(a) For the purposes of sections 93.46 to 93.51, "peat mining" means the removal of peat for commercial purposes, including activities associated with the removal. "Peat mining" does not include removal of peat which is incidental to the harvesting of an agricultural or horticultural crop, or to mining of a metallic mineral that is subject to a mine land reclamation rule and a permit to mine.
(b) No permit to mine peat is required under section 93.481 until 180 days after the effective date of rules promulgated to regulate peat mining and reclamation. The rules shall be adopted by July 1, 1985.
(c) No permit is required for a peat mining operation of 40 acres or less, unless the commissioner determines that there is potential for significant environmental effects which may result from the peat mining operation. A person intending to engage in or carry on a peat mining operation of 40 acres or less, if the intended operation involves removal of more than 1,000 tons of air-dried peat per year, shall notify the commissioner in writing before beginning any mining, specifying the legal description of the tract to be mined and the mining methods to be used. Within 20 days after receipt of written notice of intent to mine such a tract, or after receiving additional information requested, the commissioner shall notify the person of the decision to require, or not to require, a permit.