CMTA opposes surface mining bill

By CMTA Staff

Capitol Update, March 28, 2014 Share this on FacebookTweet thisEmail this to a friend

Senator Fran Pavley (D-Agoura Hills) is the author of SB 1270 which changes the oversight of the California Geological Survey and the requirements for surface mining operations. It also requires annual reporting fees on each mine. The bill is presumably an effort to fix implementation issues with a unique statewide mandate on local land use policies regarding reclamation from mineral extraction facilities.

However, it does so in a manner that not only upsets the long established preeminence of local governments in such land use decisions, but also creates an administrative quagmire of third party harassment opportunities on these local and state decisions. 

This bill also contains uncapped special fund fees which, while becoming prevalent in California, have created a scenario where the expenditures are not carefully tracked and reviewed. These fees are based upon acres disturbed by industry rather than any measure relevant to the actual cost of providing regulatory oversight.

CMTA believes that these issues will have a detrimental effect on the cost of construction aggregate for the maintenance of public infrastructure (roads, bridges and water systems), and also on industrial minerals utilized by California’s manufacturing industry to create everything from wine bottles to windows, wallboard to paint; agricultural feed supplements to soil amendments and filter materials.

SB 1270 has been referred to the Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee, but a date for the hearing has not yet been set.

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