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Our Comments on Proposed NEPA regulations

March 10, 2020

Scott Harn, Editor/Publisher, ICMJs Prospecting and Mining Journal

After some feedback from our subscribers, below are the comments we submitted on your behalf regarding the proposed changes to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). (Public Lands for the People submitted more extensive comments and those will be highlighted in our April 2020 issue.)

ICMJs Prospecting and Mining Journal
PO Box 2260
Aptos, CA 95001
(831) 479-1500

Re: Comments to Proposed NEPA rulemaking

ICMJs Prospecting and Mining Journal is a monthly publication focused on utilizing America’s vast natural resources—while adequately protecting the environment—for the benefit of all Americans.

We have 31,000 readers of our print publication across the United States and another 32,000 who read our publication online.

We’ve been in continuous publication for 89 years. We’ve followed the decay of reasonable mining regulations in America, and the trend toward overwhelming, suffocating regulations has increased greatly over the past several decades.

America has become so dependent on foreign sources of critical and strategic minerals that our military and technology sectors are more vulnerable than ever to the wishes and whims of countries that do not like us and would love to see America fail.

Small-scale miners and prospectors are the forgotten cog in the wheel. These are the Americans who make some of our best mineral and metal discoveries by exploring and sampling areas to make new discoveries, then marketing them to larger mining concerns, yet they continue to be treated like large corporate mining companies.

The current NEPA process can take 5, 7, 10, 12 years or more, and is completely unworkable. Only the largest mining companies can get investment in a project with these time frames. Categorical exclusions for projects involving 5 acres or less; Environmental Assessment deadlines of one year from the date of application; and an Environmental Impact Statement deadline of two years from the date of application have been demonstrated as workable by other nations (Canada and Australia), and there is absolutely no reason we cannot have similar deadlines here in America.

A statement regarding the deadlines is crucial to successful enactment of these proposed changes. I would recommend, “The EA deadline is one year from the date of application by the individual or entity. The EIS deadline is two years from the date of application by the individual or entity. If the application is still pending upon the arrival of the deadline, the application will be considered approved.”

Such language is essential to force federal employees to put our critical and strategic mineral supplies at the forefront of America’s national security.

Thank you,

Scott Harn
Editor/Publisher
ICMJs Prospecting and Mining Journal
www.icmj.com
(831) 479-1500

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