By |  July 23, 2013

The California Department of Conservation says legislation sponsored by the California Construction & Industrial Materials Association (CalCIMA) saved 108 aggregate and mineral operations from having to cease operations.

According to a CalCIMA press release, California law broadly required any extraction operation that produced 90 percent below a historical level to file an “interim management plan.” Operations that failed to file the interim plan could be considered abandoned and required to begin reclamation.

“If the operations had been considered abandoned, there would have been reliance on more distant sources of materials, which would have meant increased diesel emissions, increased fuel usage, increased greenhouse gas emissions and increased wear and tear on our roads to bring the materials to market,” says Gary W. Hambly, CalCIMA president and CEO. “If truck haul distances are increased by even 25 miles to transport materials, the Department of Conservation has estimated that half a million tons of carbon dioxide emissions are added.”

Many aggregate and mineral operations experienced drastic reductions in production when the economic downturn occurred several years ago. This was a unique circumstance, CalCIMA says, that resulted in an unintended consequence under state law and, thus, many operations were unaware of the interim management plan requirement.

In response to the situation, CalCIMA sponsored SB 108, which Sen. Michael Rubio (D-Bakersfield) authored. The bill became law on January 1, 2012. It provided an amnesty period until July 1, 2013, to submit interim management plans and up-dated the formula for calculating production changes.

John Parrish, acting director for the Office of Mine Reclamation at the Department of Conversation, reported at a State Mining & Geology Board meeting July 11 that his office received 108 interim management plans under SB 108 before the July 1 deadline.

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