SB 830A Rules for motorized placer mining

VOTE:NO
Died in Committee

SB 830A Rules for motorized placer mining

SB 830 Intro   Text of Bill   TTV analysis
SB 830A           Text of Bill   TTV analysis

The neat sounding removal of the moratorium for suction dredges is hindered in the details. It appears that SB 830 as written will limit permitting only to one type of motorized equipment to the exclusion of other types. It seeks to severely limit allowed work areas, require exact GPS location of work area and the roads and trails to get there. It limits work areas to the least productive zones of waterways. Prohibits mining in federally-designated areas, “Withdrawn from Mineral Entry,” where the federal intent of the designation is not to stop mining, but only to disallow the location of mineral claims, a possessory situation. Determines available work areas through arbitrary decision making. Requires removal of hazardous substances, such as gasoline, from equipment when not in use.

  • All operators must be covered by the permit, possibly the equipment itself, and all operators using the equipment must have a sticker on the equipment showing they are permitted to use it, easily searchable to the work area they were approved to work. Permit information – personal data,  work location coordinates, etc will become public record. Would you post the location and combination to your safe online?
  • Rules will be decided annually through an unbalanced and unfair authoritative body made of states agencies and third parties publicly renowned for their anti-mining positions. No mining representatives are required in the rule making. Permits will be granted through arbitrary review by each member group of the authority and may require by rule any information the body wishes from the permit applicants.
  • Establishes “management zones” for enforcement.

This bill, at the very least, represents a compromise of rights and lacks important safeguards to prevent full forfeiture of rights

This bill repeals moratorium on use of suction dredges only and places all authority in a single governing body. In committee upon adjournment.


Personal Choice
Permitted relies on arbitrary approval from unconnected third parties. Limits permitting to suction dredge only and disallows use of other motorized tools, such as highbankers. Prohibits working in the most lucrative parts of the waterways. Requires draining of fuel tanks when equipment is not in use. Allows the authority to require by rule any information from permit applicants. Prohibits mining in withdrawn areas, but “withdrawn from mineral entry” simply means one cannot stake a mineral claim in the withdrawn area, but the area can still be prospected and worked.

Fiscal Responsiblity
Creates committee and management zones with greater personnel and equipment requirements. Federal regulations for mining already exist on BLM and USFS managed lands, along with rules and regulations of federally-recognized mining districts.

Limited Government
Creates more government by adding “management zones” for administration, permitting and enforcement. Gives one point of contact for permitting, removing transparency and accountability between separate agencies. Creates an authority overlay on federally-managed BLM and USFS land giving an unnecessary layer of regulations. It violates 30 USC 22 “All valuable mineral deposits in lands belonging to the United States, both surveyed and unsurveyed, shall be free and open to exploration and purchase, and the lands in which they are found to occupation and purchase, by citizens of the United States and those who have declared their intention to become such, under regulations prescribed by law, and according to the local customs or rules of miners in the several mining districts” 30 USC 28 “The miners of each mining district may make regulations not in conflict with the laws of the United States” DEQ’s Clean Water Act NPDES permit is illegal – dredging involves the “discharge of dredged or fill material,” which may only be regulated under §404 of the Act, 33 USC §1344—a point confirmed… by the controlling decision of the United States Supreme Court in Coeur Alaska, Inc. v. Southeast Alaska Conservation Council, 129 S. Ct. 2458 (2009).

Local Control
Takes all control away from those who have a connection to mining activity and puts it in the hands of third parties who work against mining. The control sought violates US Code. It violates 30 USC 22 “All valuable mineral deposits in lands belonging to the United States, both surveyed and unsurveyed, shall be free and open to exploration and purchase, and the lands in which they are found to occupation and purchase, by citizens of the United States and those who have declared their intention to become such, under regulations prescribed by law, and according to the local customs or rules of miners in the several mining districts” 30 USC 28 “The miners of each mining district may make regulations not in conflict with the laws of the United States”

Free Markets
Requires reporting of GPS coordinates of work site as well as disclosure of roads, routes and trails to get there. Assesses fines for non-compliance. Limits production by giving total authority to a lopsided and unfair governing body made up of state agencies and third parties that typically work against mining completely. Overreaching government interference will negatively impact mineral supply, employment, and tax revenues to the counties and the state.