Title: National Strategic and Critical Minerals Production Act of 2013
Vote Smart's Synopsis:
Vote to pass a bill that authorizes the mining of strategic and critical minerals and establishes a 30 month maximum time period for review.
Requires any agency responsible for issuing a mineral exploration or mining permit, at the request of a project stakeholder, to enter into an agreement specifying time limits for each part of the permit review process and limiting the total review process to a period of 30 months unless a longer period is explicitly agreed upon by the signatories (Sec. 102).
Requires any agency responsible for issuing a mineral exploration or mining permit to appoint a project lead responsible for minimizing permitting delays, ensuring timeline adherence, and consulting with other involved agencies and stakeholders (Sec. 102).
Authorizes the mining of “strategic and critical minerals” and the construction of additional routes and areas necessary for such mining projects within designated recreational areas of the federally administered National Forest System (Sec. 102).
Defines “strategic and critical minerals” as minerals that are necessary for any of the following purposes (Sec. 3):
Supporting national defense and national security;
Supporting energy infrastructure, including pipelines, refining capacity, electrical power generation and transmission, and renewable energy production;
Supporting domestic manufacturing, agriculture, housing, telecommunications, healthcare, and transportation infrastructure; or
Supporting economic security and the balance of trade.
Classifies domestic mines that provide strategic and critical minerals as “infrastructure projects” under Presidential Order “Improving Performance of Federal Permitting and Review of Infrastructure Projects” (Sec. 101).
Requires any agency responsible for issuing a mineral exploration or mining permit to verify that the issuance does not constitute a violation of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (Sec. 102).
Specifies that this act applies to mineral exploration or mine permit applications previously submitted, if the applicant submits a written request to the lead agency (Sec. 102).
Prohibits any “covered civil action” from being filed more than 60 days after the occurrence of the Federal agency action to which it relates (Sec. 202).
Defines a “covered civil action” as a civil action against the Federal Government regarding agency action affecting a mineral exploration or mine permit (Sec. 201).
Authorizes the holder of a mineral exploration or mine permit to intervene without seeking the permission of the court in any covered civil action by affecting the rights or obligations of the permit holder under the terms of the permit (Sec. 203).
Prohibits a party in a covered civil action from receiving Federal Government payment of their attorneys’ fees, expenses, or other court costs (Sec. 206).
Specifies that the provisions of the Equal Access to Justice Act do not apply to covered civil actions (Sec. 206).
Specifies that this bill does not alter any rules put in place concerning potash mines and oil and gas drilling under Secretarial Order 3324 (Sec. 301).