BILL NUMBER: SB 792 ENROLLED BILL TEXT PASSED THE SENATE APRIL 25, 2011 PASSED THE ASSEMBLY AUGUST 25, 2011 INTRODUCED BY Senator Steinberg FEBRUARY 18, 2011 An act to amend Section 2762 of the Public Resources Code, relating to mining. LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST SB 792, Steinberg. Surface mining: mineral resource management policies. The Surface Mining and Reclamation Act of 1975 prohibits a person, with exceptions, from conducting surface mining operations unless a permit is obtained from, a reclamation plan is submitted to and approved by, and financial assurances for reclamation have been approved by, the lead agency for the operation. Existing law requires a lead agency, within 12 months of certain occurrences, to establish, in accordance with state policy, mineral resource management policies to be incorporated into the lead agency's general plan. Existing law requires these policies to, among other things, assist in the management of land use that affects areas of statewide and regional significance. This bill would instead require the policy to assist in the management of land use that affects access to areas of statewide and regional significance. The bill would also make technical changes. THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: SECTION 1. Section 2762 of the Public Resources Code is amended to read: 2762. (a) Within 12 months of receiving the mineral information described in Section 2761, and also within 12 months of the designation of an area of statewide or regional significance within its jurisdiction, a lead agency shall, in accordance with state policy, establish mineral resource management policies to be incorporated in its general plan that will: (1) Recognize mineral information classified by the State Geologist and transmitted by the board. (2) Assist in the management of land use that affects access to areas of statewide and regional significance. (3) Emphasize the conservation and development of identified mineral deposits. (b) A lead agency shall submit proposed mineral resource management policies to the board for review and comment prior to adoption. (c) A subsequent amendment of the mineral resource management policy previously reviewed by the board shall also require review and comment by the board. (d) (1) If an area is classified by the State Geologist as an area described in paragraph (2) of subdivision (b) of Section 2761 and the lead agency either has designated that area in its general plan as having important minerals to be protected pursuant to subdivision (a), or otherwise has not yet acted pursuant to subdivision (a), then prior to permitting a use that would threaten the potential to extract minerals in that area, the lead agency shall prepare, in conjunction with preparing, if required, an environmental document required by Division 13 (commencing with Section 21000), or if, a statement specifying its reasons for permitting the proposed use, and shall forward a copy to the State Geologist and the board for review. (2) If the proposed use is subject to the requirements of Division 13 (commencing with Section 21000), the lead agency shall comply with the public review requirements of that division. Otherwise, the lead agency shall provide public notice of the availability of its statement by all of the following: (A) Publishing the notice at least one time in a newspaper of general circulation in the area affected by the proposed use. (B) Directly mailing the notice to owners of property within one-half mile of the parcel or parcels on which the proposed use is located as those owners are shown on the latest equalized assessment role. (3) The public review period shall not be less than 60 days from the date of the notice and shall include at least one public hearing. The lead agency shall evaluate comments received and shall prepare a written response. The written response shall describe the disposition of the major issues raised. In particular, if the lead agency's position on the proposed use is at variance with recommendations and objections raised in the comments, the written response shall address in detail why specific comments and suggestions were not accepted. (e) Prior to permitting a use that would threaten the potential to extract minerals in an area classified by the State Geologist as an area described in paragraph (3) of subdivision (b) of Section 2761, the lead agency may cause to be prepared an evaluation of the area in order to ascertain the significance of the mineral deposit located in the area. The results of the evaluation shall be transmitted to the State Geologist and the board.