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An Act Relating To Mining; Entering The Interstate Mining Compact; Allowing The Governor To Select An Alternate To Represent The Governor On The Interstate Mining Commission.

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This bill enacts into law the Interstate Mining Compact and enters New Mexico into the compact with other jurisdictions.


The purposes of the compact are to:

(1)    advance the protection and restoration of land, water, and other resources affected by mining;

(2)    assist in the reduction or elimination or counteracting of pollution or deterioration of land, water, and air attributable to mining;

(3)    encourage, with due recognition of relevant regional, physical, and other differences, programs in each of the party states which will achieve comparable results in protecting, conserving, and improving the usefulness of natural resources, to the end that the most desirable conduct of mining and related operations may be universally facilitated;

(4)    assist the party states in their efforts to facilitate the use of land and other resources affected by mining, so that such use may be consistent with sound land use, public health, and public safety, and to this end to study and recommend, wherever desirable, techniques for improvement, restoration or protection of such land and other resources; and

(5)    assist in achieving and maintaining an efficient and productive mining industry and in increasing economic and other benefits attributable to mining.


Each party state agrees that within a reasonable time it will formulate and establish an effective program for the conservation and use of mined land, by the establishment of standards, enactment of laws, or the continuing of the same in force, to accomplish:

  1. the protection of the public and the protection of adjoining and other landowners from damage to their lands and the structures and other property thereon resulting from the conduct of mining operations or the abandonment or neglect of land and property formerly used in the conduct of such operations;
  2. the conduct of mining and the handling of refuse and other mining wastes in ways that will reduce adverse effects on the economic, residential, recreational, or aesthetic value and utility of land and water;
  3. the institution and maintenance of suitable programs of adaptation, restoration, and rehabilitation of mined lands; and
  4. the prevention, abatement, and control of water, air, and soil pollution resulting from mining – present, past, and future.


The “Interstate Mining Commission” is created, composed of one commissioner from each party state who will be the governor or the governor’s designated alternate. The governor may designate the Secretary of Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources or the Director of the Mining and Minerals Division of the Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department as the governor’s alternate to the Interstate Mining Commission.


The commission will have the power to:

  1. study mining operations, processes, and techniques for the purpose of gaining knowledge concerning the effects of such operations, processes, and techniques on land, soil, water, air, plant and animal life, recreation, and patterns of community or regional development or change;
  2. study the conservation, adaptation, improvement, and restoration of land and related resources affected by mining;
  3. make recommendations concerning any aspect or aspects of law or practice and governmental administration dealing with matters within the purview of this compact;
  4. gather and disseminate information relating to any of the matters within the purview of this compact;
  5. cooperate with the federal government and any public or private entities having interests in any subject coming within the purview of this compact;
  6. consult, upon the request of a party state and within available resources, with the officials of such state in respect to any problem within the purview of this compact;
  7. study and make recommendations with respect to any practice, process, technique, or course of action that may improve the efficiency of mining or the economic yield from mining operations; and
  8. study and make recommendations relating to the safeguarding of access to resources which are or may become the subject of mining operations to the end that the needs of the economy for the products of mining may not be adversely affected by unplanned or inappropriate use of land and other resources containing minerals or otherwise connected with actual or potential mining sites.


This compact will enter into force when enacted into law by any four or more states.


A possible benefit of this bill might be better regulation of mining and more effective protection of the state’s air, land and water due to a constructive shari