wildlife area must submit a study of the wildlife community existing on and adjacent to the site, citing potential disturbances to that population, at the applicant's expense.
    11. Mitigation of Effects on Neighboring Community All
      1. The project shall not operate on Sundays or the following holidays: New Year's, Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas.
      2. Operations shall only be conducted between the hours of 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. Blasting is limited to the hours between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.
      3. No permit shall be granted for any operations for more than 7 years in duration.
        1. Except that a project to be completed in up to three distinct and complete phases, which includes reclamation, may be granted for no more than 7 years duration per phase. No subsequent phase may be started under the existing permit until the prior phase is complete and inspected and approved by the CEO.
        2. A new permit may be applied for at any time.
  3. Performance Standards - Rock Mining Operations
    Because of the intensity of the type of operation, in addition to the performance standards listed in Section 2 of this Article, Rock Mining operations shall conform to the following:
    1. Maximum limit of material that may be extracted per year is 5,000 Cubic Yards.
      1. If an applicant chooses to adopt a Forestry Management Plan for wooded lots prepared by a licensed Maine Forester that provides the following minimum standards, then there is no limit on volume of flat rock or area if the rocks are harvested by being picked up from the surface,
        1. Over the life of the permit, no more than 40% of the trees greater than 4" in diameter at 5' above ground are removed, distributed evenly over the affected area.
        2. The Forestry Management Plan shall be complied with.
      2. An applicant may apply for this wood lot choice, as defined in § 3 (A)(1), above, in addition to other types of operations.
      3. The wooded lot choice, as defined in § 3 (A)(1), above, shall be considered a small or medium size operation for fees and application only.
      4. In a multiple operation, as defined in § 3 (A)(2), above, the largest size operation shall be used for fees and application purposes.
    2. A surveyed profile of the material on site to be excavated must be calculated and submitted with the permit application and the amount extracted per year confirmed by the annual inspection of the CEO.
    3. Maximum of two acres of open operation at any time, regardless of the size of the project.
      1. Area must be reclaimed before next two acres can be started.
      2. Excavation may be done in 1 acre or other increments to ensure continuity of operation.
    4. Maximum size of project area is the lesser of 15 acres or 40% of net property acreage over the life of the permit, unless exempted by §3-A(1) above.
    5. Excavation shall be no deeper than 6' below grade. It shall be necessary to establish the benchmark grade level prior to the granting of the permit. Rock Mining Operations shall be exempt from the Maximum Seasonal High Water Level required by Article VI, §2(F)(2).
    6. High velocity blasting requires blast mats or similar measures to attenuate noise, dust, and debris.

    Mining Ordinance Index
    Previous Article
    Next Article