October 2018 by Scott Harn
Public Lands for the People joined fourteen other public interest groups in supporting Alaska’s proposed Pebble Mine and sent a letter to EPA Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler, requesting he fix a dangerous precedent set by the Obama administration.
Under former President Obama, the EPA issued a preemptive veto of the Pebble Mine before a permit application was even made by the companies exploring the project’s potential. Under the former president’s policy, the US Army Corps of Engineers is precluded from issuing any permits.
The letter asks Acting Administrator Wheeler to revoke the preemptive veto issued under section 404(c) of the Clean Water Act to remove this dangerous precedent.
The online version of this article contains a link to the actual letter.
Plans are underway to return to Washington, DC, in late November or early December to continue seeking regulatory relief for small-scale miners. Priorities will include meeting with the EPA regarding suction gold dredging permitting and with the Forest Service regarding revisions to CFR (Code of Federal Regulations) 228A regulations related to mining and access on public lands. Additional meetings will be scheduled with those members of Congress who have already expressed an interest in sponsoring or cosponsoring PLP’s proposed “Small Miner Amendments.”
In September, PLP announced they intend to settle the lawsuits against the State of California regarding suction gold dredging rather than continue the current appeal. PLP stated they continue to receive contributions from individuals and small prospecting clubs, but some of the major contributors dropped their monetary support. While the PLP board believes they have a “good chance of knocking out the 2012 Environmental Impact Report and the state’s prohibitive regulations,” incoming contributions have been insufficient to cover the costs. The group has established relationships with top-level members of the Trump Administration and many influential members of Congress; they will continue to focus on making the necessary regulatory changes at the federal level to address issues related to suction gold dredging, lack of access or restricted access, and more.
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.
If you are a claimholder and your Mining District is in disarray, it’s time to join MMAC and get on board so your district can benefit from these changes as they are implemented.
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.
You have made your presence known with the BLM or Forest Service, placed Mining District signs along the entrance points to your district, and found support with other local miners. But how do you gain popular support?
We definitely got their undivided attention with our presentations. As a direct result of our presentations, the Desert Advisory Council recommended a Memorandum of Understanding be put together between the council and the Rand Mining District. This MOU was recently completed.
The Senator’s office was very receptive to the small miner’s plight and was unaware of the dire problems created by the over-regulation of small-scale mining from so many different fronts. It was pointed out that S 145 may help the large mining companies a little, but falls woefully short in addressing the needs of small operators who make up 85% of domestic mines.
We had discovered during previous trips that some of the staff members had difficulty comprehending the specific issues related to mining, so prior to heading back to DC, we laid out the reasons for our proposed legislation...
The Bawl Mill • Legislative and Regulatory Update • Ask The Experts - A few questions about 'peak gold' • Ask The Experts - Seeking advice on processing pocket gold • Ask The Experts - How do I recover gold in pyrite? • Ask The Experts - Can a British citizen purchase a mining claim? • Ask The Experts - Is California dredging going to return in 2019? • Ask The Experts - Were you aware of the new recording fee in California? • The Unusual Forest Nugget Patch • California Sniping • Large Gold Deposit Types • A Father’s Day to Remember: 24,000 Ounces Gold in Quartz • How to Beat the Heat--and The Bedrock • Gold Prospecting: For Better or Worse--It Was A Dark and Overcast Night • Using Geologic Publications to Discover Collecting Sites • Prospector Unearths Huge 'Duck’s Foot' Nugget • Melman on Gold & Silver • Mining Stock Quotes and Mineral & Metal Prices