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UPDATE: California Fish & Wildlife proposes emergency rule to address non-motorized suction gold dredging

June 10, 2013

UPDATE: The emergency rule was published by the Office of Administrative Law on Tuesday, June 18. You can view the document online. There is only a five-day comment period.

Comments must be submitted by June 22, 2013, and can be emailed to suctiondredge@wildlife.ca.gov

Due to pressure from environmental groups, the California Department of Fish & Wildlife (CDFW) has proposed an emergency rule to address the use of non-motorized suction dredging equipment and other vacuum equipment.

California currently defines suction dredging as "the use of a motorized suction system to vacuum material from the bottom of a river, stream or lake and to return all or some portion of that material to the same river, stream or lake for the extraction of minerals."

The proposed new wording would define suction dredging as "the use of a suction system to vacuum material from a river, stream or lake for the extraction of minerals."

CDFW states they expect to submit the proposed emergency rule to the Office of Aministrative Law on or after Monday, June 17. After posting, the public will have five calendar days to submit comments. (You can check to see if the notice has been posted at www.oal.ca.gov)

Questions about the proposed emergency rule can be directed to Craig Martz, CDFW Regulations Unit Manager, at (916) 653-4681.

Among the references cited in the "Statement of Emergency" are a request for the emergency rule from the Environmental Law Foundation and a petition for administrative rulemaking from the Center for Biological Diversity.

Link: Text of proposed emergency language

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