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Important Position with Minerals Resource Program Currently Vacant

Posted By Ariel Hill-Davis, Wednesday, December 28, 2016

The start of 2017 will bring many changes to U.S. government, as the 115th Congress begins and the Trump Administration moves into the White House. As with any change in governance, there will be opportunities to influence the direction of our new legislators and regulators and the country. In addition to the higher profile issues IMA-NA and NISA work on, IMA-NA will continue its work on behalf of minerals science and information funding in 2017. IMA-NA will work through the Minerals Science and Information Coalition (MSIC) to restore funding for the important work  of the Mineral Resource Program (MRP) at the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). The MRP has a long and distinguished history of research and assessment of our nation’s mineral resources and IMA-NA maintains it is vital that we invest in understanding our domestic resources to build and maintain resilient supply chains. Congress and the Administration need to understand the contributions of minerals to the U.S. and global economy.

IMA-NA is fortunate to have a good working relationship with the USGS staff in the MRP and we are saddened to learn of the impending retirement of Larry Meinert from his role as Program Coordinator of the Mineral Resources Program in the new year.

This Program Coordinator role provides the scientific vision and leadership to the MRP and as such is an important representative for minerals science in our government. USGS is currently accepting applications to fill Larry’s position. The timeline is short, but IMA-NA would invite our members to check out the listing and circulate it to any industry friends who might be interested. 

To view the posting for non-Federal employees click here.

To view the posting for current Federal employees click here

Tags:  education  jobs  Minerals Resource Program  minerals science  MRP  msic  usgs 

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Upcoming EPA Webinars on Hardrock Mining Financial Assurances

Posted By Ariel Hill-Davis, Thursday, December 22, 2016

 EPA will host two Webinars in January on its proposed rule to mandate Financial Responsibility Requirements under CERCLA § 108(b) for Classes of Facilities in the Hardrock Mining Industry.  The first Webinar will be held on Tuesday, January 10, at 2:00 - 3:00 p.m. (EST) and will give an overview of the proposed rule (to register, click here).  The second Webinar will be held on Monday, January 30, at 2:00 - 3:00 p.m. (EST) and will focus on the financial responsibility formula included in the proposal (to register, click here).  Section 108(b) of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA, or Superfund) gives EPA the authority to require classes of facilities to establish and maintain evidence of financial responsibility.  According to EPA, this financial responsibility demonstrates the owner or operator's ability to cover the costs associated with releases, or threatened releases, of hazardous substances from their facilities.  Facilities subject to the proposed rule would be required to demonstrate financial responsibility using one or more of the following financial responsibility instruments: letter of credit; insurance; trust fund; or surety bond.  IMA-NA opposes the proposed rule and maintains that all industrial minerals facilities should be excluded from this rulemaking.

Tags:  CERCLA  EPA  hardrock  regulations  Superfund  webinars 

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Endangered Species Coalition Lists Greater Sage Grouse as a Priority Species for Trump Administration

Posted By Ariel Hill-Davis, Thursday, December 22, 2016

On Wednesday, the Endangered Species Coalition (Coalition) released it's "Top Ten” list of species in need of strong conservation measures. The report is targeted at the incoming Trump Administration as a way to influence the conservation agenda of the new President.  Despite the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's (Fish and Wildlife) decision in 2015 to remove the Greater Sage-Grouse from the Endangered species candidate list, the Coalition flagged Greater Sage-Grouse as a species in need of increased conservation efforts. Fish and Wildlife withdrew the Sage Grouse from consideration following the successful implementation of conservation efforts on the state level. The decision was made following the  "unprecedented conservation partnership across the western United States that [...] significantly reduced threats to the greater sage-grouse across 90 percent of the species’ breeding habitat."  The Coalition's report demonstrates a renewed interest from the environmental and conservation groups to elevate the listing of the Sage Grouse with the hope of taking millions of acres offline for development of any kind. While it is unlikely the Trump Administration would reopen the recent decision on the Sage Grouse it is important to note the species is still on the radar of conservation groups. 

To read the full report click here

Tags:  administration  conservation  Endangered Species  Fish and Wildlife  FWS  Greater Sage Grouse  regulations  sage grouse 

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Happy Holidays from IMA-NA!

Posted By Darrell Smith, Wednesday, December 21, 2016

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Canada Mandates Collection of Information on Asbestos

Posted By Ariel Hill-Davis, Monday, December 19, 2016
The Government of Canada published a notice in the December 17 edition of the Canada Gazette, announcing that it intends to develop a proposed regulation under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA) to ban asbestos, including the manufacture, use, sale, offer for sale, import and export. To inform the development of the proposed regulation, the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change has initiated a mandatory Section 71 survey that requires any person who, during any calendar year from 2013-2015, manufactured, imported or exported a total quantity of 5 kg or more of listed asbestos species, whether alone or in concentration greater than 0.1% by weight in a mixture, product or manufactured item, to file a Section 71 survey with the Ministry. The Section 71 survey must be submitted no later than January 18, 2017.

The Canada Gazette notice can be accessed through this link.

Tags:  asbestos  canada  Canadian Environmental Protection Act  CEPA  environment 

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MineFit Monday Move: Sing a Christmas Carol! Why? Proven Stress Release and Syncing Heartbeats

Posted By Darrell Smith, Monday, December 19, 2016
Today, pick your favorite song (it doesn’t necessarily have to be a carol ;)) and belt out a few lyrics.  If you are with a friend, double down and sing together - neuroscience shows that this action clinically reduces stress chemicals in the brain, and makes you feel more happy and connected.  Check out the link below, and enjoy your Monday!

Happy Holidays from your MineFit Head Coach, 

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Friday MineFit TidBit: What Happens When the "Diet" Ends

Posted By Darrell Smith, Friday, December 16, 2016

Everyone wants to be on a "Diet."  
But, what happens when the diet is over?

The word "diet” basically means "short-term solution.” But we all need them every so often! So, let’s rename this “diet” thing: The "Kickstart"

 If you want to go on a Kickstart:

(1) Consider one or two items you would like to change, and one thing you want to get rid of. E.g., don't eat past 10pm, make sure to have 10k steps per day, and a daily serving of fruit.
(2) Set a timeline (1 week, 30 days, 3 months) and one goal.  
(3) Examine your schedule and see where activity fits in - use your iPhone Health app or FitBit app to track your steps, and choose one other thing to log (breakfast, protein, water, vegetables, etc). 
(4) Invest in a coach, whether it be at a gym, online, or your fittest friend or family member. It makes all the difference. 

After you complete a “ Kickstart" - which can include some serious measures like no eating after 7pm, meal shakes,  supplement pills, etc -  examine what you liked and what to weave into your daily grind.  
Instead of cutting things out of our diet, consider weaving things in.  

10k steps 
gallon of fluid 
5 salads a week 
4 stretching breaks every day 
200 pushups per week 

Check out this study on best weight management strategies. Basically, it says that choosing a self-monitoring technique is the most successful method for weight management. This means having one metric, like those listed above, to hold yourself accountable to a program.  

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Representative Ryan Zinke Tapped to be Secretary of Interior

Posted By Ariel Hill-Davis, Friday, December 16, 2016

On Thursday, President Elect Trump announced his nomination of Representative Ryan Zinke (R-MT) for the position of Secretary of Interior in his Cabinet. The choice of the single term Representative from Montana demonstrated President Elect Trump's willingness to appoint Cabinet positions to unexpected choices.Previously, meetings with Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) seemed to indicate she would be the President Elect's nominee for the Department of Interior.

Prior to winning the Montana At-Large congressional seat in 2014, Rep. Zinke had an illustrious and long career as a Navy Seal. Rep. Zinke served the country for 22 years (1986-2008) in various capacities within the Navy Seal program. Upon leaving the Navy Rep. Zinke stepped into the state political arena, where he served as a state Senator from 2009-2011. In his time as Montana's At-Large Representative, Zinke served on the House Committee of Natural Resources and the Committee on Armed Services. In his relatively short political career, Rep. Zinke has styled himself as a Teddy Roosevelt Republican who aims to balance conservation with reasonable federal land use. As an avid hunter and outdoorsman, Zinke supports responsible stewardship of our public lands. He was a vocal opponent of the designating the Greater Sage Grouse as an endangered species, a move that would have severely undercut land usage out west. 

Based on his record in the 114th Congress, Rep. Zinke appears to be a champion for balancing business, community, economic, and conservation needs across the United States. IMA-NA is looking forward to welcoming Rep. Zinke as the Secretary of Interior following his confirmation.

Tags:  administration  appointee  department of interior  Greater Sage Grouse  nominee  president  sage grouse  Secretary of Interior  transition team  Trump  Zinke 

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IMA-NA Addresses Trump's Energy Transition Team

Posted By Ariel Hill-Davis, Thursday, December 15, 2016

IMA-NA participated in an "Energy Listening Session" hosted by the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) with senior members of the Trump Transition Team responsible for energy issues.  IMA-NA President Mark Ellis addressed the group during the oil and natural gas session.  After introducing IMA-NA, he addressed the importance of industrial minerals in the hydraulic fracturing process, referencing silica sand, barite and bentonite.  These minerals are essential components of the hydraulic fracturing itself and in the drilling muds used during well development.  He stressed the importance of infrastructure to move the mineral products to the well site and then to move the oil and gas to refineries.  Finally, he advised the transition team that local restrictions on frac sand production were an apparent end-run effort to restrict hydraulic fracturing generally and that the incoming administration should work to ensure that the mineral resources necessary to enable energy development are not unduly regulated.

Tags:  energy  frac sand  fracking  hydraulic fracturing  silica  transition team  Trump 

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EPA Releases Study on the Impacts of Hydraulic Fracturing on Drinking Water

Posted By Ariel Hill-Davis, Thursday, December 15, 2016

On Tuesday, the EPA released its long-awaited final report evaluating the available scientific literature and data to assess the potential for activities in the hydraulic fracturing water cycle to impact the quality or quantity of drinking water resources.  It also identified factors that affect the frequency and severity of those impacts.  While EPA found scientific evidence that hydraulic fracturing can impact drinking water resources under some circumstances, it implicitly found that it did not in other circumstances. The final report deviates from the first version, which stated unequivocally that there was "no evidence that fracking systemically contaminates water". Thomas A. Burke, the E.P.A.’s science adviser, and deputy assistant administrator of the agency’s Office of Research and Development, addressed the change by stating EPA scientists couldn't quantitatively support the former conclusion.  Mr. Burke did go on to highlighting the data gaps and uncertainties that existed in the study which limited its ability to fully assess the potential impacts on drinking water resources and could not fully characterize the severity of impacts. Additionally, EPA stated it could neither calculate nor estimate the national frequency of impacts on drinking water resources. 

It's important to note that the report will contribute to the conversation surrounding the incoming Administration's stated policy to decrease regulations and increase investment in natural gas development and hydraulic fracturing. 

Additional information on the 666-page final report can be accessed through this link.

Tags:  administration  EPA  fracking  hydraulic fracturing  Regulations  study 

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