Brown prolongs freeze on suction dredge mining
The bill, AB 120, includes a five-year extension of an existing moratorium against the practice of suctioning river-bottom gravels in search of gold and other minerals. That would stop dredging at least until June 30, 2016.
The bill also prohibits resumption of the practice until the Department of Fish and Game establishes regulations to safeguard the environment and cover costs of administering a dredging program. Earlier this month, Brown vetoed a bill that would have prevented Fish and Game from spending any money to develop the regulations.
Environmental critics claim the mining stirs up toxic mercury in the river beds and damages sensitive fish breeding habitats.
Miners have disputed those claims and counter that the regulations are an illegal hindrance to an economically important activity.
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Read more: http://www.sacbee.com/2011/07/27/3796886/brown-prolongs-freeze-on-suction.html#ixzz1Twk96QOd