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Court Rules Against 2015 WOTUS Rule

Posted By Ariel Hill-Davis, Monday, June 11, 2018

On Friday, June 8th, a federal judge in Georgia granted a preliminary injunction against the Obama administration's 2015 Waters of the United States rule. The ruling issued by Judge Lisa Godbey Wood for U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Georgia found that the 11 states, which filed the suit, have a substantial likelihood of winning their claims against the 2015 rule. The states included in the ruling are Georgia, Alabama, Florida, Indiana, Kansas, North Carolina, South Carolina, Utah, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Kentucky. These 11 states join the 13 states granted a preliminary injunction against the 2015 rule by the U.S. District Court for North Dakota Southeastern Division. Friday's decision means the 2015 WOTUS rule is effectively blocked in half the country.

This decision is important for several reasons, despite the fact the country is not currently operating under the 2015 WOTUS rule due to the applicability rule issued by the Trump Administration. The applicability rule, pushes the implementation date of the 2015 rule back to 2020, to buy Administrator Pruitt's EPA time to draft, propose and finalize their own interpretation of Waters of the United States. There are currently several challenges to the applicability rule and should one win, it would mean the 2015 rule could go into effect.  Judge Godbey's ruling will make these legal challenges to the applicability rule more difficult for proponents of the 2015 rule to win. This was also the first District Court ruling since the Supreme Court decided in January to give primacy to District Courts on WOTUS challenges.

As IMA-NA has repeatedly stated, the process of finalizing a more common sense WOTUS rule, based on cooperative federalism is going to be long and drawn out. Each action taken by the EPA is going to trigger legal challenges, so it is important to note the courts continue to rule against the 2015 rule as it builds a record in our favor. Below you can read the statement from the Waters Advocacy Coalition on Judge Godbey's ruling. 


“Today’s court ruling is validation for the thousands of farmers, ranchers, and small business owners across the country who have been speaking out against the 2015 WOTUS rule as too broad, confusing, and crippling to their livelihoods,” said Waters Advocacy Coalition spokeswoman Stephanie Genco. “Americans deserve a common-sense WOTUS rule that doesn’t require a team of lawyers and consultants to navigate a maze of federal regulations before building on their own property or plowing a field on their farms. While the 2015 Rule is now stayed in 25 states all together, the other half of the country is still in limbo. That is why the Waters Advocacy Coalition will continue to call on the Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers to withdraw the unlawful 2015 rule and release a revised definition of Waters of the United States that affirms the intent of Congress under the Clean Water Act and provides a regulatory structure that supports both clean water and clear rules.”


Tags:  court  district court  injunction  legal  Regulations  wotus 

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First Friday Ask IMA - Today

Posted By Ariel Hill-Davis, Friday, June 1, 2018

Click here to Register

Please join IMA-NA staff this afternoon, June 1st, at 1:00 EST for June's First Friday call. There are numerous important updates on both regulatory and legislative issues staff will be updating members on. We also will provide a brief recap of our Spring Meeting, which we held in May, and flag some developing issues which we think members should be aware of.

Tags:  first friday 

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Critical Minerals Final List

Posted By Mark Ellis, Friday, May 18, 2018

Today, the Department of the Interior released the final version of the draft Critical Minerals List that was posted in the Federal Register on February 16, 2018, for public comment, in accordance with Executive Order 13817.

As you may remember, on December 20, 2017, President Trump issued Executive Order 13817, which, among other things, directed the Secretary of the Interior, in coordination with the Secretary of Defense and in consultation with the heads of other relevant agencies, to publish a list of critical minerals in the Federal Register. The U.S. Geological Survey compiled the list—prepared with the Bureau of Land Management’s cooperation—and the list was submitted for public comment via a Federal Register notice.

The list of critical minerals, while “final,” is not a permanent list, but will be dynamic and updated periodically to reflect current data on supply, demand, and concentration of production, as well as current policy priorities.

So what is the next step?

Per the Executive Order Sec. 4, the Commerce Department is responsible for organizing the interagency responses into a final report which is due Aug. 16, 2018, to the President.  The report shall include a strategy to reduce the Nation’s reliance on critical minerals, status of recycling and reprocessing technologies or technological alternatives to critical minerals, options for accessing critical minerals through investment and trade with allies and partners, recommendations to streamline permitting and review processes related to developing leases, enhancing access to critical mineral resources, increasing discovery, production, and domestic refining of critical minerals, and a plan to improve topographic, geologic, and geophysical mapping of the United States and make the resulting data and metadata electronically accessible.

The minerals on the final list are:

    • aluminum (bauxite)

    • antimony

    • arsenic

    • barite

    • beryllium

    • bismuth

    • cesium

    • chromium

    • cobalt

    • fluorspar

    • gallium

    • germanium

    • graphite (natural)

    • hafnium

    • helium

    • indium

    • lithium

    • magnesium

    • manganese

    • niobium

    • platinum group metals

    • potash

    • rare earth elements

    • rhenium

    • rubidium

    • scandium

    • strontium

    • tantalum

    • tellurium

    • tin

    • titanium

    • tungsten

    • uranium

    • vanadium

    • zirconium

The Federal Register notice can be accessed through the following link: 

Tags:  critical minerals; Executive Order 13817; Departme 

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2018 Spring Meeting Presentations

Posted By RJ Alpers, Thursday, May 10, 2018

Thank you to all who attended IMA-NA's 2018 Spring Meeting in Washington, D.C.! We hope you enjoyed the new and reinvigorated format and the opportunity to hear from leaders at EPA, MSHA, STB as well as experts in transportation and energy. For members looking to review meeting materials IMA-NA has provided the PDF of the presentations available for circulation below. Thank you again for your participation this week.

Randy Mullett, Senior Policy Advisor, National Industrial Transportation League


Jeffrey Sloan, Senior Director, Regulatory and Technical Affairs, American Chemistry Council and Rail Customer Coalition


 David Zatezalo, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Mine Safety and Health


 Samir Nangia, Director, Financial Services & Energy, IHS Markit


Joseph Triepke, Founder & Principal Research Analyst, Infill Thinking


David Crane, Lobbyist, Domestic Energy Producers Association


Tags:  spring meeting 

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NIOSH Award Nominations Open

Posted By Mark Ellis, Friday, May 4, 2018

NIOSH is accepting nominations until July 1, 2018, for the Mine Safety and Health Technology Innovations Award for Industrial Minerals.  The award and nominations are described in the attached flyer.  More information on the award and the nominations process can be accessed through the following link:  The award for industrial minerals will be presented in conjunction with the IMA-NA Annual Meeting, September 25-27, 2018, in Napa, CA.  We strongly encourage you to consider self-nominating your company for the award.

Download File (PDF)

Tags:  NIOSH  Technology Innovations Award 

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BLM Notices Availability of RMPs for Greater Sage Grouse

Posted By Mark Ellis, Friday, May 4, 2018

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) today announced the opening of the comment period on draft Resource Management Plans (RMP) and draft Environmental Impact Statements (EIS) for Greater Sage Grouse in six RMPs covering Colorado, Nevada and Northern California, Oregon, Idaho, Utah and Wyoming.  Since 2015 the BLM, in discussions with partners, recognized that several refinements and policy updates could help strengthen conservation efforts, while providing increased economic opportunity to local communities.  Comments on the draft RMPs and draft EISs must be submitted on or before August 2, 2018, or 15 days after the last public meeting is held, whichever is later.


To reach the national project website, please click here.  From this portal page you can select each of the six geographic areas covered by a specific draft RMP with its own draft EIS.  Once on the geographic area of interest, the specific draft RMP and draft EIS can be accessed through the Documents & Reports link in the left-hand margin.


IMA-NA will file comments in these rulemakings.

Tags:  BLM  Bureau of Land Management  EIS  Environmental Impact Study  Greater Sage Grouse  Resource Management Plan  RMP 

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First Friday Ask IMA - This Friday

Posted By RJ Alpers, Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Please join IMA-NA staff this Friday, May 4th, at 1:00 EST for May's First Friday call. 


We will have updates on both regulatory and legislative issues. We will also provide an update on our upcoming annual Spring Meeting in Washington, D.C. next week May 7-9th. Information regarding the meeting is now live on our website; we look forward to hearing from you this Friday, and seeing you next week!


Click Here To Register

Tags:  ima-na; Frid 

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Workers’ Memorial Day — April 28, 2018

Posted By Ariel Hill-Davis, Friday, April 27, 2018

Tomorrow, April 28th, is Workers' Memorial Day. Established in 1970 by the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations, Workers' Memorial Day is a time to remember and honor workers who were injured, became ill, or died because of exposures to hazards at work. Like other traditional industries, mining operations have some intrinsic safety and health risks which is why IMA-NA is proud to represent companies committed to keeping their employees safe and healthy. IMA-NA members are industry leaders in the field of safety and health, constantly improving their records and programs. At our upcoming Spring Meeting, we'll have the pleasure of presenting our Safety Award Winners for the year before we get to discuss the top issues facing the industry with Assistant Administrator of MSHA, David Zatazelo. 

We encourage everyone to take some time to remember those workers who were and are unfortunate enough to get injured on the job. 

To read the CDC - NIOSH press release on Workers' Memorial Day click here

Tags:  CDC  NIOSH  safety  safety and health  Workers Memorial Day 

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Announcing the Second Installment of the New NIOSH Expanding Research Partnerships Webinar Series!

Posted By RJ Alpers, Tuesday, April 24, 2018

IMA-NA, strongly encourages members to participate in the second installment of the new NIOSH Expanding Research Partnerships Webinar Series. This series continues the learning and discussions on NIOSH research and partnerships from the Expanding Research Partnerships: State of the Science Conference

The 2018 webinar series will feature intramural and extramural research within the NIOSH Program Portfolio from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. ET, with two presentations scheduled for May 16 and November 14, 2018. NIOSH has invited all to join on Wednesday, May 16, for these exciting presentations on new technologies to reduce exposure to health and safety hazards:

IMA-NA recently had the pleasure of Mr. Cecala presenting at our recent Spring Technology Meeting and hope those who are able can view these valuable NIOSH presentations. IMA-NA supports NIOSH's commitment towards continuing the work on expanding research partnerships for the greatest impact in occupational safety and health. For additional information about this webinar and registration information, please view the following web link:

Tags:  NIOSH  safety and health 

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MSHA Stakeholder Meetings/Video Conference

Posted By Mark Ellis, Thursday, April 19, 2018
MSHA published a notice in the Federal Register announcing additional stakeholder meetings to provide outreach and compliance assistance materials on its final rule on examinations of working places in metal and nonmetal mines (  The additional in-person meeting will be held in Seattle, WA, on May 3, and two video teleconference (VTC) meetings to be broadcast to seven local offices from MSHA headquarters in Arlington, VA, on May 10 and June 6.  MSHA previously published a notice in the Federal Register announcing six stakeholder meetings in May addressing the final rule (  The final rule becomes effective on June 2, 2018.

Tags:  examinations of working places; MSHA 

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