SMARA Reform Bill (SB 209) shelved until 2016 legislative session

The Sierra Fund’s bill being carried by Senator Fran Pavley to amend the Surface Mining and Reclamation Act (SMARA) got all of the way through the Senate and to the floor of the Assembly before being put on a shelf until winter. This bill aims to improve enforcement of SMARA by lead agencies (usually cities and counties). Key elements of SMARA include ensuring regular and expert inspections, adequate financial mechanisms in place to support reclamation, and a good reclamation plan that is implemented when mining ends.

Mining Reform Bill SB1270 Passes First Senate Hurdle

The Senate Natural Resources Committee yesterday passed SB 1270 (Pavley), the Surface Mining and Reclamation Act (SMARA) Reform Act on a vote of 7 – 2.

Elizabeth Martin, CEO of the bill’s sponsor The Sierra Fund, spoke as an expert witness on the benefits of the bill. Senator Fran Pavley, Chair of the Committee and author of the bill introduced the bill with the note that this is the first time that SMARA has been revisited since legislation championed by California State Senator Byron Sher in the 1990s.

Reservoir Siltation Studies Proposed in SB 1259

Senator Fran Pavley, Chair of the California Senate Natural Resources Committee, has introduced SB 1259, a bill that if passed and signed by the Governor would: Require the Department of Water Resources to gather data for review of the loss of storage capacity behind dams resulting from siltation; Require that siltation studies include an evaluation […]