BC Mining Law Reform was created in May 2019 to push for certain changes in the BC 矿业 regulatory landscape. They recently released a series of reports with recommendations that 地址, in their words, “serious shortcomings in British Columbia’s 矿业 regulatory regime.”
The reports offer 69 recommendations that range from broad policy updates to small changes in current legislation. They include the adoption of free, prior, and informed consent for indigenous communities affected by 矿业 projects and major changes to BC’s mineral tenure system. The recommendations place an emphasis on more powerful and active environmental management and a more aggressive regime for government and affected individuals to challenge natural resource companies for environmental damage.
The following are nine significant recommendations made by the group to reform certain aspects of 矿业 law and policy:
BC Mining Law Reform recommends that the forthcoming regulations for the new BC 环境评估 Act include a requirement for stringent environmental assessments for all mines, for 矿业 exploration activities when requested by First Nations or local communities, and for all major expansions of existing mines. They further recommend that the regulations ensure a fair and balanced process that includes ample and stable funding for environmental assessment participants and full consideration of perpetual-care costs.
BC Mining Law Reform recommends adopting a more discretionary approach to mineral tenures that would require landowner consent for 矿业 activities and ensure conformity with the 地区al land-use plans of indigenous and local groups. The network also recommends mandating “no-go zones” to protect all designated Old-Growth Management Areas, Wildlife Habitat Areas, and other sensitive areas.
BC Mining Law Reform endorses the concept of free, prior, and informed consent from the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The network recommends implementation of free, prior, and informed consent of affected indigenous communities for all mineral tenure, 矿业 exploration, siting, and other activities, and further recommends establishing government-to-government processes for all stages of the 矿业, including prior to the environmental assessment stage.
卑诗省采矿法改革建议减少现有尾矿坝的数量。远离湿尾矿库；采用 负责任采矿保证倡议（IRMA）标准 用于废物管理；并禁止将废物排入湖泊，河流或海洋。
BC Mining Law Reform recommends that 矿业 companies be required to provide full financial security for independently reviewed reclamation costs before permits are issued. In transitioning, existing mines would be required to provide full security within two years. The organization also recommends establishing more definite standards and timelines with greater emphasis on independent review and community stakeholder involvement. Further, the network recommends the establishment of a rehabilitation fund that active 矿业 companies contribute on a proportional basis, similar to what has been implemented in Western Australia.
卑诗省采矿法改革建议采用 IRMA负责任采矿标准 水管理标准，包括与社区和利益相关者就与水有关的关键问题进行全面协商，并由第三方进行独立审查。该网络还建议禁止可能需要永久性水处理的地雷，除非能够满足特殊标准。
BC Mining Law Reform recommends establishing an independent 矿业 compliance and enforcement unit with a mandate to protect the environment. The network also recommends cumulative fines for repeat non-compliance and implementing other revisions to the current fines and sanctions regime.
In terms of transparency and accountability to citizens, the network recommends the regular public posting of all mine environmental data, requiring the responsible minister(s) to provide written decisions for all denials and approvals of 矿业 activities, and enabling private prosecutions and/or enacting citizen suit provisions for environmental violations.
BC Mining Law Reform believes the current regulatory regime for placer mines is inadequate. To improve the regime they recommend requiring environmental assessments for proposed placer mine operations, enacting a clear minimum riparian setback of at least 30 meters, and developing strong rules to control the impact of jade 矿业. The network also advocates for the repeal of section 3(c)(i) of the 砂矿开采废物控制条例 that exempts certain 地区s from sections of the 环境管理法.
BC Mining Law Reform endorses the polluter pays principle, and recommends requiring 矿业 companies to provide security for clean-up and reclamation and carry private insurance for all unplanned but probabilistic 事件s. In cases where private insurance will not cover an 事件, the network recommends establishing a pooled industry fund. The network also recommends establishing an independent claims process to adjudicate disputes over third-party compensation for mine pollution impacts.