BILL NUMBER: SB 108	AMENDED
	BILL TEXT

	AMENDED IN ASSEMBLY  AUGUST 26, 2011
	AMENDED IN ASSEMBLY  JUNE 20, 2011
	AMENDED IN SENATE  MAY 3, 2011

INTRODUCED BY   Senator Rubio

                        JANUARY 13, 2011

   An act to amend Sections 2727.1 and 2770 of, and to add Section
2777.5 to, the Public Resources Code, relating to surface mining.


	LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


   SB 108, as amended, Rubio. Surface mining: idle mines.
   The Surface Mining and Reclamation Act of 1975, with exceptions,
prohibits a person from conducting a surface mining operation unless,
among other things, a reclamation plan has been submitted to and
approved by the lead agency for the operation. The act requires an
operator, within 90 days of a surface mining operation becoming idle,
to submit to the lead agency for review and approval, an interim
management plan. The act defines idle to mean a curtailment for a
period of one year or more of surface mining operations by more than
90% of the operation's previous maximum annual mineral production,
with the intent to resume those surface mining operations at a future
date.
   This bill would instead define idle to mean that an operator of a
surface mining operation has curtailed production at the surface
mining operation, with the intent to resume the surface mining
operation at a future date, for a period of one year or more by more
than 90% of its maximum annual mineral production within any of the
last 5 years.
   The act authorizes an interim management plan to remain in effect
for a period not to exceed 5 years, after which, the lead agency is
authorized to take certain actions, including renewing the interim
management plan for another period not to exceed 5 years, if the lead
agency finds that the surface mining operator has complied fully
with the interim management plan.
   This bill would authorize the lead agency to renew the interim
management plan for additional 5-year periods, if the lead agency
finds that the surface mining operator has complied fully with the
interim management plan.
   Existing law requires the owner or operator of a mining operation
to forward to the Director of Conservation an annual report that
identifies certain things about the mining operation including the
mining operation's status and the type and total amount of
commodities produced.
   This bill would authorize a mine operator who has failed to
properly report mineral production or status prior to January 1,
2012, to correct the report in the 2012 annual report if the report
is submitted on or before July 1, 2013, among other things. The bill
would authorize a mine to return to idle status after being
considered abandoned if an interim management plan is approved by
July 1, 2013, and upon compliance with the above provisions.  The
bill would authorize the Office of Mine Reclamation to enter any
mine site for which a mine operator has requested a correction of
mine status in order to conduct an inspection and the bill would
require the mine operator to be responsible for the reasonable cost
of this inspection. 
   Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: yes.
State-mandated local program: no.


THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  SECTION 1.  Section 2727.1 of the Public Resources Code is amended
to read:
   2727.1.  "Idle" means that an operator of a surface mining
operation has curtailed production at the surface mining operation,
with the intent to resume the surface mining operation at a future
date, for a period of one year or more by more than 90 percent of its
maximum annual mineral production within any of the last five years.

  SEC. 2.  Section 2770 of the Public Resources Code is amended to
read:
   2770.  (a) Except as provided in this section, a person shall not
conduct surface mining operations unless a permit is obtained from, a
reclamation plan has been submitted to and approved by, and
financial assurances for reclamation have been approved by, the lead
agency for the operation pursuant to this article.
   (b) A person with an existing surface mining operation who has
vested rights pursuant to Section 2776 and who does not have an
approved reclamation plan shall submit a reclamation plan to the lead
agency not later than March 31, 1988. If a reclamation plan
application is not on file by March 31, 1988, the continuation of the
surface mining operation is prohibited until a reclamation plan is
submitted to the lead agency. For purposes of this subdivision, a
reclamation plan may consist of all or the appropriate sections of
any plans or written agreements previously approved by the lead
agency or another agency, together with any additional documents
needed to substantially meet the requirements of Sections 2772 and
2773 and the lead agency surface mining ordinance adopted pursuant to
subdivision (a) of Section 2774, provided that all documents which
together were proposed to serve as the reclamation plan are submitted
for approval to the lead agency in accordance with this chapter.
   (c) If a person with an existing surface mining operation has
received lead agency approval of its financial assurances for
reclamation prior to January 1, 1991, the lead agency shall
administratively review those existing financial assurances in
accordance with subdivision (d) prior to January 1, 1992. The review
of existing financial assurances shall not be considered a project
for purposes of Division 13 (commencing with Section 21000). A person
with an existing surface mining operation that does not have
financial assurances that received lead agency approval prior to
January 1, 1991, shall submit financial assurances for reclamation
for review in accordance with subdivision (d).
   (d) The lead agency's review of a reclamation plan submitted
pursuant to subdivision (b) or of financial assurances pursuant to
subdivision (c) is limited to whether the plan or the financial
assurances substantially meet the applicable requirements of Sections
2772, 2773, and 2773.1, and the lead agency surface mining ordinance
adopted pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 2774, but, in any
event, the lead agency shall require that financial assurances for
reclamation be sufficient to perform reclamation of lands remaining
disturbed. Reclamation plans or financial assurances determined to
substantially meet these requirements shall be approved by the lead
agency for purposes of this chapter. Reclamation plans or financial
assurances determined not to substantially meet these requirements
shall be returned to the operator within 60 days. The operator has 60
days to revise the plan or financial assurances to address
identified deficiencies, at which time the revised plan or financial
assurances shall be returned to the lead agency for review and
approval. Except as specified in subdivision (e) or (i), unless the
operator has filed on or before July 1, 1990, an appeal pursuant to
subdivision (e) with regard to nonapproval of the reclamation plan,
or has filed on or before January 1, 1994, an appeal pursuant to
subdivision (e) with regard to nonapproval of financial assurances,
and that appeal is pending before the board, the continuation of the
surface mining operation is prohibited until a reclamation plan and
financial assurances for reclamation are approved by the lead agency.

   (e) A person who, based on the evidence of the record, can
substantiate that a lead agency has either (1) failed to act
according to due process or has relied on considerations not related
to the specific applicable requirements of Sections 2772, 2773, and
2773.1, and the lead agency surface mining ordinance adopted pursuant
to subdivision (a) of Section 2774, in reaching a decision to deny
approval of a reclamation plan or financial assurances for
reclamation, (2) failed to act within a reasonable time of receipt of
a completed application, or (3) failed to review and approve
reclamation plans or financial assurances as required by subdivisions
(c) and (d), may appeal that action or inaction to the board.
   (f) The board may decline to hear an appeal if it determines that
the appeal raises no substantial issues related to the lead agency's
review pursuant to this section.
   (g) Appeals that the board does not decline to hear shall be
scheduled and heard at a public hearing within 45 days of the filing
of the appeal, or a longer period as may be mutually agreed upon by
the board and the person filing the appeal. In hearing an appeal, the
board shall only determine whether the reclamation plan or the
financial assurances substantially meet the applicable requirements
of Sections 2772, 2773, and 2773.1, and the lead agency surface
mining ordinance adopted pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 2774.
A reclamation plan or financial assurances determined to meet these
requirements shall be approved. A reclamation plan or financial
assurances determined not to meet these requirements shall be
returned to the person filing the appeal with a notice of
deficiencies, who shall be granted, once only, a period of 30 days,
or a longer period mutually agreed upon by the operator and the
board, to correct the noted deficiencies and submit the revised
reclamation plan or the revised financial assurances to the lead
agency for review and approval.
   (h) (1) Within 90 days of a surface mining operation becoming
idle, as defined in Section 2727.1, the operator shall submit to the
lead agency for review and approval, an interim management plan. The
review and approval of an interim management plan shall not be
considered a project for purposes of Division 13 (commencing with
Section 21000). The approved interim management plan shall be
considered an amendment to the surface mining operation's approved
reclamation plan, for purposes of this chapter. The interim
management plan shall provide measures the operator will implement to
maintain the site in compliance with this chapter, including, but
not limited to, all permit conditions.
   (2) The interim management plan may remain in effect for a period
not to exceed five years, at which time the lead agency shall do one
of the following:
   (A) Renew the interim management plan for an additional period not
to exceed five years, which may be renewed for additional five-year
periods at the expiration of each five-year period, if the lead
agency finds that the surface mining operator has complied fully with
the interim management plan.
   (B) Require the surface mining operator to commence reclamation in
accordance with its approved reclamation plan.
   (3) The financial assurances required by Section 2773.1 shall
remain in effect during the period that the surface mining operation
is idle. If the surface mining operation is still idle after the
expiration of its interim management plan, the surface mining
operation shall commence reclamation in accordance with its approved
reclamation plan.
   (4) Within 60 days of the receipt of the interim management plan,
or a longer period mutually agreed upon by the lead agency and the
operator, the lead agency shall review and approve the plan in
accordance with its ordinance adopted pursuant to subdivision (a) of
Section 2774, so long as the plan satisfies the requirements of this
subdivision, and so notify the operator in writing. Otherwise, the
lead agency shall notify the operator in writing of any deficiencies
in the plan. The operator shall have 30 days, or a longer period
mutually agreed upon by the operator and the lead agency, to submit a
revised plan.
   (5) The lead agency shall approve or deny approval of the revised
interim management plan within 60 days of receipt. If the lead agency
denies approval of the revised interim management plan, the operator
may appeal that action to the lead agency's governing body, which
shall schedule a public hearing within 45 days of the filing of the
appeal, or a longer period mutually agreed upon by the operator and
the governing body.
   (6) Unless review of an interim management plan is pending before
the lead agency, or an appeal is pending before the lead agency's
governing body, a surface mining operation that remains idle for over
one year after becoming idle as defined in Section 2727.1 without
obtaining approval of an interim management plan shall be considered
abandoned and the operator shall commence and complete reclamation in
accordance with the approved reclamation plan.
   (i) An enforcement action that may be brought against a surface
mining operation for operating without an approved reclamation plan,
financial assurance, or interim management plan shall be held in
abeyance pending review pursuant to subdivision (b), (c), (d), or
(h), or the resolution of an appeal filed with the board pursuant to
subdivision (e), or with a lead agency governing body pursuant to
subdivision (h).
  SEC. 3.  Section 2777.5 is added to the Public Resources Code, to
read:
   2777.5.  (a) A mine operator who has failed to properly report a
mine's mineral production or mine status, pursuant to the annual
reporting requirement in Section 2207, prior to January 1, 2012, may
correct the report in the 2012 annual report if the annual report is
submitted on or before July 1, 2013, and if the lead agency confirms
in writing to the department all of the following:
   (1) The operator has notified the lead agency  and the
director  that it intends to continue surface mining operations
 and provides evidence   to support any production
modified on the corrected annual report  .
   (2) The operator has an existing, valid permit or a vested right
to conduct surface mining operations pursuant to Section 2776.
   (3)  (A)    The operator's reclamation plan has
been approved and is in compliance with this chapter  and had
  , the mining operation is in compliance with the
approved reclamation plan, the mining operation has an approved
financial assurance in place pursuant to   Section 2770, and
the mining operation has  been inspected by the lead agency as
provided by Section 2774.  A notice from the lead agency to
the Office of Mine Reclamation pursuant to Section 2774 shall, to the
extent applicable, indicate that the operator is seeking a
correction of mine status pursuant to this section. The Office of

    (B)     The Office of  Mine
Reclamation may enter any mine site for which a mine operator has
requested a correction of mine status pursuant to this section in
order to conduct an inspection.
   (4) The operator demonstrates that there are commercially useful
mineral reserves remaining at the permitted surface mining operation.

   (b) Unpaid fees for years during which the operation's status was
not properly reported shall be paid to the department.
   (c) A mining operation that became idle, as defined in Section
2727.1, that failed to prepare and have approved an interim
management plan and was thus considered abandoned pursuant to
paragraph (6) of subdivision (h) of Section 2770 may be returned to
idle status at the request of the operator if an interim management
plan is approved by July 1, 2013, and upon verification of compliance
with subdivisions (a) and (b). 
   (d) The mine operator shall be responsible for the reasonable
costs of an inspection conducted by the Office of Mine Reclamation
pursuant to subparagraph (B) of paragraph (3) of subdivision (a).