Code Section Group

Public Resources Code - PRC

DIVISION 1. ADMINISTRATION [500 - 830]

  ( Division 1 repealed and added by Stats. 1965, Ch. 1144. )

CHAPTER 2. Department of Conservation [600 - 690]

  ( Chapter 2 added by Stats. 1965, Ch. 1144. )

ARTICLE 2. State Mining and Geology Board [660 - 678]
  ( Heading of Article 2 renumbered from Article 3 by Stats. 1976, Ch. 1300. )

660.
  

There is in the department a State Mining and Geology Board consisting of nine members appointed by the Governor, subject to confirmation by the Senate.

(Amended by Stats. 1988, Ch. 257, Sec. 1.)

661.
  

As used in this article, “board” means the State Mining and Geology Board and “division” means the California Geological Survey of the department.

(Amended by Stats. 2006, Ch. 869, Sec. 11. Effective January 1, 2007.)

662.
  

(a) One member of the board shall be a professional geologist with background and experience in mining geology; one member shall be a mining engineer with background and experience in mining minerals in California; one member shall have background and experience in groundwater hydrology, water quality, and rock chemistry; one member shall be a representative of local government with background and experience in urban planning; one member shall have background and experience in the field of environmental protection or the study of ecosystems; one member shall be a professional geologist, registered geophysicist, registered civil engineer, or registered structural engineer with background and experience in seismology; one member shall be a landscape architect with background and experience in soil conservation or revegetation of disturbed soils; one member shall have background and experience in mineral resource conservation, development, and utilization; and one member shall not be required to have specialized experience.

(b) All members of the board shall represent the general public interest, but not more than one-third of the members at any one time may be currently employed by, or receive more than 25 percent of their annual income, not to exceed $25,000 a year per member, from an entity that owns or operates a mine in California. The representative of local government shall not be considered an employee of an entity that owns or operates a mine if the lead agency employing the representative owns or operates a mine. For purposes of this section, retirement or other benefits paid by a mining entity to an individual who is no longer employed by that entity are not considered to be compensation, if those benefits were earned prior to the date the individual terminated his or her employment with the entity.

(c) If a member of the board determines that he or she has a conflict of interest on a particular matter before the board pursuant to subdivision (b) or Section 663, he or she shall provide the clerk of the board with a brief written explanation of the basis for the conflict of interest, which shall become a part of the public record of the board. The written explanation shall be delivered prior to the time the matter to which it pertains is voted on by the board. This disclosure requirement is in addition to any other conflict-of-interest disclosure requirement imposed by law.

(Amended by Stats. 2004, Ch. 865, Sec. 37. Effective January 1, 2005.)

663.
  

(a) No member of the board shall participate in any action of the board or attempt to influence any decision of the board that involves himself or herself, or any person with whom he or she is connected, as a director, officer, paid consultant, or full-time or part-time employee, or in which he or she has a financial interest within the meaning of Section 87103 of the Government Code.

(b) No board member shall participate in any proceeding before any state or local agency as a consultant or in any other capacity on behalf of any person who engages in surface mining operations.

(c) Upon request of any person, or on his or her own initiative, the Attorney General may file a complaint in the superior court for the county in which the board has its principal office alleging that a board member has knowingly violated this section, alleging the facts upon which the allegation is based, and asking that the member be removed from office. Further proceedings shall be in accordance as nearly as practicable with rules governing civil actions. If after trial the court finds that the board member has knowingly violated this section it shall order the member removed from office.

(Amended by Stats. 1993, Ch. 278, Sec. 2. Effective August 2, 1993.)

663.1.
  

(a) For the purposes of this section, “ex parte communication” means any oral or written communication between a member of the board and an interested person about a matter within the board’s jurisdiction that does not occur in a public hearing, workshop, or other official proceeding, or on the official record of the proceeding on the matter.

(b) For purposes of this section, “a matter within the board’s jurisdiction” means any action on a reclamation plan or financial assurance appealed pursuant to subdivision (e) of Section 2770, any review of an order setting administrative penalties pursuant to Section 2774.2, or any review of an appeal pursuant to Section 2775.

(c) A board member or any person, other than a staff member of the board, department, or any other state agency, who is acting in his or her official capacity and who intends to influence the decision of the board on a matter within the board’s jurisdiction, shall not conduct an ex parte communication, unless the board member or the person who engages in the communication with the board member discloses that communication in one of the following ways:

(1) The board member or the person fully discloses the communication and makes public the ex parte communication by providing a full report of the communication to the executive officer or, if the communication occurs within seven days of the next board hearing, to the board on the record of the proceeding of that hearing.

(2) When two or more board members receive substantially the same written communication or receive the same oral communication from the same party on the same matter, one of the board members fully discloses the communication on behalf of the other board member or members who received the communication and requests in writing that it be placed in the board’s official record of the proceeding.

(d) (1) The board shall adopt standard disclosure forms for reporting ex parte communications which shall include, but not be limited to, all of the following information:

(A) The date, time, and location of the communication.

(B) The identity of the person or persons initiating and the person or persons receiving the communication.

(C) A complete description of the content of the communication, including the complete text of any written material that was part of the communication.

(2) The executive officer shall place in the public record any report of an ex parte communication.

(e) Communications shall cease to be ex parte communications when fully disclosed and placed in the board’s official record.

(f) In addition to any other applicable penalty, a board member who knowingly violates this section is subject to a civil fine, not to exceed seven thousand five hundred dollars ($7,500). Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, the court may award attorneys’ fees and costs to the prevailing party.

(g) Notwithstanding Section 11425.10 of the Government Code, the ex parte communications provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act (Article 7 (commencing with Section 11430.10) of Chapter 4.5 of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code) do not apply to proceedings of the board under this code.

(Amended by Stats. 1995, Ch. 938, Sec. 81. Effective January 1, 1996. Operative July 1, 1997, by Sec. 98 of Ch. 938.)

663.2.
  

(a) No board member shall make, participate in making, or in any other way attempt to use his or her official position to influence a board decision about which the member has knowingly had an ex parte communication that has not been reported pursuant to Section 663.1.

(b) In addition to any other applicable penalty, including a civil fine imposed pursuant to subdivision (f) of Section 663.1, a board member who knowingly violates this section shall be subject to a civil fine, not to exceed seven thousand five hundred dollars ($7,500). Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, the court may award attorneys’ fees and costs to the prevailing party.

(Added by Stats. 1993, Ch. 278, Sec. 4. Effective August 2, 1993.)

664.
  

Each member of the board shall hold office for four years. Vacancies shall be immediately filled by the Governor.

(Amended by Stats. 1988, Ch. 257, Sec. 2.)

667.
  

Each member of the board shall receive one hundred dollars ($100) for each day during which the member is engaged in the performance of official duties. The compensation of each member, except the compensation of the chair, shall not, however, exceed in any one fiscal year the sum of four thousand dollars ($4,000). The chair of the board may receive compensation not to exceed five thousand dollars ($5,000) in any one fiscal year for the performance of official duties. In addition to the compensation, each member shall be reimbursed for necessary traveling and other expenses incurred in the performance of official duties.

(Amended by Stats. 2011, Ch. 296, Sec. 254. (AB 1023) Effective January 1, 2012.)

668.
  

The board shall maintain its headquarters in Sacramento and shall hold meetings at such times and at such places as shall be determined by it. Five members of the board shall constitute a quorum for the purpose of transacting any business of the board. A majority affirmative vote of the total authorized membership of the board shall be necessary to adopt, amend, or repeal state policy for the reclamation of mined lands adopted pursuant to Article 4 (commencing with Section 2755) of Chapter 9 of Division 2. All meetings of the board shall be open to the public.

(Added by Stats. 1975, Ch. 1131.)

669.
  

The Governor shall designate the chair of the board from among the members of the board. The person designated as the chair shall hold the office at the pleasure of the Governor. The board shall annually elect a vice chair from among its members.

(Amended by Stats. 2010, Ch. 213, Sec. 4. (AB 2768) Effective January 1, 2011.)

670.
  

The board may appoint an executive officer who shall be exempt from civil service pursuant to subdivision (e) of Section 4 of Article XXIV of the California Constitution. The board may also employ such clerical assistance as may be necessary for the proper discharge of its duties. Neither the board nor its employees shall have or be given any powers in relation to the administration of the division.

(Added by Stats. 1975, Ch. 1131.)

671.
  

The director shall have no power to amend or repeal any order, ruling, or directive of the board.

(Added by Stats. 1975, Ch. 1131.)

672.
  

The board shall represent the state’s interest in the development, utilization, and conservation of the mineral resources of the state and the reclamation of mined lands, as provided by law, and federal matters pertaining to mining, and shall determine, establish, and maintain an adequate surface mining and reclamation policy. The board shall also represent the state’s interest in the development of geological information necessary to the understanding and utilization of the state’s terrain, and seismological and geological information pertaining to earthquake and other geological hazards. General policies for the division shall be determined by the board.

(Amended by Stats. 1976, Ch. 1243.)

673.
  

The board shall also serve as a policy and appeals board for the purposes of Chapter 7.5 (commencing with Section 2621) of Division 2.

(Added by Stats. 1975, Ch. 1131.)

675.
  

The board may provide for a statewide program of research regarding the technical phases of reclaiming mined lands which may be delegated to it by law and may accept funds from the United States or from any person to aid in carrying out the provisions of this section. The board may conduct such a program independently or by contract or in cooperation with any person, public or private organization, federal agency, or state agency, including any political subdivision of the state.

(Added by Stats. 1975, Ch. 1131.)

676.
  

The board shall provide for a public information program on matters involving the state’s terrain, mineral resources, mining, the reclamation of mined lands, and the seismological and geological aspects of earthquakes and other geological hazards.

(Amended by Stats. 1976, Ch. 1243.)

677.
  

The board shall nominate, and the director shall appoint, the State Geologist, who shall either be registered in compliance with the Geologist and Geophysicist Act (Chapter 12.5 (commencing with Section 7800) of Division 3 of the Business and Professions Code) at least one year from the date of appointment, or the Board for Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors may, upon the review of academic and professional experience, grant registration. The State Geologist shall possess general knowledge of mineral resources, structural geology, seismology, engineering geology, and related disciplines in science and engineering, and the reclamation of mined lands and waters. The State Geologist shall advise the director regarding technical, scientific, and engineering issues, including the scientific quality of the division's products and activities.

(Amended by Stats. 2009, 4th Ex. Sess., Ch. 18, Sec. 68. (AB 20 4x) Effective October 23, 2009.)

678.
  

The director may authorize the State Geologist to exercise his power to appoint employees of the division in accordance with the State Civil Service Act. The director may authorize the State Geologist, or any employee of the division, to exercise any power granted to, or perform any duty imposed upon, the director by the State Civil Service Act.

(Added by Stats. 1975, Ch. 1131.)

PRCPublic Resources Code - PRC2