On May 23, 2014, the Surface Mining and Reclamation Act (SMARA) reform bill, Senate Bill (SB) 1270 (Pavley), did not make it out of the Senate Appropriations Committee, thus killing the bill for this session. However, like the phoenix, the legendary Arabian bird, SB 1270 rose from the ashes in June by Senate leadership through a rule waiver. The new version of the bill includes further amendments; however, the changes do not address many of the issues that negatively impact the industry. SB 1270 is a toxic bill drafted with the intent to transfer SMARA authority to the State, substantially increase fees to the industry, and create several mandatory provisions that would result in further cost increases and uncertainty within the mining industry. We also suspect that the change in annual fees is an attempt to funnel money to The Sierra Fund to facilitate remediation of a number of legacy metal mines.
On July 1, 2015, new stormwater rules go into effect for California Industrial General Permit (IGP) holders.
These changes affect all California dischargers (including mine sites). Every site will need to re-register for an IGP in order to continue coverage under the Notice of Intent (NOI). This means each site must also submit an updated Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP) and a Monitoring Implementation Plan (MIP) before the July 2015 deadline.
California became a state because of its mineral wealth. People from around the world flocked to the gold fields of central California and turned over the earth in the promise of riches to come. Small towns sprouted up and a continuous stream of people flowed into the state. The gold rush lasted a few years and, what had been a geographically isolated area on the west coast of North America, was suddenly home to 300,000 residents.
Project Cornerstone is a San Diego-based grassroots organization, dedicated to educating the public about the importance of local construction aggregate resources (i.e., sand, gravel and crushed stone). The organization is a result of San Diego-based construction aggregate producers identifying the need to educate the public that local supplies of aggregate are critical for cost effective infrastructure projects like roads, bridges, schools, hospitals and other public works projects. In addition, a sustainable permitted supply of construction aggregate is essential to maintain the quality-of-life the public has come to expect.