Public Resources Code §§ 2774, 2774.2.5
On June 27, 2018, Governor Brown approved changes to the Surface Mining and Reclamation Act (Pub. Resources Code § 2710, et seq [“SMARA”]) relating to how certain mine-related information is submitted, maintained, and made available to the public. The changes are part of the Brown administration’s ongoing effort to digitize state records and to improve public access to that information.
Currently, SMARA requires lead agencies to annually submit the following information to the Department of Conservation, Division of Mine Reclamation (“DMR”) for each active or idle mine within the lead agency’s jurisdiction:
Lead agencies typically comply with this requirement by submitting paper records to DMR, which DMR then stores in hard copy form and in digital format after scanning.
SB 854 now requires lead agencies to submit required documents to DMR exclusively in electronic format. The bill also authorizes DRM to adopt regulations specifying the particular means and methods for lead agencies to make required submittals.
Lead agencies should be aware that in addition to requiring electronic submittals, SB 854 expands the list of documents that lead agencies must submit to DMR, and also includes new timelines for doing so, as follows:
SB 854 newly requires DMR to post all of the above documents on DMR’s website “in a database and in a geographic information system interface.” In other words, the data would be graphically correlated to each active and idle mine across the state.
The full text of SB 854 is available here.
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© 2018 – Harrison, Temblador, Hungerford & Johnson LLP. All rights reserved. The information in this article has been prepared by Harrison, Temblador, Hungerford & Johnson LLP for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.