Arizona Senate Bill 1165 would exempt small mines with surface areas less than 10 acres from having to use the best available technology for aquifer protection, if they meet a variety of requirements.
The changes to the statutes follows below:
49-243. Information and criteria for issuing individual permit; definition
R. A mining facility that has a total surface area of ten acres or less and that has a tailings pond with a total surface area of five acres or less is exempt from adopting the best available demonstrated control technology if the mining facility does all of the following:
1. Pays a fee that is determined by the director by rule and that is due after two years of operation.
2. Establishes a reclamation plan after two years of operation.
3. Uses an approved design for the tailings pond.
4. Complies with a well water testing schedule as determined by the director.
5. Establishes and operates a stormwater diversion system that is consistent with the requirements of federal and state law with respect to a one hundred year storm event.
S. For any application that a permit applicant for a mining operation with a total surface area of ten acres or less submits, the following apply:
1. If the director does not respond within sixty days after submittal to the department of the plan of operation, the plan of operation is deemed approved.
2. For a mining operation that is adjacent to another mining operation that has previously submitted a report on discharges to that same aquifer, the department shall accept and apply the adjacent mine's report on discharges to that aquifer to the application of the mining operation with a total surface area of ten acres or less for no more than three years after the report is submitted and only for as long as the adjacent mine continues to operate. On termination of the adjacent mine's operation, the mining operation with a total surface area of ten acres or less shall provide its own report.3. Payment of a bond or other surety to another state agency or to a federal agency with respect to that mining operation constitutes compliance with any financial responsibility requirements prescribed by this article for that applicant at that mining operation.