Designation appeals are provided pursuant to Article 5 PRC Section 2775. Designation appeals are considered when an applicant whose request for a permit to conduct surface mining operations in an area of statewide or regional significance has been denied by a lead agency, or any person who is aggrieved by the granting of a permit to conduct surface mining operations in an area of statewide or regional significance, may, within 15 days of exhausting his rights to appeal in accordance with the procedures of the lead agency, appeal to the State Mining & Geology Board (SMGB).
Designation appeals that the SMGB does not decline to hear are scheduled and heard at a public hearing held within the jurisdiction of the lead agency which processed the original application within 30 days of the filing of the appeal, or such longer period as may be mutually agreed upon by the SMGB and the person filing the appeal. In any such action, the SMGB shall not exercise its independent judgment on the evidence but shall only determine whether the decision of the lead agency is supported by substantial evidence in the light of the whole record. If the SMGB determines the decision of the lead agency is not supported by substantial evidence in the light of the whole record it shall remand the appeal to the lead agency and the lead agency shall schedule a public hearing to reconsider its action.
Administrative procedures for acceptance criteria and the conduct of Designation appeals are provided in the SMGB’s regulations pursuant to Public Resources Code Article 4, Section 3625. Designation appeals can only be considered within 15 days of exhausting his or her rights to appeal in accordance with the procedures of the lead agency. Failure to submit all the required, completed documents to the SMGB within the 15 days filing period will result in an incomplete filing of intent and an automatic rejection of the appeal. Supporting documents shall include the following:
1. A map indicating the exact location of the disputed area, including township and range, and corresponding to the designation map prepared for the region;
2. Written statements with supporting documentation indicating the basis for the appellant’s challenge to the decision by the lead agency either to approve or deny a permit to mine in an area designated as being of statewide or regional significance; and
3. Copy of notice to the lead agency that the appellant has filed an intent to appeal to the SMGB.