Surface Mining (SMARA)

Surface Mining & Reclamation Act of 1975

The Surface Mining and Reclamation Act of 1975 (SMARA, Public Resources Code, Sections 2710-2796) provides a comprehensive surface mining and reclamation policy for the regulation of surface mining operations to assure that adverse environmental impacts are minimized and mined lands are reclaimed to a usable condition. SMARA also encourages the production, conservation, and protection of the state’s mineral resources. Public Resources Code Section 2207 provides annual reporting requirements for all mines in California.

Placer County Enforcement

As the local lead agency, Placer County has the main responsibility to enforce the requirements of SMARA. The Engineering and Surveying Division and Planning Services Division review applications for permits and/or reclamation plans (including amendments), submit reclamation plans and financial assurances to the State for technical review and comment prior to approval, annually review financial assurances, annually inspect mining operations for compliance, and take enforcement actions where necessary.

The Placer County Zoning Ordinance, Section 17.56.270, “Surface Mining and Reclamation” contains land use permitting and reclamation procedures which provide the regulatory framework under which local mining and reclamation activities are conducted. For inquiries regarding Placer County’s SMARA compliance program, please contact Engineering & Surveying Division by phone at 530-745-3110, or email Engineering & Surveying.

Other Agencies

  • Division of Mine Reclamation (DMR) - The DMR , a division of the State of California Dept. of Conservation, provides an ongoing technical assistance program for lead agencies and operators, maintains a database of mine locations and operational information statewide, and is responsible for compliance related matters.
  • State Mining and Geology Board (SMGB) - The SMGB promulgates regulations to clarify and interpret the Act's provisions, and also serves as a policy and appeals board.