The wide-ranging mining bill HB2617, has been approved by the Arizona legislature after some significant amendments, and is its way to Gov. Jan Brewer for her signature. The bill was intended to streamline state regulation and permitting processes to speed up approval of mining projects. One of the more high-profile parts is the requirement that state agencies cannot make rules more stringent than federal rules without legislative approval.
The bill creates a Mining Advisory Council that originally had powers to direct how agencies would operate but floor amendments changed that to an advisory role in assisting state agencies in formulating rules.