An Act To Establish the Mining Advisory Panel
Sec. 1. 5 MRSA §12004-I, sub-§24-G is enacted to read:
|Environment: Natural Resources||Mining Advisory Panel||Legislative Per Diem and Expenses||38 MRSA §490-UU|
This subsection is repealed January 1, 2020.
Sec. 2. 38 MRSA §490-UU is enacted to read:
§ 490-UU. Mining Advisory Panel
(1) Comply with all applicable federal environmental laws and standards, including, but not limited to, the federal Clean Air Act of 1963 and the federal Clean Water Act of 1977;
(2) Require that all mining areas be left in or returned to a geologically stable condition following remediation and closure;
(3) Require a permittee to provide a specific plan for ensuring that all mining areas will be left in or returned to a geologically stable condition following remediation and closure;
(4) Require a permittee to demonstrate that the environmental quality and security of a mining site will be protected through the use of proven technologies and best available practices and require use of these technologies and practices as a permit condition;
(5) Require that all remediation costs related to a mining area be paid by a permittee and not by the State;
(6) Require that the financial assurance method approved for and financial assurance amount required for a permittee be determined by an independent 3rd-party expert with a background in mining;
(7) Prohibit mining operations using in situ leaching, heap leaching and block caving;
(8) Prohibit the granting of a permit to an applicant if the applicant or an affiliate, subsidiary or parent corporation of the applicant has ever been listed in the World Bank Listing of Ineligible Firms & Individuals or successor listing, has ever abandoned any mining site resulting in nonremediable or unremediated environmental or economic damages or has ever engaged in any ocean dumping of mining tailings regardless of the legality of such dumping; and
(9) Implement a framework for permitting a mining activity that includes several well-defined decision points, both prior to the commencement of and during the conduct of mining activities, allows for and requires additional review of the permit and mining plan by the regulatory agency, with the agency retaining the authority to require the amendment of permit conditions or the immediate cessation of previously permitted mining activities.
For the purposes of this subsection, "geologically stable" means impervious for a period of at least 1,000 years to physical, chemical or biological weathering processes that could otherwise form a toxic metal transport mechanism that can result in off-site contamination.
Sec. 3. Mining Advisory Panel; report. By December 31, 2019, the Mining Advisory Panel, established in the Maine Revised Statutes, Title 38, section 490-UU, shall submit to the joint standing committee of the Legislature having jurisdiction over environment and natural resources matters a report and recommendations, including draft legislation, regarding the establishment of a statutory and regulatory framework for metallic mineral mining in the State.
This bill establishes the Mining Advisory Panel, the purpose of which is to design and submit to the Legislature recommendations regarding the establishment of a statutory and regulatory framework for metallic mineral mining in the State. The panel consists of between 3 and 7 members, some of whom must have expertise in the mining of volcanogenic massive sulfide deposits. On or before December 31, 2019, the panel must submit a report to the joint standing committee of the Legislature having jurisdiction over environmental and natural resources matters containing its findings and recommendations, including draft legislation, regarding the establishment of a statutory and regulatory framework for metallic mineral mining. The Mining Advisory Panel is eliminated January 1, 2020.