Thursday, January 19, 2012

Legislation to tidy up AZGS statutes

One outcome of the Legislature's 10-year Sunset Review of the Arizona Geological Survey last fall, the review committee recommended making corrections to our statutes. Those changes are the basis for Senate Bill 1171, introduced yesterday. The intent is to simplify the release of earth fissure maps, and to integrate the statutes from last years Mines & Mineral Resources merger with AZGS.

The fissure language adopted 5 years ago specified AZGS deliver map results every five years for release by the State Land Dept. Instead, we release new maps as each is completed. In addition, AZGS now publishes the maps online immediately rather than after a 90-day waiting period that was expected. Working with the State Land Dept, we cut the costs of doing this by $20,000 per year. The legislation recognizes these benefits by revising the statute to formally incorporate these changes.

The second change is to put the revised ADMMR and AZGS statutes into the same section in code. That is normally how it would have been done at the time of the merger, but the consolidation last year was accomplished through a budget bill as the Legislature rushed to wrap up its work. As a result, the sections are in different chapters and there were wording differences between the two sections that we presented at the Sunset Review and asked for clarification. The committee chair, Sen. John Nelson, called together a broad range of stakeholders to solicit their input on integrating the sections, which led to SB1171.

There are no substantive changes to the consolidation approved last year.

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