Idaho’s Surface Mining Act was amended by a bill passed during this year’s legislative session. The Idaho Department of Lands, or IDL, will hold public meetings this summer where the public can provide their comment on the details of how those rules will be implemented.
“It’s a great opportunity to really understand what we’re trying to accomplish with those new and changed rules and have a voice in what’s being done," says Sharla Arledge, public information officer for IDL.
She says major changes were made to the state’s Reclamation Fund. Reclamation of mines means returning the land back to its original purpose when mining is finished.
She says the fund includes bonds that ensure mine operators will be able to financially complete the reclamation process. Otherwise, the cost could fall on taxpayers.
Public meetings on the changes will begin in Boise Thursday, May 9. Later meetings will be held in Pocatello, Challis, Coeur d’Alene and McCall.
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