Volume 1 Issue 1

Do Reclamation Plans Expire?

I am frequently faced with requests from lead agencies to prepare a new reclamation plan for a mining project because the plan has expired.  This causes me some pause because there is no requirement in SMARA or the implementing regulations that specifically regulate time limits for a reclamation plan.  It seems pretty clear to me that a reclamation plan would expire when mining has been completed and the site determined to be reclaimed by the lead agency and Department of Conservation and the financial assurance is returned.  Beyond this, is there a statutory or regulatory mandate establishing time limits for reclamation plans?