City Responds to State Mining Board

Post Date:02/08/2011 3:30 PM

The City of Lake Elsinore announced today it has submitted a response to the California State Mining and Geology Board’s (SMGB) 45-day notice to correct perceived deficiencies in the City’s enforcement responsibilities under the Surface Mining and Reclamation Act of 1975 (SMARA).

“Most of the deficiencies identified by the SMGB apply to the completion of administrative tasks,” said Ken Seumalo, Lake Elsinore Director of Public Works. “We took immediate action to review and respond to the identified deficiencies and expect the SMGB to accept our response to the 45-day notice.”

While none of the deficiencies identified by the SMGB involve issues related to safety or public health, the City took immediate action to review and respond to the identified deficiencies and introduced a plan to improve elements of their SMARA Program.

City representatives met with the SMGB executive officer to gain insight and direction for maintaining its SMARA program in compliance with State law. As a result, the City contracted with a consulting firm specializing in
mining compliance to support Lake Elsinore in properly administering the SMARA program.

SMARA governs mining activity in the State and is implemented and enforced by local lead agencies. SMARA requires mining operations to obtain a local permit to mine, a reclamation plan, and financial assurances to guarantee reclamation can be completed if the operator defaults on this responsibility.
The Department of Conservation’s Office of Mine Reclamation (OMR) administers SMARA at the State level, with policy direction provided by the SMGB. OMR and the SMGB have the responsibility to review each lead agency’s SMARA program to ensure it is being implemented properly.
The 45-day notice allows the City to present arguments to support activities and establish procedures to correct any noted deficiencies.

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