Tuolumne County pans state mining bill

Chris Caskey, The Union Democrat

Tuolumne County leaders are concerned about a proposal in the state Legislature to take some power over regulating mines out of the hands of local government.

Senate Bill 1270 seeks to give the California State Divisions of Mines the responsibility for mine inspections, financial plans and other regulatory oversight that are currently handled by counties and cities.

The Tuolumne County Board of Supervisors unanimously voted to send a letter opposing the bill to the state Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Water. The committee is scheduled to consider the bill at the end of April.

Community Resources Director Bev Shane said on Tuesday that the state has found a lot of inconsistencies among the counties where mining regulations are concerned. Shane also said the bill, if passed as-is, would increase annual fees charged to the mining companies for reporting and inspecting.

"This, right off the bat, will have a direct impact," Shane said.

For the complete story, see the April 17, 2014, edition of The Union Democrat.

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