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Aggregates and Industrial Minerals

Overview

Representing surface mining companies and the Ohio Aggregates & Industrial Minerals Association (OAIMA) for over 30 years, the attorneys in our Aggregates and Industrial Minerals Practice Group have the extensive experience and knowledge necessary to provide legal counseling and representation regarding the broad range  of issues facing the aggregates industry, including the zoning and permitting of reserves or greenfield sites. We pride ourselves on providing the same high-quality representation to both multi and single-plant clients throughout the state.

Beyond the role of providing  legal counsel and representation to client producers, our Firm has been instrumental in working with both the regulatory agencies and the Ohio General Assembly on developing common sense regulations for the industry. Our attorneys are consistently invited speakers at seminars throughout the country to address topics at the forefront of the industry. We strive to remain on the cutting edge of the industry to better serve client needs.

Additionally, our attorneys have negotiated and drafted many of Ohio’s surface mining laws and regulations, including:

  • The omnibus revision of Chapter 1514 of the Ohio Revised Code regulating surface mining in Ohio;
  • The omnibus revisions to update Ohio’s mine safety laws and regulations; and
  • The omnibus revisions to Ohio’s county and township zoning laws relating to surface mining and related processing activity. These revisions have been recently upheld by the Supreme Court of Ohio.

Accordingly, we have a thorough understanding of the complex issues and regulatory programs often associated with aggregate and industrial minerals operations. Relying on decades of expertise, our practice group brings both industry and government experience to every project to provide efficient, cost-effective legal services. Our attorneys are experienced in the following areas:

Annexation

  • Advising on strategies for annexation to achieve permitting objectives.
  • Established Ohio Supreme Court precedent on annexation for mining industry.

Environmental

  • Environmental regulation regarding land and water resources.
    • Air quality regulation, including all categories of general and individual permits typically sought by surface mining operations.
    • Wetlands regulation, including federal (jurisdictional) wetlands as well as Ohio (isolated) wetlands permitting.
    • Stormwater regulation, including National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permitting.
    • Ohio water quality certifications (often called “401 certifications”)
    • Ohio antidegradation review of impacts to certain waters of the state.
    • Riparian and littoral rights
    • Environmental due diligence

Labor & Employment

  • Workplace safety and health
    • Counseling clients regarding and Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) compliance and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
    • Defense of workplace safety citations and enforcement actions, fines and penalties.
    • Ohio mine safety defense

Litigation

  • Administrative hearings before the ODNR Reclamation Commission
    • Appeals of Division Chief’s decisions
    • Reclamation bonding issues
    • Citizen complains
      • Surface and ground water
      • Overburden removal and stabilization
      • Flyrock / Proper blasting procedures
    • Land use litigation in Ohio and federal courts, including the Supreme Court of Ohio and United States Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Real Estate / Transactional

  • Advising clients in all aspects of surface and subsurface rights.
  • Advising clients in all aspects of mineral property rights.
  • Land acquisition
  • Negotiating and drafting leases and mineral conveyance.
    • Royalty agreements and disputes
  • Mineral title examination and curatives
  • Zoning and land use regulation
    • Rezoning of land
      • Municipal
      • County
      • Township
      • Conditional use and variance permitting
    • Permitting of surface mining and related processing activity.
      • Limestone quarries
      • Sand and gravel mines
      • Hot mix asphalt
      • Ready-mix concrete

Regulatory Takings

  • Counseling on courses of action arising from the denial of zoning permits.

Transportation

  • Litigation of “No Through Truck” ordinances
  • Defense of overweight truck citations
  • Negotiation of road improvement agreements 

The attorneys in the Aggregates and Industrial Minerals Practice Group work in close collaboration with our clients to achieve their goals. We understand that litigation is costly, time consuming, and at times, unpredictable. Therefore, we use our skills and experience to achieve outcomes without litigation. With years of experience representing clients before administrative agencies such as the Ohio EPA and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Mineral Resources Management, as well as state and federal trial and appellate courts, we are prepared to litigate when necessary.  Please contact one of our attorneys to find out how we may assist you.

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