Laws and Regulations That Might Affect You if You Mine Sand or Gravel From Missouri Streams

Removal of sand and gravel from streams can cause damage. The Missouri Department of Natural Resources is concerned that gravel removal be done properly in order to minimize impacts to landowners upstream and downstream. Other agencies, state and federal, have authority under existing regulations to help protect the health of streams. The following information is provided to assist you in understanding the regulations that may affect your sand and gravel operation.

State: Land Reclamation Act
What it says: If this law applies to you, you must obtain a permit from the Missouri Department of Natural Resources. The permit application will require information such as a Sand and Gravel Excavation Plan, maps of the site location, fees and a Company Information Form. Once the application is deemed complete by Land Reclamation Program staff, the applicant must advertise a Notice of Intent to Operate a Surface Mine in a newspaper in the county in which the mine is located, and send certified mail to the landowners adjacent to the mine site property.  

This law applies if you commercially mine sand or gravel from Missouri streams.

This law does not apply if you mine gravel from streams for personal use or are a political subdivision (e.g., a Missouri county or city) using your own equipment and personnel, and are mining the material for your own use. It also does not apply if you are removing sand or gravel from the Missouri or Mississippi rivers. However, you should check with USACE to see if they have jurisdiction over these types of activities.

Commercial operations that conduct sand and or gravel removal within the stream banks must comply with the following regulations that were adopted by the Missouri Mining Commission Sept. 30, 2004. See 10 CSR 40-10.050(14). These regulations are designed to protect water quality while allowing for the excavation of sand and gravel from riparian environments. Upon request of the applicant, the program may establish site specific variances to address conditions that may occur at individual locations.

For more information:
Land Reclamation Program
Missouri Department of Natural Resources
PO Box 176
Jefferson City, MO 65102

State: Missouri Clean Water Act
What it says: It is unlawful to discharge any contaminants into waters of the state including those that:

  • Form putrescent, unsightly or harmful bottom deposits.
  • Oil, scum, and floating debris.
  • Cause unsightly color or turbidity or offensive odor
  • Have a harmful effect on human, animal or aquatic life.

If these materials are present in quantities such that above conditions are present, then water quality standards may have been violated.

This law applies to you if you mine sand or gravel from waters of the state, including streams and other waters.

It does not apply to you if your mining activity is in a stream floodplain at least 100-feet from the stream bank that is not a wetland.

For more information:
Water Pollution Control Branch
Missouri Department of Natural Resources
PO Box 176
Jefferson City, MO 65102

Missouri Department of Natural Resources Regional Offices

Federal: The Endangered Species Act
What it says: It is illegal to harm federally-listed endangered or threatened species or the habitat on which they depend.

It is your responsibility to ensure that your activities do not impact federally listed species.

For more information:
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
101 Park DeVille Drive, Suite A
Columbia, MO 65203-0057

Federal: Section 10 Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 and Section 404 of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act amendments of 1972 also known as The Clean Water Act
Under Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbor Act, USACE regulates any work or structure in, over or under navigable waters of the United States. Under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act, USACE regulates the discharge of dredged or fill material in all waters of the U.S., including rivers, streams, lakes and wetlands. Permits must be obtained from USACE prior to starting any work within USACE jurisdiction. Actions regulated under Section 404 also must obtain a Water Quality Certification from the department's Water Pollution Control Program under Section 401 of the Clean Water Act. See this map for USACE contact information.