California Mining Reform Law signed by Governor Brown

Governor Brown signed into law two significant pieces of legislation aimed at improving enforcement of California’s Surface Mining and Reclamation Act (SMARA). The Governor signed SB 209 (Pavley) and AB 1142 (Gray), two complementary bills that together represent significant reform to SMARA. SB 209 and AB 1142 together make numerous changes to the state surface mining provisions regarding reclamation plans, financial assurances, annual inspections, and enforcement.

SMARA Reform Bills Advance in Senate and Assembly

Two important new pieces of legislation to improve implementation and enforcement of surface mining in California are poised to be taken up as soon as next week on the floor of the Senate and Assembly, almost the final step before heading to the Governor’s desk for his signature. SB 209 (Pavley) and AB 1142 (Gray) have both moved ahead with support from a diverse set of interested parties including county supervisors, mining industry advocates and conservationists.

Another case for SMARA reform in California

In November, 2015, CEO Izzy Martin and Outreach Coordinator Kelsey Westfall traveled to Ione, California to meet Sondra West-Moore on the ranch she manages for her family. West-Moore co-founded the Ione Valley Land, Air and Water Defense Alliance (LAWDA). The organization was created to challenge plans for Newman Ridge Quarry, a 278-acre gravel mine to […]

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.

SMARA reform bills move forward

On Monday, July 13 the California Assembly Natural Resources Committee voted to approve SB 209 (Pavley), a bill sponsored by The Sierra Fund to strengthen enforcement of SMARA.  On a 7 – 1 bipartisan vote the bill was moved out of the committee and onto the Appropriations Committee, where it will be heard later in […]

SMARA reform bill (SB 209) passes Senate Floor

SB 209 (Pavley), a bill to improve enforcement of California’s Surface Mining and Reclamation Act passed the Senate Floor.

A wide range of organizations have worked to support this bill including TSF, Environmental Working Group, CA League of Conservation Voters, Clean Water Action, Wolf Creek Community Alliance, CLAIM-GV, Endangered Habitats League, CA Native Plant Society, San Juan Ridge Taxpayers Association, and Center for Biological Diversity.

Update on SMARA reform bill (SB 209)

The Sierra Fund continues to track the progress of SB 209 (Pavley), a bill to improve SMARA, which has now passed the Senate Natural Resources Committee and will be heard in Appropriations later this spring. This bill will likely be amended to include the language that is being developed through weekly stakeholder meetings being convened by Governor Brown, which The Sierra Fund has been participating in.

Bill to reform Surface Mining and Reclamation Act (SB 209) introduced

Senator Pavley has introduced SB 209, a bill to reform the Surface Mining and Reclamation Act (SMARA).  The Sierra Fund has worked with Senator Pavley to help identify opportunities to improve consistent enforcement of SMARA, relating to inspections and reclamation. Regulation of mining practices based on their environmental impacts began with the “Sawyer Decision” in […]