Surface Mining and Reclamation
   

Lorena Butte mine, near Goldendale, extracting cinder and basalt. Photo credit: Carrie Gillum, WGS.

Surface mining reclamation restores vegetation, soil stability, and proper water conditions after mining. Each site will be completed differently depending on the future use and reclamation law. However, the work completed prevents future environmental degradation and prepares the site for its future use.

after
before

Hover your mouse over the photo to see 2005 mining and subsequent wetland reclamation in 2013 of the Fjetland sand and gravel pit, near the port of Tacoma. Imagery courtesy of Google Earth.

Good reclamation allows for proper future use and it limits environmental impacts. It is expected that surface miners do what’s called ‘segmental reclamation’, where they restore portions of the mine while other areas continue to be worked. This helps reduce the cost of reclamation at the end of mining. It also restores the site to its ultimate condition much more quickly.

Wetland creation at the former Fjetland sand and gravel pit, near Tacoma.

Home of the 2015 U.S. Open, Chambers Bay was once the Steilacoom sand and gravel pit, one of the nation's largest.

Poor reclamation leads to unusable and unattractive sites. They can create issues well beyond their location, such as muddy water flowing into streams or unstable land.

This unreclaimed site that shall remain nameless has vertical walls and no vegetation.

This site, also nameless, is home to many invasive species, with many areas lacking vegetation and eroding slopes.

What is the Surface Mine Reclamation Program?

The Surface Mine Reclamation Program (SMRP) is part of the Washington Geological Survey within the Washington Department of Natural Resources. The program was created in 1971 after the legislature created the Surface Mining Act.

The SMRP makes sure that all lands and waters within the state are protected and reclaimed after mining is complete. It also provides consistent regulation of both permitted and unpermitted surface mines statewide.

The SMRP monitors surface mines and issue reclamation permits. Monitoring for compliance is usually performed by on-site inspection. Aerial photography is frequently used as well to document mining activity.

When Do I Need a Surface Mine Reclamation Permit?

The Surface Mining Act requires a surface miners to get a permit when (1) the intent is to be a surface mine or (2) removal of minerals results in:

  • more than three acres of disturbed area
  • mined slopes greater than thirty feet high and steeper than 1.0 foot horizontal to 1.0 foot vertical
  • more than one acre of disturbed area within an eight acre area, from mineral prospecting or exploration activities

Some exemptions to the law include the use of materials or equipment for:

  • on-site construction, road maintenance, landfill construction
  • public safety or restoring the land following a natural disaster
  • removing stockpiles
  • forest or farm road construction or maintenance at the site or on contiguous lands

How is Compliance with the Surface Mining Act maintained?

Surface Mine Reclamation staff work closely with stakeholders to ensure they are compliant with the Surface Mining Act. Inspections of known mines are performed every one to two years. Inspectors document the progress of mining and reclamation making sure it is consistent with their permit.

If the mine is found to be out of compliance with the law, a notice of correction is issued. Program staff work with the miners to fix the problem. If the miners do not correct the issues, further formal notice is given and enforcement may occur. Penalty for not fixing problems with a site may lead to stop work orders, civil penalties, and (or) fines.

Organizations Which Can provide Technical Assistance

All regulatory agencies are required to provide upon request a list of organizations, including private companies, which can provide technical assistance (RCW 43.05.020). This list shall be compiled by the agencies from information submitted by the organizations and shall not constitute an endorsement by an agency of any organization.

If you would like your company or organization to be included or deleted or you need to make corrections to this list, please send information to:

Mary Ann Shawver
Washington Geological Survey
MS 47007; Olympia, WA 98504-7007
360-902-1454; 360-902-1785 (fax)
MaryAnn.Shawver@dnr.wa.gov

 

The following is a partial list of organizations and does not constitute an endorsement by any agency or organization.

4 SEASONS ENGINEERING, INC.
(Jay Peterson)
619 Chase St S
Port Angeles, WA 98362
360-452-3023
email
Advisian a Worley Parsons Group
(Mihail Dan Miziumschi)
201 NE Park Plaza Dr Suite 100
Vancouver, WA 98684
email    website
AGUA TIERRA LAND & WATER SERVICES, INC. (ATEC)
(Christian Fromuth)
506 SE Edison St, Ste 100
Olympia, WA 98501
360-754-3755
email    website
All-American Geotechnical, Inc.
(Curtis Cushman, L.E.G., L.G.)
8947 Buttonwood Lane NE
Olympia, Washington 98516
360-491-5155
website
ALLEN L. HART
1720 N Oakes
Tacoma, WA 98406-7524
253-752-8963
email    website
AMEC FOSTER WHEELER
(Stephen Siebert)
11810 North Creek Parkway N
Bothell, WA 98011
425-368-1000
email    website
AMEC FOSTER WHEELER
(Steve Ellis)
3500 188th St SW, Ste 601
Lynnwood, WA 98037-4763
425-921-4000
email    website
AMEC FOSTER WHEELER
(Scott Kranz)
7376 SW Durham Rd
Portland, OR 97224
503-639-3400
email    website
AMEC EARTH & ENVIRONMENTAL, INC.
(Terry Grotbo)
639 Helena Ave, Suite 1A
Helena, MT 59601
406-442-0860
email    website
AMERICAN ENGINEERING CORP.
(Einar Gunderson)
4032 148th Ave NE
Redmond, WA 98052
425-881-7430; 425-881-7731
website
ANDERSON PERRY & ASSOCIATES, INC.
(Ed Hibbard)
214 E Birch St; PO Box 1687
Walla Walla, WA 99362
509-529-9260
website
ASPECT CONSULTING, LLC.
350 Madison Ave N
Bainbridge Island, WA 98110
206-780-9438
email    website
ASPECT CONSULTING, LLC.
401 2nd Ave S, Ste 201
Seattle, WA 98104
206-838-5853
email    website
ASSOCIATED EARTH SCIENCES, INC.
(Edwardo Garcia)
2911 ½ Hewitt Ave, Ste 2
Everett, WA 98201
425-259-0522
email    website
ASSOCIATED EARTH SCIENCES, INC.
(Curtis Koger)
911 5th Ave, Ste 100
Kirkland, WA 98033
425-827-7701
website
Beyler Consulting, LLC
(Landon C. Beyler, P.E.)
7602 Bridgeport Way W., Suite 3D
Lakewood WA 98499
253-301-4157email    website
BENNETT CONSULTING, PLLC
(George Bennett)
46129 SE 130th St
North Bend, WA 98045
425-785-8390
email    website
BELL DESIGN COMPANY
(Austin Bell)
900 W Steuben; PO Box 308
Bingen, WA 98605
509-493-3886
email    website
BERGLUND SCHMIDT & ASSOCIATES, INC.
2323 Bay Ave
Hoquiam, WA 98550
360-532-7630
email    website
CANE ENGINEERING
231 SE Pioneer Dr #203
Oak Harbor, WA 98277-3200
360-279-0615
email    website
CASCADE EARTH SCIENCES, LTD.
3511 Pacific Blvd SW
Albany, OR 97321-3780
541-926-7737
email    website
CASCADE EARTH SCIENCES, LTD.
E 12720 Nora Ave, Ste A
Spokane, WA 99216
509-921-0290
email    website
CAVASSA & ASSOCIATES, INC.
(Jim Gardner)
321 N Lewis St
Monroe, WA 98272
360-794-7266
email    website
CH2M HILL
(Mark Bricker)
1100 112th Ave NE, Ste 500
Bellevue, WA 98004
425-233-3294
email    website
CH2M HILL
(Jim Stefanoff)
717 W Sprague Ave, Ste 800
Spokane, WA 99201-3709
509-747-2000
email    website
CHINOOK GEOSERVICES, INC.
(R. Warren Krager)
1508 Broadway St
Vancouver, WA 98663
360-695-8500
email
COLDWATER RESOURCES, LLC.
(Bryan Allison)
PO Box 164
Castle Rock, WA 98611
971-338-9297
email    website
CPH CONSULTANTS
(Matt Hough)
733 7th Ave, Ste 100
Kirkland, WA 98033
425-285-2390
email    website
CRUX SUBSURFACE, INC.
4308 N Barker Rd
Spokane Valley, WA 99216
509-892-9409
email    website
DAVID EVANS & ASSOCIATES
(DEA)
908 N Howard Ste 300
Spokane, WA 99201
509-327-8697
website
ECOLOGICAL LAND SERVICES, INC.
(Tim Haderly)
1157 3rd Ave, Ste 220
Longview, WA 98632
360-578-1371
email    website
Element Solutions
(Paul Pittman)
1812 Cornwall Ave.
Bellingham, WA 98225
360-671-9172
email    website
EMR
(Michelle Smith)
2211 Rimland Dr
Ste 210
Bellingham, WA 98226
360-647-3922
email    website
ESM CONSULTING ENGINEERS, LLC.
(Eric Labrie)
33400 8th Ave S, Ste 205
Federal Way, WA 98003
253-838-6113
email    website
ENVIRONMENTAL WEST EXPLORATION, INC.
1015 N Yardley St
Spokane, WA 99211
509-534-2740
email    website
FARALLON CONSULTING, LLC
(Cliff Schmitt)
975 5th Ave NW
Issaquah, WA 98027
425-295-0800
email    website
FOUNDATION ENGINEERING, INC.
(Brooke Running)
820 NW Cornell Ave
Corvallis, OR 97330-4517
541-757-7645
email    website
FROSTY HOLLOW ECOLOGICAL RESTORATION
PO Box 53
Langley, WA 98260
360-579-2332
email
GEODESIGN
(Roy Garrison)
1157 3rd Ave, Ste 220B
Longview, WA 98632
360-200-4803, ext 111
email
GEOENGINEERS, INC.
(Bruce Stirling)
1101 Fawcett Ave, Ste 200
Tacoma, WA 98402
253-383-4940
email    website
GEOENGINEERS, INC.
8410 154th Ave NE
Redmond, WA 98052-3886
425-861-6000
800-533-2158
website
GEOENGINEERS, INC.
(John Monehan)
600 Dupont
Bellingham, WA 98225
360-647-1510
email    website
GEOENGINEERS, INC.
523 E 2nd Ave
Spokane WA 99202
509-363-3125
email    website
GEOLOGICAL SERVICES
(Walter Bicket)
613 222nd St SW
Bothell, WA 98021
425-481-5183
email
GEO RESOURCES, LLC.
(Brad Biggerstaff)
5007 Pacific Hwy E, Ste 20
Fife, WA 98424
253-896-1011
email
GOLDER ASSOCIATES, INC
18300 NE Union Hill Rd
Redmond, WA 98052
425-883-0777
email    website
GRANITE CREEK SURVEY & MAPPING LLC.
PO Box 743
Republic, WA 99166
509-775-0265
email    website
HART CROWSER, INC.
(Mike Bailey)
1700 West Lake Ave N #200
Seattle, WA 98102-3699
206-324-9530
email    website
HDR ENGINEERING, INC.
(Randy Norberg)
500 108th Ave NE, Ste 1200
Bellevue, WA 98004
425-450-6337
email    website
HOLOCENE DRILLING, INC.
11412 52nd Ave
Puyallup, WA 98373
253-848-6500
email    website
ICICLE CREEK ENGINEERS, INC.
(Brian Beaman)
29335 NE 20th St
Carnation, WA 98014
425-333-0093
email    website
INSIGHT GEOLOGIC, INC.
1015 E 4th Ave
Olympia, WA 98506
360-754-2128
email    website
J-U-B ENGINEERS, INC.
(Ben Volk)
2810 W Clearwater Ave, Ste 201
Kennewick, WA 99336
509-783-2144
email    website
KNIGHT INSPECTION & ASSESSMENTS, LLC.
126 Mine St
Wallace, ID 83873
208-659-1578
email    website
KPFF CONSULTING ENGINEERS
(Steve Kingsley)
2407 N 31st, Ste 100
Tacoma, WA 98407
253-396-0150
email
KPFF Consulting
(Larry Dominguez, Senior Ecologist)
215 W Austin Rd
Spokane, WA 99208
509-993-7758
email
Kulshan Services
1015 Girard Street
Bellingham, WA 98225
360-393-4706
website
Lady Raven Services LLC
(Ray Hancock)
Lacey, WA
360-292-4695
email    website
LESLIE GEOLOGICAL SERVICES
(Bill Lingley)
7815 Kerbaugh Rd NE
Olympia, WA 98506
360-456-1335
email
M2 TECHNICAL SERVICES, INC.
(Todd Vick)
4207 E Rowan
Spokane, WA 99217
509-483-3035
email    website
MACKAY & SPOSITO, INC.
1325 SE Tech Center Dr
Vancouver, WA 98683
360-695-3411; 888-695-3411
email
MAUL FOSTER & ALONGI, INC.
(Neil R. Alongi, Alistaire Clary)
400 E Mill Plain Blvd, Ste 400
Vancouver, WA 98665
360-694-2691 website
Mapworks
(Len Sali)
112 Fuller Street
Wenatchee Washington 98801
509-452-7760
email
McLUCAS & ASSOCIATES, INC.
(Stephen Taylor)
PO Box 5352
Lacey, WA 98509
360-456-8248
email
MERRIT ENGINEERS, INC.
(Austin Huang)
2715 Meridian St
Bellingham, WA 98225
360-738-6083
email    website
MOSS & ASSOCIATES, INC.
(David Spencer)
717 NE 61st St
Vancouver, WA 98665-8753
360-260-9400
email    website
NELSON GEOTECHNICAL ASSOCIATES, INC.
(David Nelson)
5526 Industry Ln
East Wenatchee 98802
509-665-7696
email    email
NELSON GEOTECHNICAL ASSOCIATES, INC.
17311 135th Ave NE, Ste A 500
Woodinville, WA 98072
425-486-1669
email    website
OLSON ENGINEERING, INC.
(Kurt Stonex)
222 E Evergreen Blvd
Vancouver, WA 98660
360-695-1385
email    website
PENTEC ENVIRONMENTAL
190 W Dayton St, Ste 201
Edmonds, WA 98020
425-775-4682
website
PARAMETRIX, INC.
(Phil Struck)
4660 Kitsap Way, Ste 202
Bremerton, WA 98312
360-850-5340
email    website
PLSA ENGINEERING & SURVEYING
(Brad Card)
1120 W Lincoln Ave
Yakima, WA 98902
509-575-6990
email    website
REID MIDDLETON, INC.
728 134th St SW
Everett, WA 98203
425-741-3800 ext 165
email    website
R. W. THORPE & ASSOCIATES
3800 W Mercer Way
, Mercer Island, WA 98040
206-624-6239
email    website
RIDOLFI ENGINEERS, INC.
1011 Western Ave, Ste 1006
Seattle, WA 98104
206-682-7294
email    website
Shannon & Wilson Inc.
(Stephanie Williams, L.G.)
400 North 34th Street, Suite 100
Seattle, Washington 98103
206-695-8020
email    website
TEAM 4 ENGINEERING
(Berni Johnston)
5819 NE Minder Rd
Poulsbo, WA 98370
360-297-5560
email
ROGERS SURVEYING, INC.
(John Baalman)
1455 Columbia Park Trail, Ste 201
Richland, WA 99352
509-783-4141
email    website
SITTS & HILL ENGINEERS, INC.
4815 Center St
Tacoma, WA 98409
253-474-9449
email    website
TERRA ASSOCIATES, INC.
(Ted Schepper or Charles Lie)
12525 Willows Rd, Ste 101
Kirkland, WA 98034
425-821-7777
email    website
VECTOR ENGINEERING, INC.
2724 Black Lake Blvd SW
Tumwater, WA 98512
360-352-2477
email    website
WATERSHED GARDEN WORKS
2039 44th Ave
Longview, WA 98632
360-423-6456
email    website

Updated: 7/27/2017