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
The process of updating the Rand Mining District is underway and you’ll see a Public Notice in this issue requesting interested parties to submit an application to serve on the board.
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.
This is the third trip MMAC has made to DC this year, so some of the congressional staff members are gaining a better understanding of the current problems miners face and how MMAC-assisted Mining Districts can alleviate those problems.
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.
Pearson called the trip, “The most productive so far. We are courting over a dozen potential sponsors now. We had some members call us back for additional meetings and several of these lasted over an hour.”
We spent our evening at some informal get-togethers at two private residences in the DC area, which provided the opportunity to talk with staff members from Congress, other agencies, and a few consultants working on public land issues. We found common ground with many of them, and found a strong ally in a former Congressman turned consultant who agreed that Mining Districts provide the smartest legal route...
The changes we are seeking will most definitely help prospectors, small operations and dredgers. If you haven’t yet read our proposals, you’ll find a link to it at the end of the online version of this article.
The Bawl Mill • Legislative and Regulatory Update • Ask The Experts • The Bucking Room • A Long Dry Spell • Prospectors Protest San Gabriel Mountains National Monument • MMAC & PLP Update • Where Should I Start? • California State Gold Panning Championships • From Curiosity to Mine Owner - Pt II • 2016 Gold Prospecting and Mining Summit • Growing Up Gold • Rock and Formations of the Mother Lode Gold Belt • 2015 World Gold Panning Championships • Melman on Gold & Silver • Mining Stock Quotes and Mineral & Metal Prices