Coal, Hardrock and Uranium Committee Meeting Update

DRMS Update

Ginny Brannon, Division Director, Jim Stark (Coal) and Russ Means (Hardrock).

Dan Gibbs is new Executive Director of the Division of Natural Resources – transition work continues.

Jim Stark mentioned a previous Office of Surface Mining covering the Colorado program. The following is the link to the proposed Rule changes. Note the date of May 2014. That is not the date that the process started but the date the final package was approved by OSM Denver and shipped off to DC for final approval.

Russ Means updated the Committee about the rulemaking effort the Hardrock program has commenced, the link to the rulemaking is:

CMA discussed later in the meeting potential comments to be presented to DRMS, which include:

CMA Comments on DRMS Rule Changes

1.4.1(12) –Concern around needing to acknowledger a permit condition in writing, since this is not current practice, and the way this is written, if Operator did not acknowledge, Technical Revisions, Amendments and Permit Applications would be denied. We suggest that the requirement be reversed, so that it is assumed that permittee agrees with the condition unless indicated otherwise in written communication. DRMS indicated that intent here was just to make sure permittee agrees with the condition and does not have an issue later. Additionally, Section 1.4.11 sets up the procedures for appealing a determination of the “office” and so should be referenced here. Since 1.3.11 calls for an appeal to the Board within 60 days of the decision, it would be ambiguous to mention contesting the decision without tying it to the appeal section.

Proposed Text:

1.4.1(12) A condition or limitation to approval of the application, unless contested by the Applicant / Operator in writing as provided in 1.4.11, shall be treated as acknowledged and consented by the Applicant / Operator.

6.4.7(1) There was quite a bit of discussion on this at the Stakeholder meeting and DRMS agreed to revise text in order to not expand or alter from the requirements in the statute. Thought would be to combine the new text into the existing sentence so as not introduce new concepts such as “hydrologic balance” and “no impacts”, while keeping wording around “surface or groundwater systems” and “demonstration.”

Proposed Text:

6.4.7 EXHIBIT G – Water Information

(1) If the operation is not expected to directly affect surface or groundwater systems, sufficient demonstration to support this conclusion shall be submitted.

Legislative Report

Dianna Orf provided an update of House Bill 1113, the Hardrock Water Quality Protection Act which has passed the House. The committee was updated on amendments made to the bill in the House which altered the requirement that reclamation plans include a hard date for termination of water treatment to now requiring a “reasonably foreseeable” date.

The Committee was briefed on House Bill 1037 which incentives the early retirement of fossil fuel electric generating units.

Senate Bill 96 creating climate goals for the State of Colorado was discussed, and CMA expects to see additional legislation introduced covering climate issues.


Stan Dempsey provided an update on the status of the TENPORM study being conducted by Rule Engineering on behalf of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment that will be the basis of the upcoming TENORM rulemaking.