(a) The provisions of this article do not apply to activities of the West Virginia Department of Transportation or any legally constituted public governing entities including municipal corporations or other political subdivisions, including the federal government, or to activities of any person acting under contract with any of these public agencies or entities, on highway rights-of-way or borrow pits owned, operated, or maintained solely in connection with the construction, repair and maintenance of the public roads system of the state or other public facilities. This exemption does not become effective until the public agencies or entities have adopted reclamation standards applying to the activities.
(b) The provisions of this article do not apply to quarrying on federal lands when performed under a valid permit from the appropriate federal agency having jurisdiction over the land.
(c) The provisions of this article do not apply to the following activities:
(1) Operations engaged only in processing minerals;
(2) Excavation or grading conducted solely in aid of on-site farming or on-site construction for purposes other than quarrying;
(3) Removal of overburden and of limited amounts of any mineral when done only for the purpose of prospecting and to the extent necessary to determine the location, quantity or quality of any natural deposit, if no minerals are sold, processed for sale or consumed in the regular operation of business;
(4) The handling, processing or storage of minerals on the premises of a manufacturer as a part of any manufacturing process that requires minerals as raw material;
(5) The removal or deposit of backfill material associated with construction, farming and noncommercial activities;
(6) Noncommercial quarry operations by a landowner if the disturbed area does not exceed one acre in area, upon notice to the director by the owner of his or her intent to establish the quarry.