Lead Agency Responsibilities

​​​​​​​​​Currently, the S​MGB administers certain lead agency responsibilities under SMARA for 49 individual surface mining operations located in California. ​​ 

At each of these surface mining operations, the SMGB conducts annual inspections, reviews and approves financial assurance cost estimates, and undertakes compliance and enforcement actions when deemed necessary.  

The SMGB may assume a local jurisdiction’s authority to administer SMARA under certain circumstances.  Specifically, Public Resources Code (PRC) Section 2774.4 states:

(a) The board shall exercise some or all of a lead agency’s powers under this chapter pursuant to subdivision (c), except for permitting authority and vested rights determinations, if the board finds that a lead agency has done any of the following:
(1) Approved reclamation plans or financial assurances that are not consistent with this chapter.
(2) Failed to inspect or cause the inspection of surface mining operations as required by this chapter.
(3) Failed to seek forfeiture of financial assurances and to carry out reclamation of surface mining operations as required by this chapter.
(4) Failed to take appropriate enforcement actions as required by this chapter.
(5) Intentionally misrepresented the results of inspections required under this chapter.
(6) Failed to submit information to the department as required by this chapter.

​PRC Section 2774.5 requires the SMGB to assume full authority for reviewing and approving reclamation plans in any jurisdiction in which the lead agency does not have a certified surface mining ordinance.  As of January 2017, the SMGB serves as SMARA lead agency for 7 cities that have surface mining operations within their jurisdiction but do not have current SMGB certified surface mining ordinances.

Finally, the SMGB acts as the SMARA lead agency for all surface mining operations under the jurisdiction of the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC).  The San Francisco BCDC jurisdiction includes open water, marshes, mud flats and shorelines immediately surrounding San Francisco Bay and its surrounding Bays and tributary water bodies.  Currently there are 7 marine dredging operations for which the SMGB oversees SMARA compliance.