The environmental review process in mining approval is designed to ensure minimal impacts from mining operations and prevent unnecessary risks or harmful projects. Environmental review is a thorough exercise that, for controversial projects, can take several years to adequately complete. This amendment shortens the environmental review process by setting restrictions on approval timelines, potentially placing pressure on agencies to rush the assessment of environmental risks in metallic mining.
The A9 Amendment requires that the environmental review process for metallic mining projects must be conducted within 18 months for environmental assessment worksheets and within 3 years for environmental impact statements.
The A9 Amendment was ruled “out of order” on a lack of germaneness, meaning the amendment attempted to introduce an issue not included in the underlying bill, rather than to amend the existing language.