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Gravel Mining and Mark Twain Sale of land

Phil Lilley

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OFF Members,

It is IMPORTANT that as many respond to these bills as possible. As is becoming customary, notice of these hearings was not announced until late yesterday, making it difficult for us to have representation at the hearings. That means that we need YOU to make as many phone calls as possible to let these committee members know our position! Emails can be sent, but likely will not be read in time for the hearings. You can let the legislators know that notice of these hearings were announce very late, which did not allow an earlier response. Please leave a message with your name and organization with the staff if you are not able to contact the legislators in person. They will pass on the information! Remember - your voice DOES count - but only if you make the phone calls!!!

SCR29 - Senator Graham - Bill OPPOSES the sale fo national forest land in Mark Twain National Forest. - we SUPPORT this bill!

Even if you can't make the 12:00 deadline for the SCR29 bill (SUPPORTING Senator Grahams bill!!) your calls will still be on record and acknowledged.

HB 1761 - Tom Loehner/ Mike Dethrow - we OPPOSE this bill!! The rules for sand & gravel mining have not been given a chance to work. We do not want the stream protections rolled back. A simple call identifying yourself with OFF - OPPOSING this legislation will at least have another voice on record. There is a hearing at 6:00pm Wed, March 1 - please call as many on the committee as possible. A brief summary of the changes in the rules are outlined below for your reference

Following is a summary of the changes being proposed in this bill, and why we OPPOSE it!!

Parts of the bill are, frankly, difficult to decipher. In general, the gist is that the bill will 1) exempt many more operations from the permitting requirement; 2) reduce the stream-side buffer requirement for these exempted operations to five feet; 3) specifically allow for equipment to be in the water; and 4) allow local governments to contract with others to mine gravel for government use without a permit. (5) exempts landowners who remove streamside trees to mine gravel from the permit requirement. The bill also repeated refers to "department guidelines" without specifying what those guidelines are. We can assume it means the guidelines that existed before the new rule took effect, but it is unclear.

The bill further waters down regulations on gravel mining and therefore should be opposed in my opinion. By exempting operations from the permit requirement, it both makes it more difficult to track the operations and deprives DNR of funds to enforce the law.

Brief Analysis of HB1761 (2006)

444.765(12): Adds definition of "noncommercial operator". This is a very loose definition that encompasses anyone who mines gravel from 1) farmland; or 2) other property used primarily for purposes other than mining. The definition states that the mining must be conducted in accordance with "department guidelines" but does not specify what those guidelines are.


Exempts the removal of trees for "land improvement", despite their location, from the permit requirement; this would allow landowners, for example, to clear a gravel bar of a maturing stand of trees without a permit.


(1): Exempts noncommercial operators from the permit requirement.

(1): Exempts all operators from obtaining a permit when the mining is done at the request of a property owner for the "primary purpose of managing seasonal gravel accretion on property not used primarily for gravel mining." This is a very broad exemption from the permit requirement. I would expect that this would be used to exempt most operators from the permit requirement. The language restricting the exemption to the management of "seasonal gravel accretion" is so broad and vague and to allow this exemption to be applied in almost all situations.

(5): Broadens the exemption from the permitting requirement for local governments to allow them to contract with mining operators to obtain gravel for their own use. Under existing law, local governments have to use their own equipment and personnel to claim such exemption. This will expand the number of mining operations that are exempt from the permit requirement.

(6): The intent of this new section is not entirely clear. It begins with a reference to the section addressing the local government exemption. It then states, however, that landowners or operators who are otherwise exempt from the permit requirement must still conduct their mining in accordance with department guidelines if they are going to sell the gravel. The intent of this provision is seemingly to require all mining operations that sell gravel to comply with department guidelines. The section is vague in that it refers back to the local government section and in that it does not specify which "department guidelines" must be complied with. I believe the reference to the prior subsection (5) refers to the exemption therein for private individuals mining for personal use. In other words, this new section would allow those private landowners mining for "personal use" to sell their gravel and still remain exempt from the permit requirement.

(7): This new section prohibits noncommercial operators from mining from March 1 through the end of May. This would seem to be the result of lobbying by some entity concerned with fish spawning.

(8): This new section specifically allows noncommercial operators to drive their equipment through streams to conduct mining activities.

(9): This new section requires noncommercial operators to leave a stream-side buffer of five feet. This is smaller than the ten foot buffer requirement in the new rules. And much smaller than the 25 or 30 foot buffer that I believe was required in the original guidelines.

Edward J. Heisel

Executive Director

Missouri Coalition for the Environment

6267 Delmar Boulevard

Suite 2E

St. Louis, Missouri 63130

314.727.0600 (office)

314.401.6218 (cell)

314.727.1665 (fax)


State Committee Members

Hobbs, Steve, Chair 573-751-9458 fax 573-522-4969 http://www.house.mo.gov/bills061/member/mem021.htm

Day, David, Vice Chair 573-751-1446 fax 573-526-0761 http://www.house.mo.gov/bills061/member/mem148.htm

Brown, Jason 573-751-6593 fax 573-522-9278 http://www.house.mo.gov/bills061/member/mem030.htm

Darrough, Bruce 573-751-9760 fax 573-526-1393 http://www.house.mo.gov/bills061/member/mem075.htm

Dethrow, Mike 573-7581-1066 http://www.house.mo.gov/bills061/member/mem153.htm

Franz, Ward http://www.house.mo.gov/bills061/member/mem151.htm

Liese, Albert Joseph http://www.house.mo.gov/bills061/member/mem079.htm

Lowe, Jenee' M. 573-751-2437 fax 573-526-5759 http://www.house.mo.gov/bills061/member/mem044.htm

May, Bob http://www.house.mo.gov/bills061/member/mem149.htm

Weter, Raymond 'Ray' 573-751-5713 fax 573-751-0733 http://www.house.mo.gov/bills061/member/mem142.htm

Witte, Terry L 573-751-9614 fax 573-526-0905 http://www.house.mo.gov/bills061/member/mem010.htm

Wood, Dennis 573-751-2492 fax 573-526-9794 http://www.house.mo.gov/bills061/member/mem062.htm

Young, Terry 573-751-9851 fax 573-522-8172 http://www.house.mo.gov/bills061/member/mem049.htm

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