Our attorneys are some of the most experienced mining attorneys in New York State. Mining is a unique land use that presents special challenges for mining companies. We are proud of our work with the mining industry and the breadth of knowledge we offer through years of experience in this field. We have experience and intimate knowledge of the numerous laws and regulations facing the mining industry today, including the New York State Mined Land Reclamation Law and the Federal Mine Safety & Health Act. We enhance our practice through our membership and active participation in the New York Constructional Materials Association and National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association which ensures that we are always on the cutting edge of the issues facing the mining industry.
Permitting and Litigation
We obtain permits for new mines and to expand existing mines across New York State and defend those approvals in administrative proceedings and in courts. We have permitted sand and gravel mines (both above and below the water table), small and large hard rock quarries, and the hot-mix asphalt and ready-mix concrete plants often associated with those facilities. We understand the Mined Land Reclamation Law and the limits it places on municipalities’ abilities to regulate mining operations. We are well versed with the law of vested land use rights in New York State, and in particular, the protections that long-standing mining operations are to be afforded against reactionary prohibitory municipal laws and zoning ordinances. Our knowledge and experience in the area of vested rights has led to the protection of mineral reserves that may otherwise have been lost to zone outs. Our work with the mining industry has resulted in successfully permitting thousands of acres of land in New York State for commercial mining. In addition to obtaining the necessary permits (including participating in numerous hearings to obtain those permits), our attorneys have been involved in numerous litigation’s, either challenging agency action (or inaction) on permit applications, defending permits and approvals against opposition or citizens groups or protecting the rights of clients against those entities (such as municipalities) who have sought to zone out the activities sought to be permitted.
Our attorneys have intimate experience with the Federal Mine Safety & Health Act and the United States Department of Labor, Mine Safety and Health Administration. The core of our MSHA representation has been representation of mining clients in matters contested with the Mine Safety and Health Administration. That representation involves discussing with our clients alleged violations and determining which citations should be challenged. We understand our clients’ operations as well as the applicable law. That way we are able to develop the most effective defense to any citation. Our preparation and knowledge of the case often creates the necessary leverage to be able to reach a successful negotiated settlement with MSHA. If an effective settlement cannot be reached, however, we are always prepared to litigate against MSHA.