June 3, 2013
In This Issue
On the Hill
American Soda Ash Competitiveness Act Gains Bipartisan Approval in House Committee
Bipartisan TSCA Reform Bill Introduced in the Senate
Silica
WISA White Paper on Crystalline Silica
Regulatory Briefs
HAP Standards for Stationary Generators
CERCLA
GAO CERCLA Report
Safety
Falling Off Ladders Can Kill: Use Them Safely
Boy Scouts
Request for Sponsorships for Boy Scout “Mining in Society” Merit Badge and Jamboree
Member News
U.S. Silica Sustainability Report
BPM Announcement
IMA-NA Events
Save the Dates
Other Events
The Forum on the Geology of Industrial Minerals
Just for Laughs!
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On the Hill
 
American Soda Ash Competitiveness Act Gains Bipartisan Approval in House Committee
The House Natural Resources Committee has approved legislation that would enable the U.S. producers of soda ash to become more competitive on the export market.  H.R. 957, the American Soda Ash Competitiveness Act, was approved on a bipartisan vote of 28 – 13.  The legislation will now go to the House Floor for a vote in the coming weeks.   The legislation would serve to temporarily reduce the federal royalty rate of soda ash from 6% down to 2%.  This will allow the U.S. companies to be more competitive in the foreign markets where their main competition is from the Chinese, who heavily subsidize their companies on their exports. 
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Bipartisan TSCA Reform Bill Introduced in the Senate
A bipartisan group of eight Democrats and eight Republicans teamed up to introduce the “Chemical Safety Improvement Act of 2013.”  The legislation seeks to revamp TSCA and has broad support.  For a full breakdown on the changes to TSCA in the new bill, click here.  It is anticipated that this legislation will make its way through the Senate Environment and Natural Resources Committee in the coming weeks and receive a floor vote this summer.  One of the chief champions of this bill, Senator Frank Lautenberg, passed away from a respiratory illness earlier today at the age of 89.  IMA-NA recently signed on a letter of support for this effort along with several other impacted trade associations.  
 
To view the letter, click here.
A press release from Senators Lautenberg and Vitter is available by clicking here.
To view the language of the bill click here.
  
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Silica
 
WISA White Paper on Crystalline Silica
The Wisconsin Industrial Sand Association has released a white paper on crystalline silica.  The paper states, correctly, that there is no evidence that the low levels of crystalline silica found in the ambient air in the United States or around industrial sand mines cause illness or disease. 
 
To read the paper, click here.
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Regulatory Briefs
 
HAP Standards for Stationary Generators
Regulatory Brief from Holland and Hart
Earlier this year EPA issued final amendments to the Hazardous Air Pollutant ("HAP”) standards for stationary generators referred to as Reciprocating Internal Combustion Engines or "RICE.”  The standards were developed in response to litigation and petitions for reconsideration of the 2010 RICE National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants ("NESHAP”) and provide substantially more compliance flexibility for certain generators widely used for backup electricity generation and for industrial operations, including mining operations.
 
To read the complete brief, click here.
 
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CERCLA
 
GAO CERCLA Report
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has issued a report titled: HAZARDOUS WASTE CLEANUP: Observations on States' Role, Liabilities at DOD and Hardrock Mining Sites, and Litigation Issues.  "GAO's work has identified challenges and liabilities for the federal government stemming from hardrock mining operations, primarily at abandoned mines on federal land.  In many cases, mine operators abandoned mines and did not have adequate financial assurance to pay for cleanup.  As a result, the government may have to cover these costs.  In 2011, GAO found that 57 hardrock mines on federal land managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) had inadequate financial assurance to cover estimated reclamation costs and recommended that BLM improve its ability to evaluate the adequacy of financial assurances.  In 2012, BLM reported implementing GAO's recommendation."  No new recommendations are being offered at this time by GAO.
 
To read the report, click here.
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Safety
 
Falling Off Ladders Can Kill: Use Them Safely
OSHA Publication
OSHA has a new publication on ladder safety.  To download the document, click here.
 
On April 10, OSHA co-hosted a free webinar on preventing fatal falls in construction, welcoming an audience of more than 700 participants.  An archived version is available for view by clicking here.
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Boy Scouts
 
Request for Sponsorships for Boy Scout “Mining in Society” Merit Badge and Jamboree
SME Request
After almost a decade of advocacy, Boy Scouts of America (BSA) has designated SME to be the lead organization for the development of a new Mining in Society merit badge.  This unprecedented opportunity gives us the responsibility of ensuring a factual and comprehensive program of instruction to motivate Scouts to fulfill all the requirements necessary to earn a merit badge based on mining’s key components of exploration, permitting, extraction, processing, production, safety and reclamation.  Our commitment is to meet the rigorous requirements of the BSA and to give Scouts the kind of life-changing experiences that will remain with them throughout their lifetime.  The launch of the Mining in Society merit badge will take place in February 2014 at the SME Annual Meeting in Salt Lake City, UT.
 
Included in the process of introducing Mining in Society is an invitation from the BSA to be included at its July 15 – 24, 2013 Jamboree in the merit badge area.  The Boy Scouts National Jamboree is usually held once every three years.  It is expected that 50,000 Scouts, Venturers, volunteers, and staff from all over the United States will participate.
 
SME and the SME Foundation are requesting financial support to help fund the development and launch of the Mining in Society merit badge and our participation at the 2013 National Jamboree.
 
For more information, click here.
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Member News
 
U.S. Silica Sustainability Report
IMA-NA and NISA member company, US Silica, has released its 2012 sustainability report, Sustainable by Nature.  They report on the sustainability progress they have made in three areas: People, Planet and Prosperity.
 
To download the complete report, click here.
 
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BPM Announcement
Bentonite Performance Minerals LLC (BPM) announces that Donald J. Dell has been promoted to General Manager.  He will be responsible for developing and directing the overall strategy and managing sales for the company.
 
To read more, click here.
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IMA-NA Events
 
Save the Dates
The 2013 IMA-NA Annual Meeting will be held in Stevenson, WA at the Skamania Lodge, 9/10 through 9/12/2013.  Registration will open soon.
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Other Events
 
The Forum on the Geology of Industrial Minerals
The Forum on the Geology of Industrial Minerals holds its 49th annual gathering from June 24 through June 29, 2013 on the Caribbean island nation of Jamaica.  Hosted by the Jamaica Ministry of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining in conjunction with the Mines and Geology Division, the conference emphasizes industrial minerals, but also includes issues concerning seabed mining, oceanic transportation, and newly discovered rare earth elements prospects. 
 
For further information, click here
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Just for Laughs!
 


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