The hard rock mining industry is already heavily regulated at the state and federal level to ensure that mining operations are designed, constructed, run and closed in ways that minimize risks to the environment and ensures land restoration.
In the past year, the Idaho Mining Association (IMA) has posted press releases and opinions shared by the National Mining Association (NMA) and the American Exploration & Mining Association (AEMA) on the EPA’s proposals for additional hard rock mining regulation. The proposed regulation is duplicative of current laws and regulation.
Like everyone in the mining industry, we are concerned about the duplicative rules and processes proposed by the EPA because it will put added costs and time delays that will drain the industry.
Below is a Fact Sheet from the NMA that shows a list of some of the federal environmental laws and regulations that cover all aspects of mining. In addition, each state has laws and regulations that mining companies must follow in order to operate.
- National Environmental Policy Act – requires an interdisciplinary approach to environmental decision making.
- Federal Land Policy and Management Act – prevents undue and unnecessary degradation of federal lands.
- Clean Air Act – sets air quality standards.
- Federal Water Pollution Control Act (Clean Water Act) – directs standards for surface water quality and controlling discharges to surface water.
- Safe Drinking Water Act – directs standards for quality of drinking water supplied to the public (states are primary authorities) and regulating underground injection operations.
- Solid Waste Disposal Act – regulates generation, storage and disposal of hazardous waste and manages solid, non-hazardous waste (states).
- Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act – requires reporting of hazardous substance releases and inventory of chemicals handled.
- Toxic Substance Control Act – requires regulation of chemicals that present risk to health or environment.
- Endangered Species Act – lists threatened plants and animals; protection plans mandated.
- Migratory Bird Treaty Act – protects nearly all bird species.
- Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act – regulates coal mining operations and reclamation.
Other Laws that Impact Mining
- Rivers and Harbors Act
- Federal Mining Law
- National Historic Preservation Act
- Law Authorizing Treasury’s Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms to Regulate Sale, Transport and Storage of Explosives
- Federal Mine Safety and Health Act
Tags: Idaho Mining Association, Idaho, Mining, EPA, Regulation, Laws