Legislative and Regulatory Update
April 2014 by Scott Harn• Idaho continues toward elimination of EPA suction dredging regulations
On March 13, the Idaho House State Affairs Committee held another hearing on whether or not to eliminate Environmental Protection Agency authority in the state.
Following the hearing, which included the testimony of numerous suction gold dredge miners, no opposing testimony and 76 supporters who signed their names in support, the committee passed House Bill 473.
The bill declares EPA authority would be “null and void and of no force and effect in this state.”
The bill now heads to the full Idaho House of Representatives for debate and a possible vote.
• EPA makes preemptive strike against Alaska mine
The EPA announced they have initiated a Clean Water Act review process in an attempt to prevent the Pebble Limited Partnership from developing the Pebble Project, a mining project valued in the billions of dollars in southern Alaska.
The EPA is taking this step even though no Plan of Operations has been submitted.
• Proposed Mines Act permit fees
The British Columbia (Canada) Ministry of Energy and Mines is proposing charging Mines Act permit fees for all mines in the province.
The proposed fees are as follows:
$2,000 for small-scale placer and mineral/coal exploration disturbing less than 1 hectare
$4,000 for medium-scale placer and mineral/coal exploration disturbing less than 3 hectares
$6,000 for large-scale placer and mineral/coal exploration disturbing 3 hectares or more
$4,000 for sand and gravel operations
$5,000 for custom mills
$6,000 for rock and industrial mineral quarries
$40,000 for all operations requiring a review under Section 9 of the Mines Act
$300,000 for large-scale major mines, expansions, and permit amendments
$100,000 for major mines, expansions and permit amendments
$10,000 for minor permit amendments to major mines
Unfortunately, the notice from the British Columbia Ministry of Energy and Mines states that comments would only be accepted through March 31, 2014—leaving little or no time to notify ICMJ readers. However, we posted this information to our website at www.icmj.com on March 16 in an effort to notify those miners who might wish to send in comments.
• Comment deadlines approaching for frog listings and habitat
• EPA seeks more control
• Comments due in Washington
• California dredging moratorium
• PLF sues to delist polar bear
Washington’s decision to bar new uranium mining near the Grand Canyon and other federal policies on energy and resource issues are barriers holding back Arizona and its residents from prosperity, Governor Jan Brewer told a congressional hearing March 16.
The Bureau of Land Management announced an increase in location filing fees and annual maintenance fees for unpatented mining claims, mill sites and tunnel sites.
Modoc County, California, is the latest county to use emergency powers to declare a state of emergency in order to take control of roads and trails away from federal agencies.
- Budd-Falen in line to become next director at BLM
- Ten national monuments slated for changes or reductions
- California adds another fee
...we packed up our two dredges and headed for our claim about an hour away on the South Fork of the Clearwater to dredge openly in opposition to the EPA.
• More roadblocks to dredging in California
• Two Oregon Sheriffs challenge Forest Service authority
• Gold is money
The Bawl Mill • Ask the Experts • Ask the Experts • Ask the Experts • Ask the Experts • Ask the Experts • Ask the Experts • Mining for Gold and Sapphires in Montana • Contrary to Rumors, Couple Will Keep the Saddle Ridge Hoard • Finding Gold with a VLF Detector—Part I • Creating Your Own Luck • Over the Divide—Robert Michael “Mike” Corbley • Continuing Hard Rock Exploration • Recovering Fine Gold with Oleophilic Adhesion • Detecting for Gold in Nevada • Using Structural Clues to Locate Buried Placer Channels • Gold Deposits of the Ivory Coast • Melman on Gold & Silver • Mining Stock Quotes and Mineral & Metal Prices