The permitting and public comment processes for mining permits are defined in the Land Reclamation Act, 444.772 and 773, RSMo. Here is a short summary of how it works.

Application Process (about a month)
A quarry application is received and reviewed by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources' Land Reclamation Program; deficiencies are pointed out to the operator who will cure them. After the application is deemed complete, the operator is given the notice to proceed with public comment requirements. Land Reclamation Permit Application Forms

Public Notice Process
The operator must advertise the proposed site once a week for four consecutive weeks in a  newspaper that is located in the same county as the mine site certified to publish public notices, send certified letters to any neighbor whose property borders the proposed mine plan area (if the mine plan area is incised into land wholly owned by the operator then the operator legally does not have to send letters out to neighbors and the local government authority) i.e. city or county government).

At the end of four weeks newspaper advertisement there is an additional two weeks for the public to comment. Anyone in the public can respond during the public comment time frame. By law anyone can make comments, ask for an informal public meeting or they can request a formal hearing. Letters with comments does not stop a permit, but they are all answered to address concerns. Letters requesting an informal public meeting will result in the department asking the operator’s willingness for holding such a meeting. The law provides that the operator has a right to refuse to hold such a meeting. If the meeting is held, it is strictly informal, but if it does not result in resolution, there is still the right to request a formal hearing.

Finally, requests for a formal hearing are presented to the Land Reclamation Commission at their next regular meeting after all the public comment time frames have expired. If no one requests a meeting or a hearing, the permit is issued by the Land Reclamation Program if the application is deemed complete by the department.

Hearing Request Process (one to two months)
At the commission meeting, the public who have requested the formal hearing must convince the Land Reclamation Commission that their health, safety or livelihood would be unduly impaired by the issuance of the permit (This standard is from 444.773.3 RSMo). If the Commission is convinced and orders a hearing, then the hearing will take place at some later date.

Hearing Process
This hearing is formal, conducted by a hearing officer, and is similar to civil court proceeding. Parties are generally represented by attorneys, who file motions, take depositions, call witnesses, and argue the case. The hearing officer eventually prepares a recommended decision for the Land Reclamation Commission’s consideration, who makes the final decision on whether or not to issue the mining permit.

Final Decision
Administratively, the Land Reclamation Commission is the only legal body of state government that can make this final decision. Of course their final decision can then be appealed to a civil court and then further appeals as desired by either party. The law requires that this permitting process be carried out as prescribed.

Additional Quarry Permit Applications
In addition, mining permit applicants for quarry operations should also apply and obtain the following permits:

Air Pollution Control Program - For questions, contact the construction permit unit at 573-751-4817.
Note: This application can be used for De Minimis, Minor Source, Major Source New Source Review/Prevention of Significant Deterioration, or PSD, or Major New Source Review Hazardous Air Pollutant, or HAP, Permits. Air Construction Permits Guidance information.

Application for Authority to Construct, Packet--MO 780-1323 (06/07) and Instructions
Form 2.0 (Form 2.0 is an addendum to MO 780-1323. Duplicate this page for each emission point as needed.)
Basic Operating Permit Notification, Form--MO 780-1872

Water Protection Program - For questions, call 573-751-1300.

Form E - Application for General Permit, Form--MO 780-0795 (03/05)
A land disturbance form (Mo 780-1408) might be needed, if applicable.