Interior Extends Comment Period on Request for Information on Mining Regulations
On March 31, 2022, the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) published a request for information on ways to improve federal hardrock mining regulations, laws and permitting practices. DOI also announced the formation of an interagency working group as recommended by the June 8, 2021, Executive Order (EO) 14017, “America’s Supply Chains.” The EO recommended that DOI establish an interagency team to identify gaps in regulations that may need to be updated to ensure strong environmental standards for new production. DOI is now extending the comment period on the request for information.
On September 16, 2021, DOI received a petition for rulemaking requesting the agency strengthen the Bureau of Land Management’s mining regulations. On November 15, 2021, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act was signed which directs the Departments of the Interior and Agriculture to submit a report to Congress by November 15, 2022, identifying additional measures that would improve the timeliness of permitting activities for the development of critical minerals. In response to all these actions, DOI developed an interagency working group tasked with reviewing existing policies to determine whether changes are needed to meet the goals laid out in the EO.
DOI is requesting comments and feedback from the public on a variety of issues and policies related to hardrock mining. Members of the public are encouraged to review the notice and submit written comments. Written comments are now due by August 30, 2022.