Mining Reform Law Enacted

SACRAMENTO, 1 October 2012 – Senate Bill 143 (Rubio), which will strengthen the California Surface Mining and Reclamation Act (SMARA) regarding mines that are considered “idle,” was approved by Governor Jerry Brown in September and will become law on January 1, 2013.  The Sierra Fund worked with Senator Michael Rubio to bring these amendments through the legislature.

“We thank Senator Rubio and Governor Brown for their support of these improvements to SMARA,” notes The Sierra Fund’s CEO Elizabeth “Izzy” Martin.  “This bill builds on the SMARA regulations adopted last year by addressing the number of times a mine can file for and receive an extension of their “idle” status.”

SB 143 limits the number of times that a mine can apply to extend their “interim management plan” or “idle status” to a total of two extensions.  This will allow companies to idle their operation for an interim period while market demand is low and at the same time ensure that an idled mine will begin remediation on a reasonable timeframe.