Coal, Hardrock, and Uranium committee meeting summary

October 22, 2019

DRMS Update

Russ Means provided the update from the Division of Reclamation, Mining, and Safety focusing on the minerals program as Jim Stark representing the coal program was not in attendance.

  • Russ discussed the ongoing merger of the minerals and coal program.
  • The Division leadership met with the Western Small Miners Association and described the upcoming hardrock rulemaking implementing House Bill 1113 and modifying temporary cessation rules.
  • Russ continued the discussion on the upcoming rulemaking stating the Division will host a stakeholder meeting in Denver at which a PowerPoint covering the rulemaking topics will be introduced. The meeting will also be livestreamed for those who cannot attend in person.

Russ previewed the discussion of potential changes to rules defining temporary cessation and mentioned the stakeholder group may discuss a definition of production that could be a key factor in determining if an operation is eligible for temporary cessation status. Russ indicated the Division will ask that stakeholders “think outside the box” in providing input to the Division. A recent Colorado Court of Appeals decision overturning a Mined Land Reclamation Board decision to continue temporary cessation status for an operation will also be a topic of conversation in the rulemaking.

To implement House Bill 1113, a clarification of the circumstances in which the application of the bill’s provision covering perpetual water treatment will be discussed. Russ did indicate that the Division does not wish to tackle any provisions covering groundwater in the 2020 rulemaking. The rulemaking could conclude in the summer of next year following the legislative session.

Link to House Bill 1113:

Dianna Orf discussed several legislative interim committees that have met during the summer and fall that may generate proposed legislation affecting CMA member companies. A full report of the work of those committees can be found in Dianna Orf’s legislative report. The Committee was asked to provide feedback to CMA staff regarding the potential impact of the required use of biodiesel if fuel distributors are required to sell that product in Colorado.

Other legislation discussed was a proposal requiring the Water Quality Control Division to provide documentation of policy changes associated with water quality permits, as now required for general permits.

Regulatory Update

Dianna Orf and Stan Dempsey updated the Committees regarding the TENORM stakeholder workgroup at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. Stan indicated that the Department’s overall approach regarding waste characterization and the setting of regulatory limits seemed consistent with past guidance CMA members had used in the past when disposing of TENORM waste at landfills.

To view the TENORM stakeholder process, click here: