|SERVING THE STATES INTO THE 21ST CENTURY:
STRATEGIES FOR ACTION (Revised 2012)
WHAT IS THE INTERSTATE MINING COMPACT COMMISSION?
The Interstate Mining Compact Commission (IMCC) is a multi-state governmental organization representing the natural resource and environmental protection interests of its member states. The Compact was established in April of 1971 following eight years of discussion and developmental action by a group of interested mining states under the auspices of the Southern Governors Conference. The Compact presently consists of 19 member states and 6 associate member states with representation from throughout the country, all of whom have significant interests in the mining of both coal and noncoal minerals.
Participation in the Compact is gained through the enactment of legislation by the states authorizing their entry into the Compact. The states are represented by their respective Governors who serve as Commissioners. The Compact acts through several committees that have responsibility for particular subject matter or policy areas including: Environmental Affairs, Mine Safety and Health, Abandoned Mine Lands, Minerals Education, Resolutions and Finance. The Governors are represented on these committees by duly appointed delegates from their respective states.
The Compact’s purposes are to advance the protection and restoration of land, water and other resources affected by mining through the encouragement of programs in each of the party states that will achieve comparable results in protecting, conserving and improving the usefulness of natural resources and to assist in achieving and maintaining an efficient, productive and economically viable mining industry.
Among the Compact’s powers are the study of mining operations, processes and techniques; the study of conservation, adaptation, improvement and restoration of land and related resources affected by mining; the gathering and dissemination of information; making recommendations; and cooperating with the federal government and any public or private entities having an interest in any subject within the purview of the Compact.
The IMCC was founded on the premise that the mining industry is one of the most basic and important to the Nation. Our manufacturing activities, transportation systems, and the comfort of our homes depend on the products of mining. At the same time, it is essential that an appropriate balance be struck between the need for minerals and the protection of the environment. We recognize that individual states have the power to establish and maintain programs of land and other resource development, restoration and regulation appropriate to cope with the surface effects of mining. The IMCC would not shift responsibility for such programs. On the other hand, our member states believe a united position in dealing with the federal government affords us a decided advantage. Our commission feels strongly that the collective voice of many is important in our efforts to preserve and advocate states’ rights.
The IMCC provides several meaningful and critical benefits and services that greatly assist the states in their efforts to promote development of their abundant mineral resources while assuring adequate protection of the environment. In particular, the Compact provides opportunities and forums for interstate action and communication on issues of concern to member states. The Compact is actively engaged in a variety of state/federal partnerships and programs under the auspices of such statutes as the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act (SMCRA), the Mine Safety and Health Act, the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), the Federal Water Pollution Control Act and the Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA). On the coal side, the IMCC deals extensively with the federal Office of Surface Mining (OSM) on such issues as federal oversight of state regulatory programs, state program grants under Titles IV and V of SMCRA, administration of the Abandoned Mine Land (AML) program, and other significant OSM rulemakings. We work extensively with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on such matters as mine placement of coal combustion wastes under subtitle D of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), financial responsibility requirements under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA), and water quality requirements associated with active mining and remining operations.
The IMCC also undertakes studies on behalf of the states, as evidenced by our regularly updated report on the Regulation of Non-Coal Mineral Resources in the U.S.
The Compact also is active in recognizing the accomplishments of the industry that we regulate. Each year, the Compact presents a national reclamation award in both the coal and non-coal categories. We believe such a program highlights the positive work that the industry and the states together are doing in the way of environmental protection.
IMCC’s Education Work Group has published a nationally recognized educational poster regarding mine land reclamation and conducted several teacher training workshops. IMCC also presents annual Mineral Education Awards in the mineral educator awareness and public outreach categories to recognize the valuable work being accomplished by teachers and others to advance the knowledge of the public concerning the importance of minerals to our society.
Over the years the IMCC has become an organization of national scope serving as the spokesperson for the mining states in Washington, D.C. It strives to effectively represent the interests of the mining states in their dealings with Capitol Hill and the executive agencies in an effort to articulate the concerns and recommendations of the states in their role as primary regulators of mining activities within their borders.
During 1995, as the IMCC reflected upon 25 years of progress and anticipated the next generation of service to the states, the Commission formulated a strategic plan to carry it into the 21st century. Following an examination of the nature, functions and activities of the organization, the Commission identified the critical issues or areas that should be the focus of the IMCC in the future, based on an updated and enhanced vision statement and set of goals. The Commission also found that the basic purposes and functions of the IMCC, as set forth in its governing document (the “Compact”), continue to be sound and effective.
This strategic plan was updated and revised by the Interstate Mining Compact Commission (IMCC) at its annual meeting in Asheville, North Carolina on May 2, 2012.
The Interstate Mining Compact Commission will be an advocate for the member states and will serve the states through information exchange, effective communication, benchmarking initiatives, liaison with the federal government and others, and educational outreach in an effort to assist the states in fulfilling the dual responsibilities of assuring development of their abundant and strategically important natural resources while protecting and improving the environment.
The Interstate Mining Compact Commission (IMCC) will improve methods for communication with and information exchange among the member states (and state government organizations) to enhance state regulatory program implementation.
STRATEGIES FOR ACTION:
- Publish e-newsletters each year.
- Prepare and distribute minutes of all commission and standing committee meetings.
- Prepare and distribute e-memos on a regular basis regarding topics of interest and concern for the member states.
- Pursue development of e-alerts/issue tracking system to be included on IMCC website or sent electronically.
- Hold benchmarking workshop/roundtable discussion.
- Hold national/regional state forum, with a focus on noncoal topics.
- Update IMCC website on a monthly basis.
- Hold conference calls as necessary to brief the member states and seek input on critical, time-sensitive issues.
- Initiate and follow through with special studies on topics of interest identified by the member states.
- Publish the annual report of the Compact.
- Update membership directory regularly on IMCC website.
- Pursue opportunities to advance the goals and objectives of the Compact by establishing partnerships and coordinating activities with like-minded state government organizations, including the National Association of Abandoned Mine Land Programs; the Western Interstate Energy Board; the Western Governors association the National Association of State Mine Inspection Agencies; the American Association of State Geologists; the Association of State and Territorial Solid Waste Management Officials; the Environmental Council of the States; the National Association of State Land Reclamationists; and the National Governors Association.
- Number of communications distributed, including at least two e-newsletters and six e-memos each year.
- Number of partnerships maintained or entered into with other agencies/organizations.
- At least one joint meeting per year with like-minded agencies/organizations
- Track participation by member states in meetings and conference calls.
- Hold at least two interactive workshops or roundtables each year (e.g. benchmarking or regional).
The Interstate Mining Compact Commission (IMCC) will enhance existing working relationships with federal government agencies and Congress to effectively communicate state positions on key issues and to foster partnerships.
STRATEGIES FOR ACTION:
- Meet regularly with congressional staff from the committees of jurisdiction (House Natural Resources; Senate Energy and Natural Resources) and the appropriations committees in the House and Senate to discuss IMCC concerns, ideally with IMCC member state representatives.
- Communicate on a regular basis with congressional staff via phone and e-mail regarding issues of concern.
- Meet regularly with appropriate agency staff from the Mine Safety and Health Administration and the U.S. Department of the Interior and/or its various bureaus to discuss issues of concern to the member states, ideally with IMCC member state representatives.
- Meet when necessary with appropriate agency staff from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to discuss issues of concern to the member states, ideally with IMCC member state representatives.
- Communicate on a regular basis with federal agency personnel via phone and e-mail to pursue issues of concern to the member states.
- Number of contacts and types made with congressional staff (including at least two meetings/briefings).
- Number of contacts and types made with other federal agencies (including at least two meetings).
- Executive Director develops and distributes concise IMCC resolutions and/or position papers on emerging issues and legislation to key state and federal decision-makers in advance of congressional or federal agency actions/initiatives.
The Interstate Mining Compact Commission will advance the organizational, institutional, financial and administrative integrity of IMCC, pursue additional member states and retain existing member states.
STRATEGIES FOR ACTION:
- Meet with potential new member states. Follow up with phone calls and e-mails.
- Meet with each associate member state to discuss Compact legislation for bringing the state into the Compact as a full member. Perform all necessary follow up research and information to facilitate membership.
- Contact each current full member state regarding status of Compact membership.
- Work toward the membership of all major mineral-producing states in the Compact.
- Conduct annual audit.
- Meet with IMCC Finance and Administrative Committee to review financial condition, compensation and benefits programs and strategic plan.
- Review all benefit programs annually.
- Evaluate internal administrative processes for potential improvement.
- Pursue opportunities to leverage funding from federal government sources to support Compact goals and objectives and advance state regulatory programs and state/federal partnerships.
- Develop and distribute a survey to the member states to identify and improve Compact services and operations.
- Number of funding opportunities obtained.
- Perform survey every two years and distribute results.
- Add at least one full member states every five years.
- Meet with IMCC Finance and Administrative Committee at least two times in person, via e-mail or via conference call per year.