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H.R. 505 (ih) To amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to provide for the adjustment of status of certain unaccompanied alien children and the establishment of a panel of advisors to assist unaccompanied alien children in immigration proceedings. [Int...


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108th CONGRESS
  1st Session
                                H. R. 504

  To provide for the reclamation of abandoned hardrock mines, and for 
                            other purposes.


_______________________________________________________________________


                    IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

                            January 29, 2003

Mr. Udall of Colorado introduced the following bill; which was referred 
  to the Committee on Resources, and in addition to the Committee on 
  Transportation and Infrastructure, for a period to be subsequently 
   determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such 
 provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL


 
  To provide for the reclamation of abandoned hardrock mines, and for 
                            other purposes.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE, FINDINGS, AND PURPOSE.

    (a) Short Title.--This Act may be cited as the ``Abandoned Hardrock 
Mines Reclamation Act''.
    (b) Findings.--The Congress finds that:
            (1) Through various laws and policies, including the Act of 
        May 10, 1872 (commonly known as the General Mining Law of 1872; 
        30 U.S.C. 22 et seq.), the Federal Government has encouraged 
        the development of gold, silver, and other mineral resources, 
        especially in the western States, and development of these 
        resources has helped create a strong economy and provided 
        needed materials for many critical products and services.
            (2) However, historically mining activities have occurred 
        in recurrent cycles of ``boom'' followed by ``bust'', with many 
        mines left inactive or abandoned at the end of each cycle.
            (3) As a result of this history, the United States has been 
        left an unwelcome legacy of inactive or abandoned mines, 
        including thousands of such mines in the western States.
            (4) Many of these inactive or abandoned mines pose safety 
        hazards to the public, and the drainage and runoff from such 
        mines has damaged thousands of stream miles to the detriment of 
        water quality, particularly in several western States.
            (5) The environmental cleanup of these inactive or 
        abandoned mines is hampered by lack of funding and concerns 
        about liability. In many cases, a responsible party for the 
        mine site cannot be identified or the responsible party lacks 
        the economic resources to respond to the adverse environmental 
        effects of a site. Federal and State agencies and Indian tribes 
        are often unable to afford to make cleanup of these mine sites 
        a high priority. Other parties have been reluctant to undertake 
        remedial actions of such a mine site because of the possibility 
        that they would be considered to have assumed liability with 
        regard to the site.
            (6) It is in the national interest to facilitate the 
        cleanup of inactive or abandoned mines through appropriate 
        legislation that reduces these obstacles.
    (c) Purpose.--The purpose of this Act is to facilitate cleanup of 
inactive and abandoned mine sites by establishing a source of funding 
for that purpose and by limiting the potential liability of parties 
undertaking to carry out such cleanup.
    (d) Scope.--Nothing in this Act is intended to facilitate new 
mining activities or any reduction in liability associated with any 
current or new mining or processing activities.

              TITLE I--FUNDING FOR ABANDONED MINE CLEANUPS

SEC. 101. DEFINITIONS.

    In this title:
            (1) The term ``gross proceeds'' means the value of any 
        extracted hardrock mineral that was--
                    (A) sold;
                    (B) exchanged for any thing or service;
                    (C) removed from the country in a form ready for 
                use or sale; or
                    (D) initially used in a manufacturing process or in 
                providing a service.
            (2) The term ``net proceeds'' means gross proceeds less the 
        sum of the following deductions:
                    (A) The actual cost of extracting the mineral.
                    (B) The actual cost of transporting the mineral to 
                the place or places of reduction, refining, and sale.
                    (C) The actual cost of reduction, refining, and 
                sale.
                    (D) The actual cost of marketing and delivering the 
                mineral and the conversion of the mineral into money.
                    (E) The actual cost of maintenance and repairs of--
                            (i) all machinery, equipment, apparatus, 
                        and facilities used in the mine;
                            (ii) all milling, refining, smelting and 
                        reduction works, plants and facilities; and
                            (iii) all facilities and equipment for 
                        transportation.
                    (F) The actual cost of fire insurance on such 
                machinery, equipment, apparatus, works, plants, and 
                facilities.
                    (G) Depreciation of the original capitalized cost 
                of such machinery, equipment, apparatus, works, plants, 
                and facilities.
                    (H) All money expended for premiums for industrial 
                insurance, and the actual cost of hospital and medical 
                attention and accident benefits and group insurance for 
                all employees.
                    (I) The actual cost of developmental work in or 
                about the mine or upon a group of mines when operated 
                as a unit.
                    (J) All royalties and severance taxes paid to the 
                Federal Government or State governments.
            (3) The term ``hardrock minerals'' means any mineral other 
        than a mineral that would be subject to disposition under any 
        of the following laws if located on land subject to the general 
        mining laws:
                    (A) The Mineral Leasing Act (30 U.S.C. 181 et 
                seq.).
                    (B) The Geothermal Steam Act of 1970 (30 U.S.C. 
                1001 et seq.).
                    (C) The Act of July 31, 1947, commonly known as the 
                Materials Act of 1947 (30 U.S.C. 601 et seq.).
                    (D) The Mineral Leasing Act for Acquired Lands (30 
                U.S.C. 351 et seq.).
            (4) The term ``Secretary'' means the Secretary of the 
        Interior.
            (5) The term ``patented mining claim'' means an interest in 
        land which has been obtained pursuant to sections 2325 and 2326 
        of the Revised Statutes (30 U.S.C. 29 and 30) for vein or lode 
        claims and sections 2329, 2330, 2331, and 2333 of the Revised 
        Statutes (30 U.S.C. 35, 36, and 37) for placer claims, or 
        section 2337 of the Revised Statutes (30 U.S.C. 42) for mill 
        site claims.
            (6) The term ``general mining laws'' means those provisions 
        of law that generally comprise chapters 2, 12A, and 16, and 
        sections 161 and 162, of title 30, United States Code.
            (7) The term ``Fund'' means the Abandoned Minerals Mine 
        Reclamation Fund.

SEC. 102. SOURCE OF REVENUES FOR ABANDONED MINE CLEANUP.

    (a) Reclamation Fee.--
            (1) Fee imposed.--Any person producing hardrock minerals 
        from a mine within an unpatented mining claim or a mine on land 
        that was patented under the general mining laws shall pay a 
        reclamation fee to the Secretary under this section.
            (2) Fee as percentage of net proceeds.--The amount of the 
        fee under this section shall be equal to a percentage of the 
        net proceeds derived from the mine. The percentage shall be 
        based upon the ratio of the net proceeds to the gross proceeds 
        related to mineral production from the mine in accordance with 
        the following table:

Net proceeds as percentage                    Rate of fee as percentage
  of gross proceeds                                     of net proceeds
    Less than 10..................................             2.00    
    10 or more but less than 18...................             2.50    
    18 or more but less than 26...................             3.00    
    26 or more but less than 34...................             3.50    
    34 or more but less than 42...................             4.00    
    42 or more but less than 50...................             4.50    
    50 or more....................................             5.00    
    (b) Exemption.--Gross proceeds of less than $500,000 from minerals 
produced in any calendar year shall be exempt from the reclamation fee 
under this section for that year if such proceeds are from one or more 
mines located in a single patented claim or on two or more contiguous 
patented claims.
    (c) Payment.--The amount of all fees payable under this section for 
any calendar year shall be paid to the Secretary within 60 days after 
the end of such year.
    (d) Deposit of Revenues.--The Secretary shall deposit amounts 
received under subsection (c) in the Abandoned Minerals Mine 
Reclamation Fund.
    (e) Relation to State Fees.--Nothing in this Act shall be construed 
to require a reduction in, or otherwise affect, a similar fee provided 
for under State law.
    (f) Reduction of Fees.--The Secretary shall reduce a fee required 
by this section by an amount equal to a royalty paid pursuant to an Act 
of Congress that provides for crediting to the Fund of royalties paid 
to the Secretary with respect to production of hardrock minerals.
    (g) Effective Date.--This section shall take effect with respect to 
hardrock minerals produced after December 31, 2002, except that 
subsection (f) shall take effect one year after the date of the 
enactment of the law described in such subsection.

SEC. 103. ABANDONED MINERALS MINE RECLAMATION FUND.

    (a) Establishment.--
            (1) In general.--There is established in the Treasury of 
        the United States an interest-bearing fund to be known as the 
        Abandoned Minerals Mine Reclamation Fund. The Fund shall be 
        administered by the Secretary.
            (2) Investment.--The Secretary shall notify the Secretary 
        of the Treasury as to what portion of the Fund is not, in the 
        Secretary's judgment, required to meet current withdrawals. The 
        Secretary of the Treasury shall invest such portion of the Fund 
        in public debt securities with maturities suitable for the 
        needs of such Fund and bearing interest at rates determined by 
        the Secretary of the Treasury, taking into consideration 
        current market yields on outstanding marketplace obligations of 
        the United States of comparable maturities. The income on such 
        investments shall be credited to, and form a part of, the Fund.
            (3) Administration.--The Secretary shall use the existing 
        Federal program for abandoned mine reclamation authorized by 
        title IV of the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 
        1977 (30 U.S.C. 1231 et seq.) to administer the Fund and for 
        making expenditures from the Fund.
    (b) Use and Objectives of the Fund.--
            (1) In general.--Amounts in the Fund shall be available to 
        the Secretary, without further appropriation and until 
        expended, to perform or support reclamation and restoration 
        activities affecting eligible areas, including any of the 
        following:
                    (A) Reclamation and restoration of abandoned 
                surface mined areas.
                    (B) Reclamation and restoration of abandoned 
                milling and processing areas.
                    (C) Sealing, filling, and grading abandoned deep 
                mine entries.
                    (D) Planting of land adversely affected by past 
                mining to prevent erosion and sedimentation.
                    (E) Prevention, abatement, treatment, and control 
                of water pollution created by abandoned mine drainage.
                    (F) Control of surface subsidence due to abandoned 
                deep mines.
            (2) Methods of use.--Subject to the special disbursement 
        requirements of subsection (g), amounts in the Fund may be 
        expended directly by the Secretary or by making grants to 
        approved State reclamation programs, as described in subsection 
        (d). The Secretary shall consult and coordinate with eligible 
        States on those projects funded directly or in conjunction with 
        other Federal agencies.
    (c) Eligible Areas.--Reclamation expenditures under this section 
shall be made only in States described in subsection (e) and shall be 
used only for the reclamation of lands (and related waters)--
            (1) that were, but are no longer, actively mined for 
        hardrock minerals (and not in temporary shutdown) as of the 
        date of the enactment of this Act;
            (2) that are not identified for remedial action under the 
        Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and 
        Liability Act of 1980 (42 U.S.C. 9601 et seq.) and for which 
        there is no identifiable owner or operator for the mine or mine 
        facilities;
            (3) that are not designated for remedial action pursuant to 
        the Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Control Act of 1978 (42 
        U.S.C. 7901 et seq.); and
            (4) for which no evidence exists that the lands contain 
        minerals that economically could be extracted through the 
        mining, reprocessing, or remining of the lands.
    (d) Eligible States.--
            (1) Eligibility requirements.--Except as provided in 
        paragraph (2), expenditures from the Fund shall be made only 
        for reclamation of lands and water in States that--
                    (A) contain lands subject to the general mining 
                laws; and
                    (B) have completed a statewide inventory of 
                abandoned hardrock sites within the State eligible to 
                receive funding under this Act.
            (2) Inventory funding.--A State that contains lands subject 
        to the general mining laws, but that has not completed a 
        statewide inventory as described in paragraph (1)(B), may 
        receive grants not exceeding $2,000,000 annually to assist in 
        the completion of the required inventory.
            (3) Approved state reclamation programs.--In the case of a 
        State described in paragraph (1), the Secretary may make 
        expenditures from the Fund to the State for a State reclamation 
        program that meets the requirements of section 405 of the 
        Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 (30 U.S.C. 
        1235) and is applicable to hardrock mining.
            (4) States without approved programs.--If a State described 
        in paragraph (1) does not have an approved State program under 
        section 405 of the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act 
        of 1977 (30 U.S.C. 1235) that is applicable to hardrock mining, 
        the Secretary may provide funds to the State after the 
        Secretary determines that the State has authority to implement 
        a hardrock abandoned mine land program, and that State 
        authority, at a minimum, includes the establishment of a State 
        reclamation plan for abandoned hardrock mines and clear 
        authorization for the administration and expenditure of funds 
        for eligible areas described in subsection (c).
    (e) Priorities.--Expenditures from the Fund shall reflect the 
following priorities, in the following order of priority:
            (1) Extreme danger.--Protection of public health, safety, 
        general welfare, and property from extreme danger of adverse 

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