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.
We are in the planning stages for our next trip to DC. Clark and I are looking at returning after the mid-term elections, probably around the end of November or early December, to continue discussions with members of Congress…
It's a proven civil remedy to put an end to harassment by notifying a person who is either overstepping their authority, or failing to act as required, that they will be sued personally for an act or omission.
• More roadblocks to dredging in California
• Two Oregon Sheriffs challenge Forest Service authority
• Gold is money
Manderfield’s ruling opens the way for Kennecott Eagle to begin blasting. The company has declined to say when it will start. A spokeswoman said drilling would begin “in the coming weeks".
Representative Paul Shepherd stopped by, and Idaho County Commissioner Jim Chmelik dove with one of the dredgers so he could see for himself that no harm was being done to fish or their habitat.
• CA Fish & Game Final SEIR
• Positive news from California?
• Still no results in Wisconsin
• Give us back our lands
The ESA has become an unwieldy beast that was hijacked by government agencies run amok, and by extreme environmental groups who saw it as a way to lock up public lands and to generate income through exaggerated claims and continuous lawsuits.
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