Senate BillNo. 1270


Introduced by Senator Pavley

February 21, 2014


An act to amend Sections 607, 677, 2006, 2207, 2208, 2733, 2770, 2772, 2773.1, 2774, 2774.1, and 2774.4 of, and to add Sections 2006.5 and 2717.5 to, the Public Resources Code, relating to mining.

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL’S DIGEST

SB 1270, as introduced, Pavley. Surface mining operations.

(1) Under existing law, the Department of Conservation, under the supervision of the Director of Conservation, is comprised of various entities, including the State Mining and Geology Board, and the work of the department is divided into divisions including the California Geological Survey and the Office of Mine Reclamation. Existing law requires the board to nominate, and the director to appoint, the State Geologist to advise the director regarding technical, scientific, and engineering issues, including the scientific quality of the products and activities of the California Geological Survey, and requires the State Geologist to meet specific qualifications.

This bill would instead require an unspecified individual or entity to appoint the State Geologist and would make that individual responsible for the management of the California Geological Survey. The bill would change the qualifications for that person. The bill would also designate the Office of Mine Reclamation as the Division of Mines, would require an unspecified individual or entity to appoint a State Mine Inspector to be responsible for the management of the Division of Mines, and would prescribe the specific qualifications for that person.

(2) Existing law requires the owner of operator of a mining operation to forward annually to the director and the lead agency a report that provides specified information with respect to the mining operation.

This bill would require that report to be submitted to the State Mine Inspector and the lead agency.

(3) The Surface Mining and Reclamation Act of 1975, administered by the board, prohibits a person, with exceptions, from conducting surface mining operations unless, among other things, a reclamation plan, as specified, is submitted to and approved by, and financial assurances for reclamation have been approved by, the lead agency for the operation. Existing law provides an appeals process for decisions of the lead agency in approval or denial of approval of a reclamation plan.

This bill would instead make the director responsible for reviewing and approving financial assurances in surface mining operations and would require the director to take specified actions in seeking forfeiture of those financial assurances. The bill would also provide an appeals process for the director’s approval or denial of approval of financial assurances. The bill would require a portion of the reclamation plan to be certified by a registered professional geologist, geophysicist, or professional engineer and to include a schedule with time limits for completing reclamation, as specified, and would require the lead agency to determine a time period for reclamation to be complete in certain circumstances. By imposing additional duties on lead agencies, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.

(4) Existing law requires the lead agency to conduct an inspection of a surface mining operation with 6 months of receipt by the lead agency of the annual report described in (2) above. Under existing law, if the lead agency or the director determines that a surface mining operation is not in compliance, the lead agency or director is required to notify the operator of that violation.

This bill would instead require the director to conduct an inspection of those operations withing one year of receipt of the report by the State Mine Inspector. The bill would require the notice of violation to include, among other things, specific remedial steps to be taken to correct the noncompliance and also information on time to comply.

(5) Existing law requires the board to assume the powers and duties under the act of the lead agency if, following a public hearing, as prescribed, the board finds deficiencies in the lead agency’s implementation and enforcement of the act.

This bill would authorize a lead agency to unilaterally and voluntarily relinquish its responsibilities under the act and would require the board to assume those responsibilities. The bill would also authorize the lead agency to resume its relinquished role if certain requirements are met.

(6) Existing law requires the board to adopt a schedule of fees to cover the department’s costs of carrying out specified provisions and to impose an annual reporting fee on each mining operation, not to exceed $4,000 annually for any single mining operation and not be less than $100. Existing law requires the board to adjust the fees if the director determines the resources collected were greater to or less than the department’s costs.

This bill would require that an annual reporting fee on each mining operation not be less than $1,000 and would require the fee to be based on a cost per acre as determined by the board. The bill would authorize the board to recommend expenditures of these funds as part of the annual budget process and would require the board to adjust the fees if the State Mine Inspector determines the revenues collected were greater to or less than the department’s costs.

(7) Existing law requires the department to quarterly publish in the California Regulatory Notice Register, or otherwise make available, upon request, to the Department of General Services or any other state or local agency, a list identifying the status of compliance of certain surface mining operations, as specified. Existing law also prohibits a state agency from acquiring or utilizing mined material, or from contracting with a person utilizing these materials, as specified, unless the material is produced from a mining operation on that list and that meets certain requirements.

This bill would authorize an affected mine operator, a lead agency with jurisdiction over the operation, or an affected person to appeal to the board the department’s determination regarding a mining operation’s placement on, removal from, or denial of placement on or removal from, the list.

(8) The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.

This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.

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

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

P4    1

SECTION 1.  

The Legislature finds and declares the following:

2(a) Since its passage, the implementation of the Surface Mining
3and Reclamation Act of 1975 has depended on coordinated
4administrative efforts by local governments, the Department of
5Conservation, and the State Mining and Geology Board. Two of
6the major goals of the act are to encourage production and
7conservation of minerals in California, and to assure reclamation
8of mined lands.

9(b) The essential components of the act for each of the more
10than 2,000 mines in California are annual inspections, reclamation
11plans for mines that have ceased production, and a financial surety
12mechanism to pay for reclamation in the event the operator is
13unable or fails to do so.

14(c) It is the intent of the Legislature that siting decisions for
15mines and the approval of reclamation plans for those mines remain
16with local governments.

17(d) The act provides for approval procedures for financial
18assurances and reclamation plans that depend on active inspections,
19remediation of compliance shortfalls, and appropriate updates to
20financial assurance commitments. Based on a review of official
21state data, industry and government analysts agree that the goals
22of the act are not being achieved because of multiple failures in
23the internal processes of this important legislation. As examples:

24(1) Twenty-five percent of mines that have closed have not
25begun reclamation. This includes about 100 mines in the state.

26(2) Inspection rates by counties who serve as lead agencies
27under the act, over a multiyear period, range from 66 percent to
2874 percent, inclusive, but 12 counties have inspection rates below
2950 percent.

30(3) Data on inspections by cities that serve as lead agencies
31under the act, over the same multiyear period, indicate that 22
32cities have inspected all of its mines annually, 25 cities have an
33inspection rate below 50 percent, and 14 have never inspected a
34mine.

35(4) Financial assurance documents that ensure the ability to pay
36for mine reclamation are not routinely updated. The adjustment
37rate for counties is about 27 percent, based on official data, and
38about 20 percent for cities.

P5    1(e) It is the intent of the Legislature to retain the existing
2structure of the act while improving the statutory relationships
3between state and local government entities by strengthening the
4interconnections between inspections, financial assurances, and
5reclamation plans, in order to ensure improved compliance with
6the provisions of this important law.

7

SEC. 2.  

Section 607 of the Public Resources Code is amended
8to read:

9

607.  

The work of the department shall be divided into at least
10the following:

11(a) California Geological Survey.

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

13(c) Division of Land Resource Protection.

14(d) begin deleteOffice of Mine Reclamation. end deletebegin insertDivision of Mineend insertbegin inserts.end insert

15

SEC. 3.  

Section 677 of the Public Resources Code is amended
16to read:

17

677.  

begin deleteThe board shall nominate, and the director shall appoint,
18the State Geologist, who end delete
begin insert(a)end insertbegin insertend insertbegin insertA State Geologist shall be appointed
19and shall be responsible for the management of the California
20Geological Survey. The State Geologist end insert
shall either be registered
21in compliance with the Geologist and Geophysicist Act (Chapter
2212.5 (commencing with Section 7800) of Division 3 of the Business
23and Professions Code) at least one year from the date of
24appointment, or the Board for Professional Engineersbegin insert,end insertbegin delete andend delete Land
25Surveyorsbegin insert, and Geologistsend insert may, upon the review of academic and
26professional experience, grant registration. The State Geologist
27shall possess general knowledge of mineralbegin delete resources, end deletebegin insert resources
28and end insert
structuralbegin delete geology, seismology, engineering geology, and
29related disciplines in science and engineering, and the reclamation
30of mined lands and watersend delete
begin insert engineeringend insert. The State Geologist shall
31advise the director regarding technical, scientific, and engineering
32issues, including the scientific quality of thebegin delete division'send delete products
33and activitiesbegin insert of the California Geological Surveyend insert.

begin insert

34(b) A State Mine Inspector shall be appointed and shall be
35responsible for the management of the Division of Mines. The State
36Mine Inspector shall either be registered in compliance with the
37Geologist and Geophysicist Act (Chapter 12.5 (commencing with
38Section 7800) of Division 3 of the Business and Professions Code)
39or the Professional Engineers Act (Chapter 7 (commencing with
40Section 6700) of Division 3 of the Business and Professions Code)
P6    1at least one year from the date of appointment, or the Board for
2Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors, and Geologists may,
3upon the review of academic and professional experience, grant
4registration. The State Mine Inspector shall possess general
5knowledge of mining, mineral resources, structural geology,
6seismology, engineering geology, and related disciplines in science
7and engineering, and the reclamation of mined lands and waters.
8The State Mine Inspector shall advise the director regarding
9technical, scientific, and engineering issues, including the scientific
10quality of the products and activities of the Division of Mines.

end insert
11

SEC. 4.  

Section 2006 of the Public Resources Code is amended
12to read:

13

2006.  

“State Geologist” means the individual holding the office
14created by begin insertsubdivision (a) of end insertSection 677.

15

SEC. 5.  

Section 2006.5 is added to the Public Resources Code,
16to read:

17

2006.5.  

“State Mine Inspector” means the individual holding
18the office created by subdivision (b) of Section 677.

19

SEC. 6.  

Section 2207 of the Public Resources Code is amended
20to read:

21

2207.  

(a) The owner or the operator of a mining operation
22within the state shall forward to thebegin delete directorend deletebegin insert State Mine Inspectorend insert
23 annually, not later than a date established by thebegin delete director,end deletebegin insert State
24Mine Inspector,end insert
upon forms approved by the board from time to
25time, a report that identifies all of the following:

26(1) The name, address, and telephone number of the person,
27company, or other owner of the mining operation.

28(2) The name, address, and telephone number of a designated
29agent who resides in this state, and who will receive and accept
30service of all orders, notices, and processes of the lead agency,
31board,begin delete director,end deletebegin insert State Mine Inspector,end insert or court.

32(3) The location of the mining operation, its name, its mine
33number as issued by thebegin delete Bureau of Mines or the director,end deletebegin insert State
34Mine Inspector,end insert
its section, township, range, latitude, longitude,
35and approximate boundaries of the mining operation marked on a
36United States Geological Survey 712-minute or 15-minute
37quadrangle map.

38(4) The lead agency.

39(5) The approval date of the mining operation’s reclamation
40plan.

P7    1(6) The mining operation’s status as active, idle, reclaimed, or
2in the process of being reclaimed.

3(7) The commodities produced by the mine and the type of
4mining operation.

5(8) Proof of annual inspection by the lead agency.

6(9) Proof of financial assurances.

7(10) Ownership of the property, including government agencies,
8if applicable, by the assessor’s parcel number, and total assessed
9value of the mining operation.

10(11) The approximate permitted size of the mining operation
11subject to Chapter 9 (commencing with Section 2710), in acres.

12(12) The approximate total acreage of land newly disturbed by
13the mining operation during the previous calendar year.

14(13) The approximate total of disturbed acreage reclaimed during
15the previous calendar year.

16(14) The approximate total unreclaimed disturbed acreage
17remaining as of the end of the calendar year.

18(15) The total production for each mineral commodity produced
19during the previous year.

20(16) A copy of any approved reclamation plan and any
21amendments or conditions of approval to any existing reclamation
22plan approved by the lead agency.

23(b) (1) Every year, not later than the date established by the
24begin delete director,end deletebegin insert State Mine Inspector,end insert the person submitting the report
25pursuant to subdivision (a) shall forward to the lead agency, upon
26forms furnished by the board, a report that provides all of the
27information specified in paragraphs (1) to (16), inclusive, of
28subdivision (a).

29(2) The owner or operator of a mining operation shall allow
30access to the property to any governmental agency or the agent of
31any company providing financial assurances in connection with
32the reclamation plan, in order that the reclamation can be carried
33out by the entity or company, in accordance with the provisions
34of the reclamation plan.

35(c) Subsequent reports shall include only changes in the
36information submitted for the items described in subdivision (a),
37except that, instead of the approved reclamation plan, the reports
38shall include any reclamation plan amendments approved during
39the previous year. The reports shall state whether review of a
40reclamation plan, financial assurances, or an interim management
P8    1plan is pending under subdivision (b), (c), (d), or (h) of Section
22770, or whether an appeal before the board or lead agency
3governing body is pending under subdivision (e) or (h) of Section
42770. Thebegin delete directorend deletebegin insert State Mine Inspectorend insert shall notify the person
5submitting the report and the owner’s designated agent in writing
6that the report and the fee required pursuant to subdivision (d)
7have been received, specify the mining operation’s mine number
8if one has not been issued by thebegin delete Bureau of Mines,end deletebegin insert State Mine
9Inspectorend insert
begin insert,end insert and notify the person and agent of any deficiencies in
10the report within 90 days of receipt. That person or agent shall
11have 30 days from receipt of the notification to correct the noted
12deficiencies and forward the revised reports to thebegin delete directorend deletebegin insert State
13Mine Inspectorend insert
and the lead agency. Any person who fails to
14comply with this section, or knowingly provides incorrect or false
15information in reports required by this section, may be subject to
16an administrative penalty as provided in subdivision (c) of Section
172774.1.

18(d) (1) The board shall impose, by regulation, pursuant to
19paragraph (2), an annual reporting fee on, and method for collecting
20annual fees from, each active or idle mining operation. The
21begin delete maximumend deletebegin insert minimumend insert fee for any single mining operation may not
22begin delete exceed four thousand dollars ($4,000) annually and may notend delete be
23less than onebegin delete hundredend deletebegin insert thousandend insert dollarsbegin delete ($100)end deletebegin insert ($1,000)end insert annually,
24as adjusted for the cost of living as measured by the California
25Consumer Price Index for all urban consumers, calendar year
26averages, using the percentage change in the previous year,
27beginning with thebegin delete 2005-06end deletebegin insert 2014-end insertbegin insert15end insert fiscal year and annually
28thereafter.

29(2) (A) The board shall adopt, by regulation, a schedule of fees
30authorized under paragraph (1) to cover the department’s cost in
31carrying out this section and Chapter 9 (commencing with Section
322710), as reflected in the Governor’s Budget, and may adopt those
33regulations as emergency regulations. In establishing the schedule
34of fees to be paid by each active and idle mining operation, the
35begin deletefees shall be calculated onend deletebegin insert board shall consider and establish a
36cost per acre onend insert
an equitable basis reflecting the size and type of
37begin deleteoperation. The board shall also consider the total assessed value
38of the miningend delete
operation, the acreage disturbedbegin insert and undisturbedend insert by
39mining activities,begin delete andend delete the acreage subject to the reclamation planbegin insert,
40and other factors addressed by the approved reclamation planend insert
.

P9    1(B) Regulations adopted pursuant to this subdivision shall be
2adopted by the board in accordance with Chapter 3.5 (commencing
3with Section 11340) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the
4Government Code. The adoption of any emergency regulations
5pursuant to this subdivision shall be considered necessary to
6address an emergency and shall be considered by the Office of
7Administrative Law to be necessary for the immediate preservation
8of the public peace, health, safety, and general welfare.

9(3) The total revenue generated by the reporting feesbegin delete may not
10exceed, and may be less than, the amount of three million five
11hundred thousand dollars ($3,500,000), as adjusted for the cost of
12living as measured by the California Consumer Price Index for all
13urban consumers, calendar year averages, using the percentage
14change in the previous year, beginning with the 2005-06 fiscal
15year and annually thereafterend delete
begin insert shall be based on a cost per acre,
16subject to the approved reclamation plan, as determined by the
17board pursuant to paragraph (2)end insert
. If thebegin delete directorend deletebegin insert State Mine
18Inspectorend insert
determines that the revenue collected during the
19preceding fiscal year was greater or less than the cost to operate
20the program, the board shall adjust the fees to compensate for the
21overcollection or undercollection of revenues.

22(4) (A) The reporting fees established pursuant to this
23subdivision shall be deposited in the Mine Reclamation Account,
24which is hereby created. Any fees, penalties, interest, fines, or
25charges collected by thebegin delete directorend deletebegin insert State Mine Inspectorend insert or board
26pursuant to this chapter or Chapter 9 (commencing with Section
272710) shall be deposited in the Mine Reclamation Account.begin insert The
28board may recommend expenditures of these funds as part of the
29annual budget process.end insert
Thebegin delete moneyend deletebegin insert moneysend insert in the account shall
30be available to the department and board, upon appropriation by
31the Legislature, for the purpose of carrying out this section and
32complying with Chapter 9 (commencing with Section 2710), which
33includes, but is not limited to, classification and designation of
34areas with mineral resources of statewide or regional significance,
35reclamation plan and financial assurance review, mine inspection,
36and enforcement.

37(B) (i) In addition to reporting fees, the board shall collect five
38dollars ($5) per ounce of gold and ten cents ($0.10) per ounce of
39silver mined within the state and shall deposit the fees collected
40in the Abandoned Mine Reclamation and Minerals Fund
P10   1Subaccount, which is hereby created in the Mine Reclamation
2Account. The department may expend the moneys in the
3subaccount, upon appropriation by the Legislature, for only the
4purposes of Section 2796.5 and as authorized herein for the
5remediation of abandoned mines.

6(ii) Notwithstanding subdivision (j) of Section 2796.5, fees
7collected pursuant to clause (i) may also be used to remediate
8features of historic abandoned mines and lands that they impact.
9For the purposes of this section, historic abandoned mines are
10mines for which operations have been conducted before January
111, 1976, and include, but are not limited to, historic gold and silver
12mines.

13(5) In case of late payment of the reporting fee, a penalty of not
14less than one hundred dollars ($100) or 10 percent of the amount
15due, whichever is greater, plus interest at the rate of 112 percent
16per month, computed from the delinquent date of the assessment
17until and including the date of payment, shall be assessed. New
18mining operations that have not submitted a report shall submit a
19report prior to commencement of operations. The new operation
20shall submit its fee according to the reasonable fee schedule
21adopted by the board, and the month that the report is received
22shall become that operation’s anniversary month.

23(e) The lead agency, or the board when acting as the lead agency,
24may impose a fee upon each mining operation to cover the
25reasonable costs incurred in implementing this chapter and Chapter
269 (commencing with Section 2710).

27(f) For purposes of this section, “mining operation” means a
28mining operation of any kind or character whatever in this state,
29including, but not limited to, a mining operation that is classified
30as a “surface mining operation” as defined in Section 2735, unless
31excepted by Section 2714. For the purposes of fee collections only,
32“mining operation” may include one or more mines operated by
33a single operator or mining company on one or more sites, if the
34total annual combined mineral production for all sites is less than
35100 troy ounces for precious metals, if precious metals are the
36primary mineral commodity produced, or less than 100,000 short
37tons if the primary mineral commodity produced is not precious
38metals.

39(g) Any information in reports submitted pursuant to subdivision
40(a) that includes or otherwise indicates the total mineral production,
P11   1reserves, or rate of depletion of any mining operation may not be
2disclosed to any member of the public, as defined in subdivision
3(b) of Section 6252 of the Government Code. Other portions of
4the reports are public records unless excepted by statute. Statistical
5bulletins based on these reports and published under Section 2205
6shall be compiled to show, for the state as a whole and separately
7for each lead agency, the total of each mineral produced therein.
8In order not to disclose the production, reserves, or rate of depletion
9from any identifiable mining operation, no production figure shall
10be published or otherwise disclosed unless that figure is the
11aggregated production of not less than three mining operations. If
12the production figure for any lead agency would disclose the
13production, reserves, or rate of depletion of less than three mining
14operations or otherwise permit the reasonable inference of the
15 production, reserves, or rate of depletion of any identifiable mining
16operation, that figure shall be combined with the same figure of
17not less than two other lead agencies without regard to the location
18of the lead agencies. The bulletin shall be published annually by
19June 30 or as soon thereafter as practicable.

20(h) The approval of a form by the board pursuant to this section
21is not the adoption of a regulation for purposes of Chapter 3.5
22(commencing with Section 11340) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title
232 of the Government Code and is not subject to that chapter.

24

SEC. 7.  

Section 2208 of the Public Resources Code is amended
25to read:

26

2208.  

Thebegin insert State Mine Inspector,end insert directorbegin insert,end insert or a qualified assistant
27may at any time enter or examine any and all mines, quarries,
28wells, mills, reduction works, refining works, and other mineral
29properties or working plants in this state in order to gather data to
30comply with the provisions of this chapter.

31

SEC. 8.  

Section 2717.5 is added to the Public Resources Code,
32to read:

33

2717.5.  

(a) An affected mine operator, a lead agency with
34jurisdiction over the operation, or an affected person, may appeal
35to the board the department’s determination regarding a mining
36operation’s placement on, removal from, or denial of placement
37on or removal from, the list identified in subdivision (b) of Section
382717.

39(b) An appeal pursuant to subdivision (a) shall be subject to the
40following requirements, as applicable:

P12   1(1) The appeal shall be made in writing, on a form provided by
2the board, and shall be received by the board within 15 days of the
3operator’s, lead agency, or affected person’s receipt of a notice of
4the department’s determination as described in subdivision (a), or
5 within 15 days of the department’s posting of the notice on its
6Internet Web site.

7(2) An appeal filed by a lead agency shall demonstrate good
8cause for reversal of a determination.

9(3) An appeal filed by an affected person other than a lead
10agency shall demonstrate that the affected person has a sufficient
11connection to, or direct impact from, the operation of the mine at
12issue.

13(4) Where the board is the lead agency, it may not appeal the
14decision of the department but may follow the department’s
15procedures for removal of a mining operation from the list. The
16board may hear an appeal filed by any other party pursuant to
17subdivision (a).

18(5) The appeal shall demonstrate, as a necessary element of the
19appeal, that the facts and issues relevant to the appeal were brought
20to the attention of the department prior to the department’s
21determination described in subdivision (a).

22(c) The board shall promptly notify the department and the lead
23agency that the appeal has been received by the board. Where the
24appeal is filed by the lead agency or the board is the lead agency,
25no notice to the lead agency shall be required.

26(d) (1) A mining operation seeking placement on the list shall
27not be placed on the list pending the final outcome of an appeal
28filed pursuant to subdivision (a).

29(2)  A mining operation appealing the department’s removal of
30the operation from the list shall remain on the list pending the final
31outcome of an appeal filed pursuant to subdivision (a).

32(e) (1) (A) The board shall hear the appeal if the chair of the
33board or his or her designated hearing officer determines the appeal
34is within the jurisdiction of the board and the appeal raises a
35substantial issue related to the department’s determination
36regarding a mining operation’s placement on, removal from, or
37denial of placement on or removal from, the list.

38(B) A determination of the board’s jurisdiction by the chair or
39his or her designee shall consider all of the following:

P13   1(i) Whether the information presented with the appeal presents
2any dispute of the material fact or facts supporting the department’s
3determination.

4(ii) Whether the appeal is an attempt to challenge an enforcement
5decision or a court decision.

6(iii) Whether the appellant has standing.

7(iv) Whether the appeal is timely.

8(v) Whether the facts constituting the basis for the appeal have
9been presented to the department prior to the department’s
10determination as described in subdivision (a).

11(vi) Whether any relevant circumstances exist that are not
12specifically identified but which, in the judgment of the chair or
13his or her designee, preclude the appeal.

14(2) If the chair or hearing officer finds, based on the criteria
15described in paragraph (1), that the appeal is not within the
16jurisdiction of the board or does not raise a substantial issue, the
17chair or his or her designee shall refuse to grant the appeal and the
18department’s decision shall be deemed final for purposes of seeking
19 judicial review of that decision.

20(f) A decision by the board pursuant to this section shall not
21preclude any party from initiating a new proceeding to be included
22on the list, to be maintained on the list, or to effect removal of a
23mining operation from the list, in accordance with this section or
24based on new or different circumstances than were determined by
25the chair or his or her designee on a previous appeal.

26

SEC. 9.  

Section 2733 of the Public Resources Code is amended
27to read:

28

2733.  

“Reclamation” means the combined process of land
29treatment that minimizes water degradation, air pollution, damage
30to aquatic or wildlife habitat, flooding, erosion, and other adverse
31effects from surface mining operations, including adverse surface
32effects incidental to underground mines, so that mined lands are
33reclaimedbegin insert,end insert to a usable conditionbegin delete whichend deletebegin insert thatend insert is readily adaptable
34for alternate landbegin delete usesend deletebegin insert uses,end insert and create no danger to public health
35or safety. The process may extend to affected lands surrounding
36mined landsbegin delete, andend deletebegin insert;end insert may require backfilling, grading, resoiling,
37revegetation, soil compaction, stabilization, or other measuresbegin insert;
38and shall be certified by a registered professional geologist,
39geophysicist, or professional engineerend insert
.

P14   1

SEC. 10.  

Section 2770 of the Public Resources Code is
2amended to read:

3

2770.  

(a) Except as provided in this section, a person shall not
4conduct surface mining operations unless a permit is obtained
5from,begin insert andend insert a reclamation plan has been submitted to and approved
6begin delete by, and financial assurances for reclamation have been approvedend delete
7 by, the lead agency for the operationbegin insert and financial assurances for
8reclamation pursuant to the reclamation plan have been submitted
9to and approved by the directorend insert
pursuant to this article.

10(b) A person with an existing surface mining operation who has
11vested rights pursuant to Section 2776 and who does not have an
12approved reclamation plan shall submit a reclamation plan to the
13lead agency not later than March 31, 1988. If a reclamation plan
14application is not on file by March 31, 1988, the continuation of
15the surface mining operation is prohibited until a reclamation plan
16is submitted to the lead agency. For purposes of this subdivision,
17a reclamation plan may consist of all or the appropriate sections
18of any plans or written agreements previously approved by the
19lead agency or another agency, together with any additional
20documents needed to substantially meet the requirements of
21Sections 2772 and 2773 and the lead agency surface mining
22ordinance adopted pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 2774,
23provided that all documents which together were proposed to serve
24as the reclamation plan are submitted for approval to the lead
25agency in accordance with this chapter.

26(c) If a person with an existing surface mining operation has
27received lead agency approval of its financial assurances for
28reclamation prior to January 1,begin delete 1991,end deletebegin insert 2015,end insert thebegin delete lead agencyend deletebegin insert directorend insert
29 shall administratively reviewbegin insert and make any changes to ensureend insert
30 those existing financial assurancesbegin insert areend insert in accordance with
31subdivision (d) prior to January 1,begin delete 1992end deletebegin insert 2016end insert. The review of
32existing financial assurances shall not be considered a project for
33purposes of Division 13 (commencing with Section 21000). A
34person with an existing surface mining operation that does not
35have financial assurances that receivedbegin delete lead agencyend deletebegin insert the director’send insert
36 approval prior to January 1,begin delete 1991,end deletebegin insert 2016,end insert shall submit financial
37assurances for reclamationbegin insert to the directorend insert for review in accordance
38with subdivision (d).

39(d) The lead agency’s review of a reclamation plan submitted
40pursuant to subdivision (b) orbegin insert the director’s reviewend insert of financial
P15   1assurances pursuant to subdivision (c) is limited to whether the
2plan or the financial assurances substantially meet the applicable
3requirements of Sections 2772, 2773, and 2773.1, and the lead
4agency surface mining ordinance adopted pursuant to subdivision
5(a) of Section 2774, but, in any event, thebegin delete lead agencyend deletebegin insert directorend insert
6 shall require that financial assurances for reclamation be sufficient
7to perform reclamation of lands remaining disturbed.begin delete Reclamationend delete
8begin insert For purposes of this chapter, reclamationend insert plansbegin delete or financial
9assurancesend delete
determined to substantially meet these requirements
10shall be approved by the lead agencybegin delete for purposes of this chapterend delete
11begin insert and end insertbegin insertfinancial assurances determined to substantially meet these
12requirements shall be approved by the directorend insert
. Reclamation plans
13or financial assurances determined not to substantially meet these
14requirements shall be returned to the operator within 60 days. The
15operatorbegin delete hasend deletebegin insert shall haveend insert 60 days to revise the plan or financial
16assurances to address identified deficiencies, at which time the
17 revised planbegin delete or financial assurancesend delete shall be returned to the lead
18agency for review and approvalbegin insert, or the revised reclamation plan
19shall be returned to the director for review and approvalend insert
. Except
20as specified in subdivision (e) or (i),begin delete unless the operator has filed
21on or before July 1, 1990, an appeal pursuant to subdivision (e)
22with regard to nonapproval of the reclamation plan, or has filed
23on or before January 1, 1994, an appeal pursuant to subdivision
24(e) with regard to nonapproval of financial assurances, and that
25appeal is pending before the board,end delete
the continuation of the surface
26mining operation is prohibited until a reclamation planbegin insert is approved
27by a lead agencyend insert
and financial assurances for reclamation are
28approved by thebegin delete lead agencyend deletebegin insert directorend insert.

29(e) begin insert(1)end insertbegin insertend insertA person who, based on the evidence of the record,begin delete can
30substantiateend delete
begin insert claimsend insert that a lead agency has eitherbegin delete (1)end deletebegin insert (A)end insert failed to
31act according to due process or has relied on considerations not
32related to the specific applicable requirements of Sections 2772,
332773, and 2773.1, and the lead agency surface mining ordinance
34adopted pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 2774, in reaching
35a decision to begin insertapprove or end insertdeny approval of a reclamation planbegin insert,end insertbegin delete or
36financial assurances for reclamation, (2)end delete
begin insert (B)end insert failed to act within a
37reasonable time of receipt of a completed application, orbegin delete (3)end deletebegin insert (C)end insert
38 failed to review and approve reclamation plansbegin delete or financial
39assurancesend delete
as required by subdivisions (c) and (d), may appeal that
40action or inaction to the board.

begin insert

P16   1(2) A person who, based on the evidence of the record, claims
2that the director has either (A) failed to act according to due
3process or has relied on considerations not related to the specific
4applicable requirements of Sections 2772, 2773, and 2773.1, in
5reaching a decision to approve or deny approval of financial
6assurances, or (B) failed to review and approve financial
7assurances as required by subdivisions (c) and (d), may appeal
8that action or inaction to the board.

end insert

9(f) The board may decline to hear an appeal if it determines that
10the appeal raises no substantial issues related to the lead agency’s
11begin insert or the director’send insert review pursuant to this section.

12(g) Appeals that the board does not decline to hear shall be
13scheduled and heard at a public hearing within 45 days of the filing
14of the appeal, or a longer period as may be mutually agreed upon
15by the board and the person filing the appeal. In hearing an appeal,
16the board shall only determine whether the reclamation plan or the
17financial assurances substantially meet the applicable requirements
18of Sections 2772, 2773, and 2773.1, and the lead agency surface
19mining ordinance adopted pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section
202774. A reclamation plan or financial assurances determined to
21meet these requirements shall be approved. A reclamation plan or
22financial assurances determined not to meet these requirements
23shall be returned to thebegin delete person filing the appealend deletebegin insert operatorend insert with a
24notice of deficiencies, who shall be granted, once only, a period
25of 30 days, or a longer period mutually agreed upon by the operator
26and the board, to correct the noted deficiencies and submit the
27revised reclamation planbegin insert to the lead agencyend insert or the revised financial
28assurances to thebegin delete lead agencyend deletebegin insert directorend insert for review and approval.

29(h) (1) Within 90 days of a surface mining operation becoming
30idle, as defined in Section 2727.1, the operator shall submit to the
31lead agency for review and approval, an interim management plan.
32The review and approval of an interim management plan shall not
33be considered a project for purposes of Division 13 (commencing
34with Section 21000). The approved interim management plan shall
35be considered an amendment to the surface mining operation’s
36approved reclamation plan, for purposes of this chapter. The
37interim management plan shall provide measures the operator will
38implement to maintain the site in compliance with this chapter,
39including, but not limited to, all permit conditions.

P17   1(2) The interim management plan may remain in effect for a
2period not to exceed five years, at which time the lead agency shall
3do one of the following:

4(A) Renew the interim management plan for an additional period
5not to exceed five years, which may be renewed for one additional
6five-year renewal period at the expiration of the first five-year
7renewal period, if the lead agency finds that the surface mining
8operator has complied fully with the interim management plan.

9(B) Require the surface mining operator to commence
10reclamation in accordance with its approved reclamation plan.

11(3) The financial assurances required by Section 2773.1 shall
12remain in effect during the period that the surface mining operation
13is idle. If the surface mining operation is still idle after the
14expiration of its interim management plan, the surface mining
15operation shall commence reclamation in accordance with its
16approved reclamation plan.

17(4) Within 60 days of the receipt of the interim management
18plan, or a longer period mutually agreed upon by the lead agency
19and the operator, the lead agency shall review and approve the
20plan in accordance with its ordinance adopted pursuant to
21subdivision (a) of Section 2774, so long as the plan satisfies the
22requirements of this subdivision, and so notify the operator in
23writing. Otherwise, the lead agency shall notify the operator in
24writing of any deficiencies in the plan. The operator shall have 30
25days, or a longer period mutually agreed upon by the operator and
26the lead agency, to submit a revised plan.

27(5) The lead agency shall approve or deny approval of the
28revised interim management plan within 60 days of receipt. If the
29lead agency denies approval of the revised interim management
30plan, the operator may appeal that action to the lead agency’s
31governing body, which shall schedule a public hearing within 45
32days of the filing of the appeal, or a longer period mutually agreed
33upon by the operator and the governing body.

34(6) Unless review of an interim management plan is pending
35before the lead agency, or an appeal is pending before the lead
36agency’s governing body, a surface mining operation that remains
37idle for over one year after becoming idle as defined in Section
382727.1 without obtaining approval of an interim management plan
39shall be considered abandoned and the operator shall commence
P18   1and complete reclamation in accordance with the approved
2reclamation plan.

3(i) An enforcement action that may be brought against a surface
4mining operation for operating without an approved reclamation
5plan, financial assurance, or interim management plan shall be
6held in abeyance pending review pursuant to subdivision (b), (c),
7(d), or (h), or the resolution of an appeal filed with the board
8pursuant to subdivision (e), or with a lead agency governing body
9pursuant to subdivision (h).

10

SEC. 11.  

Section 2772 of the Public Resources Code is
11amended to read:

12

2772.  

(a) The reclamation plan shall be filed with the lead
13agency, on a form provided by the lead agency, by any person who
14owns, leases, or otherwise controls or operates on all, or any begin deleteportionend delete
15begin insert portion,end insert ofbegin delete any,end deletebegin insert anyend insert mined lands, and who plans to conduct surface
16mining operations on the lands.

17(b) All documentation for the reclamation plan shall be
18 submitted by the lead agency to the department at one time.

19(c) The reclamation plan shall include all of the following
20information and documents:

21(1) The name and address of the surface mining operator and
22the names and addresses of any persons designated by the operator
23as an agent for the service of process.

24(2) The anticipated quantity and type of minerals for which the
25surface mining operation is to be conducted.

26(3) The proposed dates for the initiation and termination of
27surface mining operation.

28(4) The maximum anticipated depth of the surface mining
29operation.

30(5) The size and legal description of the lands that will be
31affected by the surface mining operation, a map that includes the
32boundaries and topographic details of the lands, a description of
33the general geology of the area, a detailed description of the
34geology of the area in which surface mining is to be conducted,
35the location of all streams, roads, railroads, and utility facilities
36within, or adjacent to, the lands, the location of all proposed access
37roads to be constructed in conducting the surface mining operation,
38and the names and addresses of the owners of all surface interests
39and mineral interests in the lands.

P19   1(6) A description of, and a plan for, the type of surface mining
2to be employed, and a time schedule that will provide for the
3completion of surface mining on each segment of the mined lands
4so that reclamation can be initiated at the earliest possible time on
5those portions of the mined lands that will not be subject to further
6disturbance by the surface mining operation.

7(7) A description of the proposed use or potential uses of the
8mined lands after reclamation and evidence that all owners of a
9possessory interest in the land have been notified of the proposed
10use or potential uses.

11(8) A description of the manner in which reclamation, adequate
12for the proposed use or potentialbegin delete usesend deletebegin insert uses,end insert will be accomplished,
13begin insert as certified by a registered professional geologist, geophysicist,
14or professional engineer, pursuant to Section 2733,end insert
including both
15of the following:

16(A) A description of the manner in which contaminants will be
17controlled, and mining waste will be disposed.

18(B) A description of the manner in which affected streambed
19channels and streambanks will be rehabilitated to a condition
20minimizing erosion and sedimentation will occur.

21(9) An assessment of the effect of implementation of the
22reclamation plan on future mining in the area.

23(10) A statement that the person submitting the reclamation
24plan accepts responsibility for reclaiming the mined lands in
25accordance with the reclamation plan.

begin insert

26(11) A schedule with time limits, updated annually, for
27completing reclamation in accordance with the reclamation plan
28and the then-current condition of the mining site.

end insert
begin delete

29(11)

end delete

30begin insert(12)end insert Any other informationbegin delete whichend deletebegin insert thatend insert the lead agency may
31require by ordinance.

32(d) An item of information or a document required pursuant to
33subdivision (c) that has already been prepared as part of a permit
34application for the surface mining operation, or as part of an
35environmental document prepared for the project pursuant to
36Division 13 (commencing with Section 21000), may be included
37in the reclamation plan by reference, if that item of information
38or that document is attached to the reclamation plan when the lead
39agency submits the reclamation plan to the director for review. To
40the extent that the information or document referenced in the
P20   1reclamation plan is used to meet the requirements of subdivision
2(c), the information or document shall become part of the
3reclamation plan and shall be subject to all other requirements of
4this article.

5(e) Nothing in this section is intended to limit or expand the
6department’s authority or responsibility to review a document in
7accordance with Division 13 (commencing with Section 21000).

8

SEC. 12.  

Section 2773.1 of the Public Resources Code is
9amended to read:

10

2773.1.  

(a) Lead agencies shall require financial assurancesbegin insert,
11as determined by the director based on the most recent inspection,end insert

12 of each surface mining operation to ensure reclamation is
13performed in accordance with the surface mining operation’s
14approved reclamation plan, as follows:

15(1) Financial assurances may take the form of surety bonds
16executed by an admitted surety insurer, as defined in subdivision
17(a) of Section 995.120 of the Code of Civil Procedure, irrevocable
18letters of credit, trust funds, or other forms of financial assurances
19specified by the board pursuant to subdivision (e),begin delete whichend deletebegin insert thatend insert the
20begin delete lead agencyend deletebegin insert directorend insert reasonably determines are adequate to perform
21reclamation in accordance with the surface mining operation’s
22approved reclamation plan.

23(2) The financial assurances shall remain in effect for the
24duration of the surface mining operation and any additional period
25until reclamation is completed.

26(3) begin insert(A)end insertbegin insertend insertThe amount of financial assurances required of a surface
27mining operation for any one year shall be adjusted annuallybegin insert by
28the directorend insert
to account for new lands disturbed by surface mining
29operations, inflation, and reclamation of lands accomplished in
30accordance with the approved reclamation plan.

begin insert

31(B) The annual adjustment of financial assurances is not subject
32to the procedures specified in paragraph (3) of subdivision (d) of
33Section 2774 unless made in response to an amendment to an
34existing reclamation plan.

end insert

35(4) The financial assurances shall be made payable to the lead
36agency and the department. Financial assurances that were
37approved by the lead agency prior to January 1, 1993, and were
38made payable to the State Geologist shall be considered payable
39to the department for purposes of this chapter. However, if a surface
40mining operation has received approval of its financial assurances
P21   1from a public agency other than the lead agency, thebegin delete lead agency end delete
2begin insert director end insertshall deem those financial assurances adequate for
3purposes of this section, or shall credit them toward fulfillment of
4the financial assurances required by this section, if they are made
5payable to the public agency, the lead agency, and the department
6and otherwise meet the requirements of this section. In any event,
7if a lead agency and one or more public agencies exercise
8jurisdiction over a surface mining operation, the total amount of
9financial assurances required by thebegin delete lead agencyend deletebegin insert directorend insert and the
10public agencies for any one year shall not exceed that amount
11which is necessary to perform reclamation of lands remaining
12disturbed. For purposes of this paragraph, a “public agency” may
13include a federal agency.

14(b) If the lead agency or the board, following a public hearing,
15determines that the operator is financially incapable of performing
16reclamation in accordance with its approved reclamation plan, or
17has abandoned its surface mining operation without commencing
18reclamation, either the lead agency or the director shall do all of
19the following:

20(1) Notify the operator by personal service or certified mail that
21the lead agency or the director intends to take appropriate action
22to forfeit the financial assurances and specify the reasons for so
23doing.

24(2) begin insert(A)end insertbegin insertend insertAllow the operator 60 days to commence or cause the
25commencement of reclamation in accordance with its approved
26reclamation plan and require that reclamation be completed within
27the time limits specified in the approved reclamation plan or some
28other time period mutually agreed upon by the lead agencybegin delete or the
29directorend delete
and the operator.

begin insert

30(B) If no time period is specified in the reclamation plan, or if
31the time period specified is determined by the lead agency to be
32inappropriate for the condition of the site, the lead agency shall
33determine a time period for reclamation to be completed if an
34agreement for such a time period cannot be reached between the
35lead agency and the operator.

end insert

36(3) Proceed to take appropriate action to require forfeiture of
37the financial assurances if the operator does not substantially
38comply with paragraph (2).

39(4) Use the proceeds from the forfeited financial assurances to
40conduct and complete reclamation in accordance with the approved
P22   1reclamation plan. In no event shall the financial assurances be used
2for any other purpose. The operator is responsible for the costs of
3conducting and completing reclamation in accordance with the
4approved reclamation planbegin delete whichend deletebegin insert thatend insert are in excess of the proceeds
5from the forfeited financial assurances.

6(c) Financial assurances shall no longer be required of a surface
7mining operation, and shall be released, upon written notification
8by the lead agency,begin insert with the concurrence of the director,end insert which
9shall be forwarded to thebegin delete operator and the director,end deletebegin insert operator,end insert that
10reclamation has been completed in accordance with the approved
11reclamation plan. If a mining operation is sold or ownership is
12transferred to another person, the existing financial assurances
13shall remain in force and shall not be released by the lead agency
14begin insert or the directorend insert until new financial assurances are secured from the
15new owner and have been approved by thebegin delete lead agencyend deletebegin insert directorend insert
16 in accordance with Section 2770.

17(d) begin insert(1)end insertbegin insertend insertThe lead agency shall have primary responsibility to
18seek forfeiture of financial assurances and to reclaim mine sites
19under subdivision (b). However, in cases where the board is not
20the lead agency pursuant to Section 2774.4, the director may act
21to seek forfeiture of financial assurances and reclaim mine sites
22pursuant to subdivision (b) only if both of the following occurs:

begin delete

23(1)

end delete

24begin insert(A)end insert The financial incapability of the operator or the abandonment
25of the mining operation has come to the attention of the director.

begin delete

26(2)

end delete

27begin insert(B)end insert The lead agency has been notified in writing by the director
28of the financial incapability of the operator or the abandonment
29of the mining operation for at least 15 days, and has not taken
30appropriate measures to seek forfeiture of the financial assurances
31and reclaim the mine site; and one of the following has occurred:

begin delete

32(A)

end delete

33begin insert(i)end insert The lead agency has been notified in writing by the director
34that failure to take appropriate measures to seek forfeiture of the
35financial assurances or to reclaim the mine site shall result in
36 actions being taken against the lead agency under Section 2774.4.

begin delete

37(B)

end delete

38begin insert(ii)end insert The director determines that there is a violation that amounts
39to an imminent and substantial endangerment to the public health,
40safety, or to the environment.

begin delete

P23   1(C)

end delete

2begin insert(iii)end insert The lead agency notifies the director in writing that its good
3faith attempts to seek forfeiture of the financial assurances have
4not been successful.

begin delete

5The director shall comply with subdivision (b)

end delete

6begin insert(2)end insertbegin insertend insertbegin insert The director,end insert in seeking forfeiture of financial assurances
7and reclaiming minebegin delete sites.end deletebegin insert sites, shall do all of the following:end insert

begin insert

8(A) Notify the operator by personal service or certified mail
9that the director intends to take appropriate action to forfeit the
10financial assurances and specify the reasons for so doing.

end insert
begin insert

11(B) (i) Allow the operator 60 days to commence or cause the
12commencement of reclamation in accordance with its approved
13reclamation plan and require that reclamation be completed within
14the time limits specified in the approved reclamation plan or some
15other time period mutually agreed upon by the director and the
16operator.

end insert
begin insert

17(ii) If no time period is specified in the reclamation plan, or if
18the time period specified is determined by the director to be
19inappropriate for the condition of the site, the director shall
20determine a time period for reclamation to be completed if an
21agreement for such a time period cannot be reached between the
22director and the operator pursuant to clause (i).

end insert
begin insert

23(C) Proceed to take appropriate action to require forfeiture of
24the financial assurances if the operator does not substantially
25comply with subparagraph (B).

end insert
begin insert

26(D) Use the proceeds from the forfeited financial assurances to
27conduct and complete reclamation in accordance with the approved
28reclamation plan. In no event shall the financial assurances be
29used for any other purpose. The operator shall be responsible for
30the costs of conducting and completing reclamation in accordance
31with the approved reclamation plan that are in excess of the
32 proceeds from the forfeited financial assurances.

end insert

33(e) The board may adopt regulations specifying financial
34assurance mechanisms other than surety bonds, irrevocable letters
35of credit, and trust funds,begin delete whichend deletebegin insert thatend insert the board determines are
36reasonably available and adequate to ensure reclamation pursuant
37to this chapter, but these mechanisms may not include financial
38tests, or surety bonds executed by one or more personal sureties.
39These mechanisms may include reclamation bond pool programs.

P24   1(f) begin deleteOn or before March 1, 1993, the end deletebegin insertThe end insertboard shall adoptbegin insert, and
2update as required,end insert
guidelines to implement this section. The
3guidelines are exempt from the requirements of Chapter 3.5
4(commencing with Section 11340) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title
52 of the Government Code, and are not subject to review by the
6Office of Administrative Law.

7

SEC. 13.  

Section 2774 of the Public Resources Code is
8amended to read:

9

2774.  

(a) Every lead agency shall adopt ordinances in
10accordance with state policy that establish procedures for the
11review and approval of reclamation plansbegin insert,end insertbegin delete andend deletebegin insert end insertbegin insertreceipt ofend insert financial
12assurancesbegin insert approved by the director,end insert and the issuance of a permit
13to conduct surface mining operations, except that any lead agency
14without an active surface mining operation in its jurisdiction may
15defer adopting an implementing ordinance until the filing of a
16permit application. The ordinances shall establish procedures
17requiring at least one public hearing and shall be periodically
18reviewed by the lead agency and revised, as necessary, to ensure
19that the ordinances continue to be in accordance with state policy.

20(b) Thebegin delete lead agencyend deletebegin insert directorend insert shall conduct an inspection of a
21surface mining operation withinbegin delete six monthsend deletebegin insert one yearend insert of receipt by
22thebegin delete lead agencyend deletebegin insert State Mine Inspectorend insert of the surface mining
23operation’s report submitted pursuant to Section 2207, solely to
24determine whether the surface mining operation is in compliance
25with this chapter. In no event shallbegin delete a lead agencyend deletebegin insert the directorend insert
26 inspect a surface mining operation less than once in any calendar
27year. Thebegin delete lead agencyend deletebegin insert directorend insert may cause an inspection to be
28conducted by a state licensed geologist, state licensed civil
29engineer, state licensed landscape architect, or state licensed
30forester, who is experienced in land reclamation and who has not
31been employed by a surface mining operation within the
32jurisdiction of the lead agency in any capacity during the previous
3312 months. All inspections shall be conducted using a form
34developed by the department and approved by the board that shall
35include the professional licensing and disciplinary information of
36the person who conducted the inspection. The operator shall be
37solely responsible for the reasonable cost of the inspection. The
38begin delete lead agencyend deletebegin insert directorend insert shall notify thebegin delete directorend deletebegin insert lead agencyend insert within
3930 days of the date of completion of the inspection that the
40inspection has been conducted. The notice shall contain a statement
P25   1regarding the surface mining operation’s compliance with this
2chapter, shall include a copy of the completed inspection form,
3and shall specify which aspects of the surface mining operations,
4if any, are inconsistent with this chapter. If the surface mining
5operation has a review of its reclamation plan, financial assurances,
6or an interim management plan pending under subdivision (b), (c),
7(d), or (h) of Section 2770, or an appeal pending before the board
8or lead agency governing body under subdivision (e) or (h) of
9Section 2770, the notice shall so indicate. Thebegin delete lead agencyend deletebegin insert directorend insert
10 shall forward to the operator a copy of the notice, a copy of the
11completed inspection form, and any supporting documentation,
12including, but not limited to, any inspection report prepared by the
13geologist, civil engineer, landscape architect, or forester, who
14conducted the inspection.

15(c) Before approving a surface mining operation’s reclamation
16begin delete plan, financial assurances, including existing financial assurances
17reviewed by the lead agencyend delete
begin insert planend insert pursuant to subdivision (c) of
18Section 2770, or any amendments, the lead agency shall submit
19thebegin delete plan, assurances,end deletebegin insert planend insert or amendments to the director for review.
20All documentation for that submission shall be submitted to the
21director at one time. When the lead agency submits a reclamation
22plan or plan amendments to the director for review, the lead agency
23shall also submit to the director, for use in reviewing the
24reclamation plan or plan amendments, information from any related
25document prepared, adopted, or certified pursuant to Division 13
26 (commencing with Section 21000), and shall submit any other
27pertinent information. The lead agency shall certify to the director
28that the reclamation plan isbegin insert complete andend insert in compliance with the
29applicable requirements of this chapter and Article 1 (commencing
30with Section 3500) of Chapter 8 of Division 2 of Title 14 of the
31California Code of Regulations and the lead agency’s mining
32ordinance in effect at the time that the reclamation plan is submitted
33to the director for review.

34(d) (1) The director shall have 30 days from the date of receipt
35of abegin insert completeend insert reclamation plan orbegin insert completeend insert plan amendments
36submitted pursuant to subdivisionbegin delete (c), and 45 days from the date
37of receipt of financial assurances submitted pursuant to subdivision
38(c),end delete
begin insert (c)end insert to prepare written comments, if the director so chooses.
39The lead agency shall evaluate written comments received from
40the director relating to the reclamationbegin delete plan,end deletebegin insert plan orend insert plan
P26   1amendments,begin delete or financial assurancesend delete within a reasonable amount
2of time.

3(2) The lead agency shall prepare a written response to the
4director’s comments describing the disposition of the major issues
5raised by the director’s comments, and submit the lead agency’s
6proposed response to the director at least 30 days prior to approval
7of the reclamationbegin delete plan,end deletebegin insert plan orend insert planbegin delete amendment, or financial
8assuranceend delete
begin insert amendmentend insert. The lead agency’s response to the director’s
9comments shall describe whether the lead agency proposes to adopt
10the director’s comments to the reclamationbegin delete plan,end deletebegin insert plan orend insert plan
11begin deleteamendment, or financial assuranceend deletebegin insert amendmentend insert. If the lead agency
12does not propose to adopt the director’s comments, the lead agency
13shall specify, in detail, why the lead agency proposes not to adopt
14the comments. Copies of any written comments received and
15responses prepared by the lead agency shall be forwarded to the
16operator. The lead agency shall also give the director at least 30
17days’ notice of the time, place, and date of the hearing before the
18lead agency at which time the reclamationbegin delete plan,end deletebegin insert plan orend insert plan
19begin delete amendment, or financial assuranceend deletebegin insert amendmentend insert is scheduled to be
20approved by the lead agency. If no hearing is required by this
21chapter, or by the local ordinance, or other state law, then the lead
22agency shall provide 30 days’ notice to the director that it intends
23to approve the reclamationbegin delete plan,end deletebegin insert plan orend insert planbegin delete amendment, or
24financial assuranceend delete
begin insert amendmentend insert. The lead agency shall send to the
25director its final response to the director’s comments within 30
26days following its approval of the reclamationbegin delete plan,end deletebegin insert plan orend insert plan
27begin delete amendment, or financial assuranceend deletebegin insert amendmentend insert during which period
28the department retains all powers, duties, and authorities of this
29chapter.

begin insert

30(3) (A) Prior to approving initial financial assurances for a
31reclamation plan or any amendments, pursuant to subdivision (a)
32of Section 2770, the director shall have 45 days from the date of
33receipt of a complete reclamation plan or complete plan
34amendments submitted pursuant to subdivision (c) to prepare
35financial assurances for reclamation pursuant to the proposed
36reclamation plan and to submit the proposed financial assurances
37to the lead agency for review.

end insert
begin insert

38(B) The lead agency shall have 30 days from the date of its
39receipt of the financial assurances to evaluate the financial
P27   1assurances prepared by the director and to submit written
2comments, if the lead agency so chooses.

end insert
begin insert

3(C) The director shall evaluate any written comments received
4from the lead agency pursuant to subparagraph (B) and shall
5prepare a written response to the lead agency’s comments,
6describing the disposition of the major issues raised by the lead
7agency’s comments. The response shall indicate whether the
8director proposes to adopt the lead agency’s comments or, if not,
9shall specify, in detail, why the director does not propose to adopt
10the lead agency’s comments. Copies of any written comments
11received and responses prepared by the director shall be forwarded
12to the operator. The director shall submit the response and the
13approved financial assurances to the lead agency and to the
14operator within 30 days of receipt of the lead agency’s comments.

end insert
begin delete

15(3)

end delete

16begin insert(4)end insert To the extent that there is a conflict between the comments
17of a trustee agency or a responsible agency that are based on the
18agency’s statutory or regulatory authority and the comments of
19other commenting agencies which are received by the lead agency
20pursuant to Division 13 (commencing with Section 21000)
21regarding a reclamation plan or plan amendments, the lead agency
22shall consider only the comments of the trustee agency or
23responsible agency.

24(e) A lead agency shall notify the director of the filing of an
25application for a permit to conduct surface mining operations
26within 30 days of an application being filed with the lead agency.
27begin delete By July 1, 1991, each lead agency shall submit to the director for
28every active or idle mining operation within its jurisdiction, a copy
29of the mining permit required pursuant to Section 2774, and any
30conditions or amendments to those permits.end delete
By July 1 of each
31begin delete subsequentend delete year, the lead agency shall submit to the director for
32each active or idle mining operation a copy of any permit or
33reclamation plan amendments, as applicable, or a statement that
34there have been no changes during the previous year. Failure to
35file with the director the information required under this section
36shall be cause for action under Section 2774.4.

37

SEC. 14.  

Section 2774.1 of the Public Resources Code is
38amended to read:

39

2774.1.  

(a) Except as provided in subdivision (i) of Section
402770, if the lead agency or the director determines, based upon an
P28   1annual inspection pursuant to Section 2774, or otherwise confirmed
2by an inspection of the mining operation, that a surface mining
3operation is not in compliance with this chapter, the lead agency
4or the directorbegin delete mayend deletebegin insert shallend insert notify the operator of that violation by
5personal service or certified mail.begin insert The notice of violation shall
6specify the remedial steps to be taken to correct any noncompliance
7identified in the notice, as well as a reasonable time for compliance
8of each instance of noncompliance if compliance cannot reasonably
9be attained within 30 days of the date of the notice. end insert
Ifbegin delete theend deletebegin insert aend insert
10 violation extends beyond 30 days after the date of the lead agency’s
11or the director’s notification,begin insert unless the operator has accepted a
12scope of work and schedule, agreed to by the lead agency or the
13director, for achieving compliance,end insert
the lead agency or the director
14begin delete mayend deletebegin insert shallend insert issue an order by personal service or certified mail
15requiring the operator to comply with this chapter or, if the operator
16does not have an approved reclamation plan or financial assurances,
17cease all further mining activities.

18(b) An order issued under subdivision (a) shall not take effect
19until the operator has been provided a hearing before the lead
20agency for orders issued by the lead agency, or board for orders
21issued by the director, concerning the alleged violation. An order
22issued under subdivision (a) shall specify which aspects of the
23surface mine’s activities or operations are inconsistent with this
24chapter, shall specify a time for compliance that the lead agency
25or director determines is reasonable, taking into account the
26seriousness of the violation and any good faith efforts to comply
27with applicable requirements, and shall set a date for the hearing,
28which shall not be sooner than 30 days after the date of the order.

29(c) An operator who violates or fails to comply with an order
30issued under subdivision (a) after the order’s effective date, as
31provided in subdivision (b), or who fails to submit a report to the
32begin delete directorend deletebegin insert State Mine Inspectorend insert or lead agency as required by Section
332207, shall be subject to an order by the lead agency or the director
34imposing an administrative penalty of not more than five thousand
35dollars ($5,000) per day, assessed from the original date of
36noncompliance with this chapter or Section 2207. The penalty may
37be imposed administratively by the lead agency or the director. In
38determining the amount of the administrative penalty, the lead
39agency or the director shall take into consideration the nature,
40circumstances, extent, and gravity of the violation or violations,
P29   1any prior history of violations, the degree of culpability, economic
2savings, if any, resulting from the violation, and any other matters
3justice may require. Orders setting administrative penalties shall
4become effective upon issuance of the order and payment shall be
5made to the lead agency or the director within 30 days, unless the
6operator petitions the legislative body of the lead agency, the board,
7or the superior court for review as provided in Section 2774.2. An
8order shall be served by personal service or by certified mail upon
9the operator. Penalties collected by the director shall not be used
10for purposes other than to cover the reasonable costs incurred by
11the directorbegin insert or the State Mine Inspectorend insert in implementing this
12chapter or Section 2207.

13(d) If the lead agency or the director determines that the surface
14mine is not in compliance with this chapter, so that the surface
15 mine presents an imminent and substantial endangerment to the
16public health or the environment, the lead agency or the Attorney
17General, on behalf of the director, may seek an order from a court
18of competent jurisdiction enjoining that operation.

19(e) Upon a complaint by the director, the department, or the
20board, the Attorney General may bring an action to recover
21administrative penalties under this section, and penalties under
22Section 2207, in any court of competent jurisdiction in this state
23against any person violating any provision of this chapter or Section
242207, or any regulation adopted pursuant to this chapter or Section
252207. The Attorney General may bring this action on his or her
26own initiative if, after examining the complaint and the evidence,
27he or she believes a violation has occurred. The Attorney General
28may also seek an order from a court of competent jurisdiction
29compelling the operator to comply with this chapter and Section
30 2207.

31(f) (1) The lead agency has primary responsibility for enforcing
32this chapter and Section 2207. In cases where the board is not the
33lead agency pursuant to Section 2774.4, enforcement actions may
34be initiated by the director pursuant to this section only after the
35violation has come to the attention of the director and either of the
36following occurs:

37(A) The lead agency has been notified by the director in writing
38of the violation for at least 30 days, and has not taken appropriate
39enforcement action, which may include failing to issue an order
P30   1to comply within a reasonable time after issuing a notice of
2violation.

3(B) The director determines that there is a violation that amounts
4to an imminent and substantial endangerment to the public health
5or safety, or to the environment.

6(2) The director shall comply with this section in initiating
7enforcement actions.

8(g) Remedies under this section are in addition to, and do not
9supersede or limit, any and all other remedies, civil or criminal.

10

SEC. 15.  

Section 2774.4 of the Public Resources Code is
11amended to read:

12

2774.4.  

(a) If the board finds that a lead agency either has (1)
13approved reclamation plans orbegin insert, prior to January 1, 2015,end insert financial
14assurancesbegin delete whichend deletebegin insert thatend insert are not consistent with this chapter, (2)
15failedbegin insert, prior to January 1, 2015,end insert to inspect or cause the inspection
16of surface mining operations as required by this chapter, (3) failed
17to seek forfeiture of financial assurances and to carry out
18 reclamation of surface mining operations as required by this
19chapter, (4) failed to take appropriate enforcement actions as
20required by this chapter, (5) intentionally misrepresented the results
21of inspections required under this chapter, or (6) failed to submit
22information to the department as required by this chapter, the board
23shall exercise any of the powers of that lead agency under this
24chapter, except for permitting authority.

25(b) If, no sooner than three years after the board has taken action
26pursuant to subdivision (a), the board finds, after a public hearing,
27that a lead agency has corrected its deficiencies in implementing
28and enforcing this chapter, and the rules and regulations adopted
29pursuant to this chapter, the board shall restore to the lead agency
30the powers assumed by the board pursuant to subdivision (a).

31(c) Before taking any action pursuant to subdivision (a), the
32board shall first notify the lead agency of the identified
33deficiencies, and allow the lead agency 45 days to correct the
34deficiencies to the satisfaction of the board. If the lead agency has
35not corrected the deficiencies to the satisfaction of the board within
36the 45-day period, the board shall hold a public hearing within the
37lead agency’s area of jurisdiction, upon a 45-day written notice
38given to the public in at least one newspaper of general circulation
39within the city or county, and directly mailed to the lead agency
40and to all surface mining operators within the lead agency’s
P31   1jurisdiction who have submitted reports as required by Section
22207.

3(d) Affected surface mining operators and interested persons
4have the right, at the public hearing, to present oral and written
5evidence on the matter being considered. The board may, at the
6public hearing, place reasonable limits on the right of affected
7surface mining operators and interested persons to question and
8solicit testimony.

9(e) If, after conducting the public hearing required by
10subdivision (c), the board decides to take action pursuant to
11subdivision (a), the board shall, based on the record of the public
12hearing, adopt written findings which explain all of the following:

13(1) The action to be taken by the board.

14(2) Why the board decided to take the action.

15(3) Why the action is authorized by, and meets the requirements
16of, subdivision (a).

17In addition, the findings shall address the significant issues
18raised, or written evidence presented, by affected surface mining
19operators, interested persons, or the lead agency. The transcript of
20testimony and exhibits, together with all papers and requests filed
21in the proceedings, shall constitute the exclusive record for decision
22by the board.

23(f) The lead agency, any affected surface mining operator, or
24any interested person who has presented oral or written evidence
25at the public hearing before the board pursuant to subdivision (d)
26may obtain review of the board’s action taken pursuant to
27subdivision (a) by filing in the superior court a petition for writ of
28mandate within 30 days following the issuance of the board’s
29decision. Section 1094.5 of the Code of Civil Procedure governs
30judicial proceedings pursuant to this subdivision, except that in
31every case the court shall exercise its independent judgment. If a
32petition for a writ of mandate is not filed within the time limits set
33by this subdivision, the board’s action under subdivision (a) shall
34not be subject to review by any court or agency.

begin insert

35(g) (1) A lead agency may unilaterally and voluntarily relinquish
36its responsibilities under this chapter, and the board shall assume
37those responsibilities.

end insert
begin insert

38(2) (A) No sooner than three years after relinquishing its lead
39agency responsibilities, the lead agency may request the board to
40authorize it to resume its role as a lead agency.

end insert
begin insert

P32   1(B) If the board finds, after holding a public hearing as
2described in subdivision (d), that the lead agency has corrected
3all deficiencies, if any, pursuant to subdivision (a) in implementing
4and enforcing this chapter and its implementing regulations, the
5board shall restore to the agency the lead agency powers assumed
6by the board pursuant to this subdivision.

end insert
7

SEC. 16.  

No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to
8Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because
9a local agency or school district has the authority to levy service
10charges, fees, or assessments sufficient to pay for the program or
11level of service mandated by this act, within the meaning of Section
1217556 of the Government Code.



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