Currently, the SMGB administers certain lead agency responsibilities under SMARA for 47 individual surface mining operations located in California. Of these 47 sites, 28 are located within three counties, 11 are located within cities that do not have current SMGB certified surface mining ordinances, and 8 are dredging operations located within the San Francisco Bay and bay delta areas.
At each of these surface mining operations, the SMGB conducts annual inspections, reviews and approves financial assurance cost estimates, and undertakes compliance and enforcement actions when deemed necessary.
The SMGB may assume a local jurisdiction’s authority to administer SMARA under certain circumstances. Specifically, Public Resources Code (PRC) Section 2774.4 states:
“(a) If the board finds that a lead agency either has (1) approved reclamation plans or financial assurances which are not consistent with this chapter, (2) failed to inspect or cause the inspection of surface mining operations as required by this chapter, (3) failed to seek forfeiture of financial assurances and to carry out reclamation of surface mining operations as required by this chapter, (4) failed to take appropriate enforcement actions as required by this chapter, (5) intentionally misrepresented the results of inspections required under this chapter, or (6) failed to submit information to the department as required by this chapter, the board shall exercise any of the powers of that lead agency under this chapter, except for permitting authority.”
On June 14, 2001, the SMGB assumed SMARA lead agency authority from El Dorado County, and on February 14, 2002, the SMGB assumed SMARA lead agency authority from Yuba County.
PRC Section 2774.5 requires the SMGB to assume full authority for reviewing and approving reclamation plans in any jurisdiction in which the lead agency does not have a certified surface mining ordinance. As of July 2012, the SMGB serves as SMARA lead agency for 8 cities that have surface mining operations within their jurisdiction but do not have current SMGB certified surface mining ordinances.
Finally, the SMGB acts as the SMARA lead agency for all surface mining operations under the jurisdiction of the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC). The San Francisco BCDC jurisdiction includes open water, marshes, mud flats and shorelines immediately surrounding San Francisco Bay and its surrounding Bays and tributary water bodies. Currently there are 8 active marine dredging operations, and one inactive operation that has an approved reclamation plan in place, for which the SMGB oversees SMARA compliance.
A table summarizing the status of all surface mining operations currently under the jurisdiction of the SMGB as SMARA lead agency is available here:
LIST OF SMGB SMARA LEAD AGENCY SURFACE MINES