Appeal and Petition to Restore Suction Dredging Submitted to EPA
August 14, 2019
by Scott Harn
ICMJs Prospecting and Mining Journal
There are two major issues preventing suction gold dredgers from mining their federal mining claims in many western states.
The first involves federal preemption, and that is being addressed by a rulemaking petition submitted by the Waldo Mining District and the Galice Mining District, with the support of several mining organizations. (See our July 2019 "Legislative Update" column for information regarding this petition for rulemaking.)
The second issue involves the requirement of a permit under section 402 of the Clean Water Act.
The congressional record and court rulings have made it clear that section 402 of the Clean Water Act is not triggered unless there is the "addition" of a pollutant. Public Lands for the People and ICMJs Prospecting and Mining Journal have been working with a PLP member to address this issue through an appeal and petition for rulemaking, which was submitted to the EPA on August 12, 2019.
We are committed to putting suction gold dredgers back to work. The Trump administration has expressed a willingness to work with us and these two petitions for rulemaking can get the job done.
You can read the appeal and petition for rulemaking online here: Appeal and Petition for Rulemaking