A Message from the President: May 2024

    The legislative session came to a close on May 8 and despite a wide range of challenges raised for the regulated community, the session was relatively productive for the mining industry. Among the most significant legislation passed this year was Colorado’s first dredge and fill program established by HB24-1379, signed into law earlier this week. CMA engaged heavily in negotiating improvements to the final version of HB24-1379, which represented a compromise between the initial sponsors of the bill and the sponsors of SB24-127. CMA played a significant role in negotiating the compromise with bill sponsors and partner organizations, including the Colorado Water Congress, and testified in support of the amended version of the bill.

    CMA’s efforts contributed to key improvements to the final bill, including: the incorporation of nationwide and regional permits of the Corps of Engineers, focusing environmental impact analyses on chemical, physical, and biological integrity of state waters rather than issues outside the scope of the program, and language for the exemption for maintenance of waste treatment and water management facilities. CMA will continue to work with the Department of Public Health & Environment as it establishes implementing regulations for the program. Thank you to all CMA members who contributed to this effort.

    CMA joined with other allied mining organizations in support of H.R. 3397, a bill to nullify the Bureau of Land Management’s Conservation and Landscape Health rule. The rule, which was finalized on May 9, 2024, significantly erodes multiple use management of public lands under the Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA) by classifying conservation among the eligible multiple uses and creating a framework that prioritizes conservation above other uses of public lands, including mining. If enacted, H.R. 3397 would restore multiple use management of public lands as intended under FLPMA.

    The 126th National Western Mining Conference is less than three weeks away. We’re looking forward to an excellent program this year with a schedule of expert speakers, a broad range of exhibits, and networking opportunities with representatives from throughout the industry. This year’s program will include presentations on a host of issues impacting the mining industry, including permitting reform, developments in uranium and critical minerals, new minerals exploration activity in Colorado, presentations from candidates for the Third Congressional District on their views on mining policy, and conversations with local elected officials, among other exciting topics. If you have not done so already, please remember to register for the event taking place at Colorado Mesa University in Grand Junction from June 17-19.

    Opportunities for sponsorship are still available for those interested in supporting the industry and increasing exposure to conference attendees.

    Thank you to our current sponsors, Mountain Coal Company, Trapper Mining, Newmont Mining, Wagner Equipment, Climax Molybdenum, Womble Bond Dickenson, Geosyntec, and Pray & Company!

    For more information on registration, sponsorship, and a complete schedule of events, please visit www.coloradomining.org/NWMC2024

    Adam Eckman
    President & CEO
    Colorado Mining Association