Senate BillNo. 814

Introduced by Committee on Natural Resources and Water (Senators Pavley (Chair), Cannella, Evans, Fuller, Jackson, Lara, Monning, and Wolk)

February 26, 2013

An act to amend Sections 607, 2774, and 2790 of the Public Resources Code, relating to public resources.


SB 814, as introduced, Committee on Natural Resources and Water. Public resources: mining.

Under existing law, the Department of Conservation is divided between various entities, including the Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources and the Office of Mine Reclamation. The Surface Mining and Reclamation Act of 1975, administered by the department, prohibits a person, with exceptions, from conducting surface mining operations unless, among other things, a reclamation plan is submitted to and approved by the lead agency for the operation. The act requires every lead agency to adopt ordinances that establish procedures for the review and approval of reclamation plans, and, before approving a reclamation plan, to submit the plan to the Director of Conservation. The act also authorizes the State Mining and Geology Board to designate specific geographic areas of the state as areas of statewide or regional significance, as specified.

This bill would make technical, nonsubstantive changes to these Department of Conservation provisions.

Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: no. State-mandated local program: no.

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:

P2    1


Section 607 of the Public Resources Code is
2amended to read:



The work of the department shall be divided into at least
4the following:

5(a) California Geological Survey.

6(b) Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources.

7(c) Division of Land Resource Protection.

begin delete

8(d) Division of Recycling.

end delete
begin delete


end delete

10begin insert(d)end insert Office of Mine Reclamation.


SEC. 2.  

Section 2774 of the Public Resources Code is amended
12to read:



(a) Every lead agency shall adopt ordinances in
14accordance with state policy that establish procedures for the
15review and approval of reclamation plans and financial assurances
16and the issuance of a permit to conduct surface mining operations,
17except that any lead agency without an active surface mining
18operation in its jurisdiction may defer adopting an implementing
19ordinance until the filing of a permit application. The ordinances
20shall establish procedures requiring at least one public hearing and
21shall be periodically reviewed by the lead agency and revised, as
22necessary, to ensure that the ordinances continue to be in
23accordance with state policy.

24(b) The lead agency shall conduct an inspection of a surface
25mining operation within six months of receipt by the lead agency
26of the surface mining operation’s report submitted pursuant to
27Section 2207, solely to determine whether the surface mining
28operation is in compliance with this chapter. In no event shall a
29lead agency inspect a surface mining operation less than once in
30any calendar year. The lead agency may cause an inspection to be
31conducted by a state licensed geologist, state licensed civil
32engineer, state licensed landscape architect, or state licensed
33forester, who is experienced in land reclamation and who has not
34been employed by a surface mining operation within the
35jurisdiction of the lead agency in any capacity during the previous
3612 months. All inspections shall be conducted using a form
37developed by the department and approved by the board that shall
38include the professional licensing and disciplinary information of
P3    1the person who conducted the inspection. The operator shall be
2solely responsible for the reasonable cost of the inspection. The
3lead agency shall notify the director within 30 days of the date of
4completion of the inspection that the inspection has been
5conducted. The notice shall contain a statement regarding the
6surface mining operation’s compliance with this chapter, shall
7include a copy of the completed inspection form, and shall specify
8which aspects of the surface mining operations, if any, are
9inconsistent with this chapter. If the surface mining operation has
10a review of its reclamation plan, financial assurances, or an interim
11management plan pending under subdivision (b), (c), (d), or (h)
12of Section 2770, or an appeal pending before the board or lead
13agency governing body under subdivision (e) or (h) of Section
142770, the notice shall so indicate. The lead agency shall forward
15to the operator a copy of the notice, a copy of the completed
16inspection form, and any supporting documentation, including,
17but not limited to, any inspection report prepared by the geologist,
18civil engineer, landscape architect, or forester, who conducted the
19 inspection.

20(c) begin deletePrior to end deletebegin insertBefore end insertapproving a surface mining operation’s
21reclamation plan, financial assurances, including existing financial
22assurances reviewed by the lead agency pursuant to subdivision
23(c) of Section 2770, or any amendments, the lead agency shall
24submit the plan, assurances, or amendments to the director for
25review. All documentation for that submission shall be submitted
26to the director at one time. When the lead agency submits a
27reclamation plan or plan amendments to the director for review,
28the lead agency shall also submit to the director, for use in
29reviewing the reclamation plan or plan amendments, information
30from any related document prepared, adopted, or certified pursuant
31to Division 13 (commencing with Section 21000), and shall submit
32any other pertinent information. The lead agency shall certify to
33the director that the reclamation plan is in compliance with the
34applicable requirements of this chapter and Articlebegin delete 9end deletebegin insert 1end insert
35 (commencing with Section 3500) of Chapter 8 of Division 2 of
36Title 14 of the California Code of Regulations and the lead
37agency’s mining ordinance in effect at the time that the reclamation
38plan is submitted to the director for review.

39(d) (1) The director shall have 30 days from the date of receipt
40of a reclamation plan or plan amendments submitted pursuant to
P4    1subdivision (c), and 45 days from the date of receipt of financial
2assurances submitted pursuant to subdivision (c), to prepare written
3comments, if the director so chooses. The lead agency shall
4evaluatebegin delete anyend delete written comments received from the director relating
5to the reclamation plan, plan amendments, or financial assurances
6within a reasonable amount of time.

7(2) The lead agency shall prepare a written response to the
8director’s comments describing the disposition of the major issues
9raised by the director’s comments, and submit the lead agency’s
10proposed response to the director at least 30 days prior to approval
11of the reclamation plan, plan amendment, or financial assurance.
12The lead agency’s response to the director’s comments shall
13describe whether the lead agency proposes to adopt the director’s
14comments to the reclamation plan, plan amendment, or financial
15assurance. If the lead agency does not propose to adopt the
16director’s comments, the lead agency shall specify, in detail, why
17the lead agency proposes not to adopt the comments. Copies of
18any written comments received and responses prepared by the lead
19agency shall be forwarded to the operator. The lead agency shall
20also give the director at least 30 days’ notice of the time, place,
21and date of the hearing before the lead agency at which time the
22reclamation plan, plan amendment, or financial assurance is
23scheduled to be approved by the lead agency. If no hearing is
24required by this chapter, or by the local ordinance,begin delete ofend deletebegin insert orend insert other state
25law, then the lead agency shall provide 30 days’ notice to the
26director that it intends to approve the reclamation plan, plan
27amendment, or financial assurance. The lead agency shall send to
28the director its final response to the director’s comments within
2930 days following its approval of the reclamation plan, plan
30amendment, or financial assurance during which period the
31department retains all powers, duties, and authorities of this

33(3) To the extent that there is a conflict between the comments
34of a trustee agency or a responsible agency that are based on the
35agency’s statutory or regulatory authority and the comments of
36other commenting agencies which are received by the lead agency
37pursuant to Division 13 (commencing with Section 21000)
38regarding a reclamation plan or plan amendments, the lead agency
39shall consider only the comments of the trustee agency or
40responsible agency.

P5    1(e) Lead agencies shall notify the director of the filing of an
2application for a permit to conduct surface mining operations
3within 30 days of an application being filed with the lead agency.
4By July 1, 1991, each lead agency shall submit to the director for
5every active or idle mining operation within its jurisdiction, a copy
6of the mining permit required pursuant to Section 2774, and any
7conditions or amendments to those permits. By July 1 of each
8subsequent year, the lead agency shall submit to the director for
9each active or idle mining operation a copy of any permit or
10reclamation plan amendments, as applicable, or a statement that
11there have been no changes during the previous year. Failure to
12file with the director the information required under this section
13shall be cause for action under Section 2774.4.


SEC. 3.  

Section 2790 of the Public Resources Code is amended
15to read:



After receipt of mineral information from the State
17Geologist pursuant to subdivisionbegin delete (c)end deletebegin insert (d)end insert of Section 2761, the board
18begin delete mayend deletebegin insert may,end insert by regulation adopted after a publicbegin delete hearingend deletebegin insert hearing,end insert
19 designate specific geographic areas of the state as areas of statewide
20or regional significance and specify the boundariesbegin delete thereof. Suchend delete
21begin insert of the geographic areas. Theend insert designation shall be included as a
22part of the state policy and shall indicate the reason for which the
23particular area designated is of significance to the state or region,
24the adverse effects that might result from premature development
25of incompatible land uses, the advantages that might be achieved
26from extraction of the minerals of the area, and the specific goals
27and policies to protect against the premature incompatible
28development of the area.