Miners Making the Rules and Regulations?
October 2015 by Clark Pearson
How would you like it if you could make the actual rules and regulations governing your own business? A dream, right? Well, the existing Federal Mining Law gives a claimholder this ability in the context of organized Mining Districts.
Why are all the multitude of local, state and federal agencies regulating miners? The Mining Districts have been neglecting their duties under Federal Mining Law (30 U.S.C. section 22). This is why the Minerals and Mining Advisory Council (MMAC) was formed as a project under Public Lands for the People (PLP)—to organize the traditionally and legally recorded Mining Districts within the United States and encourage the miners holding mining claims to step up to the plate, legally, and take charge of their future. Presently MMAC has partnered with the Coal Miners Union, the National Mining Association, PLP, and the National Association of Mining Districts. MMAC is a combined effort by numerous concerned miners, mine owners, geologists, mining engineers, retired politicians, retired military personnel, and mining attorneys who are gravely concerned about the future security of our nation and its increased dependence on foreign sources of mined materials. The utter failure of the present Congress and all the federal and state agencies that are actively shuttering the mining industry through onerous and prohibitive regulation has resulted in the exact opposite of the 1970 National Minerals Policy Act intent. MMAC has been asked by the Congressional House Subcommittee on Natural Resources to put together a comprehensive solution to our industry’s plight. MMAC’s solution integrates within this draft bill named the “Minerals & Mining Regulatory Reform Act – A Clear Path Respecting Mining Rights” true accountability providing:
- Regulatory certainty of 30-day approval mitigation deadline
- Regulatory certainty of exemptions to the Clean Water Acts
- Regulatory certainty of exemptions to the Mine Safety and Health Administration
- Eliminates duplicative regulation by state and local governments
- Eliminates duplicative federal agency permits and the permit system
- Provides for Equal Access to Justice Act relief
- Provides for cost effective due process appeal relief for unreasonable regulation
- Reasonable regulatory best management standards and mitigation formation procedures
- Clear environmental standing requirements to eliminate frivolous environmental lawsuits
On July 4, we are reminded of the sacrifices our Founding Fathers made to establish this great country of ours, and in that spirit, the Minerals and Mining Advisory Council (MMAC) has created a draft Declaration of Miners.And MMAC has been hard at work writing a bill, with the unwavering support of several members of Congress, to reaffirm the rights of miners operating in traditional mining districts.
Those miners present immediately recognized the benefits of becoming members of MMAC and joined up on the spot. I spent some time answering a few questions, and then the miners took over.
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Rep. Grijalva (D-Arizona) assumed chairmanship of the House Natural Resources Committee after Democrats took control of the House. He introduced Mining Law Reform legislation that would set us back decades…
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