Tuesday, February 19, 2013

SB 332

Bruce Tutvedt
Generally revise open-cut laws


  1. This one looks mostly like housekeeping from the Open Cut Stakeholders Group. No need to comment.
    -Greg R

  2. This bill proposes a number of substantial changes. It hasn't popped up on this week's hotlist, or Audubon, MEIC, and Clark Fork Coalition (at least not yet)--though it is along the same lines as SB 229 & SB 234 which both expand the size of gravel operations allowed w/out a permit, and these are both opposed by MEIC.

    SB 332:
    dramatically reduces/simplifies the definition of "affected land"
    excludes a number of activities from definition of "opencut operation" if they are over 300 ft from mine or permitted mine area
    allows operator to expand operations w/out permit as long as it happens over 1 mile away from existing operation
    allows 10,000 cubic yards of material to be removed from expanded operation, which is twice the amount allowed now
    remediation must happen within 1 year instead of the current 180 days
    DEQ currently can only except plans that provide surface water & ground water will be given appropriate protection from deterioration of water quality and quantity, this bill removes quantity

    This could allow a dramatic expansion of opencut operations and reduce the number of environmental impacts under consideration--like removing the consideration of impacts to water quantity. Recommend oppose.



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