Legislative and Regulatory Update
January 2022 by Scott Harn
• WOTUS definition is changing again
It seems that the definition of “Waters of the United States” changes every four years or so, and we now have another proposal from the Army Corps of Engineers and the EPA to revise the definition yet again to increase restrictions on land owners under the guise of “Protecting Public Health and the Environment and Restoring Science to Tackle the Climate Crisis.”
You can view the latest proposed changes online at https://www.regulations.gov/document/EPA-HQ-OW-2021-0602-0001. Public comments are due by February 7, 2022.
• BLM HQ on the move again
Tracy Stone-Manning, the former member of eco-terrorist group Earth First and now confirmed director of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), announced she is moving forward with plans to return BLM headquarters from Grand Junction, Colorado to Washington, DC.
Former BLM acting director William Perry Pendley had moved much of the hierarchy out of DC, relocating staff and supervisors at field offices throughout the Western States and at the new HQ in Colorado, putting them closer to the public lands they oversee and the public they serve. The move out west was also a huge cost savings for taxpayers due to the much lower cost of living as compared to DC.
• Idaho miners will challenge new EPA permit at rally
• California proposes to amend definition of a suction dredge
• Proposed rule redefines "navigable waters"
Tomten concedes the scenario of federal environmental agents swooping in on river dredges near historic mining towns like Idaho City, Rocky Bar or Placerville remains unlikely.
We can either surrender or draw a line in the sand and fight to hold the remaining mining rights we still have.
There are currently three controlling agencies or entities over suction dredging in California—and you can make that four if the state legislature decides to further muddy the waters with additional legislation to block suction gold dredging in the state.
PLF scores another win for property rights
US uranium mines produced less than 174,000 pounds in 2019, according to the February Energy Information Administration report. That’s down from 4.9 million pounds in 2014.
The Bawl Mill • Ask The Experts - Geophysics or drilling? Which is best for this project? • Ask The Experts - How closely are black sand and gold related? • Why Is The Gold On Bedrock—Or Why Is It Not? • Breaking Boulders With Explosives • Colorado to California for Gold • Historic Dredge Uncovered in North Carolina • Setting Up A Placer Operation • Grizzly Flats, California—Another Mother Lode Gold Rush Town • Drywashing Without A Drywasher • Late Fall Drywashing • Melman on Gold & Silver • Mining Stock Quotes and Mineral & Metal Prices