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.
• US Supreme Court declines to hear dredging controversy
• Why Senate Bill S3422 is bad for America
• Comment deadline extended for new California dredging regulations
• Obama’s parting shots
• California suction dredging
• Oregon follows California’s lead
• Lawsuit coming; bill introduced to stop mining in Washington State
• President Trump halts new federal regulations
...Judge Ochoa ordered the parties to participate in mandatory settlement hearings starting June 24, 2014.
SB 765...would tax suction gold dredgers by charging a $50 annual fee for in-state dredgers and a whopping $2,500 fee for out-of-state dredgers for each county where the miner intends to dredge.
• Battle continues in Oregon
• Stop annexation in Southern California
• EPA ignores Supreme Court ruling with new Idaho permit
• Alaska sues Feds to restore access rights
• California dredgers await next big court date
• Some positives in spending bill
• Judge puts brakes on the EPA in Alaska
• Judge to rule in favor of suction gold dredgers
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) issued emergency rules without public comment just prior to our publication deadline.
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